Over 250 members of Lions Club International from across Arkansas are in Hope this weekend for the group's State Convention.

Over 250 members of Lions Club International from across Arkansas are in Hope this weekend for the group’s State Convention. Two years in the making, the Hope Lions Club is the hosting organization with Hempstead Hall being the center of activities throughout the weekend.  Getting started Friday with committee meetings and Ronnie Milsap’s concert drawing over 1,400 fans, Saturday will include a proclamation, a fish fry, workshops and a Lions formal black tie dinner.  Two current members of the Hope Board, Mayor Steve Montgomery and Mark Ross are Lions Club members.

The Lions Council of Governors met at Hempstead Hall’s Hope suite on Friday afternoon prior to the Milsap performance lead by State Governor Bill Hankins of Quitman, and local Governor John Collier of Hope. At the time of their meeting, County Artist Ronnie Milsap was resting in his touring van, 20 feet away outside, while members of his road crew were being transported from their hotel to Hempstead Hall for concert preparations.

The Prescott Lions had prepared a hamburger dinner for the convention on Friday night, while the Hope Lions will have a convention fish fry on Saturday.
On Thursday evening, Hope Lions President Sharon Wright, Mark Ross, and Collier were among those working at Hemsptead Hall and preparing welcome packets for the convention.