Manawa Lions Celebrate 85 years by Connie Klotzbuecher

Eighty five years of service to the community was celebrated by the Manawa Lions Club on Monday, Oct. 27th, 2014. Joining the club members for the event at Cedar Springs Golf Course were neighboring Lions Club members, Lions District Governor Fred Sanderson and past District Governor Len Quinn, who also served as the event speaker. Originally sponsored by the Clintonville and Waupaca Lions, the club was chartered in July 1929, with L.W. Eastling as its first president. From its inception, the club activities included both civic and humanitarian projects. One of the projects the club especially takes pride in, was the establishment of the Wisconsin Lions Camp for the Blind at Rosholt. The Manawa Lions and especially Charles Hoffmann were instrumental in helping to secure the land for the camp and get the necessary cabins and service building constructed.

This small town club proudly boasts members who have attained positions at Zone, District and International levels. Clarence L. Sturm served as Lions International President from 1959 - 60 as well as District Governor (1941-42) - District Governors Charles E. Hoffmann (1954-55) and Melvin Pethke (1969-70)– Deputy District Governor Dr. R.L. Loughrin (1947-48) – DuWayne Carl (1981-87) Wisconsin Lions Foundation, (1986-87) President Wisconsin Lions Foundation, (1990-91) District Governor, Lions Pride Chairman/CEO (present) – Wayne Heiman International Director (2005-07) – Annette Ziebell Zone Chairman (2014–15)

The celebration included an induction of 3 new members, Joe Burkard, Dr. Melanie Oppor, Beth Ubl and was highlighted by the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award presentation to Bob Conroy. Lions Clubs world-wide recognize outstanding individuals by bestowing on them this award, named for its founder Melvin Jones, as the highest form of recognition which embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lion-ism. Conroy, who will celebrate 40 years in the club on March 1, 2015 is a model of exemplary service to his club and the Manawa community which it serves. The Manawa Lions have named eleven previous Melvin Jones Fellows – Robert Bonikowske, Dewey and Bev Carl, Floyd Gerl, Leonard Goetz, Ken Groholski, Wayne Heiman, Lyle Spiegelberg, Ray Steinberg, Clarence and Norma Sturm.

Currently the club has 42 members and holds meetings on the 2nd and 4th Monday evening at Cedar Springs. They meet weekly from May through August at the rodeo grounds in preparation for their largest fundraiser, the Mid-Western Rodeo, now in it's 57th year. From its varied fundraisers the club continues to sponsor scholarships, build wheelchair ramps, give away trees, participate in Wisconsin Lions Foundation, PRIDE and supports a variety of local projects and organizations. New members are always welcome – Please call 920-596-2051.

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