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HISTORY OF THE DURHAM LIONS CLUB

 

Five years after the founding of the first Lions Club in Chicago, Lionism came to North Carolina in 1922, when ten clubs were organized.  Following a series of preliminary meetings in Lakewood Park, the Durham Club held its first official meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 1922 at the Lochmoor Hotel dining room.  The Durham Morning Herald carried a full description the next day.  The charter, dated November 18, 1922, was presented by Judge G. H. Hastings of Winston-Salem on November 22, 1922, to fifty charter members at the new Club’s Charter Night banquet held in the Piedmont Building at Five Points.

 

Officers elected to serve for the first year were Dr. J. M. Manning, President; William B. Umstead, Vice President; Fred A. McNeer, Secretary; E. T. Newton, Treasurer;         Dr. N. Rosenstein, Tail Twister; and John Cole Rose, Lion Tamer.  McNeer resigned as secretary after the Club’s charter, and Wyatt T. Dixon was elected as his successor.  Lion Dixon was the longest surviving charter member and the Club deeply mourned his death in 1986.

           

From the beginning, the Club launched a program of service centered around activities for the visually handicapped, the blind, and youth; work in these areas continue to this day.  The Club supplied eyeglasses to needy school children, gave white canes to the blind, sponsored merchandise stands for qualifying blind persons so they could be self-supporting, and held recreational programs for the entertainment and enjoyment of blind people.  Christmas parties and outings were the main attractions.  The first citywide Easter egg hunts were sponsored by the Durham Lions in Forest Hills during the years it was being developed.  The Club set up a library corner for the blind at Stanford L. Warren Library.

The Club’s involvement with the blind created the momentum for launching one of the Club’s outstanding projects, the Lions Club Industries for the Blind.  The late V. J. Ashbaugh was chairman of the organizing committee and president of the workshop until his death in 1966.  Lion Guy Bennett has the longest period of active service with the workshop.  With the support of many Durham Lions, the Industries today are a highly successful operation that helps blind men and women become self-supporting.

 

The Durham Lions Club has not limited its activities to Durham County.  Lion Vick Ashbaugh and others were leaders in establishing the North Carolina Commission for the Blind and the North Carolina Association for the Blind.  When the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind was transferred from Greenville to Butner in 1948, the Club began providing many items for the entertainment and well-being of the students – things not provided by state funds such as air conditioning, musical instrument, an electric organ, picnic tables and benches, two aluminum canoes, television sets, a popcorn machine, an many other recreational items.  When the Rehab Center recently moved to the Governor Morehead School campus in Raleigh, the Club continued to its students.  In March 1971, the Ed Gwin Foundation was established to provide a tax-exempt basis for assisting the blind at the Rehabilitation Center.  The foundation has been consolidated with the Luther Barbour Scholarship Foundation for administrative efficiency.

 

The Club has been a consistent supporter of the State Association for the Blind since its formation in 1934.  Strong financial support is provided every year through the White Cane Drive for the broad statewide efforts of the Association, now the North Carolina Lions Foundation.  One of the programs is Camp Dogwood.  The Club provides camping scholarships to many blind individuals from the area who would not otherwise be able to enjoy a camping experience.

 

The North Carolina Eye and Human Tissue Bank located in Winston-Salem has also received liberal support from Durham Lions, both monetarily and in time, collecting eye wills from interested persons.

 

The Club has sponsored a number of glaucoma detection clinics, the first in 1961.  Out of 1866 screened in the first clinic, 158 were referred for more detailed examination and of this number, 34 had glaucoma and began treatment in time.  Today the Club continues to conduct glaucoma screenings under the LEHP (Lions Eye Health Program) in cooperation with the NCLF Vision Van and Duke Eye Center. We currently sponsor five eye screenings per year with the vision van and provide funds for eyeglasses, hearing aids, and the Radio Reading Service. Our club also collects more then 3,000 used eyeglasses each year for reuse by Lions Club International. The club also gives financial support to the Duke Eye Center and the UNC Eye Center.

