Bemidji Lions Club Celebrates 80 Years During Annual Spring Fling
The Lions Club is an international organization and there is one all over the world. Today, Bemidji’s chapter celebrates a milestone with a new club pin.
There have been around 20 different pins over the years.
“Some of our newest Lions designed it. So it’s really special to me personally because it means that those young Lions are involved in our club and in our community,” Bemidji Lions Club Member Mel Milender said.
Melinder said that the Lions Club is having a problem with aging out, and the chapter here in Bemidji is fortunate enough to have some younger members. The president of the club said the club has grown over time.
“The club has gotten bigger – initially, they wanted to limit it to 30 people which was unusual, but our club is now over 100 members strong,” Jim Molde said.
People were bidding on items but they didn’t know what was in the bag – that’s because the Lions Club is having a visually impaired silent auction.
“The only thing they know about what they are bidding on is who donated it, and at the end of the night we will announce who won it and we’ll have them open it and they’ll see their fellow person and this will tell us what they know about their fellow Lions,” Melinder said.
The Lions Club works with visually impaired people and do visual screenings, raise funds to help the youth in the community, and they’ve worked with the Boys and Girls Club. A Lions club member said that the chapter here in Bemidji has been around for 80 years, but the Lions Club organization has been around since 1917.
“We’re the largest service organization in the world with 1.4 million members and what we do there is to have these clubs and members, we’re always serving, we’re always looking to build greater continuity in our communities and trying to do our best to serve our local communities,” Wayne Tieman said.
Throughout the event, there were some historical documents and photos on display. Even the original 1939 charter was recovered for members to see.