The following article by David Strange was originally published on 22 Mar 2015. It is archived here for your reading enjoyment.
Last week, I wrote about Lions Clubs and how they came to be [link]. Now let me tell you a little about Bullitt County's local clubs.
The Lebanon Junction Lions Club was the first one in the county, receiving its charter on June 25, 1945. "LJ" was a bustling railroad town in those days, booming with all the railroad-hub activity of war and commerce. In 1945 it was one of the largest cities in the county. The Lions Club thrived along with it, serving as a community leader in the good years and through the bad when railroad activity declined. The club went "co-ed" in the 1980s, as many clubs evolved from male-only societies. In the most recent years, the club was known for its fish-fry trailer, which it used to raise funds to help local folks in need. Some members recall that those Friday-night fish fries were like family gatherings. Sadly, the Lions Club of Lebanon Junction closed in December, 2011, due to a decline in membership. But those members served honorably and selflessly for an honorable community.
The Lions Club of Shepherdsville was chartered the month after the LJ Lions, on July 13, 1945. So this year marks the 70th anniversary of this longest-running Bullitt County Lions club. Charter members of the club were J.D. Buckman, Jr., Charles Bullock, Ray A. Bush, William Hill, H. Russell Jenkins, Adrian E. Jones, Dr. R.N. McCubbins, L.R. Mattingly, W.J. Monroe, S.L. Noe, Clyde E. Roby, John D. Sloan, Richard M. Sandefur, Dr. R.A. Weir, and Tommy Wilson, as shown below on their charter.
The club has given much labor and many thousands of dollars through the years for various community needs. In addition to helping with eye screenings and glasses, it has supported the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation which is recognized as one of the premier eye research and treatment centers in the country. Other efforts through the years include supporting organizations and activities such as Junior Achievement, Hospice of Louisville, Fellowship of Concern, Trooper Island, Lions Camp Crescendo, and school projects for students. School system employees have traditionally been a large part of the membership and it hopes to add more current and retired government workers as well, though everyone is welcome.
For over fifty years, the club has sponsored a community calendar that features individual birthdays and anniversaries. For almost that long, it set out American flags on holidays. The club also hosted a well known funnel cake booth at festivals. Most recently, its volunteers run a rolling ice cream cart. All these were fundraising efforts to support service projects.
The Shepherdsville club was probably the first local club to integrate in 1966, with the admission of Dr. Hubert Clay, an African American veterinarian who held offices of Treasurer and President over the years. The club opened its membership to women in 1993.
The club meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Mr. Gatti's Restaurant in Paroquet Springs in Shepherdsville. Meeting time is 6:30. Visitors are welcome, and community-minded people are urged to join. The club can be found on FaceBook and contacted by phone at 543-4622.
The next club to charter was the Lions Club of Mt. Washington on June 23, 1948, and it has been a core part of that town ever since. Community leaders of all stripes have been active members there. Early on, the club bought new street signs for the town and organized a streetlight program. Today, the very active organization sets out flags throughout the community on holidays, organizes major spring and fall town festivals, helps dozens of people every year with eye-sight needs, and much more. It opened its membership to women in 2014.
The club is rightly proud of having a fine new building to call its own at 810 North Old Bardstown Road in Mt. Washington. Meetings are at 6:30 on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Club information can be found on the Web and on FaceBook.
Next week, I'll tell you about the Mt. Washington Lioness Club, and the two newest clubs in the county. See part 3 here.
Copyright 2015 by David Strange, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.