 

As the Durham Club thrived, its members were active in sponsoring Lions Clubs in Braggtown, Bull City, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Creedmoor, Durham Community, Durham Diagnostic, Henderson and Hillsborough.  Not all of these Clubs are active today, but the influence of the Durham Lions is far reaching.  The Club has contributed to Lionistic leadership with eight District Governors:  V. J. Ashbaugh,

 

Francis E. Walker, Dr. Fred W. Isaacs, Herbert C. Bradshaw, Robert M. Ward, Dr. Eugene V. Grace, Klay K. Box, Joe J. Shumate, and Hazel Box.  In addition to Lionistic leaders, the Club has furnished one North Carolina Governor, William B. Umstead, and one Lieutenant Governor, J. Elmer Long.

 

The Club has been actively involved with youth since 1933, when it assumed sponsorship of Scout Troop 17 (which was originally chartered in 1926).  Currently operating under its 83rd consecutive charter, Troop 17 is the oldest Scout Troop in Durham.  The current Scout Center on Hillandale Road was preceded by the first club-owned Scout Hut on Guess Road purchased in 1945.

 

Luther Barbour, the next-to-the-last surviving charter member, bequeathed a substantial sum of money that started the Luther Barbour Scholarship Fund.  Each year, five deserving young people are enrolled in college under scholarships provided by the fund.

 

To better handle the legal aspects of property ownership, the Club was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state in 1959.

 

To finance its many projects, the Club has raised funds in a number of ways:  sponsoring minstrel shows, rodeos, talent shows, donkey baseball games, and weekly bingo games.  Sales of light bulbs, brooms, and orchids have been excellent fund-raisers.  Chewing gum and weight machines have provided steady income.  Since 1982, the annual Christmas tree sale has been one of the largest single sources of funding Club projects.  Beginning in 2009, we started hosting a golf tournament which has surpassed our Christmas tree sales. The Club also works a concession stand at the UNC football games.  Several Lions and others have remembered the Club in wills.

 

The trophy case in the Scout Center is filled with dozens of awards attesting to the active role the Durham Lions Club has played throughout the years in service to others in promoting the motto “We Serve.”


 

Past Presidents


 

 

1922-24

J. M. Manning*

 

1924-25

W. B. Umstead*

 

1925-26

J. M. Ormond*

 

1926-27

H. G. Hedrick*

 

1927-28

Luther Barbour*

 

1928-29

G. T. Watkins*

 

1929-30

J. L. Thornburg*

 

 

A. W. Grady*

 

1930-31

L. S. Booker*

 

1931-32

Dr. H. C. Carr*

 

1932-33

V. J. Ashbaugh*

 

1933-34

Dr. Fred W. Isaacs*

 

1934-35

E. S. Yarborough*

 

1935-36

C. J. Jones*

 

1936-37

M. M. Fowler*

 

1937-38

Merritt Head*

 

1938-39

George M. Miller*

 

1939-40

H. M. Brinkley*

 

1940-41

Guy Bennett*

 

1941-42

John Cole Rose*

 

1942-43

Woody Woodhouse*

 

 

E. H. Green

 

1943-44

Bailey Hobgood,Jr.*

 

1944-45

H. E. Gwin*

 

1945-46

Wyatt Dixon*

 

1946-47

Francis Walker*

 

1947-48

Chris Hamlet*

 

1948-49

R. M. Johnson*

 

1949-50

Hal Crain*

 

1950-51

Jim Kornegay*

 

1951-52

H. L. Abrahams*

 

1952-53

Dewey S. Scarboro*

 

1953-54

Marion Ham*

 

1954-55

Claude O. Sykes*

 

1955-56

John C. Dailey*

 

1956-57

Tom M. Dosser*

 

1957-58

Eugene Carlton*

 

1958-59

Marion D. Huggins*

 

1959-60

A. R. Bennett*

 

1960-61

H. C. Bradshaw*

 

1961-62

N. P. Broadwell*

 

1962-63

C. Marshall Davis*

 

1963-64

Robert King, Jr.*

 

1964-65

Malcom B. Allen*

 

1965-66

I. T. Reamer*

 

1966-67

C. E. Phillips, Jr.*

 

 

 

