The History of the Gastonia Evening Lions Club
In 1923 a group of young business and professional men of Gastonia held a meeting in the directors' room of the old Citizens National Bank Building on Main Avenue. The meeting was called at the urging of Lion Fred T. Davis, a special representative of Lions International who was interested in organizing a Lions club in Gastonia. The organizational meeting was held on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1923. A Charter was presented to the club on March 27, 1923. The Gastonia Lions Club was the 11th club formed in North Carolina and its first president was Steve Dolley, a leading Gastonia businessman and commander of the local guard unit. When the club first organized it held its meetings at noon. Meetings were held at several different places throughout the years, including First Baptist Church, the Women's Club Building on Second Avenue, the Armington Hotel on Airline Avenue, the Agricultural Building in Dallas, Betty's Country Cooking on East Ozark, the Carolina Restaurant on Franklin Boulevard, and Ryan's Family Steak House in East Franklin Boulevard. Today, we meet at Market Street Buffet & Bakery on South York Road. The club changed its name to the Gastonia Evening Lions Club to reflex a time change in meetings. Over nine decades of history, Gastonia sponsored 13 other Lions clubs in Gaston County and York County, South Carolina. The club's most famous guest was U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1936, attended an ice cream social the Lions sponsored at the North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital on New Hope Road in Gastonia. The Gastonia club has served as home club for six district governors.
Our Motto is "We Serve"
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.