The Spring Grove Lions Club began taking form January 12, 1933, when thirty business and professional men responded to a call of George B. Anderson, Assistant Secretary of International Association of Lions Clubs to meet in the Aldine Hotel, on south Main Street at 6 o’clock p.m. The men gathered around the banquet table and sang “America”, accompanied on the piano by Miss Ruth Kemper, followed by the invocation offered by Reverend J.N. Foust, pastor of Lischey Evangelical and Reformed Church, and the salute to the flag. Following the banquet served by the hotel, Mr. Anderson called the meeting to order and read the names of twenty-six (26) citizens of the community who signed an application to the Office of Lions International in Chicago, requesting a charter for a club, to be known as the Lions Club of Spring Grove. Organization was affected by the nomination and election of the first officers of the club. Greetings were brought by visiting Lions from the York, Hanover, Dillsburg, and Glen Rock clubs.
Between the meeting of January 12, 1933, and the official chartering of the club there were additional applications approved and they also became charter members.
On Thursday, March 23, 1933, the Lions Club of Spring Grove was chartered and Horace Stine, Vice President of the Hanover Lions Club, presented the spring Grove club with the luncheon bell and gavel; Lester Pentz, of the York Lions club, presented our club with an American flag. Clayton Moul, President, received the bell, gavel, and flag on behalf of the Spring Grove Lions and expressed appreciation of the club for these gifts. George B. Anderson, Assistant Secretary of Lions International, called on Harry Lenker of the York Club and Gemmil Moul of the Hanover Club , who were extension chairmen of the Club, to present themselves at the head table and the trio presented the Spring Grove Lions Club to Paul Espenshade of Lancaster County, the District Governor, for membership into the International Association of Lions Clubs. District Governor Espenshade presented the charter to the Club.
Mr. Anderson, in delivering the charge to the club, pointed out the purpose of a Lions Club. The club, in binding itself in a Lions organization, is to perpetuate in the hearts of men a love of their native land and to strive for honesty in business, cooperation, reciprocity, civic betterment, and municipal growth. From the Club must flow good fellowship, mutual help that the members combined influence may be systemized, directed and utilized toward the welfare and upholding of the community. The organization is to be free from political affiliations and sectarianism, a brotherhood without secrets, whose aim is to practice concretely the Golden rule. The members pledged themselves to always conscientiously and loyally set about to make Spring grove a better place in which to live and willingly join hands with all of the citizens in all worthy undertakings.
Spring Grove Lions have been active in service to Lions District 14-C and beyond. Two Spring Grove Lions have served as District Governor - Lion William Lau and Lion P. Frederick Trump. Other Lions have served as Zone and Region chairmen, program chairmen, and other members of the district governor’s Cabinet.
The motto of Lions International is “We Serve”. Many of our club members have served in local, county, state, and national government positions while many have given freely as volunteers on boards and commissions to serve their fellow man, without compensation.
Summarizing without listing specific details can lead to misunderstanding. The following illustrations, therefore, are intended to give some idea of the variety of services throughout the years. First and foremost is our combined effort with Lions International with the work of the blind and hearing impaired. Through the years we have provided coal, food baskets, toys, eyeglasses and examinations, braces, artificial limbs, prosthetic eye replacements, and sponsored blind persons to Beacon Lodge. The Spring Grove Lions, through their support of the District Governor’s project, have provided support to the Northeast Eye Bank, Beacon Lodge, York County Blind Center, Lions Quest (drug education program), hearing conservation, diabetes research, Leader Dogs for the Blind, PA Eye Research, and many others. Locally, the Spring Grove Lions have provided a resuscitator for a local ambulance, assisted in the formation and provided financial support to the Spring Grove Ambulance Club and the Boys Club. The Lions have provided financial support to the Windy hill Senior Center and Glatfelter Memorial Library. The Lions provided bleachers, press box, and scoreboard for the old Spring Grove High School athletic field. In addition, the Lions provided a pavilion, playground equipment, and basketball court at the old elementary school. The Lions continue to support recreation and scholastic activities in the school and community. For many years the Lions provided the community with the community Halloween parade. The Lions continue to sponsor and organize the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Annually, the Lions honor a local resident with the Citizen of the Year award and provide scholarship support to a local student.
In 1982 the Club approved plans for a community building on land leased to the Club by the P.H. Glatfelter Co. The building is of rustic design and includes kitchen facilities, a full-length porch, and has a seating capacity of 110. The building is available to the general public for a variety of celebratory events.
In 1995 the Club was made aware of the need for a “reading machine” - a personal computer and specialized software - by a local blind resident. Several club members formed a committee to work with the resident and to research what the Club’s response would be. After much work, the Club provided the computer and software for use by the blind person.
The Club’s newest service project is vision screening for pre-schoolers in the hope of early detection of vision problems.
The fund raising activities, for the most part, have been related to the interests of the community and Lions projects on the county, state, and International levels. The Spring Grove Lions have used the following activities to fund their support of projects for the local community and beyond: a food concession stand at the York Fair; chicken barbeques; door-to-door broom sales; Christmas tree sales; selling candy; taking tickets at the York Fair; 400 Club; basket bingo; and others.
In 1978 the Spring Grove Lions spearheaded a campaign to raise $20,000 to send the Spring Grove High School Band to Montreal, Canada to participate in the Lions International convention parade. This was a joint venture involving the Music Boosters Club, and the Lions Clubs of Seven Valleys, York New Salem, and Jefferson.
As the Lions of Spring Grove continue to enable the Lions’ motto “We Serve” in the support of their community and fellowman, they find their own lives are enriched. The satisfaction that comes from helping others and fellowship enjoyed at their meetings and other Club activities are rewarding and fulfilling to each and every Lion. The slogan of Past District Governor Bill Lau says it perfectly - “GO… GROW… GLOW… with Lionism”.
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