History of the Robinson Lions Club

Typed by Rita Millis from a history originally done about 1955 - 14 August 2000

The Robinson Lions Club, a part of Lions International, is a member club of the largest service organization in the world, being greater in membership than all the other service clubs, including Rotary and Kiwanis combined.

Its slogan, "liberty, intelligence, our nation's safety", is upheld by nearly 600,000 members of close to 12,500 clubs, spread throughout more than 75 countries and geographical locations, covering six continents of the world. Lions International is by far the world's largest, most active and most representation service club organization. From the Aaland Islands to the Yukon Territory, from Uruguay to Alaska, Lions Clubs are to be found in every corner of the civilized globe.

Lions Clubs are non-political, non-sectarian service organizations composed of the community's leading business and professional men and other men interested in the affairs of their community. Membership is by invitation only. The purpose of a Lions Club is more than good fellowship and club social life, important though these are. It is to recognize community needs and develop means of meeting them, either through its own effort or in cooperation with other agencies.

Lionism is an active and efficient medium for united community effort and enterprise. It is also an outstanding medium for national and effort and enterprise. It is also an outstanding medium for national and world service, exerting tremendous influence for national welfare, international amity and peace, and human progress, socially, culturally, and economically. The importance of Lions work in all these fields is widely recognized.

The Lions Objects are to: 1 - Create and foster a spirit of "generous consideration" among the people of the world through a study of the problems of international relationships; 2 - To promote the theory and practice of the principles of good government and good citizenship; 3 - To take an active interest in the civic, commercial, social and moral welfare of the community; 4 - To unite the members in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship, and mutual understanding; 5 - To provide a forum for the full and free discussion of all matters of public interest, partisan politics and sectarian religion alone excepted; 6 - to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in business and professions, provided that no Club shall hold out as one of its objects financial benefits to its members.

Realizing the need for such an organization as this in Robinson, a group of business and professional men and others interested in their community and its civic affairs, got together in the winter of 1950 for the purpose of organizing and getting underway, a club to be known as The Robinson Lions Club. Charter night for the new club was held January 23, 1951 at the Crawford County Country Club with the presentation of the charter being made before more than 100 members and guests by Floyd S. Waddelow, District Governor. The Lions Clubs of Oblong and Casey sponsored Robinson's youngest service club as well as the newest Lions Club in the Zone, which consists of the clubs of Palestine, Oblong, Robinson, West Union, Marshall, Casey, Greenup, and Martinsville.

Led by E. C. Patton as president, the new club got off to an excellent start with some thirty-five members of which Clarence Ballinger, Thatcher Campbell, Gene Darnold, Lee Ferguson, Courts E. Ferris, Herb Lowrance, Troy Pulliam, Floyd Reed, Charles Swarens, Irving Rosenfield, V. A. Jamison, and Walter Henderson are still members from the original group of charter members.

In addition to Patton, other first officers were Clarence Ballinger, first vice president, Herb Lowrance, second vice president, Thatcher Campbell, third vice president, Floyd L. Reed, Secretary, Gene Darnold, Treasurer, Courts E. Ferris, tail twister, Melvin Paul, Lion tamer, and Charles Swarens, Arthur Fouty, Max Tripplehorn, and Kenneth Hayes, directors.

Charter members were Clarence Ballinger, Thatcher Campbell, Harrison Cravens, Gene Darnold, Lee Ferguson, Courts Ferris, Arthur Fouty, Kenneth Hayes, Herb Lowrance, Melvin Paul, Troy Pulliam, Frank Seyferth, Floyd Reed, Charles Swarens, John Sydnor, Max Tripplehorn, Preston Ramsey, Harold Truitt, Gene Thompson, Herb Wilkinson, Walter Newlin, Clifford Goyert, Irving Rosenfield, H. C. Fleming, V. A. Jamison, Leo S. Hutt, Patrick J. Quinn, Walter Henderson, Murl O. Young, M. J. Stillwell, Robert Welton, Don Evans, and Beauford White.

The club first met at the Ohio Oil Cafeteria and following its closing to the public, moved to the Spracklen Café, where it remained until the membership became too large to meet there, and the Lions then moved to the Woodworth Hotel, where they have met ever since.

The Robinson Lions Club meets each second and fourth Thursday night of the month at 6:00 p.m. Following the dinner, a short business session is held, followed by the program, which usually consists of a guest speaker, movies, or some other form of entertainment, provided by one of the members. A board meeting is held the first meeting night of the month following the close of the regular meeting to take care of the business of the club. When a fifth Thursday falls in the month, the Lions entertain their wives at Ladies Night.

Lions Clubs take part in nearly 200,000 activities each month including Agriculture, Boys and Girls work, Citizenship and Patriotism, Civic Improvement, Community Betterment, Education, Health and Welfare, Safety, Sight Conservation and Blind, and United Nations. To help finance its activities, the Robinson Lions Club holds a door to door broom sale, operates a refreshment state at the City's Fourth of July Celebration, and operates a popcorn stand at the Robinson Fall Festival each year, as well as on other occasions.

Money raised from such operations has gone for such worthy projects as glasses and school supplies for needy children, contributions to charitable and civic projects; contributions to Leader Dogs for the Blind, an organization which trains dogs for the use of sightless persons, and the Hadley School for the Blind, a school which offers courses from grade school through college for the blind to study by mail; sponsoring of a Babe Ruth baseball team and the beautification of the Robinson Municipal Swimming Pool grounds.

During the past two years, the Robinson Lions Club have had an entry in the Beauty Contest held in conjunction with the Labor Day celebration at Palestine, and for those two years, the Robinson Lions entry has won first place.

Presidents of the Robinson Lions Club have been E. C. Patton, 1950; Charles Swarens, 1950-51;

Leo Hutt, 1951-52; Herb Lowrance, 1952-53; B. S. Pruitt, 1953-54; Gene Darnold, 1954-55; Courts Ferris, 1955-56; and Lyle Bollinger, 1956-57. Both B. S. Pruitt in 1954-55 and Courts Ferris in 1956-57 were appointed by the District Governor of Lions International to the position of Zone Chairman.

Secretaries of the club have been Floyd Reed, Courts Ferris, Paul Ullmann, Dave Abels, and Myles Tennis.

Present officers for the year 1956-57 are Lyle Bollinger, president; Clarence Ballinger, first vice president; C. P. (Chris) Germann, second vice president; Lee Ferguson, third vice president; Myles Tennis, secretary; W. E. Montgomery, treasurer; Dave Abels, tail twister, V. A. Jamison, Lion tamer; and Irving Rosenfield, Frank Fenton, Charles Batman and Kyle Randolph, directors.

During its less than seven years of existence, the Robinson Lions Club has grown to become a definite and integral part of the community and civic life of Robinson. Men who have left it have left with a definite sense of their responsibility to their community and those who are members today do their best to uphold the objectives of Lionism and to serve in the civic and community life of their city.


This page last updated on February 05, 2015.