The Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Lions Club’s annual nut sale fundraiser is set to begin next week, with a fresh crop of Georgia pecans scheduled to arrive on Monday.

If the shipment arrives as expected, Lions will begin in-person sales at Lowe’s on Friday and Saturday. Several other businesses in the Mt. Juliet area are teaming with the Lions to display nuts at their locations as a convenience to their patrons, and the Lions hope that the businesses will see new people coming in to get acquainted.

Lion Ken Thomas, treasurer and past president of the local club, said that despite COVID-19 the club expects people are still going to be eating nuts, baking holiday goodies and giving gifts to others over the next two months.

“While we have split our order into two parts, we are expecting to have to reorder within two weeks,” he said. “Wise shoppers will show up early to get the most variety and guarantee availability. The greatest variety will be at Lowe’s on the weekends where Lions will be selling.”

All products will be packed in one-pound bags. Fresh mammoth pecan halves as well as bags of medium or small pieces are available. Pecan treats include roasted/salted, honey roasted, pralines, cinnamon spiced, amaretto chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate covered. Other nuts include whole roasted jumbo cashews, natural pistachios in shell, English walnuts and deluxe mixed nuts. Chocolate covered almonds, cashews, gourmet raisins, and double-dipped peanuts will also be available at Lowe’s until they are sold out. Pecan products are $12 a bag. Other products are $10, except for peanuts and raisins at $8.

Signs advertising the places where nuts are located will appear in front of participating businesses. Lion Terry Voyles has been arranging locations where nuts will be sold, and Lion Larry Capps will have products at his barber shop.

They will also be available in Mt. Juliet at city hall, Aqua Bella Day Spa and Hair Studio, A Barking Lot, Calabria Pizza, Capella’s Salon and Spa, CedarStone Bank, City Limits Barber Shop, Corky Cross State Farm Insurance, MJ Family Dental, Courtney’s Restaurant, First Freedom Banks (Providence and Lebanon Road), Houston’s Meat and Produce, Masters Barber College, Mt Juliet Animal Clinic, Mt. Juliet Pharmacy, Mt. Juliet Taekwondo (two locations), O’Reilly Auto Parts, Shawn Hunter Nationwide Insurance, Sloan Miles Hair Studio, South Beach, Stylemasters, U.S. Community Credit Union and Wilson Bank (N. Mt. Juliet Road and Lebanon Road). Hermitage locations include A New Day Spa and Steel Magnolias Salon.

The funds raised help the local Lions Club to provide glasses and hearing aids for qualified residents in need, assist with Leader Dog training for service dogs, participate in international efforts to eradicate childhood measles and cancer. The club also supports diabetes awareness programs, disaster relief and Middle Tennessee Lions Sight Service which provides surgeries at Vanderbilt.

Before COVID-19 affected the club’s day care visits, the Mt. Juliet Lions’ Kidsight program screened almost 1,000 local children with a special camera that can detect early eye problems.

Tennessee Lions work together to fund eye surgeries, especially for children, at the Tennessee Lions Eye Center at Vanderbilt Hospital. They also assist in programs supporting Friends of Tennessee School for the Blind in Donelson. This year, the Mt. Juliet club collected and turned in over 13,000 used glasses that are sorted and re-distributed to people in need in other countries.

Because of the Wilson County Fair’s cancellation, the Lions of Wilson County were not able to provide concessions, so the pecan sale will be their primary source of funds this year. With grants from other Lions Club members who support disaster relief, Middle Tennessee received several thousands of dollars in gift cards to help tornado victims with food and other supplies, and much of that was expended in Wilson County. All funds raised from the community are returned for community needs.

The local club was named a Superior Club by the district for the 2019-2020 club year, coming in second place among small clubs for Club of the Year in district 12-S. The president and secretary both ranked “Outstanding” for district involvement and were both in the top five among small clubs’ leaders in Tennessee district 12-S,which includes 17 counties. The Mt. Juliet club also sponsored a new club in Gladeville. Due to quarantine issues the formal charter night has been delayed, but 27 members were enrolled and have already started serving that community.

Due to COVID-19 the Mt. Juliet Lions Club has been meeting via Zoom.They typically meet at Courtney’s Restaurant on the first and third Tuesday nights of the month, except for December.

Anyone interested in learning more can contact a local member, visit http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/index.php or find the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Lions Club on Facebook.

— Submitted

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