Event provides screening, highlights Cruisers partnership
By Traci Chapman
It was a match made in heaven Saturday, as Mustang Lions Club and Thursday Night Cruisers partnered for an event that combined health, community and classic cars.
That event was a special rally, of sorts, a gathering of about 87 classic vehicles and one special Lions of Oklahoma vehicle – its mobile screening unit, which offered free preventative health screenings by St. Anthony’s residents.
“We wanted to do something that provided something to the community, while highlighting both the Lions and Cruisers organizations and giving the community something fun on a Saturday evening,” Mustang Lions Club president Rob Estes said.
While Thursday Night Cruisers has long been a very active Mustang organization, for Lions that hasn’t been the case. After an unintended kind of hiatus, the local benevolent group is focused on regrouping, providing service to the community and recruiting members, Estes said.
“We’re really excited about what the future holds for us,” he said.
Lions have long worked to help others, an organization that first started in Chicago in 1917. After going worldwide in the 1920s, the club began what would become one of its major focuses – to eradicate blindness. Since that effort began in 1925 after Helen Keller addressed the Lions Club International Convention, Lions have assisted thousands – perhaps millions – in attaining better eyesight and preventing serious conditions, Southwest Oklahoma Governor Nancy Cook-Senn said.
“The Oklahoma Eye Bank does amazing work, and we now have the Oklahoma Lions KidSight, which provides screening to small children,” she said. “We’re hoping with events like this one we’ll get the Lions back out there in Mustang and let people know everything we have to offer.”
That hope led Estes to have the idea of partnering with the Thursday Night Cruisers. An active member of that club, Estes said it just seemed like a natural partnership and great chance to reintroduce Lions to the community, while giving people a fun event and a chance to do something positive for their own health.
With hundreds of people showing up to the Saturday evening event in Mustang Lowe’s parking lot, it seemed like others agreed with Estes’ plan.
“It’s literally the perfect marriage – Lions, the health screenings and the car club,” Estes said. “This is preventative medicine – like a car you fix it before it breaks.”
Mustang Lions own a building and 1.3 acres along a small lake at 524 North Frisco Road. Members are currently working on some renovations to the building and expect to offer it for use by the community in the future, Cook-Senn said.
The group meets about once a month and planned to firm up a more set schedule once membership numbers picked back up, Estes said. Anyone wishing to learn more about the organization or wishing a membership application, should contact Estes at 405-875-1582.
Information about Thursday Night Cruisers can be found on the organization’s Facebook page or its website, located at www.thursdaynightcruisers.com; president Terry Coffelt can be contacted at 405-740-2374.
“I am really excited to see all of these people here, and we’ve had a great response to the screening offer, so we’re happy with this,” he said. “What we want people to come away with is Mustang Lions are here, and we’re here to serve.”