|Outstanding Service Award presented to Hot Springs Village Evening Lions Club May 2, 2011
HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE EVENING LIONS CLUB
THANKS TO THE TROOPS
In June 2010 the Hot Springs Village Evening Lions Club responded to the call of community leaders to take the lead in a community project of honoring our military heroes. It was not a fundraiser project for the Club, as all proceeds are donated to the USO, but rather a community project for the Village. It allowed Villagers the opportunity to greet and personally show appreciation to two busloads of active military personnel just returning from or going to Afghanistan/Iraq. Evening Lions sponsored and provided the leadership and coordination for all who participated in “Thanks to the Troops.”
As the Troops arrived for a fun day of golf, food and celebrations, they were greeted by hundreds of Villagers waving flags along the parade route and greeting them on the golf course with hugs and refreshments. After golf they were treated to a final celebration and meal by over 400 Villagers at the Balboa Pavilion. As a final gesture of support and friendship, the Villagers sang God Bless America and presented the Troops with a gift as a token of our appreciation upon their departure. It was truly a memorable event for the Village and shows how patriotic this community is.
Reflecting on the “Thanks to the Troops” event two days later at the Village Veterans Day Ceremonies, Colonel Dr. Walter “Bubba” Smith, a USAF chaplain and pastor of HSV’s Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church said “It was a day I will long remember because our community came together to embrace soldiers with names they did not know, but whose honor they greatly respected.”
Col. Patricia Anslow, a commander of the Arkansas National Guard who led a battalion to Iraq in 2006-07, and who visited the village three times in 2010, twice being a guest speaker at our Club, said “HSV has set a high bar and great example for other communities to reach in honoring military veterans.”
The Evening Lions motto is ‘We Serve’ and we are proud to be ‘Serving’ the Village by sponsoring the ‘Thanks to the Troops’ project.