SAPULPA, Okla. – Twenty-two students from the Oklahoma School for the Blind will help the Sapulpa Lion’s Club serve family style beans and chili at the organization’s annual fundraising dinner on Thursday, February 2.
The public is invited to taste the same popular recipes the Lions have prepared since 1952. The first dinners were held at the YMCA, but for many years guests have lined up at the First Baptist Church cafeteria, 124 S. Elm in Sapulpa.
OSB seventh and eighth graders and the high school service learning class will take the shift from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Lions will cover the dinner hours from 5 to 7 p.m.
Two musicians from OSB’s award-winning Jazz Band will entertain during the lunch. Sophomore Richelle Zampella will play saxophone, while junior Gunner Harris will entertain on the trombone.
The Jazz Band won the Oklahoma state championship against other public schools in Class 2A in 2016.
“The OSB students are our lifesavers and (OSB teacher) Faye Miller said we’re their lifesavers, so we’re looking forward to working together again this year,” Lions Club Secretary Stella Neal said.
Nobody is sure how long OSB students have volunteered at the fundraiser. However, school administrators and Lions Club leaders agree that the event is great experience for students.
“The School for the Blind students have made such a good impression with our community that the regulars look forward to seeing them there and ask if the students are going to be serving ahead of time,” explained Wayne Neal, member of the Sapulpa Lions Club board of directors.
OSB Superintendent Rita Echelle said, “The Lions Club organization has been a tremendous asset for OSB. They provide monetary help as well as volunteers to promote the success of our school throughout the year.
“The bean supper is an opportunity for our students to give back to those who have helped them. Also, it is a great opportunity for service learning and social interaction for our students.
“We believe this day of service enhances self-esteem and social responsibility as well,” she explained. “It’s a small token of our gratitude to the wonderful Sapulpa Lions Club.”
OSB is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
For only $8, bean and chili supper guests get all they can eat of everything on the menu: chili and four kinds of beans -- the number one seller pinto -- plus navy, lima (or butter) beans, and black eyed peas, and, of course, cornbread, cole slaw, tea, coffee, milk and buttermilk.
The Sapulpa Lions meet every Wednesday at noon at Steak and Eggs at 1121 E. Taft Street in Sapulpa.
Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world with 1.4 million members in 210 countries and geographic areas around the world. Since 1917, the organization has strengthened communities through humanitarian projects and hands-on service, including health programs that help children and adults with visual disabilities, hearing loss and diabetes.
Students from all over the state attend the Oklahoma School for the Blind, which offers a comprehensive curriculum meeting all state-mandated education requirements plus specialized instruction in braille, orientation and mobility, optimum use of low vision, adaptive equipment and technology, and tactile graphic skills. The school also provides free outreach services to students attending other public schools, their families and local school systems. For more information, phone 877-229-7136 or visit www.osb.k12.ok.us/.