Lions Club holds annual event

Allyson Eighmey

Sweet Corn Festival funds philanthropy

The second annual Kent Lions Sweet Corn Festival will take place at Beckwith Orchards this Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m.

This year’s festival will include almost 20 crafters and vendors, live music and a large selection of food. It will also include trolley rides, face painting and a corn maze. Live music will be played three times each afternoon.

Increased sponsorship has allowed the festival to expand this year, said Fran Hardesty, festival chair and vice president of the Kent Lions Club. Home Savings Bank and the Central Portage County Visitor and Convention Bureau are among this year’s sponsors. With the help of increased advertising, Hardesty said he hopes to see a turnout of a few thousand people this year.

“Last year, our profit was about $1,000,” Hardesty said. “It was good for our first attempt, but we expect to triple that at least.”

The club will be selling boiled sweet corn, hot dogs and sausage sandwiches. Beckwith’s peaches and peach pies will also be available for purchase. All proceeds made by these purchases benefit the Kent Lions Club sight projects.

The Kent Lions Club is an organization devoted primarily to assisting individuals in the area with eye exams and eyeglasses. The organization’s primary philanthropy is sight preservation and assistance to the sight impaired.

Hardesty said the group considers itself to be ‘Knights of the Blind,’ a nickname given by Helen Keller, when she challenged Lions International to take on sight conservation projects.

Last year, the Kent Lions Club spent $8,000 on eye exams and eyeglasses for the Kent community, Hardesty said. The organization also gave $4,000 toward a pilot dog scholarship. The Lions also support the International’s SightFirst II program, which helps fund projects to fight blindness in underprivileged countries.

For more information about the Sweet Corn Festival, contact Fran Hardesty at 330-678-4012. To learn more about the Lions Club, visit

Contact entertainment reporter Allyson Eighmey at [email protected]