The Mabel Lions have already been busy planning the 2013 Lions Cancer Telethon, which will be held this year at the Mabel Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Lions member Helen Williams shared that several new events will be held as part of the event due to the extra space available in the community center. "We're going to be doing different things and new things this year," she said. "We'll have beauticians cutting hair, different entertainment and some surprises."

As always, there will the traditional soup supper and silent auction that is always filled with wonderful handcrafted items as well as unique packages donated by individuals and businesses throughout the greater Mabel area.

Last year, Williams shared, the Lions donated $12,000 to the Eagle's Cancer Telethon in Rochester and $2,000 to Fillmore County Patient Services.

"To all of you who donate and purchase items at the auction each year, you are what makes us a success each year," she said.

Williams also stated the Mabel Lions had a successful chicken barbecue and beer tent at Steam Engine Days. "We wish to thank the Mabel community and the surrounding area for your support," she added.

The money raised supports many community organizations and events throughout the year. In 2012, the Mabel Lions distributed over $40,000 back into the community and in support of area students and organizations.

Support for the school included $500 scholarships to three Mabel-Canton graduates; $600 to the school for its speaker system in the gymnasium; $150 for the post prom; $200 in support of the Eagle Bluff trip for students; $150 for two students to attend an honor choir festival; and $100 to the preschool and kindergarten readiness program.

Local organizations that benefited from the Mabel Lions' generosity included the Wisel Cemetery Association, $300; Habitat for Humanity, $60; Mabel Cub Scouts, $272; Mabel Boy Scouts, $395; Mabel Fire Department, $100; City of Mabel, $600, to purchase a new computer at the library; Mabel American Legion for use of meeting room and kitchen, $200; and $20,000 to the city of Mabel to support the community center project.

The Lions also donated $250 to leukemia research; $450 to Camp Winnebago to support half of a campership; $1,000 to Project New Hope, a retreat for veterans; $30 Can Do Canines; $60 to Camp Winnebago; $30 for Leader Dogs for the Blind; $60 to the Hearing Foundation; $60 to the Diabetes Foundation; $60 to the Vision Foundation; $30 to Minnesota Special Olympics and $30 for Friendship Ventures.

Donations were also given to the District Lions in support of emergency relief, LEO's, youth exchange and for the peace poster contest.

"To be a Lion is to serve" and the Mabel Lions take this to heart as they work in the community. In addition to their normal activities, the members had the opportunity to serve supper to the people on the Friendship Wagon Train this summer as they camped in Mabel and held a fundraising auction to benefit Camp Winnebago.

Williams invited all to mark their calendars for the January cancer telethon event and assured all who support the Lions' efforts that the money raised goes directly to the cancer telethon and to support local efforts for patient support.

Look for more information about the auction and how to donate items for the auction after the holidays.