Lorain Lions Club history


More than ninety years ago, three men -- Louis Carek, a florist, Paul Kleefeld, a dry cleaner, and Harry Getrost, an optometrist -- believed that another type of service club was needed in Lorain. Checking the objectives of the service organizations  already in existence, they decided to form a club and affiliate with Lions Clubs International, which was at that time only five years old, but already proving itself a vigorous force. The Lorain Lions Club was formed on April 24, 1922, and Lions Clubs International presented a charter to the club on October 12, 1922.

The club's  main objective over the ensuing years has been sight conservation and aid to the visually impaired. Through innumerable projects, the Lorain Lions Club has raised well over a half-million dollars which was spent in this phase of service and on many other worthwhile civic projects and community needs.

Included in their sight-saving projects have been: providing eye examinations, glasses, surgical treatment, transportation of enucleated eye tissue to and from the Cleveland Eye Bank, transportation for the visually impaired to and from the Center For the Visually Impaired in Elyria, annual contributions to the Ohio Lions Eye Research and Ohio Lions Pilot Dogs projects, co-sponsored clinics with our local hospitals and health centers for free screening and education to the community to the community, glaucoma, diabetes , cancers and other concerns.

The Lorain Lions Club, in cooperation with other District 13B Lions Clubs, assisted in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to equip a Vision Clinic at Lorain County Health & Dentistry center in downtown Lorain. In 2015, Lorain Lions joined with other Lorain County Lions Clubs in Zone 4, in partnership with the Lorain County Sheriff's Department, to launch Project Lifesaver. The program has been successful in other counties in District 13B and elsewhere in Ohio to allow authorities to more easily locate vulnerable citizens who are lost.

Over the past nine decades our club has reached out to serve all facets of our community, particularly our young people. In 1987 our club expanded its commitment to improving the quality of life in our community by supporting the Lions International Quest Program in Lorain City Schools, a program which helped young adolescents build a sense of self-esteem and to set values to say “No” to drugs and other forms of substance abuse.

The Lorain High School Leo Club, founded in 1994, is in the process of being reestablished by Lorain City Schools in the high school.  Over the years Lorain Lions have teamed up with Lenscrafters and the Health & Dentistry Visiion Clinic and to provide eye exams and eye glasses for needy Lorain students. The Lorain Lions have also sponsored local high school band members to perform at Lions International parades and conventions.

While living up to our motto, “We Serve,” our club continues to strive for participation in many areas of community activities including the International Festival Parade and Bazaar; “manning the kettles” for the Salvation Army each holiday season; sorting and packing food for the needy at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Lorain; building a “Habitat for Humanity” home for a visually impaired man and his family in South Lorain, along with painting homes for handicapped or elderly persons. For our annual Lions World Service Day projects we have made extensive repairs to equipment at several city parks and playgrounds.

Our major fundraising projects over the years have also turned into seasonal traditions which many local residents look forward to and count on, including the successful Lions Pancake & Sausage Breakfast held the first Sunday in May and November at the Italian-American Veterans Post No. 1 in Lorain. Other Lorain Lions fundraising projects have included: the Tassle Bike Marathon, selling fruitcakes, white elephant sales, sponsoring circuses, boxing matches and music and variety shows.
The Lorain Lions Club has remained a strong club for the past 90 years because it has demonstrated how to maintain important traditions while meeting the needs of a changing society in a growing community. Infused with energetic and creative new members – men and women -- and guiding by many veteran dedicated Lions with many years of service behind them, the Lorain Lions Club has accepted and is meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

With more than 60 members, the club now has as its officers: Dan Smith, president; Tim Lombardi, first vice president; Ralph O'Hara, second vice president; Barry Buck, third vice president, Mark Worden, secretary; Charles Neff, treasurer; Doug Kayle., Tail Twister; Glenn Owen, Lion Tamer; Rich Foil, membership committee chairmen; directors, Bob Pastor, Tom Bruno, Tom Sigman,Walter Frey Jr., and Immediate Past President Kim Worden.

