Tribune staff reports
Members of Seymour Evening Lions Club recently celebrated the club’s 90th anniversary.
The club was chartered Oct. 28, 1925, with 20 members, and Claude W. Carter was the first president.
The celebration was attended by Lions Club district governors and past district governors and many Lion leaders from throughout the state of Indiana.
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Indiana Lions council chairman Jeffrey Schafer of Bloomfield introduced the keynote speaker, Wayne A. Madden from Auburn.
Madden served as president of Lions Clubs International from 2012 to 2013, and he and wife, Linda, have traveled the world as ambassadors for Lionism. He talked about their trips to India, Europe and elsewhere, and how millions of people are receiving the gift of sight from cataract surgeries and sight preservation through the Lions SightFirst program.
Since 1991, the SightFirst campaign has raised more than $300 million to eliminate curable blindness throughout the world.
Madden spoke about visiting with heads of state in Europe and Africa and of a visit with the pope. He and his wife also spoke with President Barack Obama about the programs of Lions Clubs International.
Madden presented presidential appreciation awards to Seymour Evening Lions Club members Ruel West, Gene Kruse, James Brown, Sharon Kamman and Robert Kamman.
Kamman, the club president, presented an appreciation award to Kent Waggoner, and he and Madden presented a W.P. Woods Award to Lion secretary Steve Freeman. Named after the first president of Lions Clubs International from Evansville, the award is the highest form of recognition conferred by the Indiana Lions Foundation.
It is awarded to individuals who are committed to the humanitarian objectives of Indiana Lions.
Since its inception, the Seymour Evening Lions Club has provided many services to the city of Seymour and the surrounding community. The club’s first project was an organized membership drive for the Jackson County Red Cross.
Some of the earlier activities included sponsoring Boy Scout troops, providing clothing for the needy during the early 1930s, sponsoring a children’s symphony and buying band uniforms. In the 1940s, the club entertained servicemen stationed at Freeman Field and helped start the Bloodmobile program for the Red Cross.
In 1950, the Seymour Evening Lions Club celebrated its 25th anniversary and was honored by the presence of Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International.
Through the years, the club has continued its efforts by sponsoring the annual Halloween/Harvest Parade, purchasing eyeglasses for the needy, purchasing equipment for Schneck Medical Center, sponsoring disability awareness events for The Arc of Jackson County, participating in eye screenings and eyeglass recycling and supporting The Alley and many other charities in the community.
The club also supports all state projects, consisting of cancer control, leader dog, speech and hearing, Indiana Lions Eye Bank, Indiana School for the Blind, Indiana Lions Foundation and Lions Clubs International Foundation.
The club raises funds with golf tourneys, broom sales, fruit sales and Oktoberfest.
In 1980, the club sponsored the Seymour Noon Lions Club, which consisted of 29 charter members. In 1986, the club sponsored the formation of Seymour Lioness Club. And in 2009, it sponsored the Pershing Township club in Freetown.
Members of the 90th anniversary celebration were chairman Robert Kamman, Mollie Brown, James Brown and Sharon Kamman.
Seymour Evening Lions Club meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at MainSource Bank, 1130 E. Tipton St. Anyone interested in membership in the club may contact a Lions Club member or call 812-522-2914.
Lions Clubs International has 1.4 million men and women as members in 42,000 clubs in 180 countries and geographic areas. The organization’s motto is “We serve.”