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Lions hope to move into new ‘den’ this winter

FUTURE LIONS DENOne Carmi civic club heard Thursday about another club’s plans for a new home.
Longtime Lion David Templeton spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Carmi Thursday about the annual free Thanksgiving meal (see related story) and also about his organization’s soon-to-be new home. Graber Post Buildings is expected to complete the “shell” of the 48-by-80-foot building on First Street (across from First Presbyterian Church) early next week, he said.
Lion Jason Draper did the preparatory concrete work, and club members are expected to do much of the remaining interior construction. Templeton said the club hopes to begin meeting in the new building in February or March.
The Lions have met at a frame “Lions Den” at Bradshaw-Jaycee Park for years, but about five years ago club members started talking about building a new home, Templeton said. About a dozen years ago an elderly local woman left the club with some money, which was invested (Templeton credited then-Lion Brad Braden with doing the paperwork to ease that process). While the principal was largely given away, the club set aside the interest it earned and has put that toward paying the expenses of the new building. Donations have also helped.
The club was able to buy the home of the late Mark Hall, and an adjoining lot was donated to the organization. The house was razed and work began on the new building earlier this year.
A construction loan was obtained to finance completion of the structure, Templeton said, and the club expects to conduct fund-raisers to raise the money necessary to pay it off. (The Lions are hosting a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 this Saturday morning at the Lions Den in the park; the cost will be $5 per person.)
The building will feature a meeting room measuring 48 by 40 feet, plus a modern kitchen, bathroom and storage area. The area between the building and First Street will be surfaced and used as a parking lot, Templeton told the Kiwanians.
The club’s weekly meetings will be held in the new building, and the Lions hope also to rent it out for special events.
The present Lions Den will be offered for sale.
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