More broadly, we wonder if the Powell community has a decision to make about its future.
The local Lions Club, now just three members strong, could be facing the end of its existence because of dwindling membership. It’s just one of several service organizations that have been struggling to get new blood into their programs: the Powell Kiwanis Club shut down in September and the Powell Alumni Association, Rotary and American Legion are among the groups that have publicly worried about aging and declining membership in recent years.
Those organizations and many others have all faithfully served this community for decades in real, significant ways. Just last month, the Lions Club put on its annual Easter Egg Hunt and, as usual, scores of local children got a thrill out of snatching up as many eggs and goodies as possible. The fun-filled frenzy lasted only a minute or two, but it took plenty of time and planning by the Lions Club beforehand to make that short, joyful hunt possible.
In other words, while the hunt was offered to children and families free of charge, there’s no such thing as a free Easter Egg Hunt. Someone has to put in the work to make something good happen.
And that’s the question that the Powell community needs to answer: If you enjoy the services and events that are offered by our many organizations, are you willing to step up and help make them a reality?
It would be hyperbole to describe this as a community crisis: we can think of so many individuals and groups who, time and again, step up to help others in this area.
As just one example, the Park County Fair’s Kids’ Day Races — long hosted by the Kiwanis — is being taken over by the Children’s Resource Center this year.
Further, the Lions Club isn’t the only local organization to put on an Easter Egg hunt in Powell: the Elks Club also hosts a wildly popular hunt of its own each year.
Of course, you also don’t have to be a member of a club to do a good deed or put a smile on a child’s face.
But we do wonder how many community traditions will be lost if Powell continues to lose its service organizations. There was no Kiwanis-sponsored Stars of Tomorrow youth talent show this year. If the Lions Club shuts down, we worry about the other events Powell might lose — and how many people might have to go without the eyeglasses that the club has faithfully helped recycle over the years.
There are still plenty of things that tie us together in this community and in this state, but with each event that goes by the wayside, it’s hard to escape the feeling that the community drifts just a little further apart.
We suspect part of the decreasing participation in these civic organizations is simply a sign of the changing times. People just don’t interact with each other in the same ways that they used to.
But we’d also encourage the community to think long and hard about investing its time, energy and resources in the causes, groups and events that they value. Some traditions are worth keeping — and they need your help to stick around.