The Examiner

Faced With Extinction, Armonk Lions Hold Successful Fol-de-Rol

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Just six months after the Armonk Lions Club nearly went under, they held one of the most successful fol-de-rols in recent memory last weekend. Martin Wilbur photo

It’s hard to believe that just over six months ago the Armonk Lions Club was on the verge of folding, which would have marked the end of the organization’s annual fol-de-rol.

Last weekend, a reinvigorated Lions Club held one of the most successful fol-de-rols in years at Wampus Brook Park with new vendors, entertainment and food options that helped swell crowds from pre-pandemic levels.

Also fueled by sparkling weather from Friday evening through Sunday and new members who helped the dwindling ranks of longtime volunteers, the four-day country fair-type at least met, if not exceeded, all expectations.

for charities, service organization and town projects.

“It was really on its last leg and people stepped up,” said North Castle Councilman Matt Milim, who took on the task of helping to put out the call for new members after he was elected last November. “I think it shows how much this town and this community cares about events like this and we’ll have more people step up next year. It’s important.”

Late last fall, with the Lions Club down to nine members, district leadership gave the Armonk chapter an ultimatum – get its ranks up to 20 members by the close of last year or cease operations.

Milim said 18 new members were brought in, including five or six dynamos that helps set the tone for this year’s fol-de-rol.

Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum, the Armonk Lions Club secretary and president of the Armonk Leo’s, said the club was four days away from folding.

But you would never know strolling around the grounds, with large crowds and lines for the 10 food vendors, the tickets for the rides and the always popular pig races. Organizers were also able to attract 70 crafts vendors, including many new ones.

“The old members and the new members did a fantastic job working together. They really did,” Padow-Sederbaum said. “We were just so pleased. You could find a different type of energy.”

Milim said it is also important for residents to know that the fol-de-rol is about more than fun, food and games. The money raised at the event is doled out to local charities, service organizations and town projects.

“I just want people to know that the money goes for,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t know; they just think of going to a festival. It’s important for people to know that they’re spending this money and it’s going right back into the town.”

The goal over the next year is to get at least three or four more motivated members to bolster the ranks, he said.

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