The Manawa Lions Club celebrated 85 years of service to the community on Monday, Oct. 27.
Joining the club members for the event at Cedar Springs Golf Course were neighboring Lions members, Lions District Gov. Fred Sanderson and Past District Gov. Len Quinn, who also served as the event speaker.
Originally sponsored by the Clintonville and Waupaca Lions, the club was chartered in July 1929, with L.W. Eastling as its first president.
From its inception, the club activities included both civic and humanitarian projects.
One of the projects the club especially takes pride in was the establishment of the Wisconsin Lions Camp for the Blind at Rosholt. The Manawa Lions and especially Charles Hoffmann were instrumental in helping to secure the land for the camp and get the necessary cabins and service building constructed.
This small town club proudly boasts members who have attained positions at zone, district and international levels.
Clarence L. Sturm served as Lions International president from 1959-60 as well as district governor (1941-42).
DuWayne “Dewey” Carl, of Manawa, is currently Lions Pride chairman/CEO. He also served on the Wisconsin Lions Foundation (1981-87); Wisconsin Lions Foundation president (1986-87), and as district governor (1990-91).
Also hailing from the Manawa Lions Club were: International Director Wayne Heiman (2005-07); District Governors Charles E. Hoffmann (1954-55) and Melvin Pethke (1969-70); Deputy District Governor Dr. R.L. Loughrin (1947-48); and Zone Chairman Annette Ziebell (2014-15).
The anniversary celebration included an induction of three new members: Joe Burkard, Dr. Melanie Oppor and Beth Ubl .
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award to Bob Conroy.
Lions clubs worldwide recognize outstanding individuals by bestowing on them this award, named for its founder Melvin Jones. It is the highest form of recognition which embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lion-ism.
Conroy, who will celebrate 40 years in the club on March 1, 2015, is a model of exemplary service to his club and the Manawa community which it serves.
The Manawa Lions have named 11 previous Melvin Jones Fellows: Robert Bonikowske, Dewey and Bev Carl, Floyd Gerl, Leonard Goetz, Ken Groholski, Wayne Heiman, Lyle Spiegelberg, Ray Steinberg, Clarence and Norma Sturm.
Currently the club has 42 members and holds meetings on the second and fourth Monday evenings at Cedar Springs. They meet weekly from May through August at the Manawa Rodeo Grounds in preparation for their largest fundraiser, the Mid-Western Rodeo, now in its 57th year.
From its varied fundraisers, the club continues to sponsor scholarships, build wheelchair ramps, give away trees, participate in Wisconsin Lions Foundation, Lions Pride, and supports a variety of local projects and organizations.
New members are always welcome. For more information, call 920-596-2051.