Article appeared in the December issue of the Redstone Review
As the year closes out, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on the year. Many are inspired to “Be the Light” in serving or offering a little extra to those around us. It does seem there are so many needs and causes to compete for our attention, money and energy. While it is tempting to be discouraged when considering all the great needs in our community and beyond, I prefer to look at the glass half full. The season gives an opportunity to reflect and be grateful. Offering light to those around us includes not only financial support and volunteering, but continuing to be a beacon of hope and positivity.
Lyons made some major progress in our long road to recovery with the grand opening of the incredible Lavern M. Johnson Park. Residents again have a place to play, picnic, and enjoy the stunning scenery. The new wastewater plant has opened. Our main street business district is bustling and the eastern extension of sidewalks and parking is at long last finally completed. The confluence finally has paved streets and more residents have been able to move home. While progress may be slow, we can celebrate the milestones and rejoice in seeing the positive steps forward.
There are many community-organized efforts to share what we have this December. The Lyons Leos youth–led service organization is organizing a personal items drive for the homeless to collect basic needs like toothpaste and soap. Lyons Elementary PTO in coordination with Higher Ground Ministries is organizing a food drive to provide meals to those in need. LEAF has organized a “giving tree” to offer gifts to families during this season, and the “socks for the homeless” campaign is alive and well in its second year.
The Lyons Community Foundation provides a platform for a wide range of individuals looking to give back to the Lyons-area community. LCF recently awarded over $55,000 in 19 separate grants to groups in Lyons who continue to do good work. The range of projects varies from serving our most at-risk residents to providing opportunities for our arts and music scenes to flourish. Grant-supported programs like the 9Health Fair provides basic health screenings for all area residents. Meals on Wheels and the Food Pantry serve those who need it most. There are also community -enriching programs such as the Summer Concert Series in Sandstone Park, the Lyons Film Festival, Outdoor Games, and the amazing Holiday Fireworks and Parade of Lights that may not occur without LCF support. LCF Scholarship programs support area students’ dreams of achieving higher education.
The Lyons Community Foundation would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the community of supporters and volunteers that make our work possible. We are committed to nurturing local philanthropy and fostering a culture of giving that enhances life in Lyons. If you are inspired or able to do so, we ask that you consider making your year-end giving have a local impact. One hundred percent of what LCF receives stays right here in Lyons, funding projects that enhance our community. Local philanthropy has strong and visible impacts.
As this year closes, we would also like to thank our outgoing Advisory Board members: Sandy Banta, Monique Sawyer-Lang, and Christy Cope who have all dedicated their time and talents in enormous ways. We are extremely grateful for their service. It is the mission of the Lyons Community Foundation to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area.