Here are the charter members of the Lorain Lions Club in 1922:
Dr. George M. Blank, Ray Bratin, Louis Carek, Dr. Theodore Casinski, Charles A. Clifford, Edward Clotz, George Deary, William H. Deininger, H. N. Dickinson, Dr. J. B. Donaldson, Harry Getrost, David A. Heggie, A. J. Herring, , Bruno Huse, H. R. Ingler, Paul Kleefeld, , Logan H. Korp, Edward Lane, George L. Lenk, Cyrus Lewis Jr., James F. Martin, , J. C. McClendon, Rudy Moc, O. N. Monroe, W. J. Moriarty, P. V. Prucha, , E. P. Reidy Sr., Sidney B. Royse, A. B. Sauer, Edward Schneider, Herbert Scott, Rev. James A. Scott, F. J. Stack, Charles B. Wagner and Thomas Williams.

Here are the Lorain Lions Club presidents over the years:
1922 – A. B. Sauer
1923 – James F. Martin
1924 – Sidney B. Royce
1925 – T. W. Morgan
1926 – G. W. Irey
1927 – E. P. Reidy
1928 – Dr. H. G. Beyer
1929 – Harry Getrost
1930 – Louis Carek
1931 – L. G. Copeland
1932 – C. Arthur Brown
1933 – H. D. Preble
1934 – G. W. Brown
1935 – E. C. Neiding
1936 – H. W. Nugent
1937 – W. B. McCormick
1938 – Dr. B. K. Powell
1939 – N. J. Humason
1940 – C. G. Peters
1941 – H. B. Weintraub
1942 – H. H. Fackler
1943 – K. C. Shook
1944 – T. E. Williams
1945 – C. Paul Stocker
1946 – G. K. Scott
1947 – H. H. Holbrook
1948 – Dale Brobst (later served as District 13B Governor)
1949 – Raymond Py
1950 – Elden W. Arbaugh
1951 – Dr. O. H. Felix
1952 – Albert J. O’Neil
1953 – Charles L. Seckel
1954 – Howard B. Somers
1955 – Carl Stinson
1956 – George K. Werner
1957 – Lynn Stull
1958 – Robert Woodward
1959 – Dr. H.C. Marsico
1960 – Earl Cotton
1961 – Ed Boroski
1962 – Thomas A. Krezman
1963 – John P. Tender
1964 – Eugene Sofranco
1965 – Dr. Ralph J. Krupp
1966 – Robert F. Kayle
1967 – Eugene P. Sweeney
1968 – Stanley R. Sienicki
1969 – Raymond C. Kepner
1970 – Frank W. Katrick
1971 – Theodore J. Risden
1972 – Edward Nemecek
1973 – R. Nelson Weber
1974 – Randall E. Swaim
1975 – Dr. Edward R. Chrulski
1976 – Elmer F. Krueck
1977 – Bruce Meadows
1978 – Richard Deptula
1979 – Bruce Meadows
1980 – Bruce McCartney
1981 – Wayne Conn
1982 – Dale Meredith
1983 – Dr. Richard Marcucci
1984 – Chester Pleban
1985 – Dan Smith
1986 – Dr. Ralph J. Krupp
1987 –Vernon L. Brown
1988 – Robert W. Herrman
1989 – Bruce McCartney
1990 – Ruben Lopez
1991 – Ralph E. O’Hara
1992 – Donald R. Kayle
1993 – David C. Bickel
1994 – Barry Buck
1995 – Michael Challender
1996 – James J. Czarney
1997 – John Mazze
1998 – Dan Bihary
1999 – Tim Lombardi
2000 – Al Januzzi
2001 – Keith Kapanke
2002 – Claude Sparks
2003 – Bruce Bevan
2004 – Bob Cool
2005 – Bruce Diso
2006 – Ed Baker
2007 – Walter A. Frey Jr.
2008—Dan Bihary
2009 – William Neely
2010 – Kenneth Cromer
2011 – Joseph (Dave) Burgess
2012 – Douglas Kayle
2013 -- Bruce Diso
2014 -- Kim Worden
2015 -- Frank Csubak and Dan Smith
2016 -- Timothy Lombardi

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