Pig in the Park proceeds to benefit Noon Lions Club charity work

“We Serve.”

The Lions Clubs International motto means selfless service to others in need in the local communities.

The Seymour Noon Lions Club prides itself in that mission.

On Saturday, the club conducted its 12th annual Pig in the Park and Family Fun Fair at Gaiser Park on Seymour’s south side. That event gives Lions an opportunity to serve a meal to the community, provide fun activities and resources for the community and give back the money it raises to the community.

“The opportunity to get people in the neighborhoods together, people know that they are contributing to a cause, they are getting a meal and the money is going to come right back into Jackson County,” club member Jim Potts said. “We fund a number of programs, and that’s fun for us to know that we’re a part of that, and I think it’s fun for the people to realize not only is it fun to be here and eat, but that’s where the money is going.”

Proceeds from the event are used by the Lions Club for its charity work, which ranges from awarding scholarships to local high school seniors to donating to local nonprofit organizations to doing free vision screenings in local day cares, preschools and schools.

Potts has been in the Lions Club for 41 years and has been part of Pig in the Park each of its 12 years. He said it’s another example of the club’s work.

“We’re proud of our organization, but we’re proud of our community, our city and the state,” he said. “We know this is helping build each one of those for future years, future generations. … We take pride in being a part of the community and being able to help do things and have fun in the process.”

While people go to Pig in the Park for the meal — featuring choice of pulled pork sandwich, pork burger or hot dog with chips, baked beans, a cookie and a drink — the Lions Club also has built up the other features of the event over the years.

This year, in the shelter house, the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour sold ice cream to benefit that nonprofit organization. A bounce house and an inflatable obstacle course entertained children. Police vehicles, a ladder firetruck, an ambulance, city vehicles and a race car were on display for kids and adults to get in or around.

Also, various nonprofits had tables set up with a fun activity and information about their work, and local band Fly By Night performed.

Attendees also had an opportunity to watch a Special Olympics softball game at the softball field. The Jackson County Tornadoes hosted the Monroe County Sluggers, and it was a close game all the way with the home team coming out on top 7-6.

Seeing people enjoy themselves in the park was satisfying for Potts, and it also made a newer club member, Jake Stice, happy. He joined about six months ago, so this was his first Pig in the Park.

“This is my first time here, so I’m having a great time, and it’s really good to see the good turnout,” he said as he manned the grill near the shelter house.

The club meets weekly, and Stice said members split up duties for Pig in the Park during a recent meeting.

“I love cooking, so whenever that slot was open, I said, ‘Put me down,’” he said. “I don’t mind. I would rather do this. I didn’t want to pull pork this morning.”

He said it was great seeing the club come together to pull off a popular event for the community. More than 400 meals were sold Saturday.

“If it wasn’t for all of us, we couldn’t do it,” Stice said. “I like working with everybody and seeing how happy everybody is, especially Special Olympics. I love it. I had such a great time with the basketball tournament (in January). I can’t wait until next year. … It’s good helping out. It means a lot, and I can see how much it means to people just to give back a little bit. Even if you’re flipping burgers, every little bit counts.”