As reported in the Arcola Record-Herald

As reported by Sue Stout


Special Thanks to Sue Stout for all her research on the first Fifty Years of History.

January 16, 1947: Rev. H. L. Hayes named to head Arcola Lions. New Service club will hold charter night.

Tuesday, February 25, 1947 at the Christian Church. Other officers of the newly formed service club include Paul J. Cunningham, Secretary; Max King, First Vice President; Fred W. Shrader, Second Vice President; Floyd Covill, Third Vice President; Dale Kearns, Lion Tamer; Walter Reinheimer, Tail Twister; Robert Coombe, Ellsworth Young, Dr. J. V. Fishel and J. D. Bailey, Directors. Twenty-four local men have joined the Arcola Lions and additional new members will be taken into the organization up until charter night.

February 13, 1947: Rev. Hayes appointed committee chairmen at special meeting. Among those named were Constitution and By-Laws, John Connor; Attendance, Bernard Nay; Citizenship and Patriotism, George Dilliner; Health and Welfare, Robert Holaday; Lions Education, Dale Hull.

February 27, 1947: The new Arcola Lions Club received its charter during an impressive banquet-meeting held Tuesday evening at the Arcola Township High School gymnasium. Nearly 200 people, including visiting Lions from Mattoon, Decatur, Atwood, Bethany, Tolono and Sullivan and their wives attended. Women of the Presbyterian Church served the dinner.

March 13, 1947: Plans for a ìLadies Nightî and pot luck supper were discussed at a meeting of the Arcola Lions Club Held at the Christian Church.

June 30, 1949: The Rev. Fr. Martin J. Reidy has been chosen to head a newly organized Lions Club in Arcola. The group was organized Tuesday night at a meeting at the Arcola Cafe after four attempts, which failed because of small attendance.

October 13, 1949: During a dinner meeting at the Cottage Inn it was resolved to aid the Womenís Club in the sponsorship of the girl scouts. The Lions also initiated plans to distribute Christmas baskets for the less fortunate children of the city. The suggestion to help out at Christmas was made by Lion H.L. Hayes, who stressed the service nature of Lions Club.

March 16, 1950: Lions to aid youth program. Representatives appointed to attend community council youth program. Monetary aid approved to Girl Scouts, which the club sponsored last year when it was organized. The club also decided to provide a one-week scholarship at the summer art camp at Allerton Park near Monticello for a deserving high school student.

May 11, 1950: Dale Kearns elected president of Arcola Lion Club during their meeting at the Arcola Cafe succeeding Rev. Fr. Martin J. Reidy. Members plan to purchase additional bleachers for football games and pay for them by subscriptions to season reserved seats. It was reported that approximately $75.00 would be made available to the band uniform project.

December 28, 1950: Arcola people join the Lions Club in their Yule project as an unexpected flood of food, clothing and toys was donated to provide the ingredients of a happy holiday to 17 Arcola homes.

December 28, 1950: Lions to present ë51 home talent show next month. Lions met in Christian Church basement to formulate plans for their second annual variety show. The Lions have declared a new deal this year in regard to the show. An outside producing company sent a director, a script and a few costumes last year and left town with a major part of the box office receipts. The Lions, realizing how much more good could have been done in Arcola had all the money stayed here, determined to produce the entire show themselves in 1951.

February 22, 1951: Mayor Ed Finfgeld will be master of ceremonies for the Lions Club variety show, which will follow a school theme in presenting a variety of music and dramatic acts. West Side Dramatic Club, under the guidance of Mary Jane Saunders, will present a skit and an extensive amateur program will be conducted. Elementary School Principal Vergil M. Ragsdale conducted try-outs to screen applicants.

March 1, 1951: A crowd of nearly 500 persons jammed the Arcola High School auditorium to see the second annual Lions variety show. Highlighting the program was the amateur show with the first prize of $5.00 going to Donnie Miller for his harmonica interpretation of Shep.

April 5, 1951: Arcola Lions Club was honored at the East Central District meeting of the Lions in Champaign, the Arcola Lions Club being named second in the district for overall club activity.

May 17, 1951: President Elect J.D. Bailey announced appointments for standing committees including Civic Improvement and Community Betterment: John Connor, Bernard Nay, Earl Titis and Fred Shrader.

November 15, 1951: Lions to purchase new bleachers unit.

November 29, 1951: Special guests of the Lions were John Powers, high school principal; Andy Sullivan, head coach; Dick Mills, assistant coach; William Hombaker, chemistry teacher and freshman football coach; and Pete Centa, grade school coach. All reviewed the seasonís work.

February 21, 1952: The 1952 Lions variety show followed a school theme with an extensive amateur program with 22 acts. The West Side Dramatic Club, under the guidance of Mary Jane Saunders, presented a skit. A dancing quartet of Benita Bushu, Linda Stump, Nancy Keal and Lianne Allen performed again this year.

March 6, 1952: More than 800 see Lions Club variety show, which cleared approximately $350.00 for community projects.

