The Great Bend Noon Lions Club recently celebrated its 95th anniversary. The club was chartered on March 23, 1923, with 25 members.
Since 1923 the club has contributed greatly to the welfare of the Great Bend Community.
Lion International was founded by a Chicago Businessman, Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
Since 1925, after Helen Keller addressed the International Lions Convention, Lions have been Knights of the Blind.
The local club has had many worthwhile projects. Since the mid 1900s the Great Bend Noon Club has had a legacy project of maintaining redbud trees on Broadway Avenue. Planting and trimming the redbuds is an annual event.
Other projects of the club include contributions to the International Foundation to provide assistance to worldwide disasters and diseases. The local club purchases glasses for students in need; provides an annual scholarship to a high school senior; contributes to Christmas food baskets, contributes funds to the Golden Belt Community Foundation, the Crisis Center, Dream Center, Catholic Charities, the Food Bank and literacy programs. Recently, the club has helped fund the United Way literacy program. Through the years the club has supported other local needs, including Military MOMS Gift Packages.
Projects to raise funds have varied from year to year. The club has held an annual Spaghetti Dinner in October for more than 30 years. The club also provides a concession stand at the annual Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo.