The number of Lions in Tiger country climbed on June 2nd and is still climbing. Smithville officially chartered a new Lions Club to join the Alexandria Lions Club in serving the needs of Dekalb County and beyond. Twenty-one men and women charter members celebrated the formation of the Smithville Lions Club at the Smithville Church of God Annex on a rare rainy evening during a drought plagued spring. Following a great meal catered by The Gourmet Café, Lions District Governor Shirley Staats presented the members of the new club with their official charter, which all present signed. \"I am extremely proud and honored to welcome these fine men and women as fellow Lions. Smithville will also be proud to have such a fine group serving the community,\" said Shirley Staats. The charter will remain open until August 31, 2007, and any new member who joins during that time will be counted as a charter member. The club has already added to the roster since charter night and welcomes more.
A host of Lions from across Tennessee gathered to help mark the occasion. Members of the McMinnville Lions Club, who sponsored the formation of the Smithville Lions Club, were on hand to congratulate the new club; these included Past District Governor James McBee, President Inez Nunley and Guiding Lion Evelyn Northcutt. The Officers and Directors of the new Smithville Lions Club were officially inducted by Past International Director Billy Pearson. The keynote address on Lionism was given by Past International President and Woodbury Lion Austin Jennings.
Internationally, the Lions primary activity is service to the blind and visually impaired. They are also very involved with youth initiatives. Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in nearly 200 countries and geographical locations.
Locally, the Smithville Lions will have a booth set up at this year's Fiddlers Jamboree and are already scheduled to screen eyesight for the Head Start Program and at the First Day of School Celebration. The Smithville Lions Club is conducting a needs analysis to assess areas that need to be addressed in our community and will develop activities to meet them. They are also already planning on participating in the District 12-S White Cane effort that raises money for projects such as Leader Dog for the Blind, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, the Middle Tennessee Lions Sight Service, Tennessee School for the Blind, District Hearing Aid Program and many more. Anyone interested in learning more about being a part of this community service should contact either Smithville Membership Chairman Vester Parsley at 597-7200 or Guiding Lion Cliff Swoape at 597-0518
The Smithville Lions Club would like to extend a very special thanks to the Smithville Church of God for the use of their building and to Evelyn Underwood for all of her assistance. They would also like to thank the many Lions of Tennessee who sent gifts to get the Smithville Lions Club started strong.
Members of the club are Jeff James (Tail Twister), Phillip Cripps (2nd Vice-President), Jim Wall, Mike Foster, Vester Parsley (Membership Chair), Mark Willoughby, Jeremy Trapp (Lion Tamer), Rhonda Caplinger, Kevin Latta, Randy Tramel, Cliff Swoape (Guiding Lion & Affiliate Member), Evelyn Northcutt (Guiding Lion), Pam Curtis, Deanna Johnson, Stephanie Walls (Director), Starla Meigs (Treasurer), April Patrick Gray (Director), Jackie Smith (1st Vice President), Inez Nunley (McMinnville Club President), Tony Charley (President), Kate Poss (Secretary), Jayson Johnson, Meshia Price, and Charles Atnip