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Fort Fairfield Lions Celebrate Club’s 80th Year Anniversary


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 20, 2017


   The Fort Fairfield Lions Club recently marked its 80th year anniversary during their annual auction held at the local clubhouse on Forest Avenue.   The Fort Fairfield Lions Club Auction also celebrated a milestone with its 40th year anniversary.

   Jeff Murchison, President of the Fort Fairfield Lions Club says the changing economic landscape in Aroostook County over the years has also changed the look of their auction.  “When there were more small farmers in the area we got a lot of support from fertilizer companies, the chemical companies, the support people for farmers and a lot of their friends, the equipment dealers,” said Murchison.  “We still get that support from the ones that are still here.  There's less businesses in Fort that we rely on but we also try to give money to agencies and charities in other towns so Presque Isle, Caribou, Limestone, Mars Hill, Fort Fairfield, some donors from away, some buyers come from away to support the auction.  We've had good success.”

   The club's auction still receives good support from local businesses in the area, donating their products and services.  “I would say [this year] it's about the same.  The total estimated value of what we got here is right on par for what we normally have.” 

   During his tenure as co-chair and chairman for the Lions Auction over the past 26 years, Murchison says the local club has raised up to $14,000 per auction in some years.    “We've never done less than $7,500 and we usually average between $8,000 to $11,000 per year, that we take in at this event that goes back into the community.”

   The Lions support local scholarships and also fund their primary mission of providing eyeglasses to those in need.   “The last few years we haven't given away as much money in that area to help people buy eyeglasses because we haven't had as many requests.  One of our goals is to get more interest and to help buy people glasses.  We work with local eye doctors to get the word out and there's an agency that works with the blind in the area—they'll contact us at times.” 

   People who think they might qualify for Lions Club support for eyeglass purchases can contact them either through their eye doctor or a Lion member directly.  “Usually that program is administered by the President, which we call a King Lion but in essence it's the president.  It can be brought to our club about how much we'll participate,” said Murchison.