Lions kick off Fourth raffle

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(Courtesy photo)A youngster tests out the 2019 Sea-Doo Spark, a two-person personal watercraft that is the Sandpoint Lions Club's top prize in its annual Fourth of July raffle.

SANDPOINT — There will be a parade through town, two parades in fact — one dedicated to the kiddos and the other a grand celebration of community. And fireworks, you can’t forget the fireworks.

All of this Fourth of July fun is courtesy of the Sandpoint Lions.

The festivities are funded through an annual raffle — this year, the grand prize is 2019 Sea-Doo Spark, a two-person personal watercraft complete with a trailer., followed by a $2,000 Bonner County shopping spree and a third-place prize of $1,000 cash.

Ticket sales for the raffle are what fund the annual Fourth of July fireworks show and festivities. Lions recently launched this year’s sales drive at the Lost in the ’50s celebration and will be setting up booths at local stores in the coming weeks.

The Lions have been sponsoring the Independence Day festivities for more than 50 years. It pays for all permits, fees, stipulated costs, insurance, supplies, prizes, and most important of all — the professional fireworks show, club members said.

Most of the club’s funding comes from raffle ticket sales prior to the event. Tickets are $5 apiece or $20 for a book of five tickets. Volunteers sell them throughout the area in May and June at retail locations, including Walmart, Yokes, Super 1, and the Co-op. Those who purchase books have the chance to spin a prize wheel for free tickets, club members said.

The holiday festivities begin Thursday, July 4, at 9 a.m. with a children’s parade. Up to 200 children ride decorated bikes or wagons through downtown. Entry is free, and each participant receives a goodie bag with treats and prizes.

The Grand Parade ensues at 10 a.m. and ends around noon. The theme of this year’s parade is “Volunteering in Bonner County” and the three grand marshals — Joyce Spiller, Cindy Chenault, and Marcella Nelson —exemplify that theme.

Pre-registration for entries is $25 or $30 on the morning of the parade is $30. Veterans groups can enter free, according to the club.

Parade registration forms are available at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., or on the Lions Club website at sandpointlions.com, which accepts credit cards.

While the Fourth of July gala is arguably their most popular event, the club is active year round, raising funds for various causes. These include Toys for Tots, food for the needy during the holidays and the Easter Egg Hunt at War Memorial Park. The local Lions also sponsor eye and hearing screening checks for nearly every elementary school student in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, as well as purchasing eyeglasses and hearing aids for local children and adults who cannot afford them. The Sandpoint Lions Club awards scholarships to local high school graduates, too, according to club officials.

The public can contribute to the Fourth of July fund by purchasing raffle tickets from the Sandpoint Lions Club or making cash donations.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Sandpoint Lions at 208-263-4118.

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.

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