The Scottsboro Lions Club had a special meeting this week to celebrate 80 years of service to the Scottsboro community. Several awards and plaques were presented to commemorate this group which was chartered on Aug. 5, 1938.
One of the objectives of the Lions Club is to take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social, and moral welfare of the community. The Club has done that through their many projects. The two projects which remain strong today are their involvement with Christmas Charities and the presentation of scholarships.
The Club remains committed to supporting eyesight for the needy and to contributing to ALSCA (Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association). Over the years the Lions Club has provided eye exams and eyeglasses to many people.
With help from the ARC of Jackson County, each year more than 70,000 eyeglasses donated by Unclaimed Baggage are sorted, cleaned, packed, and shipped to regions around the world. Past Lions Club President presented a plaque to Brenda Cantrell thanking Unclaimed Baggage for their support in this very important project.
Scholarships are provided to three Scottsboro High School graduates each year. Two of these go to students planning to attend a university with the third going to a student entering a career.
Many citizens are familiar with the sight of Lions Club members selling brooms and mops in front of some local businesses. They have received the certificate of appreciation for the highest volume in broom and mop sales.
Elna Matthews, president of the Scottsboro Lions Club, recognized several local businesses that go above and beyond in assisting the Lions with their projects. Those businesses were Hammer’s, Piggly Wiggly, and Unclaimed Baggage.
She also recognized Don Word who was representing his father, Bob Word, who was out of town, as well as his grandfather, Robert D. Word, who was a charter member. Bob Word provided the materials for the table which featured the history of the Lions Club.
The surprise award of the night was the naming of the winner of the Melvin Jones Award. Matthews presented this award to Lion Jim Boatner who said Bob Word was the reason he got involved with the Club.
Word sponsored Boatner as a member on April 1, 1996. Matthews praised Boatner as always being dependable and willing to help with the Club’s many projects. Jones is the founder of Lions Club International which recognizes donations of $1,000 to Lions Club International Foundation.
Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton presented Matthews with a proclamation thanking the Lions for the many years of service to the community.
Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce Director Rick Roden presented a plaque in recognition of the Lions continuing service.
“When I look around this room,” said Roden, “I see a group of leaders.”
Lion Dr. Bill Coleman was presented the International Leadership Award for service above and beyond what is expected. Past International Director Lowell Bonds presented this award. Bonds said that he knows a lot is going on with the Scottsboro Lions Club and encouraged them to share their news with other groups across the state.
Past Lions Club presidents in attendance were recognized as were the widows of several Lions. This Club is the longest supporting club in the community, and all members play an important role in this.
The oldest Lion in attendance was Jake Word. He and the youngest Lion Jonathan Brown were also recognized. Word was the Lions president at their 25th anniversary, and Tom Bragg was president at the 50th anniversary.
The charter members were Robert D. Word, president; W. J. Gibson, first vice president; Paul Conley, second vice president; L. L. Boyd, third vice president; Hoyt Bramblett, secretary/treasurer; Pete McCutchen, Lion tamer; Dr. S. P. Hall and John T. Reid, directors; and Julian Hambrick, John B. Tally, Houston Kennamer, Lewis L. Rogers, Frank Boyd, Carter Hunt, Charles Hodges and Hugh Stewart.