Lions Club

The 1990s was a decade marked forever by Beanie Babies and Super Mario from Nintendo. More importantly, the time was open for women. Many, many households were two income units, and women were stepping up and becoming leaders in their jobs, community and service clubs. Half of the Emporia Lions presidents were women during this decade.

Emporia State’s John Rich started the decade as president (1990-91); he was followed by our first female president, June Hubert, who presided over the Club’s 70th Anniversary in October, 1991. She was the Service Head of the Community Support Programs for the Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas. June tells a story about her and John as a lightbulb sales team having so much fun they forgot to give a lady her lightbulbs.

Ken Suchy, who worked at Thomas Transfer and Storage, was elected president for the 1992-93 year.

It had been a number of years since the Emporia Lions had furnished a District Governor, but attorney Bob Symmonds stepped up to serve in that capacity, leading the 36 clubs in Lions District 17KW for the 1992-93 year. Bob was a strong Kansas Band supporter, becoming president of the Kansas Band Foundation after his term as district governor.

Meanwhile, the Emporia Club was being led in 1993-94 by Ron Boettcher, Kansa Technology’s Marketing Administrator, when Lions International launched their Campaign Sight First to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness. The several weeks-long door-to-door lightbulb sales drive continued to be the major fundraiser for the club. Ron said, try as he might, he could never top Lion George Walters in annual sales.

The club’s Biscuit and Gravy Breakfast was coming into its own as a generator of funds and fellowship.

Emporia State University furnished the club another president for the decade mid-point. Danny Kennett served as leader, when, in December 1994, the Emporia Lions purchased a Vision Tester for the Lyon County Health Department.

One wonders if those Lions kept any of those Beanie Babies.

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