Broom Sales

The Thalia Lions Club Blind-Made Products Committee Chairman is under the overall supervision of First Vice President.

Brooms are all made by Industries for the Blind of Greensboro, NC (http://www.industriesoftheblind.com/io_blind_e.asp) where both blind and visually impaired workers staff the broom making assembly line. In early May (this year 2009 the sale will be Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th) of each year the Thalia Lions Club members sell brooms at the Birchwood Shopping Center (BJ'S Wholesale Club‎ and Original Mattress Factory), 3750 Virginia Beach Blvd, in the parking lot in front of the Burlington Coat Factory. This has become a regular event and tradition for both the community and the Club. It should be noted also, that the club sells Brooms at Paul’s Garage & Auto Service all year long (128 Happy St. zip 23452
1/2 mile east of Broom Sales location, i.e., from Virginia Beach Blvd go south on Lynn Shores Dr for 475 ft and continue on Happy Street 400 feet to Paul’s on the left) or call 486-1575 and ask for Nick for Lions Brooms or VA State Inspection - see Paul’s Auto Service @
http://www.paulsautoservice.com/

One hundred percent of all donations go to Thalia Lions charities which include for the blind and visually impaired:
* Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center
* Lions Medical Eye Bank of Eastern Virginia
* Leader Dog Program (Lions International)
* Charitable glasses and eye examinations
* Sight and Hearing Mobile Screening Unit

Product - Prices.
#4 Virginia Special Broom - $10
Hotel / Patio Broom (plain handle) - $12
Hotel / Patio Broom (cushion handle) - $14
Witches Broom - $7
Push Broom 24” Black Bristle - $23
Push Broom 24” Brown Bristle - $21
Whisk Broom - $5
Toy / Hearth Broom - $6
Cotton Yacht Mop - $6
Sponge Floor Mop - $10
Refill for Floor Mop - $4
Ironing Board Cover - $6
Wooden Clothes Pins, Pack - $2
Scrubeeze - $3

The Committee Chairman is responsible to keep an inventory record and order the blind made products through Jim Adams at 874-0055 prior to Dec 15. Status of order can be tracked by calling Industry of the Blind in Greensboro, NC at 800-909-7086. Delivery to Paul’s Garage is in April. Upon delivery, the committee is responsible to unload the truck and place the merchandise in storage at Paul’s Garage and create a sign up sheet at the 2nd April meeting for Lion volunteers for the May sale.

Lions Club Fundraise –
Sweeping Changes for Broom Sale

The Lions politely roared in the parking lot, asking people at Birchwood Shopping Center to support their annual broom sale.

It was quite different from years past, when Thalia Lions Club members would sell their wares door to door to raise money to help the blind and visually impaired.

Member Dick Kreassig recalled those days. “There were a lot of long driveways and then nobody was home,” said the retired Thalia resident.

Ed DeLong of Baycliff has been a Thalia Lion for 14 years. “In our area, a lot of the houses are a quarter-mile apart,” the 81-year-old said. “It’s just difficult for people our age to go around door to door.”

Broom committee chairman Bob Perrine agreed. “We had some roller carts, and we went around,” he said. “It was too labor intensive.”

At one point, DeLong said, the group even tried golf carts as their neighborhood mode of transportation. “We finally decided there was a better way to do it,” he said.

A year ago in May, they started selling the products from one location. Stanley Furman, whose wife and son are also members, said the new system saves time. “Five nights versus two days,” he said. Along with many of the service organization’s 22 members, he took a turn volunteering over the two-day stretch May 8 and 9, selling the popular brooms and mops, plus American flags and umbrellas.

DeLong said having customers come to them is a less strenuous way to sell the items made by blind and visually impaired employees at Industries of the Blind in Greensboro, N.C.

Club President Bill Pope said it’s a win-win situation: providing the blind and visually impaired with jobs and using the proceeds to help them further.

This year’s sale earned the group more than $700 for their cause.

“The money allows us to pay for sight exams and glasses,” said Pope, who said the club’s charitable foundation supports a variety of causes, including eyeglass recycling, prescreening preschool children for glasses, funding cataract surgery and providing hearing aids.

The Thalia Lions Club, chartered in 1966, is part of the International Association of Lions Clubs, with more than 1.3 million members worldwide. In 1925, Helen Keller spoke at the group’s convention and challenged its members to be “knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness.” Since then, their focus has been to help the sight and hearing impaired.

Lucille Nolette stopped by the sale and bought a $5 whisk broom. The grandmother of 16 raved about the quality and durability of the Lions’ products. “I miss them being in the neighborhood, though,” said Nolette, who has lived in the Princess Anne Plaza area since 1959. She eyed one of the brooms with a wide handle. “I’ll be back,” she said. “I’m going home to get my checkbook.”

By Cindy Butler Focke butler496@aol.com
Correspondent
Bayside

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