The Loganville Lions Club gathered Monday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s founding with a dinner amongst members near and far and local dignitaries.
Lions Club International, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, sets a goal to take “an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community,” and it is something the members take to heart.
“I joined mainly because of they club stood for and what we do and that is to help people,” said Wendel Geiger, one of the charter members of the Loganville chapter.
Geiger was among the youngest members being 22 years old at the time and remembers being in the basement of the Loganville Methodist Church when the charter was signed, recalling with a smile the few times the meal was shifted from steaks to chicken and the consequence and all of the good the group has done for the community.
“I look at the charter and there aren’t a lot of those original members left,” said the three-time president of the group. “I thought it would be a good thing to get involved with when I was looking to become a part of it. Sight preservation was important and I felt like it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Neal Bird was also a charter member of the Loganville Lions Club and while just a regular member now has served as president and other offices on multiple occasions. He noted that the group has been relatively small since its inception but that it has always been a group of dedicated men.
“I have really enjoyed being a member,” the former county commissioner and city councilman said. “We have helped a lot of people around here get glasses and other help when we could. I just enjoy that kind of thing, being involved in the community and helping others. And I think we will continue to grow because more and more people are learning about what we are all about. We are just trying to do our part.”
Galen Reeder is in his first term as president of the Loganville Lions Club and represents the next generation of the club, having joined the civic organization four years ago.
“I became involved because a good friend of mine, Mayor Dan Curry, invited me to attend to become familiar with the group,” Reeder said. “I enjoy the fact that they were very active in the community and giving back to the community. Everything that the Lions Club is about is serving the community, that’s our motto, and it appealed to me as a local business person and someone living in community. It is really important to me to give back and I really enjoy it here.”
In addition to its sight-oriented efforts, the club also takes an active role in helping the city organize different events including parades as well as the Trick or Treat on Main Street event each Halloween.
To maintain an active role in the community for five decades is something that stands apart for the current president.
“It’s a fabulous milestone because it obviously shows that this club has been active and a sound addition to the community for all these years. It’s just a reflection on the quality of membership that we have,” Reeder said. “I felt blessed to be leading this group during this important point in its history. We continue to get stronger and I am just thankful to have the opportunity to serve.”
The Loganville Lions Club meets the first and third Monday of each month beginning at 7 p.m. at Journey’s End restaurant, 4319 Highway 78, Loganville.