Earth Day 2023: Murray Lions & Murray High Leos Give Back!

Earth Day 2023! 🌎☀️🌲

The Murray High School Leo Club completed their inaugural service project to celebrate Earth Day 2023!

Murray Lions and Leo Club members picked up trash, swept and blew off leaves completing the Murray Lions Skatepark spring cleaning. With so many members present, 37 in total, some started inside the skatepark, others did the surrounding areas, walking through the park collecting trash along their walks.

Seeing the need, in addition to cleaning the skatepark, Lions and Leos also replenished 14 blessing boxes throughout Calloway County. This was the first time the Leo Club assisted with the blessing box project after chartering as an official club. “I volunteered for this project because I thought it would be a fun experience and would help improve our community. Many enjoy going to the park with their family, friends and enjoy time together. We should all do our part to keep it clean” said, Leo Tyler Marcum, a Murray High School Freshmen and charter member of the Leo Club.

The Murray High Leo Club’s final meeting of the school year will be on Thursday, May 4th but they will be out in the community supporting Lions Candy Days on May 5th and 6th in front of Walmart and Food Giant in Murray. The Murray High Leo Club will be actively completing projects and fun social events during the summer. “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion & a Leo!”

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Murray Lions Officially Charter Murray High Leo Club!

The Murray High School Leo Club held their Inaugural Charter Night on Tuesday, April 11th at Murray Woman’s Club during the Murray Lions April club meeting. There were 82 in attendance, including 22 Leos wearing their new club shirts.

Lions District 43K representatives included District Governor Jimmy Tipton, First Vice District Governor William “Bill” Pater, Past International Director Shea Nickell, and Lions from several clubs were in attendance.

Led by master of ceremonies Murray Lions Club President AJ Cunha, the event focused on “community service and the impact of serving others.” Cunha spoke from the heart about the importance of community service, investment in our youth, and the local impact the Murray High Leo Club will make.

“It’s so important that youth understand the value of community service and that it can go beyond a service project for their community. Being a part of an organization like Leo Club offers a globally organized service approach to make a difference across the world, and now Murray High is a part of that,” said Cunha.

LEO stands for: Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. Leo Club is an international level club with clubs in over 150 countries and has over 145,000 members. The club offers convention opportunities to network with other Leos in the United States and other countries, local scholarships, and mentorship from the Murray Lions Club.

Murray Independent School District Superintendent Coy Samons, Board Members Adam Seiber and Shawn Smee, were in attendance to show their support. The new Murray High Leo Club’s Faculty Advisors, Mrs. Sarah Hultman and Mrs. Haley Burchett were introduced and able to share a little about themselves.

The enlarged charter was presented for all charter members to sign upon being pinned by the Lions 43K District Governor Jimmy Tipton and Murray Lions Past President Doug Crafton. Additionally, the four elected officers were officially installed by the Past International Director Shea Nickell. The first ever Leo Club Officers were elected by their peers during a club meeting, and they are Grace Cunha as President, Matthew Ashlock as Vice-President, Ella Parker as Secretary and Madelyn Myers as Treasurer. The club currently has 46 members.

Grace Cunha, President of the Murray High School LEO Club, and Leo Member Emma Hayes introduced the Leo Club mascot, Arvin, to all in attendance. Arvin, a mini stuffed lion will be present at club meetings, social events, projects and may have future speaking parts at events. The name Arvin was chosen by the club to honor and remember late Lion Arvin Crafton, who recently passed away and was a Murray Lions Club member for 55 years. During his years as a Lion, Crafton served in various leadership roles locally, regionally and at the state level, including Lions District Governor for Kentucky in 1988 and had always wanted to charter a Leo Club at Murray High School.

The guest speaker of the evening was Past International Director Shea Nickell who spoke of the value of giving back to community, others and becoming a part of a solution when a problem arises. Nickell also spoke on the feeling and value of a lifetime of giving through service. He addressed the Leos directly and mentioned that during their time as Leos at Murray High, new friendships would be built, leadership skills will be developed, and an impact will be made in the community.

The first Murray High Leo Club service project will be spring cleaning of the Lions Skatepark on Saturday, April 22nd in support of Earth Day in support of the Lion’s Club adage,

Where there’s a need, there’s a Leo!”

