History Snapshot is followed by Cupertino Host Lion Club History as presented in our Club Directory


Cupertino Host Lions Charities, Inc   501(c)3,  Tax ID 77-0386254

1951 - Initial Cupertino Lions Club meetings held in the old Cupertino Union Church.  The Lions plan and implement school playground improvements.

1951 – November 6 Lions Clubs International charters Cupertino Lions Club (11/6/1951).  It is the first service club in the Cupertino area. The core group of civic-minded individuals made fund-raising and involvement in the community cornerstones of the new club.

1958 - CHLC members start the Barn Dance, a social event that becomes a fundraiser.

1960 - CHLC initial Wild Game Feed, held at Blackberry Farms, Pete Camarda is chairman.

1964 - CHLC initial Fish-A-Thon for children and adults with special needs supported by Stevens Creek Quarry and the Voss family.

1969 - CHLC sponsors the second Lions Club in Cupertino, Cupertino DeAnza Lions and becomes a "Host" Club.

1969 - CHLC starts Lions Flag Day with American Flags given to 2nd and 3rd grade elementary students in February around President's Birthday Holiday.  Now, about 200,000 Flags are distributed Nationwide through this program.

1971 - CHLC initiates the Chicken and Corn Feed - delicious barbeque and family fun at Blackberry farms.  The Chicken and Corn Feed celebrates the summer time in Cupertino.

1974 - CHLC Sweetheart Brunch (social event) is started for recognizing those who support the events and work behind the scenes.

1983 - CHLC was instrumental in developing funding for the original Lions District 4-C6 A. J. Robinson Health Mobile Health Screening Unit and implementing its use.  Lions Clubs in the District now schedule a newer unit for schools and community events and each year thousands receive free health screening tests.

1985 - CHLC initiates the Lions Diabetes Luncheon to support the Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley camp programs for children with Diabetes and their families.

1987 - CHLC starts Flags for New Citizens by providing the meaning of the flag and first pledge to the flag when new citizens are naturalized.

1992 - CHLC and Contractors Association build Wash House at Blackberry Farms.

1994 – Cupertino Host Lions Charities, Inc. established as a charitable 501 (c) (3) entity.

1997 - City of Cupertino recognizes CHLC with the CREST (Cupertino Recognizes Extra Steps Taken) Award.

1998 - Wild Game Feed moved from Blackberry Farms to Napredak Hall.  Pete Camarda is Honorary Event Chairman after 38 years as Chairman.

2005 - CHLC sponsors Leo Club at Cupertino High School.

2013 – CHLC merges with Beverly Burbank Lions Club, commences meetings at Clover Hall near the Blind Center of Santa Clara Valley, and becomes sponsors of Del Mar High School Leo Club.

2014 - Fish-A-Thon will celebrate 50 years of providing a fishing experience for children and adults with special needs.  This unique hands-on project of CHCL is made possible by Stevens Creek Quarry and many friends working as volunteers.



In 1776, as the second expedition of Don Juan Bautista de Anza made its way north from Monterey, to establish the Presidio of St. Francis, they made camp in the lush valley that now features the City of Cupertino.

The Indians who inhabited the land enjoyed an idyllic existence along the fresh-water creeks. Father Font, de Anza's Chaplain, christened the creek next to the de Anza encampment "Arroyo San Joseph Cupertino" after his patron saint of Cupertino, Italy.

The first American settler of note was Captain Elisha Stevens.  He began farming after leading the first successful crossing of the treacherous Sierra Nevada in 1844.  Stevens Creek Boulevard is named after him.

Developing around the central crossroads of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, the town had a general store, post office and blacksmith shop.  In 1904, the town was known by the original name of Cupertino after John Doyle revived the name for his Winery. Also going back to history, Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road has become DeAnza Boulevard in Cupertino.

Later on, the Mariani Orchards and Cali Brothers feed and grain operations helped establish Cupertino as an important agricultural and commercial center in the Santa Clara Valley.

By 1951, Cupertino was still a small crossroads town surrounded by orchards halfway between Saratoga and Sunnyvale.  But it was growing, and a few far-sighted men in the community felt that it would need a service club to help with this growth, one that would be interested in community, youth and welfare of those in need.  These men were Don Bandley, Anson Bianchini, Ed Cali, George Fernandez, Sam Lawson, Charlie Rifredi, Fremont Simpson, Neal Thornley, and Ernie Wasson. They organized the Cupertino Lions Club (chartered November 6, 1951) to meet this objective and were sponsored by the Beverly-Burbank Lions Club.  They recognized the strength of local Lions Clubs and Lions Clubs International (LCI) backed by the Objectives, Ethics, and motto of Lions – “WE SERVE”.

Fundraisers were initiated so Cupertino Lions could carry out the Lions motto of “WE SERVE”.  Some fundraisers served the Club well but faded with ever-present changes. Our current major fundraisers have been successful for forty years, having evolved and withstood the changes of time.  These are the Wild Game Feed and the Chicken and Corn Feed.

