The Emporia Lions Club is officially into its second century of service to the area.
The local club’s charter was issued Oct. 26, 1921, nearly five months after it was organized. Local club member Bob Grover says the club’s roots date back to Melvin Jones, an insurance agent who broke away from a social club in Chicago to start the service club later known as the Lions.
The Lions have been instrumental in a host of projects since their inception locally. One of their longstanding goals has been improving eyesight, which impacts young and old alike. Club member Sally Conard says it’s an important effort.
Part of the work now involves the Cleve Cook/Emporia Lions Fund, and local club member Dave Eldridge says the fund, started by Cook’s son Roy, is designed to benefit agriculture-based and club-based projects.
New member Cameron Mann had been eyeing the club for some time before joining. He says being part of the club is everything he imagined to be.
Lions give away redbud trees, including 750 earlier this year during the Emporia Farmers Market. Among other projects, the Lions have also:
*Built two cages at the David Traylor Zoo
*Provided the shelter house roof at Camp Alexander
*Contributed funds for Girl Scout building projects, improvements to Peter Pan Park and Boo in the Zoo
*Supported polio immunizations
*Organized an annual biscuits and gravy fundraising breakfast for scholarships
For more information about the club, find Emporia Lions Club on Facebook.