GJ Lions Club celebrates 95 years of community service with carnival and parade

The Grand Junction Lions Club, one of the oldest and largest service organizations in the city, hosted its 95th annual Carnival Raffle & Parade on Saturday, February 17, 2024. The event was a night full of family-friendly fun, candy, and community spirit, as well as a fundraiser for local non-profits, charities, schools, and events.

Carnival Raffle & Parade: A tradition since 1929

The Carnival Raffle & Parade is the signature event of the GJ Lions Club, which was founded in 1929. The club has been organizing the carnival and parade every year since then, except for a few years during World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is the club’s main source of income, as it sells raffle tickets for various prizes donated by local businesses and individuals. The club then distributes the funds to various causes and projects in the community, such as scholarships, eyeglasses, playgrounds, parks, and more.

The carnival and parade are also a way for the club to showcase its history and achievements, as well as to thank the community for its support and participation. The carnival features games, rides, food, and entertainment for all ages, while the parade features floats, bands, dancers, and other performers from various groups and organizations in the city. The parade also honors the club’s past presidents, who ride in vintage cars along the route.

Highlights of the 95th Carnival Raffle & Parade

This year’s Carnival Raffle & Parade was a special occasion, as it marked the 95th anniversary of the club and the event. The club had prepared several surprises and attractions for the attendees, such as:

GJ Lions Club celebrates 95 years

  • A grand prize of $50,000 for the raffle, as well as other prizes such as cars, motorcycles, TVs, laptops, and more.
  • A fireworks show at the end of the carnival, sponsored by the City of Grand Junction and the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
  • A special float dedicated to the club’s history and legacy, featuring photos, banners, and memorabilia from the past 95 years.
  • A tribute to the club’s members and volunteers, who wore red shirts with the club’s logo and motto: “Do the most good, for the most people, while having the most fun.”
  • A recognition of the club’s partners and beneficiaries, who displayed their logos and banners on the floats and booths.

Impact of the Carnival Raffle & Parade on the community

The Carnival Raffle & Parade is not only a fun and festive event, but also a meaningful and impactful one. The club estimates that it has raised over $8 million and supported over 300 organizations and projects since its inception. The club also claims that it has helped improve the quality of life and well-being of thousands of people in the Grand Valley and beyond.

Some of the examples of the club’s impact are:

  • Providing eyeglasses and eye exams to over 10,000 children and adults who could not afford them.
  • Building and maintaining over 20 playgrounds, parks, and trails in the city and county.
  • Awarding over 500 scholarships to high school and college students who excel in academics, athletics, and community service.
  • Supporting various programs and initiatives related to health, education, arts, culture, sports, and environment.

The club also prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive group, with members from different backgrounds, professions, ages, and genders. The club welcomes anyone who shares its vision and values, and encourages them to join and get involved.


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