The Anza Lions maintain the Minor Gymkhana Field and this facility is used for many purposes in service to ours and surrounding communities. One such purpose is in the case of emergencies the field is dedicated as an emergency evacuation site for animals. The Lions Gymkhana field has been used many times in the past for evacuations during fires, fire department hub site, helicopter life flights and more.
On July 25, 2018 once again the Anza Lions and the Gymkhana field were called into action by emergency first responders.
With notification of a fire out of control in the Idywild area Lions immediately opened the field and facilities in case evacuation of animals and people were coming. Opening the field is standard procedure for the Anza Lions in cases of emergency and in most cases we can close the field soon after. The day of July 25th was one of the exceptions. Within minutes of arriving at the field first responders Tom Firth, David Stone, Danny Stone and others were bringing in animals and owners from the threatened areas. Almost simultaneously the power in town failed due to the fire taking out trasmission equipment. More animals continue to arrive while a call was placed to Rodney Bourgeois (local well businessman and friend) to bring a water truck to supply our animals due to the power being out and affecting our access to the pumps. While Rodney filled containers with the first responers our AEC came to the rescue with a large generator to run the evacuation center during the outtage. People began coming to the field needing water for home use and for their animals and so we began filling containers as we could. Our well and storage is adequate for evaucated peole and animals but we never imagined that we would need to supply water to the entire town. The worst case scenario was now here and the lines for water were out the street stretching our resources to the max. Meanwhile evacuee's were still continuing to come in and we needed to find a place for people as well as animals. The Anza Lions provided water, food and shelter for animals and people including showers and around the clock bbq foods for any that arrived. The food and other donations came from locals as well as from as far away as Hawaii. After almost 2 days of the outtage the other emergency services came online at the hall and high school to provide water and food as it became clear this emegency was growing. We were very relieved to now have other locations providing water and services to the town but the work was not over, the fire not contained, and the town was still victimized by the loss of power for what was expected to be 3 weeks. The other Lions clubs from Norco, San Jacinto, Hemet, and more came to the rescue with continued donations and volunteers to help. Even some of the local town members came regularly to volunteer and since proudly joined our ranks as Lions. The entire ordeal and support for evacuees continued and the AEC along with SCE managed to get power back to the town in little over 1 week thankfully. The town was still needing more time to recover as the ordeal caught most people between paychecks and many lost their perishable foods with no way to purchase more for their families. Others on WIC needed additional support for their families until they could recover. The Lions stayed on duty at the field for almost 2 weeks providing meals, water and shelter to those who were in need until life returned to normal. Many who are new to the town ask "What do the Lions do?". Well we as Lions provide vision, hearing, and other medical services to those in need, help anyone who needs help, provide family entertainment as fundraisers and we support our town especially when in times of need.
This is what we do and if you're of like mind you should join us.
Anza Lions Emergency Evacuation Site
Emergency Contacts for Minor Lions Field
Lion Roland Vellanoweth - (951) 662-9166
Lion Jeff Hawthorne - (951) 852-5017
Lion Mimi Brown - (760) 637-9173