Lions turn 60

Mary Atkinson · Thursday, August 22, 2013
The West Liberty Lion's club celebrated its 60th anniversary in July, where it told the community what it has done since receiving its charter in 1953 and what it continues to do locally.

Lions International is the largest service organizations in the world, sponsoring local projects such as providing eye screening to preschoolers and supplying eye glasses and hearing aids to those who need them in the West Liberty area.

They also help finance Boys State and scholarships for West Liberty High School seniors.

West Liberty Lions President Mike Duytschaver said the organization used to raise money for projects by selling light bulbs and brooms door to door in the community. However, most of the fund raising has been done with proceeds from a concession stand at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena since it was built 30 years ago.

Duytschaver said members also participate in projects in smaller groups.

"Three local Lions are part of a team that delivers corneas destined for surgeries in Madison, Wisconsin from the Lions Eye Bank in Iowa City." He said. "We also help kids in West Liberty go to a camp for students with Diabetes."

Each year a group or individual is locally chosen to receive the prestigious Warren Coleman Honorary Award for donating $1000 to the Iowa Lions Foundation. The donation may be given at one time or over a three year period. The recipient is also selected by their activities within the organization.

This year the Warren Coleman award went to member Steve Brown. According to Wayne Noring, Brown was very deserving of the honor.

"He is a very outstanding member of the club." Noring said. "He is a very dedicated worker who is always willing to serve on committees when asked. I, myself, have never received the award but it's quite an honor."

Brown also has been in charge of the children's tractor pulls at the fair every year and stores the equipment.

Warren Coleman was a member of the Oskaloosa Lions Club joining in 1948. He served as district governor from 1957 - 1958. He than served as executive secretary/treasurer of what is known today as the Iowa Lions Foundation.

Later, in 1998 he was named ex-officio executive secretary, a position he served until his death in 2000. By then, Coleman had served 40 years of his life in the Iowa Lions Foundation.

Duytschaver said the West Liberty club celebrated its 60 year anniversary July 8. It had a cake along with a Lions Ladies Night and officer's installation.
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