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Park Rapids Lions celebrate 60 years of service

Park Rapids Lions members gather to celebrate the 60th anniversary.

On April 9, 1954, with the Wadena Lions Club as the sponsor and B.C. Wells as the Guiding Lion, the Park Rapids Lions Club was formed. As of charter night, June 23, 1954, there were 20 members.

Since receiving its charter the club has had 59 presidents with 16 past presidents who are still active members of the club. In addition to the dedication of the past presidents, a number of members have stepped forward to accept the duties of club secretary. Most notable of the past secretaries is Dwaine Ogden who served as secretary for 21 years, from 1975-1996.

Since receiving its charter in 1954, the Park Rapids Lions club has strongly adhered to the Lions International motto of “We Serve” by actively serving the Park Rapids community and surrounding area by contributing financial support, volunteer hours and sponsorship of various community projects.

The Park Rapids Lions Club strongly supports all District 5M9 projects, especially those dealing with the vision, hearing, diabetes, Youth Exchange, Kamp KACE (a camp for kids with cancer) and Project New Hope, a camp for returning vets and their families.

And many more projects.

Some of the community betterment projects include the tennis courts and fencing at Heartland Park, flag poles at the All-Veteran’s Memorial, Financial support for local disaster relief (Wadena tornado and Menahga fire) as well as contributing to LCIF for financial support and international disaster relief, and many more projects.

The club celebrated with a 60th anniversary dinner on Aug. 12 at Riverside Church.

Our special guest and speaker was International Director Mike Molenda who reminded us of the projects and fundraisers including several light bulb sales.

The following awards were presented Melvin Jones Fellowship – Larry Novak; Lions of the year – Mike and Anita Berneck; Lions Service Award – Jeff Haukebo; and the Leader Dogs for the Blind Founders Tribute Award – Richard and Julie LaFountain.

The International Presidents Certificate of Commendation went to Lloyd Stigman, Earl Holmes and John Fischer for their many years of service.

New members, Kay Larson, Rayleen Kimball and Betty Haukebo were inducted.

The Park Rapids Lions meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. in the lower level of CHI St. Joseph’s Health. We invite anyone to come and see what we are about and how you can join us to make a difference in the local, national and international communities, 

Call Zelda or Larry Novak at 732-9295 for more information.