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Penn National Lions Club kicks off with 109 members

September 23, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • A new Lions Club formed in the Penn National community in Fayetteville, Pa., this year. Shown left to right are members Cindy Woofter, Dan Whaley, John Miner, Bob Thomas, Matt Kellam and Dick Naugle.
Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- "We're going to set the bar higher for Lions Clubs."

That comment by Dick Naugle, president of The Penn National Lions Club, reflects his high hopes for the service organization's newest club in Franklin County, Pa.

The club Naugle leads was chartered June 7.

"We started with 109 charter members," Naugle said.

Officials from Lions Clubs International are checking to determine whether that's the largest number of charter members for clubs in the United States, he said.

"There's only one club in Pennsylvania that has more members, and we're brand new," Naugle said.

It all started with John A. Miner, who members say had a vision to bring the organization to the Penn National community north of Mont Alto, Pa.

An initial meeting in March yielded only four people interested in joining. Miner made calls, knocked on doors and sent cards, generating interest from a total of 29 people at a meeting two weeks later.

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"How this club grew is unreal," said Bob Thomas, a Franklin County Commissioner who joined after being contacted by Miner.

Miner was a Lion in Greene Township, Pa., "for 51 years and nine months," he said.

"I missed the charter in Greene Township by three months," Miner said.

The Penn National community, which is largely comprised of retirees, already does a lot of service work quietly, according to Dan Whaley, secretary of the new club.

"Now everybody can rally around the Lions image and organization," he said.

"The people of Penn National really like giving," said Cindy Woofter, membership chairwoman.

Penn National Lions Club members meet once a month and communicate largely by e-mail. Membership dues of $5 a month are used to operate the club, while fundraising revenue is used for international and local projects, officials said.

"We're not just a social club," Naugle said. "We're here to serve."

Club members volunteered at two Habitat for Humanity projects and worked at a community picnic. They're preparing to cook and serve food at the National Apple Harvest Festival in Adams County, Pa., to generate revenue for the club.

The club is trying to establish drop-off locations for donations of glasses, and plans to host a golf tournament next year, Thomas said.

People interested in joining the Penn National Lions Club do not have to be residents of the community. They can attend the next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in Building 6 of the Penn National Inn. They can also visit http://www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/PennNational or call Naugle at 717-352-2305.

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