Penny Kleinschmidt has a vision for the Fountain City Lions Club Building located in Fountain City Park, and it’s all about creating a great venue for some of life’s best celebrations.
Kleinschmidt is the club secretary and a State Farm agent in Fountain City. Last October, she and other Lions Club members, including Kelly Long, led an effort to refurbish the inside of the building, putting down new flooring and painting the beige walls an updated grey. The previous flooring hadn’t been replaced since the original building burned and was rebuilt in the late 1990s. The replacement also fixed a crack that ran down the center of the flooring.
Other projects, like replacing the building’s ceiling tiles are still in the works, but the building’s interior now sports a fresh, bright, modern look.
The club rents the building for events like family reunions, parties and wedding showers. Each December, the building is booked almost every day of the week. And the fees help the Lions Club with their community projects, including upkeep at Fountain City Park and Fountain City Lake, providing eye exams and eyeglasses for those in need, and much more.
“And it gives the community a place to hold events that’s reasonably priced,” said Kleinschmidt.
New in 2018, folks holding events at the Lions Club Building will get a discount on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, booking the whole day for just $75. Also new this year, people can reserve the large white pavilion at the center of the park for a $50 fee on the Lions Club website. The pavilion was formerly first-come-first-served, and the other park pavilions will remain first-come-first-served.
All this ties in to Kleinschmidt’s vision for the building and the park, preparing the setting to serve as a low-cost wedding venue with outdoor ceremonies in the park and receptions in the club building, providing a nice, local place for weddings and extra income for the club. All plans have to be approved by the club as a whole, but Kleinschmidt thinks it would be a good move. She’d also like to start hosting free concerts in the park.
There are several ways you can help the Lions Club, and the first of those is to become a member. Kleinschmidt said he’s a common misconception that women can’t join the Lions Club. Also, as longtime members age, younger members are needed.
“Our original members are great. They show up, they work hard, and they’re dedicated,” she said. “But we’re also trying to get new, younger members.”
Donations are also needed to fund upkeep of the lake and park and to help with the Lions’ other charitable projects. You can donate online at www.fountaincitylions.org. You can also link your Kroger card to Fountain City Lions Club, and Kroger will send donations to them as you shop without any cost to you.
Future projects include:
- Update Fountain City Park security system, $10,000.
- Improvements to walking track at Fountain City Park, $18,000.
- Repair and update exterior of Lions Club Building, $7,000.
- Install WIFI in Lions Club Building, $840/year.
- Replace ceiling tiles in Lions Club Building, $2,500.
- Create playground for children with disabilities in Fountain City Park, $100,000.
“A lot of people don’t understand what we do, and our donations have gone down because a lot of younger people don’t know,” she said. “We’re trying to rebuild a great organization.”