Landrum Lions Club anniversary: 50 years of service

Published 5:31 pm Monday, May 18, 2009


Scanning over the list, he noted the Landrum Lions have held numerous fundraisers to benefit local, state and national organizations, including the S.C. Workshop for the Blind, S.C. Diabetes Association, the Landrum Library, Landrum Garden Club, Landrum Rescue Squad, Landrum Fire Department, the Christ Spirit Fund, American Legion and the United Way.

The club has purchased trophies for Landrum High sports teams and supported the high school&squo;s academic programs. In 1984, the Landrum Lions became the first club in South Carolina to promote Lions Quest, a schools-based life skills program.

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When Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989, club members jumped in one of the member&squo;s Winnebagos and drove to deliver goods to North Charleston and to cut and clear fallen trees in Sumter.

Barnette said the list of accomplishments for the club goes on and on, and demonstrates their commitment to help others.

&squo;Everyday heroes&squo;

He said Al Brandel, the current president of The International Association of Lions Clubs, emphasizes the impact of &dquo;everyday heroes.&dquo; Those are the people, he says, who always think positive, never give up, have faith and courage, inspire others who are down, and never take relationships for granted.

&dquo;Sounds like a Lion,&dquo; said Barnette.

He recalled a speech he heard years ago by someone who noted that Americans are the most blessed people in the world, but often take things for granted. They can&squo;t decide what to wear when they get up, what to eat for breakfast, and they complain all the way to their job, never realizing that many in the world aren&squo;t fortunate enough to have choices for food and clothing or the opportunity to earn a living.

Lions must use their blessings and opportunities to help others, he said, adding the Landrum Lions Club has done just that.

Barnette presented a certification of appreciation from international president Brandel, thanking the club members for distinguishing themselves as &dquo;everyday heroes by creating miracles through service.&dquo; He also presented a letter to the club from the president and a 50-year banner for the Landrum club.

Jack Stone

In a special ceremony, Barnette also presented a pin and certificate to Landrum Lions Club member Jack Stone, one of the club&squo;s 36 charter members and the only charter member still active in the club.

Stone said he remembers being approached about joining the club in 1959 and explaining that he didn&squo;t have much time to devote to it.&bsp; But some other original members of the club soon got him fully involved and he&squo;s never left, he said.

Barnette thanked Stone for his many years of service, and also took time to encourage club members to continue their efforts with a sense of urgency.

&squo;Do it today&squo;

He shared a story of a meeting with a past Lions district governor a few years ago at a district convention. The man asked to speak with him privately just prior to the start of the convention, and shared the story of his wife&squo;s recent death. He explained how for 52 years he had rubbed his wife&squo;s back every night before she went to bed.

One night, a few months prior to the convention, his wife said she wasn&squo;t feeling well and went to bed early. The district governor said he rubbed his wife&squo;s back as he always did, then she took a few deep breaths and suddenly was gone.

Barnette said he and the man hugged and cried and ended up late for the meeting. They became good friends and still talk by phone a few times each month, he said. Barnette said the story is an example of how the Lions Club affords opportunities for unique relationships with others, and reminds us that we don&squo;t know how much time we have.

&dquo;Whatever you need to do, you need to do as a club today,&dquo; he urged the Lions. &dquo;You may need to do it in India, Pakistan, New Orleans, or around the corner here in Landrum, South Carolina. But whatever it is, do it today.&dquo;

After his speech, Barnette inducted the Landrum Lions Club&squo;s newest member Jason Ravan, and urged him to wear his new emblem with pride.

Landrum Lions Club Treasurer Bob Walker said the club is hoping to gain more new members to join the &dquo;old guys&dquo; in the club. Current Landrum club president Holland Belue noted that, although the club is at its lowest membership, it remains as active in the community as ever.

&dquo;I can only imagine what the next 50 years will bring,&dquo; said Belue.&bsp;Landrum Lions Club HistoryUnder the leadership of District Governor embert Truluck, the Landrum Lions Club was organized on February 6, 1969 and chartered with 36 members on Tuesday, March 17, 1959.&bsp; The Charter President was Lion Jack Stone. The Inman Lions Club was the sponsoring club and its president, Lion M.W. Lankford, presented the club with its first gong and gavel. The Spartanburg Lions Club, represented by its president, Lion M. E. Harrison, presented an American flag to the club. Of the 36 charter members, only Lion Jack Stone is still active in the club.

Since its beginning in 1959, the Landrum Lioins Club has promoted the ideals of Lionism and devoted its energies to helping those in need in the community. Over the past years, the club has worked hard raising and giving thousands of dollars toward Sight and Hearing Conservation and many other charitable causes. Some of the current club projects asre Community Birthday Calendar, bi-annual broom sale, annual Christmas Spirit Fund for Operation Hope, and annual Eye and Ear Screening of children at O.P. Earle Elementary School. The club&squo;s major fundraising project is Candy Day, sponsored by South Carolina Lions. The club has raised in excess of $145,000 over the past 25 years with more than $70,000 of the profits given to the SC Lions state organization. Under the leadership of the Landrum Lions Club, the old abandoned railway station was obtained, remodeled and converted into a civic center and meeting place for the club and other organizations. In 1984, the Landrum Lions Club was the first club in South Carolina to promote and sponsor the Lions/Quest Skills for Adolescence program. The club has been recognized by Lions International for its leadership in Lions/Quest. In the past years Landrum Lions Club has been a major sponsor for the Landrum Lbrary, Hospice House, Landrum Public Schools and SC School for Deaf and Blind. The club&squo;s motto has truly been, &dquo;We Serve.&dquo;

The Landrum Lions Club has shown progress over the past 50 years and is recognized as one of the top clubs in District 32-A and the State of South Carolina. The Landrum Lions Club has been recognized as the Number 1 Club in District 32-A three times. During 1979-80, Lion Bob Walker, representing the Landrum Lions Club, was elcted to serve as District Governor of District 32-A, and several members have served as zone and region chairmen. From the 36 charter members to the current membership of 20, the Landrum Lions Club has shown steady progress, leadership, commitment and dedication to serving the people in Landrum and South Carolina.