The LIONS association was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. Although the youngest major service club organization, Lions Clubs International has grown to be the world's largest with over 1.4 million members in over 180 countries, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois.

The Weirton Lions Club was sponsored by the Wellsburg Lions Club in August of 1936.

Success was crowned with twenty members signed and chartered.

The charter was presented by District Governor R.V. Kennedy on September 2, 1936, with visiting Lions from nearby clubs in attendance. Andrew McLaughlin was the first President. At present there are two 50+ year members; Emory Derthick and Harry Smith.

Membership in the club fluctuated over the years. Starting with twenty members, the number grew to a closed membership of seventy-five at one time. It is now a stable fifty.

The major projects of the club have been its Sight Conservation Program and involvement in community affairs. Funds for the Sight Programs have been primarily raised by Broom Sales, Fish Fries, White Cane Sales, Food Sales at diverse festivals, Horse Shows, College Football Games, All Star Basketball, Variety Shows, Carnivals, Waste Paper Drives, Raffling off an automobile and airplane, plus many other activities.

The club's involvement in community and state affairs has become numerous over the years: the President's Birthday Ball in 1936 to raise funds for aid to Infantile Paralysis victims; securing lights for the high school stadium; an electric score-board; erection of the Honor Roll for men in Armed Services; participating in March of Dimes; purchase of an Iron Lung; ringing of the bells for the Salvation Army; Glaucoma Tests for Senior Citizens; installation of a flourescent system in the ten rooms of the Public School System; Multiple Sclerosis Program; Red Cross Tuberculosis Society; Negro College Fund; Cancer Fund; donations for construction of the Community Center; sponsoring Boy Scout Troops; sending children to Boys State Camp; Camp Horseshoe; entertainment of Boy and Girl Scouts, Weir High Athletes, sons and daughters of Lions and children from nearby orphanages; stated Billy Love in business who was handicapped by accident.

The Weirton Lions Club has spent over $300,000 toward Community, State, and National projects with approximately $90,000 on Sight and Hearing Conservation. The club has purchased several hundred pairs of glasses for needy children.

Realizing the importance of expanding Lionism in Hancock County, the club sponsored the Chester, Newell and New Cumberland Lions Clubs.

The late Millie Martin said it best - "I like the Lions - I like them a lot, 'cause they share what they've got, 'cause they're friendly and full of fun, 'cause they're there when work is to be done, 'cause they're human, generous, and sincere, 'cause others' troubles they willingly share, 'cause their hearts are warm and their handclasps too, 'cause they're there when there's work to do, 'cause they under when a fellow's low and needs help. Not another blow. The Lion is king - he reigns supreme; so are the Lions - 'cause they're on the beam.


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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