It was May of 1939 when the Troy Lions Club was first established under the guidance of the Sayre-Athens Lions Club. The original Charter from the International Association of Lions Clubs is proudly displayed at the Troy Vets Club.
Beginning with only 25 original members, the Club now boasts 64 members and is one of the largest in the district. Lion Burt Parks, who celebrated his 90th birthday at the November meeting, is one of the Club’s oldest members; while one of the youngest is Lion Tracy Birmingham, who serves as this year’s President.
“The diversity in our club is what makes us so successful. The older members are our teachers and carry on the traditions, while the younger members bring in new ideas and energy. Without being an active club, we would gradually fade away like many clubs have,” said Tracy Birmingham.
Over the past 80 years, the Troy Lions Club has been involved in several community service and fundraising projects. They spearheaded the fund drive to purchase the land for Alparon Park and give it to the Troy Community. They then built and later renovated the Troy Pool. They also built the Alparon Park Softball fields and Tennis Courts. And in the early 70s, they built and continue to maintain the Alparon Park Walkway. I
n the past, they have raised funds by presenting an annual Minstrel Show, a show that continued for 73 years. They sold calendars, ran concessions at Football games, and organized Chicken BBQ’s.
Presently, The Troy Lions Club raises money with an annual Golf Tournament, concessions at the Maple Festival, a Snowman Campaign, an Annual Raffle Dinner, and Bingo at the Troy Fair. This year the Lions had the added expense of building a new Bingo Booth. They raised funds for the project through capitol expense raffles in order to not let this interfere with their normal donations to the community.
Between $30,000 and $35,000 in donations go back into the community every year. The Lions give back in so many ways through community service and donations to community members and organizations. They participate in the Adopt-a-highway, Relay for life, sponsor a little league team, arrange for eye exams and provide glasses, are currently working on a plastic recycling project, and sponsor three academic scholarships to students who are furthering their education after high school.
Currently underway is the Troy Lions’ largest community project, their Christmas Basket Program. Lions are busy planning, shopping and getting ready to package and present food and gift boxes to families in the Troy Community. Last year they served 226 families. In excess of 700 toys and other gifts were given to more than 330 children and young adults.
Please wish the Troy Lions Club a happy 80th birthday. This is an organization whose motto is “We serve,” and over the past 80 years it has lived up to this motto by serving the Troy Community through its many projects and donations. If you are community minded, enjoy camaraderie and enjoy helping others, you may want to consider becoming a Troy Lion yourself.