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WILDWOOD  LIONS  CLUB

 

Chartered in May 1956, Wildwood Lions Club, located in Mahtomedi, has a current membership of more than 50 members. We meet one or two Mondays each month at Roma Restaurant in Willernie. Our Club has had five District Governors. Among our numerous donations, we offer two career and technical college scholarships and are a strong supporter of the local Food Shelf. Wildwood collects more than 10 hearing aids and 1,500 pairs of eyeglasses annually. For the past few years we have provided dictionaries to third graders in the Mahtomedi schools.

 

Every October Wildwood Lions and American Legion Post 507 jointly hold the annual PunkinMania in Mahtomedi. A day of fun for the entire family includes games for kids and a petting zoo. There are pumpkins (planted & grown by Lions) available for a donation, pumpkins & gourds -- painted by Club members & friends, a bake sale & concessions – all managed by the Wildwood Lions Club. The Legion holds an arts & crafts sale, bake sale, and treasures market.

 

On the first Monday in March the Club holds its largest fundraiser, the Sportsmen’s Party, which attracts more than 200 people for games, fun, prizes, and a wild game dinner.

 

Since 1998 on two June dates the Wildwood Lions Club has held White Cane Days, enjoying interactions with people, receiving donations for bettering people’s vision & talking about the good deeds of Lionism.

 

The Wildwood Lions Club has served the community throughout its history. In addition to providing funds for eyeglasses & hearing aids, Wildwood Lions each year participates on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair with Midway and Kidway money collection, works with the White Bear Lake Lions Club annually at the community Toy Shelf drive, has assisted with vision screening at the Special Olympics Minnesota statewide competition, worked at Feed My Starving Children events, and caters the Maplewood Historical Society annual picnic.

 

In cooperation with the Mahtomedi School District, the Wildwood Lions Club participate locally in KidSight, a Lions Clubs International program to screen preschool children for vision loss.

 

HISTORY

 

In the Spring of 1956 several businessmen in Mahtomedi and Willernie met to discuss starting a service club in the community. With the help of the White Bear Lake Lions Club they recruited potential members and applied to Lions Clubs International for a charter which is dated May 24, 1956. The first board meeting was held at Lincoln Town Hall on June 26 with Dr. Charles Rawlings, President, and Dr. C. M. (Mac) Ingham, Secretary. Serving as First Vice President was Harry Hall along with Second Vice President Al Christen, Third Vice President Goodrich Sullivan, and Treasurer Bob Ingham, Mac Ingham’s brother.

 

Meetings were first held at Clyde’s Supper Club and later moved to the Piccadilly Restaurant and the Shore Club on alternate meeting nights. The price of dinner was $1.50, but members paid only $1.25 in addition to their dues of $10.50 paid in advance each quarter. Forty-two members were listed in the first newsletter The Lions Roar, published July 10, 1956. Twenty-eight new members were added the first year, and some were dropped. Some of the discussions were about creating a new city called “Wildwood” by combining Mahtomedi, Willernie and Lincoln Township, and also getting house-to-house mail delivery. Funds were raised by selling light bulbs and selling chances on the date an old car would go through the ice on White Bear Lake. Efforts were also made to sell fruit cakes, and they even tried to sell perfume bottle dispensers.

 

In 1957 the Wildwood Lions club started the first pre-school eye screening program in the country. It was so successful, it was taken over by the state. Today we look back on over sixty years of service to the community and accomplishments in Lionism with pride. Our Club has had the distinct privilege of having five District Governors – Hal Landeen, Tom Stanek, Bill Huot, Roy Thompson, and Bob Nemeth. Others have served on the Governor’s Cabinet and on convention committees. The Wildwood Lions Club won the District Contest in 1975, 1980, 1988, 2005 and 2011. Our Club has been represented at almost every District & Multiple District Convention and many International Conventions and USA/Canada Forums. Nearly 500 men and, since 1990, women have had the opportunity to become Lions in our Club.

 

In 1962 the Wildwood Lions Club sponsored a fund drive for the first ambulance in Mahtomedi. The Club has purchased ten new vehicles before turning the responsibilities over to the City of Mahtomedi. We continue to support the volunteer Rescue Squad. Our Club has also contributed to many other activities in the community. We built the first shelter in Wildwood Park, contributed to the landscaping of Triangle Park, donated score boards and facilities’ improvement for the athletic fields, donated to Mahtomedi High School Celebration of Excellence, established Vocational-Technical scholarships for both the Century College Foundation and Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, provided funds for Mahtomedi Community Education programs, and have been a primary support of the Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf.

 

We have made annual contributions to the University of Minnesota Lions Eye Bank and Children’s Eye Clinic, Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation, MD5M Hearing Foundation, Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation, Lions Clubs international Foundation (LCIF), Leader Dogs for the Blind and other Lions projects. Over the past 20 years, the Wildwood Lions Club donated more money/member in two special SightFirst campaigns for LCIF than almost any other Lions Cub. In fiscal year 2015-2016, the Wildwood Lions Club made donations totaling over $110,000.

 

The Wildwood Lions Club thrives and continues to serve our community and the world.

 

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