The 34th annual Lake Gaston Lions Club Seafood Festival was held on Saturday at the Lions Club property on Stanley Road, with club members and 103 volunteers working for days to provide this annual experience. 

The Seafood Festival is the major fundraiser for the Lake Gaston Lions Club each year, and 100 percent of the funds raised go to fund Camp Dogwood for the Blind, a facility designed, built and supported by NC Lions Clubs. These funds also allow the club to offer a fishing tournament for the blind and the purchase of E-sight glasses. 

The Lions Club provides vision screenings for elementary and middle school children, as well as screenings for the elderly in nursing homes and those who attend health fairs. Over 16,000 screenings have been done since this service began, with 10-20 percent being referred to eye care providers. 

The Lions Club also offers financial assistance for qualified children needing to see an ophthalmologist and/or needing glasses.  

The Seafood Festival this year served a “sold out” crowd of 1,710: 60 bushels of oysters, 1,300 pounds of fried fish, 1,200 pounds of steamed shrimp, 300 pounds of hush puppies, 300 pounds of coleslaw, and 48 gallons of baked beans. Unlimited drinks—alcoholic and non-alcoholic—were also provided.  

The Switch Band returned again this year to entertain the crowd with music for listening and dancing.

For next year’s festival, planned Saturday, Oct. 3, the club is hoping to involve more of the community in the T-shirt design contest. 

The Lions Club expressed gratitude to the community for supporting the event again this year and helping to make this festival one of the club’s most successful.