Lions Club gets busy preparing for pre-Dickens breakfast

Event is major fundraiser for group’s charitable work

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Lions Club Breakfast

Lions Club members, Sherry Anderson, James Petersen and Ron Tapscott serve breakfast

The Franklin Lions Club has hosted its annual Lions Pride Pancake Breakfast in locations throughout downtown Franklin for the past 30 years. This year, the breakfast will return to St. Philip Catholic Church.

The hearty, Southern-style breakfast, which includes pancakes, country ham, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy all made fresh by seasoned Lions Club chefs, is set for 7-11 a.m. Dec. 14 at the church’s community center, at 112 Second Ave. in downtown Franklin. 

“The men do most of the cooking,” said Sherry Anderson, Lions Club membership chair.

Tickets for the breakfast are $10, $5 for ages 3-12 and free ages 2 and younger. They may be purchased from a Lions Club member or at the door on the morning of the event.

“I remember going to the breakfast way back when, long before I became a Lions Club member,” Anderson said. 

The all-you-can-eat breakfast will provide sustenance for the community as well as many of the vendors, volunteers and characters from the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s 35th annual Dickens of a Christmas before they head out to enjoy the festival. 

The breakfast is also a great place to run into friends, neighbors and local officials. It’s rumored that Santa Claus may even show up.

“The Lions Pride breakfast is always fun,” said Linda Kollmann, eyesight chairman for the club.

After breakfast, drop by the bake sale table and pick up some baked goods — most of them homemade — and even a couple of Christmas gifts at the crafts and jewelry table. 

Like the popular Franklin on the Fourth celebration, this annual breakfast is a major fundraiser for the Franklin Lions Club. Both allow Franklin’s oldest civic club to continue the Lions’ Operation KidSight, a vision screening program for children. Lions use a specialized PlusOptix instrument and the readings are sent to the Vanderbilt Children’s Eye Center for evaluation. Referrals are made by the eye center in 4-5% of those screened.

“We screen kids in pre-K and kindergarten in all schools in Williamson County,” Anderson said. 

Lions Club members also visit area childcare and daycare facilities, churches and neighborhood groups to screen children ages 1-5. Research shows that discovering vision problems early in a child’s life can often prevent long-term vision problems or even blindness. Since the program began in 2004, more than 45,000 Williamson County children have been screened in an effort to detect vision and other eye problems early. 

In addition to the screening program, Lions Club members provide help to families without the means to address a diagnosis.

“We provide glasses for those who can’t afford them,” Kollmann said. 

The club is seeking support from local optometrists in assisting those in Williamson County in need of help with their child’s eye care, Kollmann added.

Anderson said that the Franklin Lions Club also partners with other local agencies serving children to address their needs, “based on how much we collect at the fundraisers.”

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