The Early Years

The Hattiesburg Lions Club was established shortly after the founding of Lions Clubs International. In January, 1928, the Young Men's Business Club of Hattiesburg, consisting of forty-six members, voted to associate their club with Lions Clubs International.

The club received its charter at a banquet held on February 28, 1928. The charter was presented to President R. C. "Chet" McMullan by Irving L. Camp, President of Lions Clubs International. Among the charter members present were Harry Buchanan, Secretary; Stanton A. Hall, Treasurer; C. R. "Red" Bradley, Lion Tamer; and Earl L. Wingo, Tail Twister.

A selection of Hattiesburg Lions Club records is archived at the University of Southern Mississippi McCain Library and Archives. Click to take a look at the USM information.




                       EyeSight Conservation Projects

Since its inception, the club has been very active in Hattiesburg and the surrounding area, following the Lions International motto … We Serve. In addition, we strongly support the Lions Clubs International leading project of EyeSight Conservation, in an effort to eradicate preventable blindness.

The Hattiesburg Lions Club has provided thousands of dollars for eye examinations, treatment, eyeglasses, and related eyesight service to area residents who need assistance. The club has also supported individuals who required assistance from the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service in Memphis and the Leader Dogs for the Blind school in Michigan.



Programs for the Youth

Girl In addition to vision projects, the Hattiesburg Lions Club supports our young people ... building tomorrow today. Our club supports annual Lions Youth Camps and educational science fairs. The club also sponsors candidates from Hattiesburg to both American Legion Boys State and Girls State. In another statewide program, we provide assistance to local high school musicians, selected for the Lions of Mississippi All-State Band.

Lions-Quest is an exceptional program which allows educators, parents, and active commmunity members to touch the lives of young people everyday. Through caring, understanding, guidance, and teaching, we can build tomorrow. Lions-Quest helps provide critical tools to accomplish this purpose.



DuBard School for Language Disorders

Reading In 1998, the Hattiesburg Lions, with the support of other Lions Clubs in Mississippi, secured a $75,000 grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) in support of the DuBard School at the University of Southern Mississippi. The school continues to receive strong Lions Clubs support. Click Here Email to contact the DuBard School.


                                  Easter Egg Hunt


Easter Eggs For over 60 years, the Hattiesburg Lions Club has sponsored a community Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt has been an annual event since 1948 with hundreds of children eagerly searching for thousands of eggs and special prizes. Parents and grandparents who participated in the early years now attend this event with their children and grandchildren. A nice family tradition.


For information concerning the 2015 hunt, click here.



The Hattiesburg Zoo at Kamper Park

Lion The Hattiesburg Lions Club has been a major contributor to the Hattiesburg Zoo at Kamper Park. In 1954, the club donated a pair of lions which was instrumental in establishing the zoo. In 1958, a drive sponsored by the club secured an elephant which was soon followed by a buffalo, an elk, llamas, an African white goat, and a brown bear. The zoo now provides for the conservation and propagation of rare and endangered species. A major donation from Lionthe Hattiesburg Lions Club was the entrance pavilion completed in 1993.




Easter Basket

Hattiesburg Lions Club 6th Easter Egg Hunt
Vernon Dahmer Park
Saturday, April 4, 2015
9:00 a.m.


Who is sponsoring this Easter Egg Hunt?

  • Hattiesburg Lions Club (our 68th continuous year)
  • City of Hattiesburg Parks & Recreation Department

Who is providing additional assistance?

  • A number of community service and youth organizations including Members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Why are we doing this?

  • Well, it seems like a pretty good idea. Children enjoy the fun ... and so do we.
  • Since 1948 the Hattiesburg Lions Club has held a community Easter Egg Hunt.
    Again this year we are joining with other organizations to expand the scope of this annual event.

What's going to happen?

  • The hunt is for children Infant - 12 years of age.
  • There will be separate hunt areas for various age groups.
  • There will be a special hunt area for children with special needs.
  • We request that all children be accompanied by an adult.
  • Parents, grandparents, and other family members are welcome.
  • The Easter Bunny will be there ... bring your camera.
  • There will be thousands of eggs and each one includes a prize.



Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Please join us.



Click for driving directions to Vernon Dahmer Park.



Building Tomorrow Today



Hattiesburg Lions Club Supports

The Hattiesburg Lions Club strongly supports the Lions-Quest initiative, a joint venture of Lions Clubs International and Quest International. Lions-Quest Workshops provide educators with value based education tools, which enhance the student classroom and community involvement. Workshops in Mississippi are funded by a $250,000 grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, with matching funds provided by the Lions Clubs of Mississippi.

Educators, parents, and active community members have an opportunity to touch the lives of young people everyday. Through caring, understanding, guidance, and teaching, we can build tomorrow. Lions-Quest helps provide critical tools to accomplish this purpose.

For additional information, click the Lions-Quest web site or click contact us and send a message to the Hattiesburg Lions Club.


                   Creating a Positive Environment


"I have come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather.

"As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

"In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized."

Dr. Haim G. Ginott
Child and Teacher, 1972




Community Service Projects Completed

During the 2014-2015 Lions Club year, several significant community service projects were completed. These projects were in addition to the normal sight and hearing services provided by the club.

  • During Hubfest 2014 the Hattiesburg Lions Club tested over 500 People or diabetes and vision screening. Ballons were passed out to the family member of those who tested.
  • During pre 2014 Labor day weekend, the Hattiesburg Lions Club cooked over 100 Hambergers and Hotdogs to those who donated Blood to United Blood Services.  It was an enjoyable way to serve the community.
  • On April 19, 2014, the Hattiesburg Lions Club sponsored our 68th Hattiesburg Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt was held at Vernon Dahmer Park with over 400 children enjoying the fun.


