Lions pavilion renovations continue

Contractors are working in the Lions pavilion at First Street Beach through cold weather in an attempt to finish by the end of the year.

Contractors are working in the Lions pavilion at First Street Beach through cold weather in an attempt to finish by the end of the year.

MANISTEE — Manistee County residents and visitors alike will have a new Lions pavilion to enjoy in the spring.

On Tuesday, the Manistee County Sportfishing Association presented a check for $500 to the Manistee Lions Club for the restoration of its pavilion at First Street Beach.

“We have been partnering with the Lions for years,” said Pat Bentley, sportfishing association representative. “It’s been a great relationship through the years. When we saw the plans (for the pavilion), it was an obvious decision on our part to contribute.”

According to Lion Martha Alberts, the new pavilion is designed to match the picnic cabanas that the club updated last year. The colors were chosen to correlate with the U.S. Coast Guard Station across the river.

“We just thought that with the new beach project coming through that we wanted to update it,” Alberts said. “We had so many comments on our cabanas, so we wanted to make our pavilion blend in with that.”

So far, Alberts said, the club has raised roughly $70,000 for the project. The effort started with a $50,000 anonymous donation, with the attached stipulation that the project be complete by the end of this year.

“We thought we had reached enough, but there was some unknown expenses that came up in the cost of the supplies,” Alberts said. “Any donation that we could get would certainly be appreciated.”

Manistee County Sportfishing Association representative Pat Bentley presented members of the Manistee Lions Club a check for $500 on Tuesday for restoration of the pavilion at the First Street Beach.

Manistee County Sportfishing Association representative Pat Bentley presented members of the Manistee Lions Club a check for $500 on Tuesday for restoration of the pavilion at the First Street Beach.

Many children of the Lions who built the original pavilion have participated in the fundraising.

“They were the first ones to donate to get this pavilion going,” Alberts said. “It has just snowballed from then. It’s really been good.”

Alberts estimates that the project will complete by the end of the year. Crews are working there regularly with plywood to block the wind and heaters to continue working through the cold weather. Wall foundations have been put in and the electrical system is in the process of being replaced, Alberts reported.

The original pavilion was built in the early 1970s.

“Our club is quite small, but we work hard and we play hard,” Alberts said. “This is something to honor the older Lions. I think we have one or two still in our club who built the original pavilion.”

As a community organization, Alberts explained that the Lions feel the money raised is going back into the community. The pavilion is regularly used by the public for weddings, receptions, class reunions, picnics and more. It’s scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis, unless the club is holding an event.

Donations can be made to the Lions Foundation of Michigan, P. O. Box 224, Manistee, MI 49660. Donations are tax deductible.

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Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

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