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Planting seeds of hope within Huntley

On Nov. 15, the Huntley Area Lions Club hosted its 10th annual Flower Show to celebrate the power of nature and the community that resides amongst it.
On stage stand the three florist shops – Countryside, Huntley Floral, and Renee’s of Ridgefield – and commentator Judie Altman, showcasing the latest arrangement.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Huntley Area Lions Club hosted its 10th annual Flower Show in the HHS Performing Arts Center. The night was to celebrate the beauty and power of nature. To get in tickets were $15 each and all funds will be given back to the public in the form of donations such as the Grafton Food Pantry, scholarships for the high school, and veteran organizations. Back in 2022, the Huntley Area Lions gave out over $22,000 to various organizations.

The Lions Club International is a group founded in 1917 with a mission to serve communities far and wide. After over a century of dedication, it has become the world’s largest service club organization, containing 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs across the world: one being right here in Huntley. Not only does the Lions Club give back financially, but they also serve the community to make it a better place.

“We cover a section of Reed Road, [as part] of the Adopt-A-Highway program,” said James Saletta, a member of the club for seven years. “We had the Leos Club come out just a couple of weeks ago and just cleaned it up.”

While the Lions Club projects typically only involve members and those whom they are giving, the flower show was a celebration of the community as a whole. On stage, florists from Countryside, Huntley Floral, and Renee’s of Ridgefield were all actively making bouquets and once they were finished they gave them away to lucky raffle winners in the crowd. 

“Certain arrangements take only 20 minutes, but others can take up to an hour,” said Rose Raica, a four-year florist. “[To make an arrangement], you need to observe the pot it’s in, and decide if the flowers should be coordinating or the exact same, then choose your focal flowers, filler flowers, and laying flowers.”

  On stage, there was a total of 135 years of florist experience, with the commentator of the show – Judie Altman – boasting a dedicated 52 years to floristry. Her knowledge shined as she introduced each arrangement and the pieces within that made it unique before a lucky ticket was announced and the piece was then walked through the audience aisles, complemented with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs.’ 

With just over $2,500 made from the show, the president of the Lions Club, Mary Meyer, was beaming with pride and joy when discussing where and who the money might help.

“It fills me with such joy to give back to the community,” she said. “It’s heartwarming stuff, and it can’t help but remind you that there are good people out in the world.”

As the show closed out, Meyer came out on stage to thank the audience and spread the Lions Club message: aid those around you.

“You make an impact in this community, and you also help make our club dreams become a reality – a reality that is uplifting and improving the lives of so many across the globe,” Meyer said.

If becoming a Lion sounds interesting to you the Huntley Area Club hosts meetings every second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. For any high schoolers wanting to take part in these volunteer opportunities, the Leos Club is directly funded and supported by the Lions of Huntley.

“I think anybody interested in helping other people [should join the Lions Club],” Saletta said. “You really make a difference in this community, and it changes you as a person.”

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About the Contributor
Carrie Willig
Carrie Willig, Social Media Manager
Carrie Willig is the social media manager for her second year in a row! It is her second year on The Voice staff. In her free time, Carrie loves to read, spend quality time with family, hang out with friends, and watch Disney movies. She’s so excited to make the 2023-24 school year another great year!

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