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Ellsworth Lions Club celebrates 80 years

The Ellsworth Lions Club, chartered Oct. 20, 1930, is celebrating 80 years of service this month and after eight decades is still going strong.

The group is the oldest Lions Club in western Wisconsin and one of the oldest in Wisconsin, said Wilson Mills, a member of the Ellsworth club for 18 years and former district governor.

With 45 members, about a quarter of whom are in their 30s or younger, the club can count on good participation in all its activities, said Secretary Lorna Ross.

"Everybody is part of something," she said.

"When we run an event, we get 98 percent of the members to participate," agreed Mills.

Instead of an aging membership, the club is "actually going the other way," said Mills. "We're getting more young people."

The club meets the fourth Monday of each month at the American Legion Hall, but activities go well beyond monthly meetings. Reid Meyer is the current president.

"The club's motto is, 'We serve,'" said Mills. "That's an intentional motto."

Service projects include working with other area Lions Clubs to build a Habitat for Humanity house, providing eyeglasses for those who can't afford them, participating in the Lions' Mission to Mexico project, sponsoring an annual kids' fishing contest at Nugget Lake and helping support a summer camp for children with diabetes.

Ellsworth Lions Club members also ring bells for the Salvation Army collections at Hinck's Economart each year, give three $1,000 scholarships a year to Ellsworth High School graduates, sponsor an annual conservation awards banquet, hold bingo games at Ellsworth Care Center, sponsor a community choir Christmas concert that collects donations for the food pantry and help support Sight First II, a program intended to eradicate preventable blindness.

For more please read the Oct. 20 print version of the Herald.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.