Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Lions Club has donated $10,000 to Jefferson County Kids Early Childhood Learning Center, a new child care facility planned for Fairfield.
The Lions Club presented the five-figure check to representatives of Jefferson County Kids Monday, just two days shy of the club’s 100th anniversary on May 5. The Fairfield Lions Club was founded on that date in 1921 by Dr. J.S. Gaumer and several others.
Terri Kness, a board member of Jefferson County Kids, thanked the Fairfield Lions Club for the donation.
“This generous donation and investment will serve the Fairfield area for years to come,” Kness said.
The Jefferson County Kids Early Childhood Learning Center is a proposed 14,000-square-foot child care facility that could offer space to 185 children. It will be built on Libertyville Road west of the Jefferson County Health Center. Jefferson County Kids has said it plans to begin construction on the building this summer.
Kness said it’s great to see local service clubs recognize the need for child care and support Jefferson County Kids as it nears its fundraising goal.
Fairfield Lions Club member Erica Voreis said she, Bob Keller and Wendell Beall looked into ways the Lions Club could use some of its savings to help the community. She said the club liked the idea of supporting the new child care center because it would be a highly visible project that would appeal to young families. She said service clubs tend to consist of older members and are always looking for young members to join to keep the group going.
Josh Laraby, Fairfield Economic Development Association executive director and member of Jefferson County Kids, said donors will be honored in some permanent fashion at the new child care center.
Fairfield Lions Club President Dorian Atwood said that the club would have had a much bigger celebration of its 100-year anniversary if not for the pandemic. Club members decided that, since a big celebration on the date of the anniversary was not possible, the group could divert those resources to another cause, such as Jefferson County Kids.
The Lions Club motto is “We serve,” and Atwood said the donation to Jefferson County Kids met the organization’s mission of helping others.
“We are planning a fall celebration for the community when things are more open, but we wanted to do something close to our 100th anniversary,” Atwood said.