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The roar of the Lioness Club

10:06 PM, Apr. 4, 2013  |  Comments
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Local women walked the red carpet Thursday night in Wisconsin Rapids.

"This is the night for glitz - Wisconsin Rapids style," said Kathy Pyburn of Wisconsin Rapids.

It wasn't the Oscars - it was the annual Wisconsin Rapids Lioness Club "Ladies Night Out" fundraiser - and the theme was "Hollywood Nights," with red carpet (complete with paparazzi), movie posters and goody bags.

The event, held at the Wisconsin Rapids Lions clubhouse on 10th Street South in Wisconsin Raids, not only is the group's largest fundraiser, but a chance to bring more awareness of the service group's existence. There are 23 members - and more than three times that attended the catered dinner.

The group has been around for nine years, organizing after the Grand Rapids charter disbanded, said Donna Schlinsog, 65, of Wisconsin Rapids.

"My husband has been a Lions member for probably 30 years, and I always helped out their club as much as I could," Schlinsog, a six-year member and current club president, said.

Pyburn, a three-year member, joined after learning the group was a service organization.

"I like it because it's a small group," Pyburn said. "They are not afraid to get in there and work."

The Lions and Lioness clubs help out more than 20 local nonprofits, food and essential pantries, Project Lifesaver, different health organization, special needs groups and the Wisconsin Lions Camp. Last year, 13 local children went to the camp, at no cost to the families.

"Most of our money stays in the community," Pyburn said.

In addition to fundraising, the group is available to volunteer at charity events, Schlinsog said.

Proceeds (a $50 donation) from Thursday's catered affair from will help fund the many projects of the club.

Madeline Kovalski, 71, of Wisconsin Rapids looks forward to attending the event. She enjoys the different themes at the annual event.

"I rush back from Arizona; I'm a snowbird," said Kovalski, who is not a member. "I arrived (home) yesterday; thank goodness the snowstorm didn't hold me up. So here I am today - the suitcases aren't even unpacked."

Kovalski said the contributions go to good causes - and it's fun.

"It's a wonderful, positive thing for women to get together,' she said. "I think that those who don't take the opportunity to enjoy it are missing out on something."

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