The Glen Rose Lions Club has two funding activities each year: a golf tournament held in May at the Squaw Creek Golf Course and their basketball tournament for both boys and girls held in December.
From 2005 to 2019, the Glen Rose Lions Club (We Serve) basketball tournament has grown exponentially.
In 2009, the Glen Rose Lions Club had increased their membership from 12 people to 55 people and was looking for a way of raising more money to place back into the community.
With the help of Glen Rose ISD and Texas Utilities, they hosted a play-off preview for teams that would be advancing in the play-offs. They were able to gross $7,000 that first year with help from Glen Rose ISD, Texas Utilities, the basketball coaches and dedicated Lions.
The play-off preview continued until 2012 when the UIL certified four teams from each district to advance to play-offs and by that time, the Glen Rose ISD had completed construction of the arena, which opened the door for GRISD and Glen Rose Lions Club to host an invitational tournament.
“About 14 years ago, it was far different than it is now,” said 12-year Lions Club member David Lender. “Back in that time frame, the UIL and their playoff categories had a week in-between the end of the season and when you began the playoffs, so it first started for us as hosting more of an extra level practice for teams that were going to be in the playoffs.”
The tournament enabled the Lions Club to help more people in the community and they were able to give away a $1,000 scholarship to a GRISD senior. The club has grown and they are now able to give away eight scholarships each year.
“That is one of our pride and joys to be able to honor those deserving students,” Lender said. “We have done that each year that I've been in Lions Club so that has been ongoing for many years, but we’ll still hear from some of those students [who have received scholarships] as they get into adulthood and come back and check in with some of us, so it has been good.”
Originally, the Lions Club limited teams to 12 girls and 12 boys and held the tournaments the first and second weekends in December. This year, they will host 30 girls’ teams from Dec. 5-7 and 18 boys’ teams from Dec. 12-14.
“This year is going to be the largest number of teams and many of them, particularly the girls, are bringing JV teams so it’s not necessarily a lot more towns involved, but we do have 48 teams coming to this tournament,” Lender said.
Their motto, “We Serve,” is proven through putting $35,000 each year into helping those in need. This year, they hope to put $40,000 back into the community.
“We encourage our fans, parents, grandparents, basketball fans, everybody to join,” Lender said.
“We are extremely proud of this, not only as Lion members, but as citizens of Somervell County,” Lions Club member Maurice English said. “David Lender is this year’s basketball chair-person. With David’s leadership and the help of all our Lions, we are sure of another successful year. The Lions invite you to come out and see some of the best basketball teams in the state from 1A to 6A divisions.”
Each tournament will kick off at 9 a.m. each day.
All-tournament passes are $15 and individual tickets are $8 per day.