Elburn Lions celebrate 85th anniversary

By on August 14, 2014

Photo: Newly-inducted Lion Mathau Poust (right) with his father and sponsor, Kevin. Photo by Debbie Behrends

ELBURN—On the Saturday before its annual Elburn Days event, the Lions Club took time to celebrate its past and rededicate itself to the future.

Members from clubs around northern Illinois, as well as international level dignitaries, joined members of the Elburn Lions Club to celebrate the club’s 85th anniversary with a dinner at the clubhouse. The evening also included recognition of service for several members, and induction of two new Lions.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson—a 36-year Lion—recounted some of the history of the local club, starting with the signing of its charter in September 1929 by Lions founder Melvin Jones. Beginning with just 20 members, the club is 185 strong today.

“On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16, 1933, the club hosted its first-ever Elburn Day,” Anderson said. “Last year’s event netted $80,000; the first year, the club realized $21.22.”

Anderson recounted the purchase of property and expansion of the park and its facilities, successful and not-so-successful projects, Bingo, establishment of the Leos, and the recent addition of a monthly spaghetti dinners served free for the community.

“Elburn would not be Elburn without the Lions Club,” Anderson said. “Forward ever, backward never.”

Lions International President Joe Preston of Dewey, Ariz., said he wished he could be in town for Elburn Days.

“You’re doing so much,” Preston said. “And part of your success is your ability to partner with others.”

Preston complimented the club on being active, vibrant and energetic.

“I see Lion paw prints throughout your community, but it’s time to rededicate yourselves and keep the goal growing. Being a Lion is special; put your pin into action,” Preston said to attendees.

Preston’s theme for his presidential year is “Strengthen the Pride,” and he encouraged club members to “dig down deep and strengthen the pride.”

Also in attendance were Lions International First Vice President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada of Minokamo, Gifu, Japan, and Second Vice President Robert Corlew of Milton, Tenn.

Also during the meeting, new members Mathau Poust and Gregg Erickson were inducted.

Monarch chevrons were awarded for years of service to members Sharon Elgar, 10 years; Anna Mainhart and Dave Judd, 15 years; Brad Cornell, Phil Gladd and Scott Karas, 20; Lester Lee, 25; Jerry Schmidt, 40; Jim Gillett, 45; and Gordy Dierschow, 50.

Silver sponsorship awards were presented to Pam Hall and Kristen Damolaris for sponsoring two members each during the fall membership drive. A senior builder key award was presented to Chris Halsey for sponsoring 15 members. And Jan Callahan was presented with an appreciation plaque for her years of providing desserts for club functions.