Nearly 200 Nisswa Lions and guests packed the Nisswa Community Center on Monday, May 13, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nisswa Lions.
Nisswa Lions president Lyle Steffenson was the master of ceremonies with a welcome and introduction of dignitaries along with a few jokes and interesting facts. International Lions Director Brian Sheehan from Bird Island was keynote speaker.
Jim Dullum and Duane Blanck gave the invocation as well as recognized the charter members for the club. Nisswa Lions charter members recognized who are still active in the club include: Blanck, Dullum, Ted Dullum, Robert Hurst, Roger Reynolds and Thomas Thurlow.
Ted Dullum recognized all past presidents in attendance along with the Melvin Jones and Helen Keller honorees. A small video clip about Keller was viewed so everyone understands the impact of Keller, as Lions Club focal programs include sight, hearing and speech conservation. Jim Dullum, Reynolds and Hurst gave an enlightening history overview of the Nisswa Lions Club starting in 1972 to present.
As noted in the overview, the Nisswa Lions donate to many charitable causes, including Nisswa Elementary School, scholarships for Nisswa students attending Pequot Lakes and Brainerd high schools, Nisswa police and fire departments, Nisswa Parks and Recreation, The “Be Nice to the Ice” Project, Minnesota Eye Bank, Minnesota Diabetes Foundation, Minnesota Lions Hearing Foundation, Campaign Sight First (to eradicate blindness), Leader Dogs for the Blind, Project New Hope (a place to help veterans and their families to get re-integrated into society) and many more.
With a club motto of “We Serve,” The Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization with 45,500 clubs in 205 countries with nearly 1.4 million members. Lions Club International was founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill.
The Nisswa Lions Club was started in 1973 and has more than 100 active club members. Much of the focus of the Nisswa Lions Club is to raise money for worthy causes and support the community.