On June 2, 1953, 22 residents of Ravenna came together to sign the charter that created the Ravenna Lions. This came about due to the efforts of the Kent Lions, who sponsored the new club.
Currently, there are still 22 members. They are (in order of seniority) Tony Porcase (7/66), lifetime member Russ Tisher (10/71), Don Romig (10/76), Larry Hurley (5/88), Past District Gov. Dave Repass (10/88), Gary Stefansic (6/93), Lori Dent and Rick Fredrick (7/03), Debbie Sunderland (8/07), Ken and Pam West (4/08), Darlene Petty (7/08), Dan Schaer (7/09), Marsh Lane (9/09), Marvin and Gloria Lanham, (11/10), Ted and Myndi Martin (2/12), Jim and Mary Newman (7/12), and Michael and Dawn Lyon (5/13).
On June 13, the group added two new members: Judith Everett and Joe Matures.
During the past 60 years, the Ravenna Lions have held the annual Roy A. Smith Junior Citizenship Award program. On May 21, the club held its 46th program. An educator in Ravenna, Roy Smith was well known for his passion for the Lions.
Over the years, the Ravenna Lions have participated in many local events. They have held a bingo night at The Woodlands in Ravenna; worked at the Portage County Charity Horse Show; provided eye exams and glasses to more than 600 individuals; donated to Pilot Dogs and Leader Dogs for the Blind; demonstrated the use of a guide dog; donated to diabetes research; participated in Balloon A-Fair and Summer Fest; and sold stuffed Lions to help the Children's Abuse program.
The club added several new projects in 2012: a Teddy Bear Giveaway to the children's ward at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, Relay for Life, and Breakfast with Santa.
Some future events include a Steak & Dinner Dance on Aug. 24 and the Balloon A-Fair on Sept. 21.
To join the Ravenna Lions, call 2014 King Lion Jim Newman at 330-319-4868.
Lisa Scalfaro/Record-Courier photos