Mitchell Lions Club Celebrates 100 Years of Service to the Community – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The Mitchell Lions Club celebrated 100 years of service to the community of Mitchell Thursday night.

During the event, held at Moose Lodge in Mitchell, guests enjoyed a three course meal, an open bar, as well as several keynote speakers and an awards ceremony for veteran Lions club members.

In a written statement, Mitchell Lions Club president Ryan Boyd praised the club’s commitment to community events over the past 100 years.

“The Mitchell Lions have been and still are very active in community activities,” said Boyd. “We helped promote and support projects like Highway 16, Mitchell Airport, and the Indian Village overseen by the Lions Club for many years… and in 1927 we raised $300,000 for Lake Mitchell, which should be equivalent.” almost $5 million today.”

Boyd went on to say that the club will continue to provide for the city of Mitchell and the surrounding areas, with a focus now primarily on attractions and service.

“Each year we donate several thousand dollars to help people in our community with their eye care needs,” said Boyd. “Our service extends beyond our community through our donations to the South Dakota Lions Foundation, Lions Sight and Health and Lions Club International.”

The event was also attended by several speakers including Palace City Lions Club member Kay Thomas who spoke about the missionary trips funded by the Mitchell Lions Club to help provide eyeglasses to third world countries followed by Speaker Marcy Dimond, CEO of Dakota Lions Sight and Health, Eye and Tissue Donation.

Dimond spoke at length about the processes of the eye bank, which has provided corneas and tissues for transplants in North Dakota and South Dakota for over 30 years, noting their pioneering services and advances in skin and eye tissue transplants to date.

“To give you an idea of ​​how many people are affected each year,” Dimond said during a presentation on Thursday, “in 2022 we had a total of 915 donors. Of these, 707 were eye donors and 144 were tissue donors, and we provided over 1,000 vision restoration transplants – 19 of which were provided by the Free Program.

Dimond described the free program initiated by the Lions of South Dakota.

“This program allows us to make the corneal tissue available to patients who can’t afford the surgery, and that’s why we work with the surgeons who do the surgeries, the insurance companies – we give them the tissue and the procedure basically free of charge available to patients,” said Dimond.

Several awards were also presented during the event. Several club members were recognized at the awards ceremony, with the Verlin D. Lowrie Award for Outstanding Service in First Year Membership going to Joe and Julie Lichter; the Lion of the Year award for Bobbie Clark; the President’s Award presented to Zach Flood; and the Legacy Award presented to Lyle Swenson.

In addition to the Legacy Award, Lyle Swenson was recognized by renaming the Lion of the Year Award, now officially known as the Lyle Swenson Lion of the Year Award, in recognition of his 55 years of service to the Mitchell Lions Club.

The Palace City Lions Club, formed as an extension of the Mitchell Lions Club for members unable to attend regular lunchtime meetings, also donated $1,000 to the Mitchell Lions Club. The donation was recognized as a Melvin Jones Award and presented by the Palace City Lions Club on behalf of member Dave Jorgenson.

To learn more about the Mitchell Lions Club, click here.