A History of the Kendall Lions Club

The Kendall Lions Club started as one person’s thought, could an organization of service-minded people benefit the Kendall Community ?

A conversation between Sandford "Sandy" Brinsmaid, a member of the Medina Lions club and Ray Ernenwein was the genesis of the Kendall Lions Club.

What was needed was a group of people that believed that as a group they could solve problems that would be impossible for an individual. A year passed before a serious effort was put forth with the help of area Lions, Sandy Brinsmaid and Howard Conroy from the Medina Club and Everett Marks and Webb Anderson of the Brockport Lions. They worked with Ray Ernenwein, Everett Jurhs, Cole Hardenbrook, Roland Mowers, Tom Vick, Ken Miller, Lyle Crispell and Richard Roberson to bring the idea of a club into reality.

The first group of Charter Members was signed on January 19, 1975. The club was chartered on January 28, 1975 with the official charter celebration held on April 24, 1975, membership was approaching forty members at that time. The first meeting was held at the Kendall Inn, first in the bowling alley and later in the front dining room. The meeting place moved after a few years to the Kendall Fire Hall with meals catered by the Kendall Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. The Ladies prepared meals with a home style menu that had the reputation of the " Best in the West". Meetings have been held at the Fire Hall since other than a short time at St Marks Church while the Fire Hall was renovated. When the Ladies Auxiliary discontinued preparing our meals Lion Bob Ryan, owner of Ryan’s Big M Market, began catering the club’s meals - doing an excellent job.

Meetings are held the first and third Thursdays of each month, no meetings are held during July and August. The Board of Directors hold a planning meeting in July and the club holds its annual steak roast in August. Committee activity continues throughout the summer.

Charter Officers:

President Raymond J. Ernenwein

First Vice President Thomas Vick

Second Vice President Lyle Crispell

Third Vice President Richard Roberson

Secretary Clifford J. Provost Jr.

Treasurer Kenneth Miller

Tail Twister Charles Skutt

Lion Tamer Harold Passineau

Director George Heidemann Jr.

Director George Herring

Director David DeVault

Director John Smith

Kendall Lions Club Charter Members:

Joseph Barna Roland Mowers

Lyle Crispell Gerald Mullen

David S. DeVault Harold Passineau

John Lee DeVault Henry F. Pendfound

David Ergott Craig A. Porter

Raymond Ernenwein Clifford J. Provost Jr.

Ronnie Evans Charles Rapp

Robert L. Gare Jeffrey N. Rath

Cole Hardenbrook Robert D. Reis Jr.

George Heidemann Jr. LeRoy J. Requa Jr.

George Herring Richard Roberson

Lawrence Hill Andreas Schwenk

Robert T. Hurd Charles Skutt

Everett A. Jurhs John Smith

William Klick Gordon S. Sprague

George Lang Glen Stofka

Kenneth C. Lillibridge Thomas W. Vick

Wayne M. Martin Eldred "Chet" Wheelock

Lewis Mikels Richard E. Wilson

Kenneth Miller

The Kendall Lions Club was formed to be of service to the Kendall community. Projects range from large scale, such as the Medical Center to providing glasses to a student in need.

The club purchased vision testing machines for both the Elementary and High Schools, a large print typewriter for a volunteer group preparing learning materials for area students with low vision, a Resci-Annie and a TV-VCR - donated to the Kendall Fire Department.

Lions annually sponsor a "Pumpkin Patch" for elementary school students and co-sponsor the community Easter Egg Hunt with the Kendall Fire Department. Lions have also supported many levels of youth soccer

having started the "Little Lions Soccer" program.

For many years the Kendall Lions and Kendall John Stables hosted students from the Batavia School for the Blind for a night of horseback riding and refreshments.

The club began a commitment to Camp Abilities when Lion Dick Phillips’s granddaughter, attend the program. The club has supported the Camp Abilities financially and with volunteers to assist with meals. A youth service highlight was hosting a three day event in conjunction with the International Special Olympics which was being held at Brockport State College.

The club under the direction of President Roland Mowers conducted a farm experience for Special Olympians. They came to Kendall John Stables (Lion John Smith) and had a hay ride, a fishing stop, a petting zoo, a chance to milk a cow and pictures with a horse. The club involved many members and members of the community in making this a very successful project.

The club also recognized senior leaders from the high school graduating class at a regular meeting. As years passed, the decision was made to invite all members of the class to breakfast at a local restaurant to recognize their service to individuals, the school, activities and the community.

As projects increased the need for fund raising also increased.

A project to sell roses at Mother’s Day was initiated by Lion Chuck Rapp and is still a favorite.

The club sold light bulbs and brooms for many years which also had great community support.

President Tom Markusen initiated the tent rental program. The club responded to a community need for tents at family and community events, today the club has five tents and erects for 100 plus events each year. Members cooperate with community groups and state Lions projects by providing tents for their activities.

The club also began an annual golf outing as a fun/fund raising activity. Lions George Hanson and Dave DeVault organized the early tournaments to help fund youth athletic programs.

