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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Years of service saluted in Island City

Years of service saluted in Island City

The Island City Lions Club recently celebrated 40 years of existence. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
The Island City Lions Club recently celebrated 40 years of existence. (Dick Mason/The Observer)
The Island City Lions Club was founded in January 1974, a time when the slide rule was still a popular tool for solving math problems. 

Today, the slide rule is almost obsolete due to the pocket calculator, but the Island City Lions Club is stronger than ever.

The club is also marking a milestone — its 40th year of service to the community. 

The milestone was recognized Tuesday during a celebration at Denny’s Restaurant, where nearly 40 people attended the event.

Bill Burley, governor of District G of the Lions Club, lauded the longevity of the club, among the most active on the local community service front.

“Not every community is able to sustain hearts of servitude,” said Burley, who oversees a Lions International district comprised of all of Eastern Oregon and much of Central Oregon.

Those saluted at the event included five charter members who are still with the club — Lowell Beeman, Ralph Hart, Bill Barnes, Richard Taylor and John Stebbins. 

The five men were among the 42 members when the club was founded on Jan.14, 1974, just before the first sophisticated pocket calculator was mass marketed.

Beeman said he is not surprised that the Island City Lions Club remains robust four decades after it was founded because of the quality of individuals who were charter members. 

“We had such a strong core of people,” Beeman said.

The club was chartered at a time when many of its meetings were held at the old Sammy’s Pizza restaurant in Island City. Sammy’s was located in the same building that now houses a portion of the Lighthouse Church, Beeman said.

The Island City Lions Club, which has met at Denny’s regularly for at least a decade, has done yeoman’s work on the volunteer service front since the first day.

“It has always been community minded,” Beeman said.

For starters, the club annually purchases new glasses for people in need and presently buys 12 to 15 pairs of glasses a year for the less fortunate. 

Christmas shopping trips for children from families in need are also provided by the Island City Lions Club. Shopping trips for 33 children were provided in 2013, and each child in the program in 2013 was able to purchase about $60 worth of gifts. 

Dan Cosner, in his seventh year as president of the Island City Lions Club, said that being able to help children is a joy.

“It is a very rewarding experience,” he said. 

The Island City Lions Club also reaches out to families during the holiday season, providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to families in need, providing 25 meals between the two holidays.

Cosner said that being part of this organization puts one in an amazing position to help others. 

“I used to think that if I had $1 million, I could help a lot of people,” he said. “When I joined the Lions, I realized that I didn’t need $1 million to help many people.”

 
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