The Home Place Lions Club is entering its final days of existence.
The club is giving up its charter June 30.
“We’ve gotten too small to be effective,” said Kathy Bolander, the club’s co-president with Judy Zell. “With health ailments in our group, it’s just not feasible anymore.”
The Home Place Lions Club is down to 13 members. Bolander is the only member still living in the Home Place portion of Carmel.
“It was just six of us doing what we could when we could,” she said. “It’s sad, but it was inevitable. We’ve run its course and we don’t have any young blood to keep it going.”
The club was chartered with 44 members on Jan. 16, 1988.
Three members have moved since they joined and will join a club closer to them in Marion County. Three more members will transfer to the Carmel Lions Club.
The club has always supported the leader dog program.
“We had two blind members, a couple, who were active in our club and they have a leader dog,” Bolander said. “I feel strong about the leader dog program.”
The club has provided emergency assistance throughout its existence, first working with “Clothe-a-Child” with the Carmel Fire Dept. It is now working with the Carmel Fire Department Community Assistance Program.
“We still contribute to those charities until the time we give up our charter,” Bolander said. “We had to empty our bank account, so we had to mail checks out to various (nonprofits).”
Bolander said the first 10 years the club was very active, meeting in Merchants Square Mall when it was enclosed. They held bake sales and flea markets.
Bolander said the club partnered with the Greater Home Place Neighborhood Association for events.
Bolander said her late husband, Jim, created a bingo game to replace poinsettia sales as a major fundraiser. She said they were able to increase scholarships for students from $200 to $300 to $1,000.
In recent years, the support for nonprofits have come through donations rather than in-person fundraisers.
“We recently provided our last two scholarships to Carmel High School (students),” she said.
The club has worked with a group called Living Waters, which passes out water and personal care items to people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis. It also has contributed to Fountains of Hope, which provides a clean water system in underprivileged nations. Among the other nonprofits and organizations the club has donated to include Pleasant Grove United Methodist, Prime Life Enrichment, Shepherd’s Center, Prevail and Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth Abuse and Suicide.