The Wild Game Feed was originated by Lion Pete Camarda in the 1960s and draws between 350 and 700 guests.  Guests come from miles around to feast on such delicacies as wild boar, deer, elk, calamari, octopus, oysters, crab, buffalo and salmon.  There are always menu variations and surprises (it is more than a BBQ - - it is a feed) at this fundraiser held in June.  Participation in the raffle (about 100 items )is a major draw.

The Chicken and Corn Feed is our event for the entire family.  This August event is held at Blackberrty Farm in Cupertino which has become an environmental treasure for the City of Cupertino.  There is fresh hot corn available all during the event.  A wide spread of hors de’ oeuvres such as barbequed ribs and sausages, calamari, pizza bread and more starts the feed.  This is followed by a meal of chicken, chili, tossed and potato salad, and the fresh corn is always available.

The funds raised support over 30 youth, health and welfare, and community projects including the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, Via West (Camp Costanoan), Lions Eye Foundation, the A.J. Robinson Foundation (local health screenings using the mobile unit owned by Lions), Lions Hearing Foundation, diabetes awareness, and eyeglasses for those in need.

The many projects have been supported by Cupertino Lions over the long-term.  Every year Cupertino Lions budget for these and other projects, and add new projects while some are dropped due to changes.  Charitable support goes beyond local boundaries as Cupertino Lions select regional, national and international programs that Lions Clubs International sponsors.  However, we are most proud of programs we have initiated or spearheaded.

The Fish-A-Thon is a hands-on project where Lions shine, volunteers shine and participants wear big smiles.  It was conceived in 1960 by Lion Pete Camarda as a fishing picnic for physically and mentally disadvantaged children and adults.  It is held each year at the Stevens Creek Quarry near Stevens Creek Reservoir and is attended by 75 to 100 participants.  With participants, volunteers, and family/caregivers, our BBQ lunch hosts around 400.  Participants catch 3 to 5 trout which are cleaned for them to take home.

Cupertino Lions sponsored the Cupertino DeAnza Club in 1969 (meets in the morning) and had ‘Host’ inserted into the name: Cupertino Host Lions Club (CHLC, meets evenings).  The two Clubs have unique fundraisers and chartiable projects all the while working as Lions do everywhere (206 countries, worldwide) to serve the community – adults and youth, to help those less fortunate, and to increase patriotism and international understanding.

The charitable side of Lions is kept financially separate from the administrative/Club side by having a public charity entity.  Cupertino Host Lions Charity, Inc., incorporated in California as a public nonprofit charity, tax ID 77-0386254, has IRS 501(c)(3) determination.

Cupertino Host Lions sponsor the Lions Flag Day Program, which was initiated by PDG Al Richter and his wife Margaret (both deceased), in 1969. Each year, around Presidents Day, Lions present Flags to third graders at selected schools, along with an information sheet telling about our Flag, and give a talk to students about what our Flag stands for and about its history.

From its Northern California beginnings, the program has expanded to include over 500 Lions Clubs in California and Nevada, plus over 300 clubs from other states. Altogether, over 5 million Flags have been presented to children across the country since the program started. CHLC acts as a distributor for the Flags and information sheets.

The Lions cook and serve breakfast for the wrestlers at The Cupertino High School Memorial Wrestling Tournament and cook and sell food during the event.  Money raised goes back to the wrestling program.  The Leo Club at Cupertino High School is sponsored by CHLC.  Leos help at the Wrestling Tournament and at the Fish-A-Thon not only gaining community service hours but gaining a Lions perspective on community service and on taking on projects.

CHLC helped a family in New Mexico, on the Navajo Indian Reservation, that was involved in a tragic traffic accident.  What started as making sure the children had Christmas presents in the mid 90s has become our “Navajo” project.  This involves collecting useable clothing, books, school supplies, and household items and transporting all (large truck loads) to New Mexico to be distributed to those living on the Reservation.

The Cupertino Host Lions have fun also while expanding their horizons.  Working together at events and on projects promotes comradeship.  There are social and leisure events like the Sweetheart Brunch, the Tail Twister Party and the Installation and Charter Night Dinners.  Lions bond and receive leadership training and personal development at District meetings and the District 4-C6 Convention.  There are additional opportunities at regional trainings, the USA-Canada Forum and the International Convention.  All this leads to a family-like cohesiveness of the Cupertino Host Lions and their supporters.

2012-2013 will be a memorable year in Lionism.  Cupertino Host Lions’ own Lion Bob Ferber is our District 4-C6 Governor for 2012-2013.  In 2012-2013 Lions from Beverly Burbank Lions Club merged with Cupertino Host Lions Club.  This is adding new dimensions, new opportunities and, of course, some new challenges.  Beverly Burbank Lions Club has a good history of service and provided the site for the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center.     (

Clover Hall, owned by Beverly Burbank, is now the meeting location for the combined Club.  Beverly Burbank has supported an active Leo Club at Del Mar High School and the support is being continued.  Other Beverly Burbank Lions efforts will be integrated, most importantly the ongoing relationship with the Silicon Valley Blind Center.

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