5/17/2017 9:48:00 AM Jackson Lions celebrate 85th anniversary
Jackson Mayor Randy Heath was on hand at the dinner meeting to honor the Jackson Lions Clubís 85th-year anniversary and proclaimed May 3 as Jackson Lions Club Day in the city. Pictured (from the left) are: Jackson Lions Club President Oscar Miller, Mayor Heath, and Jackson Lions Club Board of Directors member/Past District Governor John Smith. (Telegram Photos
By Pete Wilson)
Officers of the Jackson Lions Club had the honor of cutting the big cake which was made to help celebrate the service organizationís 85th-year anniversary at a special dinner and meeting held Wednesday, May 3, at Christ United Methodist Church. Pictured (from the left) are: Third Vice President Doug Johnson, Treasurer Karen Roberts, First Vice President and Secretary Cathy Garvey, President Oscar Miller, Second Vice President Carol Hawker, Membership Chair Pam Miller, Past District Governor and Board of Directors member John Smith, and Board of Directors member Becky Hughes.
Birthdays should be celebrated, and the Jackson Lions Club did that in both style and substance, when members and guests convened on Wednesday, May 3, to observe the service organization's 85th anniversary.
Gathering in their regular meeting place in the basement of the Christ United Methodist Church of Jackson, Jackson Lions Club board member and Past District Governor John Smith presided over a program which included remarks from District Governor Sue Diehm, the presentation of a proclamation from Jackson Mayor Randy Heath, entertainment from members of the Jackson High School Leo Club, recognition of the club's long record of service, and a salute to some of its longest-serving members.
The Jackson Lions Club formally organized on April 7, 1932 during a dinner meeting at the old Cambrian Hotel in the heart of downtown Jackson. The Portsmouth Lions Club was the sponsoring club and Dr. Dwight Shumate was installed as the first president of the Jackson Lions Club.
The Jackson Lions Club has remained active ever since and at one time had as many as 99 members on its rolls. Early club meetings were held at the Black Diamond Restaurant and other sites over the years have included the Jolly Lounge restaurant and Sadler's Restaurant. Currently, meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday evenings at the basement meeting room of the Christ United Methodist Church.
District Governor Diehm provided a historical perspective by recalling 1932 and what was happening in the United States and what life was like in that year. She saluted the longevity of the Jackson Lions Club and personally recognized its four most veteran members: Jack Coyan (55 years of membership), Roger Hammond (50 years), Ned Niehoff (49 years) and Marvin Payne (45 years).
Diehm also saluted the Jackson Lions Club and its record of service and its many annual projects, including the Apple Festival booth, placing the American flags out on holidays, and the Candy Sale. She noted that an auction was being planned for this December.
In an official response to Diehm's speech, Jackson Lion Dr. Rick Billman also toasted the past as he said the current membership has "stood on the shoulders of many past members."
He added, "Our club should feel proud of the work and projects we have done here as well as internationally."
Mayor Heath, who noted his late father was a Jackson Lions Club member, read an official city proclamation declaring Wednesday, May 3, as Jackson Lions Club Day in Jackson, recognizing the club and its anniversary celebration and asking citizens to thank members for their service and commitment to the community over the past 85 years.
The impressive musical entertainment was provided by members of the Leo Club, which is the Lions-sponsored youth organization at Jackson High School. Jackson Lions Club member and Leo Club advisor Crystal Finch reported there are 70 paid Leo Club members and a total of approximately 100 youths who participate in various service projects. Solos, duets and a clarinet quarter were among the musical selections and the Leos received warm rounds of applause.
In addition to introducing Diehm, Smith also introduced other special guests as well as visiting Lions from other area clubs.
The current officers of the Jackson Lions Club also had the honor of cutting a huge birthday cake which served as a dessert for the meal, which was catered by The Wounded Goose. Current officers are: President Oscar Miller, First Vice President and Secretary Cathy Garvey, Second Vice President Carol Hawker, Third Vice President Doug Johnson, Treasurer Karen Roberts, Assistant Treasurer Susie Wilson, Lion Tamer Rick Higginbotham, Tail Twister Roy Whaley, Membership Chair Pam Miller and Board of Directors members: Matt Garvey, John Smith, Krystal Wilson, Becky Hughes, Dick LeGrand, Jack Coyan and Ed Lawrence.
In addition to its annual projects, the Jackson Lions Club also supports many worthy projects, organizations, activities and charities in the community. It sponsors vision screening of pre-schoolers and provides eyeglasses to qualified individuals. On the state and international levels, the local club supports vision and eye care projects as well as various others.
The 85th Anniversary Planning Committee was also thanked for its work in planning and conducting the 85th Anniversary event. Its members were John Smith, Susie Smith and Cathy Garvey.