By: Linda DeJoseph, Jamestown Lions Club Secretary
On Saturday, October 26th, members of the Jamestown Lions Club gathered with family, friends, and local dignitaries to celebrate their 100th Anniversary. Since 1922, Jamestown Lions members have provided service to people in the city with low vision and blindness.
One of many key points of this milestone is that the club was founded only five years after the International Lions Club was established. Mike Yost, Lions District Governor said, “The Jamestown Club is the oldest Lions organization in the Western New York area.” Current President Jeff Smith said, ”The first members were businessmen and prominent professional men in the city.” Included in the memorabilia on display at the Double Tree Hotel in Jamestown, location of the dinner party, was the original newspaper article announcing the start of the club including pictures of the first Lions.
Smith went on to say, “Our club is fortunate to have a large selection of items from the past 100 years including original proclamations documenting the establishment of the club, group photographs of past members, newspaper clippings of the service work done, plaques showing the baseball teams sponsored by the club, and programs of anniversary celebrations throughout its rich history.” Many items were on display during the dinner and was a focal point of the evening.
During the celebration program, Past Presidents Steve Maggio and Guy Ditonto made the announcement of the creation of the Jamestown Lions Club Charles L. Telford Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is a tribute to Telford who passed away this year. Mr. Telford was a 50 plus year member of the Jamestown Lions, and he was responsible for sponsoring several current members into the club. The scholarship will be granted through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to a Jamestown High School graduate who demonstrates integrity, leadership, and a devotion to service as these were the characteristics of Mr. Telford.
The Lions District Governor of the WNY, Mike Yost presented the family of Charles Telford with the International Presidents Award which is the second highest honor given to any Lion.
During the program, the members honored the memory of Jon Teigeler, who also passed away this year. Mr. Teigeler was a very devoted member of the club, having “perfect attendance” to all meetings for over 50 years.
In an evening full of highlights, a congratulatory letter was sent to the Jamestown Lions Club by former President of the United States Jimmy Carter, who is a longstanding member of Lions Club International.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist who was in attendance for the celebration, presented the club with a proclamation for their 100th anniversary. State Senator George Borrello also sent a proclamation to mark this occasion.
President Smith Said, “The evening was a time of reflection for the current members of the Jamestown Lions Club. Their long history in Jamestown shows how important service to others has been for generations of people living in the city.” Memorabilia from 100 years ago, gave a visual reminder of the power of a small group of people who love their city and the people who reside in it. Smith concluded, “This exemplifies the Motto of Lions Club International President, Brian Sheehan, ‘Together we can’.”
Looking forward, the global mission of the Lions is to not only serve individuals with vision problems but to improve the lives of people living with diabetes, to help people thrive by addressing hunger in our communities, by being a steward of the natural resources that sustain us, and by providing impactful service projects to assist families coping with childhood cancer.
For more information about the Jamestown Lions Club please visit their website at jamestownlionsclub.org