History of the Fraser River Valley Lions Club

The Fraser River Valley Lions Club was chartered on March 16th, 1981, with 25 members. Prime movers in eliciting interest in a Lions Club and in contacting the international organization were community leaders Bob Temple and Don Drake. The first president was Richard McDowell, followed by Bob Temple.

The first fund raising efforts of the group were Pancake Breakfasts, which were held in a tent at the ArtAffair. In 1985 the club was asked by the Forest Service to participate in the reopening of Arapahoe National Forest campgrounds in the Fraser River Valley, eventually becoming the largest fund raising effort of the members.

In 1986 Lion Tom Coblentz suggested that the club initiate college scholarships for local high school students, and that program has become the main focus of funding. Each year a scholarship committee selects one boy and one girl from Middle Park High School to receive $1,000, each to receive the stipend for four years. When funds are available, an additional $500 one year scholarship is also awarded.

Other important charities funded by the Fraser River Valley Lions include Advocates (domestic violence), GCRY (drug education) and the Mountain Family Center (aid to needy families). We paid for construction of a pavilion at the community sports fields, and we stock and maintain fishing ponds used by youth and disabled anglers as well as tourists and local fishermen. We have built a new dock which makes the pond accessible to wheel chairs, and are planning further improvements at these highly visible and popular ponds.

In the late 80s the club purchased a large trailer, remodeled it for pancake breakfasts, and the familiar yellow and blue mobile kitchen is still used throughout the summer at the ArtAffair, the Craft Fair, on the Fourth of July and at The Run for Independence.

In 1981 the first Nine News Health Fair was held in Fraser, coordinated by the Lions Club, and over 20 years later the club has never missed hosting the increasingly popular event, offering affordable health care to local citizens.

Today our membership numbers close to 100 men and women who are dedicated to assisting the needy and providing unselfish service to our community.

Lions Clubs International

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones' group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed.

After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and a code of ethics were approved.

Within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we've earned high marks for both integrity and transparency. We're a well-run organization with a steady vision, a clear mission, and a long – and proud – history.

For a link to the Lions Clubs International web site's home page click here.