The 87-year history of the Doylestown Lions Club is a story of accomplishments and community service.  Twenty village businessmen gathered for our Charter Night on April 18, 1934.  Our sponsoring clubs were from Akron, Wooster and Wadsworth. 

Activities that support our local community have always been of the utmost importance.  While it would be impossible to list all of the events the club has sponsored there are some that have been especially important.  Sight has always been our most important project.  The Lions have raised money to purchase eye exams and glasses, in addition to performing glaucoma screenings, conducting children’s eye exams with Ohio Lions equipment and purchasing Braille typewriters.  The Club has collected more than 35,000 pairs of used eyeglasses which were sent to underdeveloped countries.  We gave over $35,000 to Lions International SightFirst Campaigns.  Lions also organized the Village Square renovation in 1985. 

The youth of our community are our most valuable asset.  The Doylestown Lions have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in support of our young people.  For more than 25 years we have sponsored the Leo Club at Chippewa High School.  This group of teenagers is the most active service group at the school.  They plan their own projects and assist us on many of our projects during the year.  Some of these Leo members have become Lions after graduation. 

Among our annual events, a scholarship has been given to a graduating senior since 1961.  The current scholarship is $1000/year for four years. The Lions give recognition to athletic teams, band members and individuals who reach the state finals in their respective fields of endeavor.  Little League Baseball, 4-H, both Boy and Girl Scouts and the student Safety Patrol have all benefited from the support of the Lions Club.  Beginning in 1972, Lions began making popcorn balls to give to students at Ida Sue School and the Holmes County Disability Shelter, with over 100,000 popcorn balls produced since that time. 

In 1949 the club began to host an annual Halloween Party and Snollyghoster Parade for the community youth.  Popcorn, apples and money prizes are awarded.    

Each year the club hosts Safety Village for all children entering kindergarten. The week-long event is designed to teach safety on the street, in the home, on the school bus and among strangers.  Each year club members, their spouses and community volunteer to prepare the children for school.  

Over $25,000 in camperships to Camp Echoing Hills in Warsaw, Ohio has been given for physically challenged residents who otherwise would not have attended camp.  Starting in 1972, Doylestown Lions volunteers have helped build many cabins and other facilities at Echoing Hills. 

Community growth has also been a Lions Club priority.  The creation of the Chippewa Memorial Park on Gates Street began with the April 1945 Board of Directors meeting.  By July, 1945, park land was found and by August the funds necessary to pay for 13 acres were pledged.  The deed was signed in September and during the winter pledges were paid and plans for a skating rink were drawn.  All of the land costs were paid through personal donations of the Lions members.  The mortgage burning ceremony was held in September of 1946.  Memorial Park honors those community members who died serving in World War II. 

Many community events were started by the Lions.  The Doylestown Homecoming started in 1946 and later became the Rogues Hollow Festival.  A flea market began at Memorial Park in 1971 which became the Village Wide Yard Sale. 

Our Doylestown Lions Club has been privileged to have a member elected as president of the International Association of Lions Clubs.  W.R. “Dick” Bryan was elected as 3rd Vice President in 1966.  Bryan was elected to the presidency at the 1969 International Lions convention in Tokyo, Japan, with the Emperor of Japan sharing the stage.  Dick and his wife, Celia, traveled the world and met many of the world leaders during his year as president. 

May 1997 saw the first female members initiated into the organization.  At the 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2009, we had 11 women serving in many elected positions, including 1st Vice President, Treasurer and Directors.  Their vital insight into community needs and their willingness to serve the community have helped the club reach new goals. 

Because of the community support of our fundraising events, the Doylestown Lions have been able to carry on our important community service efforts.  Donut sales and rose sales are our major ways to raise the dollars necessary to fund our projects.  Donut sales began in 1987 and the club is now making donuts in our second donut wagon. 

What will the Doylestown Lions achieve in the next 87 years?  The needs of the community will no doubt change and the fundraising methods may also be different.  However, our hope is that the Doylestown Lions Club will grow in membership, thrive in fundraising and continue to exemplify the motto, “We Serve.” 

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