Lions Club celebrates 50 years in Vermillion

Lions Club celebrates 50 years in Vermillion The Vermillion Lions Club celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday evening, March 30.

A special evening event, held at the Eagle's Club, began with a social hour followed by a prime rib dinner catered by Jere Chapman. An anniversary cake donated by Jones' Food Center completed the meal.

Guests included Lions Club representatives from Alcester, Beresford, Elk Point and Yankton. District Governor�Elect Katherine French attended, as did past International Director Lloyd Hansen of Brookings who read a letter of congratulations from Lions International President Jim Ervin.

President Julie Potter introduced past club presidents: Don Mitchell 1955-'56, Cliff Manley 1961-'62, Robert Miller 1963-'64, Vern Holter 1968-'69, Herb Christopherson 1969-'70, Ray DeVilbiss 1970-'71, Norm Herren 1971-'72, Gerald Lawton 1972-'73, Charles Estee 1973-'74, Loren Carlson 1974-'75 and 1981-'82, John Carlin 1975-'76, Lyle Wagner 1980-'81, Keith Joy 1982-'83, Curt Schempp 1983-'84, Richard Oppedahl 1985-'86, Gerald Wolff 1989-'90, Curt Robinson 1990-'91, Ron Thaden 1993-'94, Mick Breske 1994-'96, Dave Swanson 1996-'97, and Art Rusch 1998-'99.

One of only two charter members still living, Lion William Farber, entertained the crowd with the history of the club's founding. He produced his original letter of acceptance into the Lions organization from the International headquarters. He noted that it included a code of ethics and pondered whether all new members had received one. He concluded his remarks by quoting from Cecil Rhodes "We have accomplished a lot but there is a lot left to do."

District Governor Red Buekelman addressed the audience. He reflected on events which occurred during the Vermillion Lions Club's first year, 1950: the Korean War, Liz Taylor was married for the first time, the first credit card was introduced, the copy machine was invented, You Bet Your Life was one of the most popular shows on television, and on Jan. 24 the Vermillion Lions Club was founded with 28 members.

The club has now grown to 84 members, the third or fourth largest in South Dakota.

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