Lions prowl through Central Market

POULSBO — Lion Paulette Alvarado had made her lists and checked them twice and that was all before 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Alvarado and about a dozen other members of the Poulsbo Noon Lions Club met at Central Market to fill more than 30 Christmas baskets for needy families in the North End as part of the club’s Bellringer campaign.

“Everyone is so grateful and you hear a lot of heartwarming stories,” Alvarado said as she handed shopping lists to volunteers who quickly hit the aisles to fill the orders.

The event has become an annual holiday tradition as the club shops at the grocery stores in town: Albertsons, Red Apple and Central Market.

After the first few shoppers make the rounds to locate every item on the list, the process gains speed and all the shopping is completed within a few hours, Alvarado said.

“It’s a really great event and everyone seems to have a good time,” she said, organizing an onslaught of filled baskets waiting to be boxed by Central Market general manager Tom Hall and a host of other Central Market employees.

Once the boxes are packed, families will be able to collect them just in time to prepare for their holiday feasts, Alvarado said.

Two of the earliest arrivals to the event were Lions Ed and Sandy Habecker.

Decked out in a red Christmas sweatshirt complete with a matching Santa hat, Sandy found her rhythm as she filled her first basket of the morning before speeding off to begin another one.

“Getting up is terrible but doing it is fun,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for around 10 years but the club’s been doing it forever.”

Being a veteran of the event does help some but every year begins much the same, Sandy added.

“The first time you run around in circles but it always seems to come together in the end,” she said.

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