Brief History of the SouthPark Lions Club

In early 1974, the Charlotte Eastern Lions Club accepted the challenge of District 31-C to establish a new Lions Club in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC USA. Individuals who lived and worked in the general area of the SouthPark Mall were invited to attend a luncheon meeting at the S & W Cafeteria, located in the Mall, to determine if there was sufficient interest to form a new Lions club. The Charlotte Eastern Lions Club accepted the challenge to be the sponsoring club, with Lion D. K. Pittman serving as the guiding Lion.

There were over 30 invitees at the first S & W Cafeteria meeting, and 27 of them became charter members on March 25, 1974. The response was enthusiastic and they quickly selected the name Charlotte SouthPark Lions.   Clayton S. "Smithy" Curry, Jr., an attorney, whose father had been an active Lion, was elected to serve as the first president with a full slate of officers for the few months until July 1974 plus the first full year of the club's existence from July 1974 until June 1975.

In 1978, due to declining membership, the Daybreak Lions Club, agreed to merge into the SouthPark Club. Since its origin in 1974, the SouthPark Club membership has averaged 40 - 50 Lions per year. The Club has had a variety of meeting places through the years: S & W Cafeteria, Towne House Restaurant, Ramada Inn, the Cupboard Restaurant, and since 1996, the Fairview Plaza Restaurant at 5950 Fairview Road, across from the SouthPark Mall. The Club meets every Friday morning from 7:30 - 8:30 AM. Membership is open to men and women who have an interest in serving their fellowmen in this community and around the world.

The SouthPark Lions Club has provided four governors for District 31-C:

  • Clayton S. "Smithy" Curry. Jr. (1990 - 1991)
  • James "Jim" H. Sasser (2000 - 2001)
  • David Shimberg  (2001 - 2002)
  • Hunter Garbee (2004 - 2005)

Of the 27 Charter Members in 1974, three remain: 

  • Smithy Curry
  • Felix Smith
Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online