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Muncy Lions Club starts new year with service

MUNCY — With the first week of 2020 officially in the books, an annual project began last Saturday and continues until this weekend.

Approximately one dozen members of the Muncy Area Lions Club began collecting used Christmas trees throughout the Muncy and Hughesville area. The community service has taken place for over a quarter of a century, said Bill Kahler, chairman of the project.

With trucks and trailers, members divvy the area between themselves, traveling the streets and roads, stopping at houses that have discarded trees at the curb; donations are welcome in any amount. After retrieving the trees, members regroup in the parking lot between Lions park and the community pool. There, evergreens are bound with twine using a tree baler owned by Brown’s Tree Farm, where member Jim Woodruff is employed.

While tree gathering ends this Saturday, residents are permitted to drop trees at the lot themselves. A handy secured donation box will remain on site to encourage donations, Kahler said. After Saturday’s final collection, representatives from the Pennsylvania Game Commission will haul the trees to the Allenwood game lands, where the pines are recycled by nature.

There, the Jersey Shore Environmental Club gets involved and builds natural wildlife habitats using the trees, Kahler explained. “It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved,” he said.

Kahler, approaching 35 years as a Lions member himself, has headed the collection for the last four years or so. “I keep pulling the short straw,” Kahler said jokingly, when asked why he took ownership as chairman of the project. His peers chuckled along, including club president Tom Smith, and Ed Breon, treasurer.

“Tom’s been ‘El Presidente’ for the last five years,” Breon said, who confided that his club associates refer to him as ‘Count De Money’ a character from a Mel Brooks movie. Jim Craddock is vice president while the indispensable Steve Young is secretary, Breon said.

The group’s jocularity is evident during events and meetings. Established in June 1981, the club meets twice a month — on the second and fourth Thursdays — for about an hour at Orlie’s on South Main Street. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m., Kahler said. The first meeting agenda pertains to business while the second meeting is reserved for guest speakers on diverse topics.

In addition to recycling tannenbaums, Muncy Lions also accomplish multiple service projects. Fundraising events occur throughout the year: most famously, the club’s chicken barbecue on Memorial Day.

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