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Jack Welch marks 50 years with Funkstown Lions Club

April 06, 2008

FUNKSTOWN - Jack B. Welch Jr. might be 80 years old, but the number he is prouder of is 50 - the number of years he has been involved with the Funkstown Lions Club.

Welch helped found the club in 1957 and recently was honored by Lions International for his years of service to the organization, his near-perfect attendance and the fact that he is a charter member.

For more than 10 years, Welch has been the only charter member in the Funks-town club, which meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Next Dimensions.

In his five decades as a member, Welch said he officially has missed only one meeting, and that was because he was operated on for appendicitis the day before.

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On another occasion, Welch said he had gallbladder surgery on a Monday, but managed to make the Wednesday meeting.

Like other Lions Clubs, the Funkstown group operates under the motto "We serve." The group holds fundraisers and makes thousands of dollars in donations annually.

The Funkstown club supports the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, and sends blind and deaf children to a summer camp. The club gives away wheelchairs and eyeglasses, and donates to other nonprofits like Community Rescue Service and Hospice.

A number of years ago, Welch was involved in forming a new club for women, and the Beaver Creek Lions Club went into operation, initially with 50 members.

"It was the fourth women's Lions Club in the country," he said then.

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