Imagine you're 6 years old and you can win a free ticket to Six Flags by reading a certain number of books … but reading gives you a headache. Or, you can't see the question on the board the teacher has asked you to answer.
Lions Clubs pays for eye exams and glasses for these children if their parents can't afford the cost. Last year the McKinney Noon Lions Club spent $35,000 on eye exams and glasses for McKinney kids. And that's just one of the causes they support. In the 1920s Helen Keller addressed the National Lions Club Convention and challenged Lions to become “Knights of the Blind.” So began the focus on sight issues, recycling eyeglasses, etc.
The Chili Supper is the biggest fundraiser of the year and this year’s supper will be their 60th annual event. The McKinney Noon Lions Club itself is 92 years old.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, Feb. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the McKinney High School cafeteria.
When the former chair of the chili supper had to move to Dallas, JoEllen Zabel was asked to take on the task. She said it was a wonderful challenge and it soon became a treat for her to get to know her fellow Lions better. “Somewhere along the 15 or 17 years I've been heading this event, someone dubbed me the 'Chili Queen,' and the title has stuck,” she said. “I love working on this event, and every year a great group of Lions comes forward to do most of the work.”
Every Lion works the night of the event, including those from their sister club, the Morning Pride Lions. They serve approximately 500 people all the chili, beans, cornbread, salad and dessert they can eat for $7. Also at the event, and included in the price: facepainting, bounce house, balloon clown and Simba the Lion.
A silent auction is held, and this year they are offering text bidding.
Visit their website at mckinneynoonlions.org.