The club started an annual outing to a Buffalo Bills football game. The game sometimes took second place to the bus ride and the limburger and onion sandwiches washed down with the beverage of choice. The trip usually returned with the same number as left Kendall

The Lions Club addressed a major concern of the community for improved medical services to the Town of Kendall when a committee decided to work with the Lakeside Foundation and establish a facility in

Kendall and work on attracting a doctor. Club members Frank Clow, Cole Hardenbrook and many others arranged to lease available space from the Kendall School District and convert it into a medical office facility. Members canvassed the community soliciting funds to complete this project. As time passed, a new facility was necessary. As the community use increased, Dr. John Thompson’s (a Lion) practice grew but the school district expanded needing the space back. The club addressed this problem by bringing back the Medical Office Committee and developing plans to build a totally new facility. Again the club began fund raising and received excellent support from the community and Lions from the surrounding area. The club, under the direction of District Governor Ray Ernenwein, also applied for assistance from Lions Foundations - International and State. The LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation) approved and supported a $80,000.00 grant to the Kendall Club. The New York Foundation also approved an $8,000.00 grant. The grants allowed the successful completion of this project. Lions Bob Slocum and John Wing with the office committee coordinated activities between the Lakeside Foundation and the Kendall Medical Office Committee. The office has been a great asset to the community with an ever expanding practice under Dr. James Gaden (a Lion).

This and other projects are examples of the Club’s basic mission - to solve problems as a group that would be impossible for an individual to accomplish.

The club erected "Welcome to Kendall" signs that advertise local organizations and welcome visitors to Kendall.

The Lions purchased and donated two Nebulizers for students in the Kendall School District. The club organized a fund raising activity to establish a fund to serve disaster (fire, accident, medical) victims in the community.

Members annually sell tickets for the Kendall Carnival, assisting the Fire Department. The club also contributes to the community’ Easter Egg hunt.

Lion George Herring initiated a lottery for the month of February which to this point (2009) has raised over $27,000.00 to meet a local emergency .

To support a variety of projects the Club offers an Election Day Spaghetti Dinner.

The Club has purchased an AED for use with the high school athletic programs and has donated fitness equipment for the school district’s fitness center.

Lions have supported the main Dog Guide School programs financially as well as raising dogs for use as dog guides. Lions Scott Hardenbrook, Dan Peckham as well as a number of high school students participated by raising and training dogs for Smithtown Dog School.

The club developed a winter fund raiser to meet a variety of community needs. Lion Phil D’Agostino organized and chaired the Chicken a Barbeque held the Saturday before Super Bowl. The project has great member and community support. The 2009 project prepared 950 dinners with profits of $5,300.00 to assist a local resident with a serious spinal-cord injury.

The club has also constructed a number of entrance ramps to assist individuals with limited mobility.

The Lions, under the direction and supervision of Lion Paul Dittman, supported Habitat for Humanity projects. A local project, utilized Lions, community members and Habitat supporters and built a home for a local family.

The Club has also been active in Lions District and International activities. Lion Tom Cole, co-owner of the Hilton Spencerport Express Trucking has coordinated and collected an average of 75,000 pairs of glasses annually. He arranges transportation to Pennsylvania for their use in underdeveloped countries. This is done with no cost to the district, Cole provides storage and transportation.

Lions Lyle Crispell, Frank Clow, Ev Jurhs, Glen Spellan, Ray Ernenwein and Terry Bliss have served as Zone Chairs with Lion Ernenwein also serving as Region Chair. Many Kendall Lions have served on district level committees providing leadership above the club level. Lion Ray was elected Vice District Governor in 1996 and District Governor in 1997. The following year he was selected Council Chairman and wife Judy served as First Lady leading the Lions state level governing body. Lion Glen Spellen served as Cabinet Secretary/Treasurer for Governor Ray. Both Kendall Lions served with distinction and were recognized for their outstanding service. The success of their year was a direct result of the outstanding support of the Club and its members. Sponsoring hospitality rooms, assisting with travel and program planning, Lions Bud Mowers, Ev Jurhs, Ken Miller, Bob Furness, Dan Peckham, Jerry Ellis, Glen Spellen and many others contributed to the success of the year.

Kendall Lions, with their participation in district committees and activities, widened their efforts to serve a larger community. They are still recognized for their job well done. Lion Terry Bliss was asked to run for District Governor to serve in 2007. Lion Randy Unterborn served as his

Cabinet Secretary/Treasurer. Again the Kendall Lions exhibited a high leadership standard and total club support. Lions Bud Mowers, Jerry Ellis, Bob Ryan and all club members contributed to Terry’s successful year.

Kendall Lions have been active at the state and international level. Members have attended International Conventions around the world, USA Canada Leadership Forums and state Multiple District Conventions.

Lions Ray Ernenwein and Glen Spellen served as co-chairmen of the 2005 Rochester Multiple District Convention, Lion Ray served as Multiple District membership chair and the MERL team. Lion Terry Bliss was selected to serve as chair of the 2011 convention to be held in Rochester. Lion Ray served as Council Chairman, chairing the Multiple District Convention’s business sessions and program, in Albany.

Kendall Lions: Ray Ernenwein, Terry Bliss, Ev Jurhs and John Wing worked closely with a group of service-minded individuals from Clarendon and organized a Lions Club for that community. The Clarendon Club is now providing many services to their community.

Kendall Lions extended their service to the community by organizing a Leos Club in 2006. Lions Phil D’Agostino, Steve Cliff, Ray Ernenwein and Terry Bliss provided the leadership from the Lions Club. The Charter Leos Officers were: Ashley Reviere - president, Sandy Bliss - 1 st vice president, Sarah Turney - secretary and Brandy Wyant - treasurer with John King as advisor.

The Kendall Lions recognize club and community members for their service to the community and our residents. List of both appear on the club’s website,

A milestone occurred when Kendall inducted their first lady members. Debbie Ryan was the first inducted lady member and June Knapp was a transfer member from Albion. Debbie and her husband Bob developed a community garage sale project and steak roast, that have proven to be a profitable spring activity for the club and a benefit to the community.

Kendall Lions maintain their original focus - to serve the Kendall Community, but have broadened their service to all levels of Lionism. They practice the Lions motto "We Serve".

As of Spring, 2009

By Lion Ray Ernenwein

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