For the Gazette
By Danielle Coots
BELLBROOK — This weekend marks the 70th Annual Bellbrook Lion’s Club Festival.
The events begin Thursday, Aug. 18 with a contest of the cutest local children and ends with the explosion of fireworks at Sackett-Wright Park on Saturday, Aug. 20, in conjunction of the 200th year celebration of Bellbrook.
All Lion’s club members will have raffle tickets for the grand prize of $10,000 to be announced Saturday night. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. The festival is held at the Old Sugarcreek Elementary School.
The Bellbrook Lion’s Club Annual festival generates an average of over $30,000 in revenue a year. The money is used to ad0pt-a-highway, sponsor blood donations twice a year, provide eye glasses to local children, provide assistance to local senior citizens and the disabled.
The club helps with local sporting organizations for children and adults, hosts a pancake breakfast, offers camps for the handicap, donates over $2,000 a year to the local police and fire departments, and offers two scholarships a year to seniors graduating from Bellbrook High School.
“The club made a lot of cookies, cakes, brownies, cupcakes for the cake wheel,” Bellbrook Lionesses hairperson Carolyn Cuzzort said. “This year, in addition to the yearly car show, we will be having a motorcycle rally on Friday. The fireworks will be shot off at Sackett-Wright Park on Saturday night, so there will be no parking allowed at the park on Saturday night.”
Thursday night features the crowning of the Prince and Princess, that fans can watch while enjoying dinner of pork chops, corn-on-the-cob with a piece of pie. The emcee of the contest this year is Bellbrook Police Chief Doug Doherty. The judges are Faith Sayetters, Debbie Gross and Randy Pavlak. Thursday’s dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the contest begins at 6:30 p.m.
“We pride ourselves on keeping things constant and having the same activities and food that people look forward to,” Bellbrook Lionness Linda Worthington said. “Festival favorites are the children’s carnival rides, the blanket wheel, the Win-a-fish booth, and the cake wheel.”
Friday’s dinner will be all-you-can-eat fish. Saturday’s dinner will be the BBQ chicken, after the parade that begins at 4 p.m. along Bellbrook’s Main Street. The Bellbrook Marching Band will showcase their performance for the next football season, kids will be be free to run and from each ride and game.
“We take the position that whatever is in the community, we try to be the builders of community spirit, help local youth, advance the community and community health,” Bellbrook Lion’s Club’s President Gregg Sparks said during the presentation of the organizations mission statement presentation. “Our dedication to eye health is one of the things that the Lion’s Club is known for. We also help with infrastructure, anywhere you see a Lion’s Club symbol. We are very proud of that.”
For more information, contact Bellbrook Lionesses chairwoman Carolyn Cuzzort at 937-436-0716.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.