INDEPENDENCE LIONS – 1951-2016
Organized in the fall of 1951 with the sponsorship of the Whitehall Lions Club, the Independence Lions Club was at 29 members for their Charter night on November 1, 1951. The Independence Newswave reported 160 people in attendance at the auditorium of the St. Peter and Paul School for the event. The first president elected at the September meeting was Edward J. Kulig.
One of the first public projects of the new Lions group was a Halloween party for area youngsters in 1951. The party was held in the City Hall Opera House with 200 children in attendance for a movie, costume judging and treats. The event has been held every year since. The past four years it has been organized by the STARS at the high school, - co-sponsored by the Lions.
Usually at an average of near 30 members, the club reached a low of 21 in 1963 and 1971. This year's current membership is 49.
Some of the long term projects or fund-raisers the club has been involved in during its history include:
v Funding of the summer transportation of area children to the pool at Arcadia and Whitehall for most of the past 50 years
v Joint planning and operation of the annual Independence Days celebration with the American Legion from the early 1960s until 1979
v Scholarships for high school students
v Production of the annual community birthday calendar since 1985
v Sponsorship of a local boy to attend Badger Boys State for the past 20 years
v Annual contributions to the Wisconsin Lions foundation and camp Rosholt for the disabled
v Conducting the community spring clean-up day since 1994
v Poultry shoot
v Annual Easter Egg Hunt since 2000
v Reading Action Program since 2013
v Bicycle helmets to thrid graders 2014
Other projects and donations in the past include:
v Banquets, dinners, and donations in support of high school sports and other extra curricular activities
v Home decorating contests at Christmas
v Construction of park shelter at Four Seasons’ Park in 1990
v Promote development and construction of the medical clinic in 1962 and serving as the starting group in the early 1960s for I M D, the city's business development corporation
v Construction of shelters over sandboxes at day care center
v Funded the construction of a canoe landing at Four Seasons” Park
v Constructed shelter at bridge
v Developed campsites at Four Seasons Park
v Funded the development of swimming beach at Bugle Lake
v Annual donation to Camp Needlepoint (camp for diabetic children)
v Annual donation to Mission to Mexico
v Annual donation to Wisconsin Lions Eye Bank
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