Lions International President Visits

  • During our 2003-2004 Lions Club year, Lions Clubs International President Dr. Tae-Sup "TS" Lee and his wife Haing-Ja visited Hattiesburg as part of the 80th Anniversary celebration of the Biloxi Lions Club.
  • During our 2002-2003 Lions Club year, Lions Clubs International President Kay K. Fukushima and his wife Denise visited the Hattiesburg Lions Club, to participate in the club's 75th Anniversary celebration. Mr. Fukushima was the keynote speaker during a dinner at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center.
  • The visits included a tour of the University of Southern Mississippi DuBard School for Language Disorders. The DuBard School is the recipient of two Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) grants and the International Presidents were able to see the grant dollars at work. Click for more information concerning the DuBard School visit.


More Good News About Projects

  • The Hattiesburg Lions Club recently prepared and shipped over 3,000 eyeglasses to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Roanoke, Virginia. These glasses were collected using recycling boxes at area vision centers.

    A significant number of glasses were also contributed through an eyeglass collection project by the Delta Gamma Sorority at the University of Southern Mississippi. The recycled glasses will be used for eyesight projects around the world.
  • The Hattiesburg Lions Club strongly supports the Lions-Quest Workshop Program. This is an exciting program for educators, students, and parents. Please click for more information.
  • The DuBard School for Language Disorders at the University of Southern Mississippi is strongly supported by he Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and the Lions of Mississippi. Please click to learn about Lions Clubs International involvement in this project.

                                        Awards & Recognition

Lion of the Year

  • Lion Larry Bellipanni was named the 2004-2005 Lion of the Year by the Hattiesburg Lions Club. Lion Larry is deeply involved with all community service aspects or our club.

Melvin Jones Fellowship

  • Lion Bill Martin was named a Melvin Jones Fellow. This is the highest award presented by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) in recognition of humanitarian service to the community. Bill was particularly cited for this long-time dedication to the club and his commitment to the annual Poinsettia Sales Fundraiser.

Please click to view the Hattiesburg Lions Club service archive.



Hattiesburg Lions Club Presidents

Award Scroll The Hattiesburg Lions Club was founded in 1928. Guided by these community leaders, we have enjoyed a rich history of humanitarian service locally and throughout the world.

R. C. McMullen Ben Stevens H. W. Smart
Henry Clay    
W. O. Bates George Strum Earle L. Wingo
E. J. Currie, Sr. George R.Whipple E. E. Burkett
B. D. Blackwelder W. P. Blurnenthat Nathan G. Fairchild
Lester Clark Alexander Currie C. R. Bradley
Estus E. Hudson Paul H. Boger J. O. Barron, Jr.
R. E. Busby Ralph Hayes Tom Peavy
R. A. McLemore Clyde Praytor Britt Baldwin
R. W. Fox H. B. Welborn J. L. McGregor
Lamar Spencer    
Alfred Moore Fred Logan O. F. Lowry
J. D. Bomboy Arthur Lee Spencer Ed Rawls
John D. Thomas Joe A. Greene, Jr. Joe A. Thompson
Charles Ziek    
Bodie Beard Marshall Propst Arthell Kelley
James Finch Charles LeBlanc E. W. Anderson
Howard L. Patterson Ethan Moore Clarence Davis
John Paul Roblin    
Denny R. Cole Paul J. Martin Joe Clements
Ken Bailey W. H. "Bill" Boteler William P. Martin
M. Eugene Williams Robert R. Cummings James Thomas, Jr.
Charles F. Abadie, Jr.    
Arthur F. Kersh H. Allen Smeltzer Lawrence J. Bellipanni
Rex E. Kelley Donald R. Cotton Edgar Lowry
Gomer Pound Fred Owen James Robertson
Michael W. McPhail Bobby Irby  
Jimmy W. Howell Thomas "Chris" West Lynn B. McMahan
David W. West Alan Gould Charles McCaffrey
Loren Eaton Adolph Ingram David Bush
Bert Schamber    
Stephen Thomas Richard Jones James N. Yelverton
Ted Quinby Roderick Posey Byron Smith
Libby Douglas Ron Brock Johnny Williams
Arron Ladner Paul Laughlin Larry De Leon 2012-2013
Bonnie Keaton 2014-2015    



                                                                District Governors

Award Scroll Hattiesburg Lions have a proud history of serving at the local, state, and international levels. The following Lions have served the Lions of Mississippi as District Governor since the founding our our club in 1928.

1928 - 1930
Earl Wingo

1936 - 1937
Lester Clark

1940 - 1941
Rev. E. K. Latimer

1950 - 1951
Dr. R. A. McLemore

1967 - 1968
Bodie Beard

1971 - 1972
Howard L. "Pat" Patterson

1979 -1980
Dr. Robert L. "Bob" Cummings

1981 - 1982
W. E. "Bill" Nunnery, Jr.

1984 - 1985
Charles Abadie

1995 - 1996
Dr. Larry Bellipanni

1999 - 2000
Loren Eaton

2002 - 2003
Bert Schamber





                          Hattiesburg's International President

The World
Numerous members of the Hattiesburg Lions Club have achieved national acclaim through their professional life and through their charitable efforts. The club is particularly proud of Judge Howard L. "Pat" Patterson, Jr. (deceased) who served as the President of Lions Clubs International during 1997-1998 and as President of the Lions Clubs International Foundation during 1998-1999. These achievements have brought international attention to the local club as well as to Hattiesburg and the state of Mississippi.

The Hattiesburg Lions Club has a distinguished record of service to Hattiesburg, to the State of Mississippi and to the citizens of the world who require assistance.

                   … a proud past and a bright future



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.

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