Karl Clemons

2017 Lion Of The Year

Karl Clemons honored as Grand Junction Lion of the Year

By Charles Ashby 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The man who helped save Christmas a few years ago was named person of the year for the Grand Junction Lions Club on Tuesday.

Karl Clemons, who as president of that group helped save the Toys for Tots program, was honored by his colleagues for “true Lionism.”

Clemons, 54, has served on just about every position there is on the group’s board, stepping down from that panel after 18 years on Monday.

“In 2010, the local Toys for Tots chapter went defunct for a brief period, about 55 days prior to Christmas,” said Brad McCloud, last year’s Lions Club person of the year. “That meant there were going to be over 2,500 families, 4,500 kids who may or may not be able to receive something for Christmas. Karl Clemons was not going to stand for that.”

Reaching out to the six other Lions Clubs, the Mesa County Workforce Center and several other groups in the Grand Valley, Clemons and numerous volunteers kept the Toys for Tots drive going, McCloud said.

“Karl was absolutely the driving force,” he said. “We’d show up at the warehouse, and we’d pick up toys at different locations and he made sure they got stored, whether it was late night or early morning. Karl took this very seriously.”

While Clemons has had an affiliation with the club since childhood — his father and grandfather also were members — he first joined the club in 1987. He was its 89th president.

To be eligible for the award, a person must have been a member for at least 10 years, and have been involved in numerous efforts to benefit the community.

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