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Uniontown Lions Club Festival celebrating 29 years

8/7/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

UNIONTOWN — The Uniontown Lions Club will lean into its “We Serve” motto this year during the 29th annual Uniontown Lions Club Festival, set for Aug. 13-15 from 6 to 11 p.m. and Aug. 16 from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Uniontown Elementary School, located at 13244 Cleveland Ave. N.W.

The annual event includes a parade, car show, entertainment tent, carnival games and rides, contests, food vendors and more.

“This event is a hidden gem,” said club member Mindy Covington, who is one of the event organizers. “It offers lots of family entertainment, is easily accessible with lots of close-by parking and you can get out of the area within 15 minutes after the fireworks.”

Covington said the event will include carnival activities, hermit crab races, bingo and food.

Also, on Aug. 14 at 7 and 8:15 p.m., a 30-minute presentation on “Simple Conversations for a Successful Retirement” will take place, with information and resources to be offered. Covington said there will be no sales at this event. People who attend one of the sessions will be eligible for a drawing for the door prize of a framed Ohio State University Football Stadium picture signed by the 2012 team.

On Aug. 15, a car show with classic and modified cars will take place.

On Aug. 16, the festival will open with a parade at 3 p.m. along Cleveland Road from Sweitzer Road to just north of state Route 619.

“This parade is the second largest one in Summit and Stark counties, behind the Football Hall of Fame parade,” said Covington. “You can arrive 15 minutes before the 3 p.m. start and still get a good seat.”

Covington said this year’s theme for the parade is “Service,” and it will highlight three long-time club members. It also will include classic corvettes, the Lake High School Marching Band, fire trucks and police cars, local dance groups and floats from area businesses.

The festival will continue that day with carnival games and activities and pet and bike decorating contests at 2 p.m. The festival will close with fireworks slated to start at about 10 p.m.

Live music also is planned throughout the festival and includes: Balloon Bender Aug. 13 at 7:15 p.m.; the Little Rock Band at 7:15 p.m. and Door 3 Twenty at 9 p.m. Aug. 14; B&C Band Aug. 15 at 9:15 p.m.; and Elvis Is In The House Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.

Covington said the festival is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“This event is prepared by hundreds of volunteers, and last year it raised around $60,000 to fund a variety of efforts,” she said.

The club has supported a number of community charities and projects over the decades with funds from the festival, and last year the club contributed over $15,000 to various charities and projects, most of which were local, according to Covington. Over the decades, club projects have included:

  • purchasing land for the Uniontown Community Park, construction of a parks building, acoustics system improvements in the building, a new gazebo and a donation of $25,000 toward a new $100,000 playground being built. In addition, the club helps to maintain the park;
  • giving Christmas baskets for families in need;
  • donating to Lake Local Schools, including the Lake 1-2-3-4 program, college scholarships for high school students, and recognition for teachers and staff;
  • sending a local child to Camp Echoing Hills, a summer camp built for the disabled;
  • cleaning regularly state Route 619 between the Stark County line on the west to approximately one quarter mile east of Mogadore Road;
  • maintaining and cleaning Pegasus Farms grounds and buildings; and
  • awarding one-time grant fund requests for special projects.

Covington said the club’s biggest efforts are focused on eyesight and include providing access through the Greater Akron Lions Eyecare Program for free eye exams and eyeglasses for those who cannot afford them and the collection of used prescription eyeglasses for distribution to those in need. Covington said the club also supports the District 13-D Pilot Dogs program, which provides seeing-eye dogs for the visually impaired; the Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation, which provides seed money for Ohio universities for eye research projects; the American Diabetes Association, as diabetes is a major cause of blindness; and Lions Club International Foundation efforts.

For more information about the Uniontown Lions Club, visit the club on Facebook.

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