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Murray Lions Club Foundation Is Awarded 2019 Nonprofit Of The Year


The Murray Lions Club Foundation is proud to have received the 2019 Murray-Calloway County Non-Profit of the Year award at the annual Murray-Calloway County Business Celebration at the CFSB Center in Murray. The Murray Lions thanks our National Chamber of the Year and Independence Bank for this award. For 90 years the Murray Lions have faithfully served our community. #We Serve



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The Murray Lions – Since 1939 We Serve

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Serving Murray and Calloway County for 80 Years

  • KidSight: Our flagship community program offering free vision screenings for Pre-K and Head Start children. Last year the Murray Lions alone screened over 1200 children referring over 200 to local optometrists to correct early vision problems.
  • Prescription Eyeglass Assistance: With the help of our local optometrist partners, we provide assistance with vouchers for glasses to the needy in our community.
  • Murray Lions Community Skate Park: The 3 Phases of Skate Park are completed! Thanks to our community for helping the Murray Lions raise $72,000 to fund this well used park in Murray’s Central Park.
  • Scholarships: The Murray Lions endowment provided 15 scholarships to local high school students attending Murray State.
  • Community Backpack Program: Purchasing food and providing labor to pack needed weekend nourishment for local school children in need of assistance.
  • Leader Dog for the Blind: For 75 years Lions have contributed financially, identified people in their community who could benefit from Leader Dog’s services.




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Murray Lions Club Foundation Donates $1,000 to the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation

At the most recent meeting of the Murray Lions Club Foundation board, the Foundation unanimously approved a $1,000 donation to the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation (KLEF). Murray Lions past president Vicky Crafton said “in most normal years our donation would come from our Candy Days activities; but this has been anything but a normal year and the work performed by KLEF is so important to all Kentucky.

Founded in 1954, The Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation (KLEF) is a charitable non-profit organization whose mission is to provide vision services through education, detection, prevention, treatment and empowerment.  Through collaborative partnerships, we enable greater independence and increased quality of life for all Kentuckians while focusing on children and adults in financial need. 

The Foundation’s activities are supported through funds contributed by Lions & Lioness Clubs, individual members, businesses, benefactors, fundraising events,  memorials and bequests.

 With nearly 350,000 Kentuckians who are uninsured and many more who are under-insured when it comes to vision, the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation’s services are in need more than ever.  

KLEF is committed to filling the gaps that exist for many Kentuckians by providing affordable access to vision services. 

To find out more about the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation click here,

To make a tax deductible donation to the Murray Lions Club click here.

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Pete3 Fest brings big crowd to Lions Club Skate Park

MURRAY — Andrew O’Rourke said that when he formed the idea for a skateboarding event and concert in Murray, he had one person in mind.

His brother, Peter III, loved these kinds of activities, and would have been right at home Saturday afternoon being part of this. Peter was not there in person for the inaugural Pete3Fest at Central Park, having died earlier this year at the age of 43. However, Andrew fully believes that his brother was watching, and was very proud.

“We’ve got some great skaters here, some from out of town and we’ve got some locals, and I don’t think we could’ve asked for anything better,” Andrew said in between making announcements to a crowd of about 125 people who gathered at the Lions Club Community Skate Park on a near-perfect afternoon weatherwise. The event attracted between 25 and 50 skateboard performers.

“It’s sunny and great. Pete ordered the weather for today. I know he did. And he delivered. He was a big snowboarder and surfer, mountain biker, everything related to action sports. So when I decided to have an event for him I thought of the skate park because this is the perfect place in Murray to have this kind of event for my brother.” 

Under the sunny October sky, skateboard performers from as far away as Georgia, as well as the Nashville, Tennessee area and Lexington, along with several from western Kentucky, exhibited a wide array of tricks usually only seen on ESPN during the X Games. Some grinded on rails, others utilized the park’s half pipes for spins and twists. 

Others took to the air, actually removing the boards from their feet before coming back to earth, standing up, then immediately rolling into the next move without missing a beat. With every move, the crowd asked for more.

Saturday’s event was the first of its kind at the park since it was established in 2014. Murray Lions Club Treasurer Jim Gray said he decided to attend simply because he believed the club needed to be represented. He came away quite impressed.

“It’s amazing! I wish I was even a little bit as nimble as these guys are and could do this stuff,” Gray said. “We are very excited for this group to have their event here and, on behalf of the Murray Lions Cub, we’d like to invite any and all groups from not only in Murray and Calloway County, but surrounding areas to feel free to use the skatepark.

“Anything the Lions Club can do on their behalf, we’d love to do it.”

A big reason this park was established was the pursuit of giving the youth of the community a place to go and be able to do something constructive. Sam Johnson, who used to live in Calloway County when he was younger, said he now brings his children from his current hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee so they can try their skateboard skills.