*Deceased

 

 

 

 

 

1967-68

Joe M. Lee, Jr.*

 

1968-69

Dr. M. L. Cherry*

 

1969-70

L. L. Collins*

 

1970-71

Carver J. Peacock*

 

1971-72

George D. Stephens

 

1972-73

William H. Winders

 

1973-74

Carvie S. Oldham*

 

1974-75

Dr. E. V. Grace

 

1975-76

R. M. Hutson

 

1976-77

Bob Cunningham

 

1977-78

Otto Meier*

 

1978-79

Klay Box*

 

1979-80

John Hamby*

 

1980-81

Alex Thomerson*

 

1981-82

J. E. Kennedy, Jr.

 

1982-83

M. L. Barnes

 

1983-84

H. W. Zinger*

 

1984-85

Larry S. Kerr

 

1985-86

Robert Dewell

 

1986-87

C. Michael Poole

 

1987-88

Dr. Stan Colvin*

 

1988

Frank Landing

 

1988-90

William Hudson

 

1990-91

Jim Cronin

 

1991-92

Steve Pittard*

 

1992-93

David P. Henderson

 

1993-94

Henry H. Scherich

 

1994-95

Lynn Cherry, Jr.

 

1995-96

Victor Moore

 

1996-97

Shaun Martin

 

1997-98

Timothy C. Hoke

 

1998-99

Richard G. Grogan

 

1999-00

Joseph Gary, III

 

2000-01

Paul Silverman

 

2001-02

Cassandra Scarlett

 

2002-03

Brent Lockwood

 

2003-04

Wade Johnson

 

2004-05

Johnny Fitch

 

2005-06

Gene Lee

 

2006-07

Lamar Willis

 

2007-08

Johnnie Cozart

 

2008-09

Charlie Andrews

 

2009-10

Greg Bolt

 

2010-11

Jim Force

 

 

 

 


 

Achievement Awards

 

This award is presented each year to the Lion whose history of service to the Community—with the Lions Club, with other community organizations, in business and in life—serves as an example to all.

 


 

 

1936

E. S. Yarborough*

1937

Guy Bennett*

1938

George M. Miller*

1939

Woody Woodhouse*

1940

V. E. Bell*

1941

M. M. Bell*

1942

C. J. Jones*

1943

Chris Hamlet*

1944

John C. Dailey*

1945

R. M. Johnson*

1946

Bailey W. Hobgood*

1947

J. W. Wheeler*

1948

H. E. Gwin*

1949

Jim Kornegay*

1950

B. W. Harris, Jr.*

1951

C. M. Davis*

1952

Dewey Scarboro*

1953

Marion D. Huggins*

1954

Lacy McDade*

1955

Luke N. Wilson*

1956

A. R. Bennett*

1957

Luther Barbour*

1958

Claude O. Sykes*

1959

Needham Broadwell*

1960

John Cole Rose*

1961

Harry W. Zinger*

1962

M. B. Burnette, Jr.*

1963

Francis E. Walker*

1964

L. L. Collins*

1965

H. C. Bradshaw*

1966

J. N Gary, Jr.*

1967

H. B. Christie*

1968

C. G. Harrell*

1969

Jim Trevathan*

1970

William A. Shipp*

1971

A. G. Thomerson*

1972

Richard M. Hutson

 

 

*Deceased

1973

Bob Cunningham

1974

Klay Box*

1975

J. E. Kennedy, Jr.

1976

M. E. Betts*

1977

E. V. Grace

1978

L. M. Wade*

1979

John L. Trout*

1980

Joe M. Lee, Jr.*

1981

Dr. M. L. Cherry*

1982

C. Michael Poole

1983

F. O. Winstead*

1984

Foy Crabtree*

1985

Robert King, Jr.*

1986

M. L. Barnes

1987

Stewart Wallace*

1988

Bill Hudson

1989

Bill Winders

1990

Frank Nelson

1991

Joseph N. Gary, III

1992

Dr. Stan Colvin*

1993

George Stephens

1994

Henry Scherich

1995

Robert Ward

1996

Charles Thissen

1997

Jim Cronin

1998

Lynn Cherry, Jr.

