By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN – When there’s a charity event, fundraiser, or community get-together in Delano, there’s a good chance that the Delano Lions Club is helping to make it happen.
“It’s a great organization,” Lions Club president Mike Bauer said. “I love being involved with it, because it’s all about giving back to the community and helping out the less fortunate.”
Dale Vander Linden has been a member for nearly 40 years.
“We’ve done lots of things around Delano,” Vander Linden said.
A few of the projects include Christmas tree sales, golf tournaments, and collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids.
“We are gearing up for the Fourth of July,” vice president Tom Schaffer said. “That’s probably our biggest event of the year.”
The club helps with the parade, concessions, and the 5k race every year.
In July, the Lions Club is also organizing a fundraiser to help the Delano Area Education Foundation, Bauer said.
“Virtually 100 percent of what we raise goes back into the community of Delano,” he said.
The Lions enjoy lending support to all kinds of local causes. During Delano’s Relay for Life, the club provides a dinner and donates all of the proceeds back to charity.
“We often support other charitable groups in their efforts,” Bauer said.
The club helps individuals in the Delano area, as well. One of its current projects is building a handicapped-accessible ramp for a private residence.
In the past, the club raised money for the Delano Fire Department’s first crash truck, and also built a hockey rink, Vander Linden said.
“Also, the Lions built the entryway to the Franklin Township Hall, and were founding members of the original Delano Community Development Committee that brought Industrial Louvers (then ACP) to Delano,” he noted.
The Delano Lions host many fellowship events, as well. During the NCAA basketball finals and the Twins opener, the club had a big screen gala at the Heritage Center.
“We had about 50 people attend,” Schaffer said.
“There’s a great camaraderie amongst the members,” Bauer said. “Many of them are businessmen in the community, as well.”
Schaffer, of US Aquatics, said that he joined the Lions Club because his son, Rick, was in it.
“It’s great to have different generations involved,” Schaffer said.
Vander Linden said that since he joined in 1971, there have always been a great group of people in the club.
“They are all guys with big hearts,” Bauer said.
The Delano Lions Club was established in 1965 to support community interests and aid sight- and hearing-challenged individuals.
The Lions meet the second Thursday of each month at 7 a.m. at Jukebox Restaurant, and the fourth Thursday of each month at Edie Mae’s, with a meal starting at 6 p.m., and a meeting at 7 p.m.
The group is actively seeking new members, and anyone who his interested in joining the club can contact Lions Club secretary John Schindele at home, (612) 703-0382 or work, (763) 972-8385.
The Delano Lions are part of the Lions Club International, which is comprised of 45,000 clubs and more than 1.3 million members around the world.
The organization began in 1917 by a Chicago business leader named Melvin Jones.
The group’s fight against blindness began in 1925, after Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, OH.
The Lions Club is the world’s largest service club organization, with a presence in more than 200 countries and geographic locations.
To learn more about the Lions Club International, go to www.lionsclubs.org.
Delano Lions Club officers and members
The Delano Lions Club has several active members. Officers are elected every year in July.
Office 2009-10 2010-11
President Mike Bauer Tom Schaffer
First vice president Tom Schaffer -
Second vice pres. John Sweet Dan Stolfa
Third vice pres. Dan Stolfa Dan Scherer
Treasurer Dick Grinley Dick Grinley
Secretary John Schindele John Schindele
Membership Joe McDonald Joe McDonald
PR Dale Vander Linden Dale Vander Linden
Todd Balsiger, Mike Bauer, Mike Brandenberg, Jerry Durst, Dale Elijah, Anthony Funke, Dick Grinley, Gaylan Hayes, Phil Kern, Scott Kraus, Bob Larson, Mark Madden, Nathan Matti, Joe McDonald, Scott Meyer, Curt Nelson, Rick Schaffer, Tom Schaffer, Derek Schansberg, Dan Scherer, John Schindele, Darren Schuler, Tom Screeden, Cliff Simon, Steve Stahlke, Dan Stolfa, Matthew Strobl, John Sweet, John Tackaberry, Jeff Vanderlinde, Dale Vander Linden, Bob Vandermey, Jerry Vlaminck, and Todd Williams.