He said seeing this facility in its glory Saturday warmed his heart, especially because he was one of the judges for the competition.

“Oh, it’s amazing. It’s like one of those bucket list things,” Johnson said. “Growing up with skating, I always wanted to be a professional skater. I had that dream about a decade ago.

“Now, being able to judge a contest here? Thank you to Andrew O’ Rourke for (organizing the event). It’s great. I love it. There’s a really good vibe out here today. We’ve got good energy.”

Johnson also took time to remember the quest to establish such a facility in Murray.

“Back when I was younger, before they had the skate park, we’d go to street spots and get kicked off by local business owners and the police,” he said. “So we started trying to get the city to make something like this over at the other park (nearby Chestnut Park). We even had like a little skate donation event where we were trying to get money to make this happen.

“I moved away for a little while, then I came back and saw they actually got it. I was stoked to see they actually put it together because the kids need something like this. Did I think anything like this today was possible back then? No. Absolutely not.” 

Andrew said he frequents the skate park and he did compete Saturday, to go with his emcee’s role. He came to the park wearing a shirt with the image of skateboard legend Tony Hawk, the first person to ever successfully land a maneuver known as a 900 on a halfpipe, which consists of a competitor soaring vertically above the ramp and completing two-and-a-half revolutions in the air before returning to the ground. The skater has to stay on the board to complete the trick.

‘I’ve been skateboarding about 22 years. Yeah, I’ve still got him on my shirt,” Andrew said of Hawk, as he looked to the future. “Oh yeah, I plan on doing this every year. Murray, Kentucky is a great place and we’re going to make it happen.”

Music for the skateboard contest was provided by DJ Steven Spadafino, the O’Rourkes’ cousin. The concert that followed at the Rotary Club of Murray Amphitheater Performing Arts Pavilion featured a wide variety of musical performances from acts such as WiiRMZ  of Louisville, Mammoth String Band of Paducah and David Pollack of New York City. 

Proceeds from sales of items from memorabilia and food vendors will go to the Neartown Recovery Center of Murray. 

John Wright Murray Ledger

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Murray Lions Backpack Night


A recent meeting of the Murray Lions Club was once again devoted to the packing of 500 snack filled “backpacks” which Need Line will distribute to Murray Independent and Calloway County school district students in order to help insure that they have nutritious foods to consume over weekends. Once again the Lions purchased all the food and supplies to support this important program in our community.

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Murray Lions Sponsor Leader Dog Puppy “Mission”

Meet Mission

Meet Mission_2

Meet future Leader Dog Mission, who is beginning a remarkable career that will fill an urgent need for a person who is blind or visually impaired at no cost to them.

Puppies are constantly learning during their first year of life and volunteer puppy raisers devote a tremendous amount of time, love and energy helping lay the foundation for the puppies to succeed. As one puppy raiser described this tremendous responsibility, “I am humbled and awed by being a part of the process that creates a person-dog team that can give such freedom to someone who is visually impaired.”

Lions Clubs International, founded Leader Dogs for the Blind in 1939 and Lions have been dedicated ambassadors and loyal supporters of the mission since that time. Over 4,900 Lions Clubs both nationally and internationally contribute financially to Leader Dog. Lions identify people in their community who could benefit from Leader Dog’s services, offer assistance to our clients and widely communicate information about our programs throughout their hometowns and districts.

Mission Sponsorship



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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, designed to bring awareness to this serious health issue — one that many people face. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, yet 90% of them don’t know they have it.

Ready for the good news? Type 2 diabetes is preventable. To take a self risk assessment from the American Diabetes Association, click on the link below.


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Murray Lions Install Officers for 2019-2020

2020 Board (003)Passing of the Gavel VCrafton to McCreary (002)2020 Hazel Board (002)

The Murray Lions Club installed the officers for the 2019-2020 Lions year at the annual dinner held at South Pleasant Grove Methodist Church. Performing the installation was Lions District Governor Kevin Bishop. Pictured above is the full Murray Lions board. Outgoing Lions president Vicky Crafton handing off the gavel to incoming Lions president Paul McCreary and the Hazel branch club board.

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Murray Lions Club Honors Jim Gray with Lion of the Year

2019 LOY Jim Gray (002)

At the annual Installation Dinner at South Pleasant Grove Methodist Church, Lion President Vicky Crafton (left) presented the Lion of the Year award to Jim Gray (center) with District Governor Kevin Bishop (right) attending.

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