April 10, 1952: The Arcola Lions Club will contribute $100.00 toward the summer recreation program. The club voted to give $25.00 for the boy scouts.

April 24, 1952: Lions Club to sponsor an Arcola High School student at the Premier Boys State at Springfield.

May 15, 1952: John M. Connor was elected president of the Arcola Lions Club. The new president made a short acceptance speech, in which he announced that his platform would be short speeches.

October 30, 1952: Dick Colclasure, manager of the Western Auto Store, and Ed Cunningham were guests of the supper meeting held in the basement of the Methodist Church. Harry Keal was named to make a study of fluoridation of water.

November 13, 1952: President John Connor pointed out that last year the Lions club attendance was second in the district only to Mattoon.

January 1, 1953: Lions Christmas project called best one yet as some 89 children were given toys and 26 food baskets were handed out to the less fortunate families in the community.

March 5, 1953: More than 750 see Lions minstrel show.

August 6, 1953: President Walter Reinheimer and Virgil Roberts are pictured taping bicycles and scooters with safety glow tape at the East Side School.

November 19, 1953: Chamber of Commerce and Lions dismantled the Arcola armed service recognition board on Main Street and help fill in the excavation behind the board. The newly filled-in area just west of the Arcola Hotel will be used as a parking lot.

December 24, 1953: Harry Keal named as one of the Lions who helped prepare 24 food and toy baskets for the needy.

March 4, 1954: The annual Lions Club minstrel show, The Showboat included a cast of over 75.

March 18, 1954: Lions chorus members in variety show included Vivian Hull, Virginia Vyverberg, Roberta Bromley, Dale Hull and Harry Keal.

April 1, 1954: Lions arrange cub scout meeting for parents interested in having their boys enjoy the benefits of cub scouting. The Arcola Lions Club will sponsor the pack.

May 13, 1954: Dale Hull elected president of Arcola Lions for 1954: Bill Vyverberg elected Tail Twister. Among those receiving perfect attendance pins were Bernard Nay, Bill Vyverberg, Dale Hull, Dale Kearns and Earl Clark.

January 27, 1955: Arcola Lions Club orders street signs. It was reported that Tail Twister Bill Vyverberg interrupted the diners with his pestiferous antics at the dinner meeting.

April 28, 1955: Lions to erect street signs at cost of $942.47.

May 12, 1955: Paul Cunningham elected President. Bernard Nay to be First Vice-President.

May 26, 1955: E.C. Wood named Lion of the Year. Virgil Roberts recognized for his work with the Lions chorus in the minstrel show.

July 28, 1955: Earl Clark, John Connor and Dale Hull named as committee to hunt for a new cub master and assistant for the pack sponsored by the club.

March 15, 1956: Ronnie Vyverberg, Bill Byerly and Barbara Carroll presented a trumpet trio at Lions meeting September 13, 1956: Lions Club, headed by President Bernard Nay, voted to enter into Lease agreement with the Arcola Library Board for the back lot of the library property of East Main Street to build a scout cabin for Troop 96.

January 24, 1957: Dale Hull and Ed Cunningham to co-chair annual variety show.

February 7, 1957: Lions to mark Tenth birthday. Ten-year chevrons presented to Dale Kearns, Robert Coombe, Paul Cunningham, Walter Reinheimer, J.D. Bailey, John Connor, Fred Shrader, Virgil Roberts, Dr. J.V. Fishel and Dale Hull. The club currently has 27 members.

February 14, 1957: A skit, This is Your Life, written and presented by William Vyverberg, honored Rev. H. L. Hayes of Charleston, first club president.

May 16, 1957: Keith Eversole becomes new Lions president.

July 11, 1957: Scoutmaster William Vyverberg and members of Boy Scout Troop 96 broke sod at the cabin site on the rear of the Arcola Library lot.

October 24, 1957: Lions collect $95.48 in White Cane Sales for Hadley School for the Blind near Chicago and the Leader Dogs in Michigan.

April 24, 1958: Lions fete grade school heavyweights. James Bromley nominated for president and Harry Keal for first vice-president.

May 1, 1958: Lions distributed trashcans along Main Street. Robert Coombe painted the blue and orange cans.

August 28, 1958: Lions Club will be in charge of the sale of reserve seats for this yearís football games. E.C. Wood, Secretary-Treasurer, announced the club would like for the proceeds to be used toward the construction of a new announcing booth.

May 14, 1959: Harry Keal named president. The club feted honor students of the senior class. The club planned to complete the uniform flag holders on all downtown street light poles by Memorial Day.

May 28, 1959: Guests of the Lions Club were essay award winners of Civic Improvement Essay Contest, including Beth Hull.

August 13, 1959: Arcola Lions Club challenges ABC to a tug-of-war. The Lions are evidently expecting to pit brain against brawn since it would be a pretty safe guess that the Lions are out muscled to begin with, and that their age is against their cause, but it is reported that they were determined in their decision to challenge ABCíers.

September 10, 1959: Foul called on Arcola Lions on first pull of tug-of-war on the basis that they used too many men.