The Stillwater Lions Club came into existence at its charter meeting held at the Lowell Inn at 12:15 on May 25, 1928.  The first members included a lawyer, the prison warden, an insurance man, a grocer, a newspaper man, a printer, and undertaker, a dentist, a dry cleaner, a minister, a surgeon and others.

Community Service

Our motto is “We Serve”.  Our club is a place where individuals join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving our community and our world.The Stillwater Lions are proud of many dimensions of community and public service over many years.  The club treasurer and president plan a yearly budget for charitable giving. Other cash donations are decided by the Board of Directors.  The club continues to make contributions to many worth while projects.   Our global causes are vision, diabetes, hunger, the environment, and childhood cancer. Each year at Christmas we help with bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  The club collects used glasses that are donated.


Membership over the decades have included nearly 800 people.  In 1947 the club decided to limit membership to 75 and they had a waiting list. The number of new members accepted by the club since inception by decade is as follows:

1930s 70,  1940s  77,  1950s     96,  1960s  83,  1970s 132,  1980s 126,  1990s  84,  2000s    70,  2010s  18

Current membership is 52.


Historically the dues were structured to encourage members to attend meetings.  The club raised funds by charging each member a fixed quarterly fee that covered the cost of lunches, picnics and International Dues.  If members did not attend meetings they contributed to the club’s public service activities.  This dues structure was changed in 2015 and the quarterly dues are now $60 per member.  If the member chooses they may pay $132 per quarter and meeting meals are included, or they may pay $12 per meal plus their quarterly dues.   There is a $43 fee to Lions International to join the club.


One highlight of memberships is the four Club picnics in the summer.  The club owns a “cooker” and Gary Bressler coordinates the picnic activity with the help of others.  The chefs have included Happy Otte, Art Edstrom, Jim Weaver, Mark DeWolf and Joe Arndt.  Jon Weaver has been chief chef in recent years.


The club began to offer a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from Stillwater High School in 2014.  In 2018 and 2019 we were able to give 2 scholarships due to an anonymous gift from a member.  A club committee makes the selection and one of the criteria for the award is that the student shows interest in volunteering.

The Lion’s Trailer

 In 1968 the club began to buy tables and chairs for the picnics.  By 1972 John Bourdaghs began to haul them to events.  In 1980 the club purchased a trailer which holds 17 tables and over 120 chairs.  The Lion’s tables and chairs have taken on a public and private service role within the community.  Other civic organizations and members have borrowed them for events.


During the early years the club membership was entirely male.  This changed in the 1980s and women are now very welcome.  10% of the club is now female.


A major benefit for club membership is the opportunity to engage in programs and with speakers at our biweekly meetings.  In the 90 years of the club existence there may have been over 4,000 programs presented.  These have covered many different topics and are educational.  Ideas for programs are welcomed and Paul Spilseth has coordinated scheduling of the programs since 2015.  On the first week of May we meet together with the Stillwater Rotary for Law Day.









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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