The Lions Step In
Many people in the community – from children who don’t know they have a vision problem to adults whose vision impairment is affecting their careers – don’t have access to quality eye care that can improve their everyday life. The Naperville Noon Lions Club hosts a 5K Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving to raise money for people in the area in need of vision, hearing and other services. On Thanksgiving morning, the entire community comes together to enjoy family, friends, fitness and fundraising.
“Lions are true to their community,” said George Pradel, Lions club member and mayor of Naperville. “At this time of year, it’s Lions Club Day in Naperville.”
A Thanksgiving Tradition
The number of race participants has grown from 350 registered runners in the first year to 7,700 in the 14th year. The Turkey Trot continues to grow as regular participants bring more family members and friends to join every year – making the race a family event and tradition for many Naperville area residents. Parents run with their children; groups of friends dress in holiday costumes; and all give back to the community while having a good time. The event has grown so big that people have come to know who the Lions are and what they do for the community, which motivates them even more to run for a good cause.
The Naperville Noon Lions Club raises over $100,000 a year from the Turkey Trot, and every penny goes back to the community. The social services program that the money supports benefits people who live in Naperville and attend Naperville schools. The Naperville Noon Lions Club provides eye exams, eyeglasses, hearing exams and hearing aids for more than 300 people every year. The club also raises funds to support various vision, hearing, diabetes and youth initiatives in the area.