The Anza Valley Lions Club is kicking off their season of fun family events with a practice turkey shoot session, Sunday, March 19, at the Gymkhana field on Kirby Road in Anza.
Beginners and children are welcome at the event which begins at 9 a.m. Turkey shoots are held the third Sunday of every month and include a main shoot, a pot shoot, a poker shoot and an Annie Oakley shoot. Cost to participate ranges from $3 to $15, depending on which events participants register for.
“I’ve learned something about our Turkey Shoot,” said Lions President Michele “Mimi” Brown. “This is our 41st year and this is also the centennial year for International. Turkey Shoot was actually the very first activity our Lions Club had.”
Like, the Lion’s Club, the Turkey Shoot is also entering its 41st year, Brown said and offers awards and prizes for season winners each year. The season opener is scheduled for Sunday, April 16.
Organizers are happy to teach novices all they need to know, including gun safety, to become successful shooters
Next up, the Anza Valley Lions Club has announced that this year’s Anza Days will be Saturday, July 1. The Lions will hold their first planning meeting Wednesday, March 29, at the Little Red Schoolhouse, off Hwy. 371 at Contreras Road in Anza.
Now in its 85th year, Anza Days has its origins as a fundraiser to support the local volunteer fire station, according to the Lions website. Regardless of how it began, since 1976, the Anza Valley Lions Club has been proud to keep the tradition of Anza Days alive and the tradition continues this year with the celebration of all that is Anza.
This year’s theme will be announced at a later date, Brown said.
Finally, break out those tents and plan to spend a weekend with the Anza Valley Lions Club and the Los Caballos Riders Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, for the Family Fun Fest Weekend. Featuring paintball, gymkhana, a trail course event and an overnight campout, the Family Fun Fest Weekend is one event you don’t want to miss.
The kick off to the Gymkhana season was the second event the Lions started after their formation 41 years ago, Brown said.
“I think it started about two years after the Turkey Shoots,” she said. “The interesting thing with gymkhana was when it started up here nobody had horses. There was somebody that was helping someone out in Terwilliger. He would bring horses down to the field for the kids to ride. They weren’t even selling feed here at that time. It wasn’t ‘til about after two years of doing gymkhana that the hardware store started selling feed and people started getting horses for recreational use.”
Anza Valley Lions Club Gymkhana is open to all ages, Brown said.
“Sometimes we get some of these kids as young as 3 years old and it’s just so fun to watch,” she said. “It’s a family thing. We get the whole family to come, the grandparents, their kids and their grandkids. Some of these families that show up, there is three generations there.”
During Family Fun Fest, a gymkhana practice event featuring all traditional gymkhana events will be held.
“We’ll do all of the events that we normally do,” Brown said.
All of the Lions’ fundraising efforts go toward helping the community through a variety of programs including assistance with hearing aids, wheelchairs, vision, local relief efforts and preservation of town traditions.
The Anza Valley Lions Club is open to all men and women who want to work together for the betterment of the community. Guest meetings with dinner are held on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Anza VFW Post 1873, located at 59011 Bailey Road, Anza. Meetings and events are posted on the Anza Lions Club website at www.anzalionsclub.org. Guests and potential members can contact Brown by calling (760) 637-9173 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.