1999

George Trout*

2000

Tim Hoke

2001

David Henderson

2002

Vic Moore

2003

V.A “Gus” Holshouser

2004

Paul Silverman

2005

Hazel Box

2006

Jim Taylor

2007

Doug Osborn

2008

Wade Johnson              

2009

Hal Lininger

2010

Sandy Scarlett

2011

Mike Brady

 


 

 


 

Service Awards

 

Each year this award is presented to the Lion, or Lions, whose service to the Club has exceeded what was asked or expected.  These Lions truly live up to our motto, “We Serve”.

 


 

 

1950

Harris L. Abrahams*

 

Dewey Scarboro*

1951

Lacey McDade*

 

Marion D. Huggins*

1952

Luke N. Wilson*

 

Needham Broadwell*

1954

T. G. Hilderbrandt*

 

C. G. Harrell*

1955

Preston P. Phillips*

 

Marion A. Ham*

1956

Arthur W. Knight*

1957

V. J. Ashbaugh*

 

M. B. Burnett*

1960

J. R. Hooper*

 

Harry W. Zinger*

1962

J. N. Gary, Jr.*

 

C. E. Phillips, Jr.*

1967

M. E. Betts*

1969

Dr. H. C. Carr*

 

Wyatt Dixon*

1970

Karl B. Patterson*

 

H. E. Gwin*

1971

W. L. Farthing*

1972

A. S. Holt, Jr.*

 

Earl Rogers*

1973

Buck Kirkland*

1974

L. M. Wade*

1975

John L. Trout*

1976

M. W. Johnson*

 

A. L. Foster*

1977

Robert Dewell

 

J. W. Cole*

1979

Larry S. Kerr

 

Robert King, Jr.*

1980

W. E. Montgomery* 

 

 

 

 

*Deceased

1981

Frank Nelson

 

F. O. Winstead*

1982

J. S. Hallett*

1983

Foy Crabtree*

1984

Stewart Wallace*

1985

M. L. Barnes

 

George Summers*

1986

H. E. Vickers*

1987

Joseph N. Gary, III

1988

Mike Brady

1989

Henry Scherich

1990

Kelly Wilson

1991

Rod Evans

 

Layman “Jack” Franklin

1992

Jim Cronin

1993

Robert Ward

1994

Charles Thissen

1995

Bob Cunningham

 

Paul Silverman

1996

David Henderson

1997

Al Asselin

1998

Bob Ehle

 

Doug Osborn

1999

Johnnie Cozart, Jr.

2000

Wade Johnson

2001

Hal Lininger

 

Gus Holshouser

2002

Joe Kennedy

2003

Mike Poole

2004

Jim Taylor

2005

Greg Bolt

2006

Tim Hoke

 

George Stephens

2007

Stan Colvin*

2008

Jim Force

2009

Bill Kingsbury

2010

Lynn Cherry

2011

Brent Lockwood

 


 

 


 

Fellowship Award Winners

 

The Jack Stickley Fellows

 

The Jack Stickley Fellowship honors the memory of North Carolina’s first President of Lions Clubs International.  Contributions to the Fellowship Fund endow the general operating fund of the North Carolina Lion’s Foundation.

 

Hazel Box

Robert Ward

 

The Melvin Jones Fellows

 

The Melvin Jones Fellowship Program was established in 1973 in honor of Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International. Melvin Jones Fellowships are given to individuals in recognition of unrestricted donations to Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Such a contribution illustrates a significant commitment to humanitarian service.

 

 

Mayton Betts*            

Robert King*

Hazel Box

Bill Martin*

Klay Box*

Victor Moore

Marty Briner

Frank Nelson

Stan Colvin*

Mike Poole

Jim Cronin

Henry Scherich

Bob Cunningham

Paul Silverman

Jim Force

George Stephens

Joe Gary, III

Charles Thissen

Tim Hoke

Francis Walker*

Wade Johnson

Robert Ward

Joe Kennedy

Lynn Cherry Jr.

 

Bill Kingsbury

 

 

*Deceased

 

 

 

 

 

 

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