The annual La Grande Gun Show is coming up, and the Island City Lions Club is preparing for one of its major fundraisers of the year.

Brian Kaiser, president of the Island City Lions Club, said the gun show and Hog Wild Days are the organization’s biggest fundraisers. The Lions Club is in charge of the concession stand at the gun show, conducts a raffle drawing and helps up front. The money the club makes with the gun show goes toward, among other things, helping children get glasses and providing turkey dinners to families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We team up with Apple Eyecare,” Kaiser told The Observer. “We also help with hearing aids. We do a lot with Island City Elementary. Especially during the holidays. We help families who are struggling and get them Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, clothes and at least one toy.”

Kaiser said the organization does other things to help the Island City community (La Grande and Elgin have their own Lions Club) on a needs basis.

“We provide four scholarships to La Grande High School students who went to Island City Elementary,” Kaiser said, adding that it is important to the club that the money the members raise goes back into the community.

The gun show, which will take place Feb. 23 and 24 this year at the Blue Mountain Conference Center, 404 12th St., La Grande, has grown in popularity since its inception five years ago. Those who attend will find a wide selection of firearms, ammunition and other hunting accessories to browse through and, perhaps, purchase.

Kaiser said this year’s event will have business sponsors, which is a first. This will likely add to the profits of the overall show.

The show will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 23, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 24. Admission is $5 for ages 10 and older and free for those younger.

See complete story in Monday's Observer