The Columbia 20/20 Lions Club was chartered in March 1991, with 37 members making it the first women’s club in District 26-C. We were sponsored by the Columbia Evening Lions Club with Past District Governor (PDG) Lion Noel Summers serving as our Guiding Lion. PDG Robert Young of the Fayette Lions Club was also instrumental in getting the club chartered. The clubs 1st charter president was Lion Julie Koirtyohann who later became our first District Governor sponsored by the club. At the time of charter Columbia had three Lions clubs the Host/Noon Club, Evening Club and Rockbridge Club. The name almost became the Columbia Lions Unique Club but members decided to stay focus on Vision so it became the Columbia 20/20 Lions Club.
One of the clubs first goals and successful accomplishments that first year was to participate in the Lions International SightFirst Campaign. Then in 2008-09 the club stepped up again participating in the SightFirst II Campaign. Thru the SightFirst program/campaign, Lions have restored sight to millions people through cataract surgeries, prevented serious vision loss for millions people and improved eye care services for hundreds of millions.
"Lions/Habitat Project" was a major first zone project, a very satisfying and hands-on project at 601 W. Ash (corner of Ash & Hurth) in Columbia. Our zone clubs combined funds and with LCIF (Lion Clubs International Foundation) provided a matching grant and in partnership with Habitat for Humanity WE built a house. Penny Dougherty, the homeowner, was on the sidelines cheering volunteers for every hour of our blitz build. Although her disability prevents her from actually building, that didn’t stop her from bringing homemade muffins for the morning break, helping to serve lunch and generally encouraging everyone with her presence and her obvious thankfulness for what we were doing for her. Our club members procured the sign, helped roof, drywall, paint, provided, served and procured lunch for workers, organized a team of Leo’s to help us with landscaping the lot and lots of cleaning. Lion Catherine Mohesky was the Columbia 20/20 club coordinator and grant writer for the zone. Ground breaking was July 18, 2001 and dedication was September 20, 2001.
Another major project and area of support the Columbia 20/20 Lions focus on is our friends in the Republic of Georgia. We have a special bond with Lion Tamara Gegenava, Past President of the club. She was instrumental in chartering a Lion Club in their part of the world. She has come to USA and visited our club. Columbia 20/20 Lion member Dr. Trish Blair has been their “Guiding Star” helping their club with growth and new projects.
The main project is with the ACTS Ronald James Georgian Children Diabetic Camp. Dr. Ronald James of the UMC initiated the first diabetic camp for children in the country of Georgia formerly part of the Soviet Union in 1995. With the assistance of many Missouri Lions, Doctors and the humanitarian organization ACTS (A Call to Serve) the summer camp has continued each year. Diabetic children learn to develop the skills to self manage their diabetes and make friends with other diabetics children just like them. Missouri Lions including the Columbia 20/20 club help sponsor campers since 1996. In 2006 government of the Republic of Georgian allowed the opportunity for land to be purchased for a permanent “Children’s Camp“. In 2007 the Missouri Lions with the guidance of Lion Dr. Trish Blair secured LCIF matching grant to build the Georgian camp dining hall and education center. In September 2006 the Tbilisi Lions Club was chartered and a Leo club has developed from the support and guidance of Missouri Lions.
Besides sponsoring a camper the Columbia 20/20 club helps assemble “Hygiene Kits” for campers. Lion Mary Brunkhorst of the Columbia 20/20 is the Missouri coordinator for the kits.
The Columbia 20/20 Lions Club has sponsored the following District Governors.
PDG Julie Koirtyohann 1996-97, PDG Nancy Drebes 2002-03, PDG Freda McKee 2004-05
In 2008 the Lions District 26C was reorganized by Lions International and the Columbia 20/20 is now in the District 26 M3.
The Columbia 20/20 Club has honored the following with the LCI - Melvin Jones Fellow Award: PDG Noel Summers, PDG Lion Bob Young, PDG Lion Julie Koirtyohann, Lion Rose Schloot, Lion Tamara Gegenava, Lion Dr. Trish Blair & PDG Nancy Drebes The Melvin Jones Fellowship recognizes donations of $1,000.
The Columbia 20/20 Club has honored the following MLERF – Haywood Snipes Award: PDG Julie Koirtyohann, PDG Bob Young and Lion Mary Brunkhorst. When Lions club contribute/accumulate $10,000 in donations an award is given.
The Columbia 20/20 Club honors a member each year and has awarded the “Lion of the Year” to the following members: Elda Carothers, Jill Gruenkemeyer, Mary Brunkhorst, Mindy Young, Freda McKee, Rose Schloot, Sally Eggers, Diane Buchmann, Cheryl Toub, Nancy Drebes, Reta Jones Nicholson, Sara Cragen, Lori Painter, Sandy McCann, Mary Brunkhorst, Melissa Gerardy, Catherine Mohesky.
The club has met at various locations around the City of Columbia, they include: Boone Tavern, TP’s, VFW Hall, Tiger Shrine Club.
The primary goal of the Lions is Service. The Columbia 20/20 members celebrate “We Serve Day” on the first Saturday in October each year.
The Columbia 20/20 Lions Club has provided service in the following areas over the years:
Major Zone Sponsored projects:
Habitat for Humanity – Built home in 2001
2007 State Special Olympics Rally Clubs in Zone assisted with Eye Screening/Eyeglasses for Athletics.
Special Olympics – Central MO Track and Field; Provide & Served Lunch (Spring 2008, 2009, 2010)
Lion’s Sponsored Opportunity of Service & Support over the years:
MO Lions Eye Research Foundation –MLERF [includes amblyopia (lazy eye) & glaucoma screenings, eye care assistance program, eyeglass recycling, Heartland Eye Bank, Ocular Research]
LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation)
Leader Dog for the Blind
LWSB (Lions World Service for the Blind)
Mid-South Hearing and Vision Services, Inc.
Missouri Lions Hearing Van
ACTS (A Call to Serve) - Georgian Diabetic Camp
Missouri Lions Band
Missouri All-Star Football Game
Local Eyeglass Assistance & Eyeglass Recycling/Sorting
Community Outreach Opportunity to Assist Locally over the years:
Camp Hickory Hill Diabetic Camp
Transplant Support Group
Voluntary Action Group
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Missouri Girls Town
Missouri Burn Camp
Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center
Central Missouri Food Bank & Pantry
Habitat for Humanity
Blind Boone Center
Children’s Burn Camp
Several of the club members have been speakers at the Missouri Mid-Winter Leadership Forum over the years. One was a team of three members putting the “FUN” back into Fundraising.
List of FUN-Raising Projects over the years:
Hearne’s Men's Basketball & High School Tournment Concession Stand
Light Bulb Sales
UMC Concert Concessions
City Wide Rummage Sale
Christmas Greenery Sales
20/20 Lions Cookbooks
Pampered Chef Sales
Domino’s Pizza Cards
Shakespeare’s Pizza Fundraiser
Flower Bulb Sales
Night at the Horse Race & Dinner
Pumpkin Festival (sales of balloons, creatively designed mini pumpkins, signs, snowman, photos, princess tiaras, walking taco’s, gourds, cider, water)
Other sales of items over the years include: light bulbs, candy, yo-yo ballons, coloring books, cookbooks, egg toys