Non-church fundraisers mostly did well at 46th Watermelon Festival

Lions Club of Hope sold 512 meals at their fish fry fundraiser this past Saturday. Photo by April Lovette.

Local civic organizations in Hope for the most part reported favorably on their fundraising efforts during the Watermelon Festival.

The Kiwanis Club’s president Jodi Perkins, whose group held a Barbecue Chicken Dinner Friday evening, reported the only shortfall among secular fundraisers this year as the Kiwanis members served 252 meals, down from 313 last year. Perkins said the club will be having its annual pancake supper September 9.

Holding its traditional fish and chicken fry on Friday evening, the Lions Club, with help provided by the Evening Lions Club, did better than they expected according to the Lions Club’s treasurer Debbie Marsh. In all, 512 meals were sold, with 162 occurring involving the drive-through and 350 either being picked up or dined upon in the Community Center location where long tables were set up for the purpose. “We had so many folks come in, we did run out of chicken. I think we ran out of slaw at the very end,” acknowledged Marsh.

Scoutmaster Les Patterson of the Boy Scouts of Troop 5, which parked cars during the festival, reported collecting about $4,200 in parking fees and $800 in donations. Half the money will go to the Scouts and the other half to Hope Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce. He said their collections last week were more than those at previous Watermelon Festivals.

The treasurer of the Civitan Club, Debbie Hall, reported this to be a good year for the club’s fundraising through the car show and charging for parking near the Fair Park’s back gate. Like the Scouts, half these proceeds go to the Chamber and half remain with the club.

The Hope Band Boosters president Julie Russell said, “We had a great time serving everyone at the Watermelon festival. We were not real sure on what to expect this year but feel as though we did well with the funds raised.” The funds will be used to cover needs for the band from meals to instruments. The Band Boosters will also run the concession stand on the visitor’s side of Hammons Stadium during football games.

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