A Brief History of

The Aberdeen Lions

The Aberdeen Lions Club was chartered by Lions Club International on June 11, 1940. Sponsored by the Olympia Lions, the club consisted of 23 charter members.


The Aberdeen Lions have always been an extremely active club, with many community improvement projects and fundraisers to support its benevolent activities.


Early community projects:

Construction of a dock and placing sand for a beach at Lake Aberdeen.

We built the first Aberdeen little league park in the 50”s and later helped move it from the north side to its present location in Pioneer Park.

We sponsored the first local little league team, the LIONS, as we continue to do today.

In the early 80’s, the Driftwood Theatre needed a total rebuild of their new location. Under the guidance of Lions Gene Fogde and Will Foster, what was the old Christian Science Church was transformed into the community theatre, and was accomplished in record time.

Lion Will headed another big project a few years later when we built the planters and benches along the half-mile or more of river walk at Morrison Park, as well as filling the planters with shrubs and trees.

Highway litter pick-up was a project for several years.

A project that still has many stories associated with it, was providing the 1961 Christmas Tree for the John F. Kennedy Whitehouse in Washington, D.C. We still have a piece of that tree, along with several newspaper clippings about it.


For several years we were involved with eye screening of kindergarten and pre-school children with our special camera.


Early fundraisers

We sponsored auto shows at the Armory with twelve or more local dealers displaying their new models.

The Lions Watercade; an annual swim meet and water show that was held at Lake Aberdeen. Aberdeen Lion Charter Member, Russ Ellison, a World Champion Log Roller, his daughter Diane (also a champion log roller and former Aberdeen Lion) were featured in the water show for many years.


The annual Father’s Day pancake breakfast was a great way to raise funds. Some years, more than 1400 breakfasts would be served, many to people passing through town on a clam digging expedition.

Door to door sales of light bulbs lasted into the 70’s.

Our fund raising efforts have continually evolved. When paper prices dropped, we supplemented our income with Reno Nights at Ocean Shores. When the casinos were built, we sponsored circuses.

The Madrigal Feasts put on by Lion Bob Neisinger and his talented group of musicians was a popular event and a successful way to raise funds.

For several years, we held auctions to raise funds.


It's wasn't all work...

The club had many social events in the early days. It was a MEN ONLY club at the time, but the spouses planned and promoted social events. Dances with live music were held every six weeks or

so. At the club meetings, there was usually singing. Many members were also involved in frequent visitations and attendance at conferences. On one occasion, several pilots in the club loaded their small planes with members and headed to British Columbia for a conference.

Another time an entire railroad car carried a contingent to a convention. The Aberdeen Lions have sponsored at least five new Lions clubs in Grays Harbor and Pacific County over the years, and we are not quitting anytime soon.

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