Cudahy Lions Club History

The Cudahy Lions Club was organized with 21 charter members and sponsored as a club, with Lions International, by the South Milwaukee Lions Club. The Charter was presented to the Club on May 10, 1950 by Lions District Governor A.M. Bearder at St. Joseph’s Church Hall in Cudahy.

In November, 1950, Lion President Larry Kelly started the Club’s first project, “The Cudahy Community Blood Bank.” The Club continues to operate these blood banks, now held at the Cudahy Family Library. Since its inception, the Club’s Blood Banks have had over 7,000 pints of blood donated.

In 1953, the Club took on another project, raising money to help build a community hospital. Club members went door to door soliciting donations for the construction of what became known as Trinity Memorial Hospital. In addition, the Club also donated another $10,000 toward this community project.

In 1956, the Club made its first, of what is now an annual donation to Leader Dogs. Leader Dogs trains service dogs for those in need. That same year, the Club began its scholarship program. The first recipient received a $200 scholarship. This scholarship program continues to this day and we presently prove up to 6 scholarships to Cudahy High School seniors totaling up to $8,750. In 2015, the Club surpassed $250,000 in awarded scholarships.  

The Club has sponsored 2 other area Clubs who had applied for a Charter, Greendale in 1956 and St. Francis in 1970.

The Club supports many programs/projects both locally and internationally.  Here is a listing of some of the programs/projects the Club has supported and continues to support:

                Project Concern of Cudahy & St. Francis (local food pantry)

                Interfaith of Cudahy & St. Francis

                Cudahy Family Library (construction and ongoing events)

                Cudahy Fire Department for needed equipment

                Cudahy Police Department for needed equipment

                Cudahy Health Department for purchase of child safety seats and cribs for kids for low                   income families       

                Cudahy Historical Society

                Special Olympics

                Sponsored Boy Scout Troop

                Sponsoring Cudahy residents to attend Wisconsin Lion Camp (summer camp for diabetic                 children and their families)

                Cudahy School District for academic and sports programs

                Covering the cost of vision exams and glasses for low income residents of Cudahy

                Maintained funding to help pay for diabetes medications for uninsured individuals seen at a              Free Clinic

The Club holds fundraisers throughout the year to help fund all of these programs/projects. All funds raised go back into our community.  Our biggest fundraiser is our Sweet Apple-Wood Festival. The festival runs for 3 days and is held in Cudahy Park on Ramsey Avenue in Cudahy. The Club also operates a food and beverage booth during the City’s 4th of July festivities in Sheridan Park on S. Lake Drive.

In 2011, the Club began performing vision screening of elementary school children in Cudahy. Ten members of the Club have received certification as vision screeners. The School District determines which grades will be screened as well as any children identified with a potential vision problem. This year, 950 children were vision screened. In 2015, the Club purchased a vision screening camera which provides a more accurate evaluation of the younger children and is also a quick and easy test for them.

Club members also like to enjoy themselves at the State and District Lions bowling tournaments. In 2003, Club members set a new State Lions record (old record set 56 years earlier) in winning the State tournament. Members also participate in various golf outings as well.

The Cudahy Lions Club currently has 56 members. Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at 6:30PM. The Board of Directors meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:30PM. All meetings are held at Joe’s K-Ranch in Cudahy.

For more information about the Cudahy Lions Club, contact us at

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