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South County Breakfast Lions donate to Victory Garden in 1 of last acts before dissolving

NEDERLAND — South County Breakfast Lions Club members have long appreciated a local program that helps those who are food insecure. On Wednesday, they presented a token of the club’s gratitude.

Alan Sturm, secretary/treasurer of the club, presented Desiree Kleypas, organizer of Mid County Victory Garden, with a check for $400 — for a garden bed sponsorship for 2021 and 2022. The beds are in honor of Lion Tracy Pokraka.

“We wish to convey our admiration and appreciation for your leadership for Mid County Victory Garden,” Sturm said. “We wish you well in your continuing work.”

Desiree Kleypas, organizer of Mid County Victory Garden, receives a donation from with Alan Sturm, of South County Breakfast Lions Club on Wednesday. (Mary Meaux/The News)

The Lions

Like some other volunteer organizations, members of the South County Breakfast Lions Club are getting older and are not seeing new membership. Maybe it’s due to today’s busy lifestyle, growing families with responsibilities or just a lack of interest, but the club has seen better days membership-wise.

Currently there are five active members who attend the breakfast meetings.

The club got its start in 1976 and has always been a small group. They are now dissolving with members moving on to other local clubs.

That’s not to say they haven’t given back to others.

“The Lions Club has always been interested in sight conservation and providing glasses for students,” Sturm said. “We have regular fundraising for the Lions Bank of Texas providing for cornea transplants and another of our favorites is the Texas Lions Camp work with disabled youngsters, which provides camping for the physically disabled.”

Sturm said the club also supports an organization called Leader Dogs for the Blind sponsoring dogs for blind individuals.

And as the club dissolved they in turn assisted other organizations including Adaptive Sports for Kids and Stable Spirit.

Sturm said he and the club appreciate the conceptual program of the Victory Garden in growing food to help feed people in the community.

Fresh broccoli ready to harvest. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Mid County Victory Garden

Mid County Victory Garden got its start in 2016 with the first beds being constructed. By spring 2017, growing had started.

The raised beds at 11th Street and Atlanta Avenue have colorful signs with the name of the bed sponsor. No labor is required of the sponsors, only the monetary contribution.

Volunteers do the work, and periodically Kleypas or David Poole of Mid County Farm and Feed Supply present gardening seminars. The most recent one was on onions.

The entrance to the Mid County Victory Garden in Nederland. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Kleypas said they are starting to video the classes and upload them to The Victory Garden Channel on YouTube for those who missed the session.

Initially when the garden was started, everything was donated to the Nederland and Port Neches senior citizen centers. Then, COVID happened and the centers closed their doors temporarily.

In the meantime the food was donated to those in the surrounding area and brought to the feed store. Now, as the centers have begun drive-thru meals Kleypas will once again make the food donations to the seniors.