2017-10-11 / Letters

Raymondville Lions Club celebrates 73 years of service

Dear Editor,

In 1944, a group of 23 Willacy County, TX, businessmen, farmers, ranchers, professional and clergymen saw the benefits of forming a Lions Club. Their dream came true on October 7, 1944, when a charter was granted to start the Raymondville Lions Club.

Meetings began each Tuesday at 12:00 p.m., at the Tulsa Cafe on West Hidalgo Ave. Mr. F.E. Macmanus was the first president.

Since then, the popular club has increased its numbers to as many as 40 to 50, currently 18, depending on the economy and population. They have sponsored 4 other clubs, namely, Lyford Lions Club twice, Willacy County Lions Club, and Raymondville Leo Club.

In 1944, a group of 23 Willacy County, TX, businessmen, farmers, ranchers, professional and clergymen saw the benefits of forming a Lions Club. Their dream came true on October 7, 1944, when a charter was granted to start the Raymondville Lions Club.

Meetings began each Tuesday at 12:00 p.m., at the Tulsa Cafe on West Hidalgo Ave. Mr. F.E. Macmanus was the first president.

Since then, the popular club has increased its numbers to as many as 40 to 50, currently 18, depending on the economy and population. They have sponsored 4 other clubs, namely, Lyford Lions Club twice, Willacy County Lions Club, and Raymondville Leo Club.

In 1961, the Club and membership chairman each received the Melvin Jones Award for most new members (12) in October (Membership Month.) In 1970/ 71, the same chairman led the District (2-A3) to lead the nation in most new members.

In the early 60’s , there was great interest (pressure) to maintain perfect attendance, to the extent that some Rio Grande Valley entire clubs had 100% attendance for several years. This inspired one Raymondville Club member (the same membership chairman mentioned, above) to have perfect attendance since joining in early 1961 (56 years). The Club also has another member with perfect attendance for 34 years.

The Club has had one District Governor, the late Neil Gilligan, Jr., serving in 1969/70.

In 1999, the first woman joined the Club. Since then, others have joined, and several have served as president.

The Club has been an active community leader, having service projects and fund-raisers, annually, without ceasing. Some of the fund-rasiers include the Pancake Breakfast, Spaghetti Supper, Turkey Sales and Golf Tournaments.

Service projects include Red Ribbon Week, 4th of July Celebration, Halloween (Operation Safe Haven), Relay For Life, Buy Eyeglasses, Cops For Tots, Lions Magazine Subscriptions for Libraries, Willacy County Livestock Show - gate sales.

Raymondville Lions Club Guy Fambrough

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