THE LENNON LIONS CLUB is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Shown (left) is a photo of 35 of the 42 charter members from Dec. 1972.

 

  The Lennon Lions Club is celebrating 50 years as a charter. In December 1972 the club received its charter from Lions Club International, with 42 founding members. In 1917, a Chicago businessman, Melvin Jones, formed the Association of Lions Clubs when he invited business clubs from around the USA. In 1920, the association became international when a club in Windsor, Canada was established. At that time, the Lions were active in 23 U.S. states. In 1925, the Lions became “knights of the blind in the crusade around darkness,” because of a challenge from Helen Keller. By 1968, Lions Club International was created, with the mission “to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants.” Today, the foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants with the help of the 1.4 million members in 200 countries.

  The Lennon Lions Club has been helping the Lennon community for 50 years. A few of the many ways are by providing two public parks (Lennon Lions Community Park and F.A. Ruby Park) with playgrounds, ball fields and pavilions; food donations for the needy; sponsoring local families at Christmas; donating in times of hardship; providing free vision testing and glasses; and any other way they can help out the community. The club holds events throughout the year to raise money, including Homecoming Weekend in July, a Fall Sportsmen Gun Raffle, selling Christmas trees, a white can drive and they also accept donations. They also have donated to diabetic and children’s cancer charities, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Eversight Eye Bank, Special Needs Vision Clinic in Saginaw, Lions Bear Lake Campground (for the visually impaired, hard of hearing, as well as grief loss and cancer), Paws with a Cause, Sickle Cell Disease and Michigan State University Radio Reading Service (WKAR). “If a family is in need, we try to help and if we can’t, we find someone that can,” stated President Carl Sahlke.

  Annually, the Lennon Lions Club hosts a Homecoming Weekend in July. This year it will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. On Saturday, July 16 events include: All Day Tractor Show; the Homecoming Parade, which starts at 9 a.m. and also has a bounce house and kids games; the new WGTP Lawn Mower Pull, weigh-in at 8 a.m., pulls start at 11 a.m. Classes include Kids 750, Adults 750, Adults 950, Adults 1150, Adults 1350, Cash Class 950 and Class 1350; Michigan Pedal Puller, sign-up at 11 a.m., starts at 12 p.m., which benefits the Lennon Lions and the Lennon Area Veteran’s Park; Lions Kid Sight free vision testing – and Music in the Park featuring ‘Satisfied Drive Don May Project’ and local musicians from 5 to 11 p.m. 

   Sunday, July 17 events include: the 29th Annual Car Show and Tractor Show, registration 8 to 11 a.m., awards at 2 p.m. with a cruise after. Contact Doug at (810) 280-8357; Craft Show and Vendors, plus the Lawn Mower Raffle (1st prize: choice of Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 Zero Turn 50-inch deck or $3,500, and 2nd through 5th prizes: $100) and DJ Scott Kool Production with Rock In Ron.

  With many of the current Lennon Lions Club members ready for retirement, the club needs new members. New members are always needed/wanted and attending meetings is not mandatory. Meetings are held the first and third Thursday of every month at the clubhouse in Lennon Lions Community Park. President Carl Sahlke said, “We want active, working members; members that can help on projects and help out with big events such as Homecoming Weekend. We need to keep our club alive. Fifty Years in this community is a big deal.” Individuals interested in becoming a member can call Carl at (810) 919-3861.

Lennon Lions Club Celebrates 50 Years  was last modified: July 5th, 2022 by Karen Elford