FOX RIVER GROVE – In a tight-knit village like Fox River Grove, local events bring old friends together to create new memories. The annual Lions Fest on Saturday at Lions Park was no different.
“This is a great way to achieve village camaraderie, enjoy one another’s company and have a good time while raising some money for local causes,” said Rob Kandler, president of the Fox River Grove Lions Club.
Benefits from the annual fundraising event help support local philanthropic initiatives. The FRG Lions Club was founded in 1939 with the sole purpose of helping the visually and hearing impaired. In their 74 years of service, it has expanded its support efforts to include food pantries, scholarship funds and further medical organizations.
Saturday’s events kicked off at 7 a.m. with the Boy Scout pancake breakfast leading into the afternoon festivities.
Fox River Grove resident Joe Bajorek munched on some late morning nachos, the scent of other food offerings such as hot dogs and brats coming from the pavilion behind him. The 14-year-old said this was an annual tradition for him.
“I’ve been coming since I was really little,” said Bajorek. “I like to see everyone that comes and it’s important that we raise money for the community.”
Bajorek was on his way out, but said he would back a little later in the afternoon to see some bands and possibly get in on the raffle with some of his friends.
Musical entertainment was provided by local bands Icky Bava, Uncle Will and The Availables, among others.
Attendees played bingo for prizes and children searched the beach for buried riches during the children’s treasure hunt.
Festivalgoers chilled out with ice cream blizzards and kids clamored around the shaved ice truck, concocting exotic flavors like pink lemon sour and French vanilla.
“This is the greatest service organization in the village,” said village President Bob Nunamaker. “We have a great group of volunteers that help make the village what it is.”