Throughout the world, Lions Club members strive to live up to their motto of “We Serve.”
In Apex, the club has been achieving that standard for a long, long time.
The Apex Lions Club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a special banquet Nov. 15 at the C.C. Jones Building.
The club honored members both past and present, strolled down memory lane, received a Town of Apex proclamation from Mayor Keith Weatherly and enjoyed a performance from the local Gospel trio, The Social Security Boys.
Since it was first chartered on Oct. 26, 1937, the oldest civic club in Apex has consistently provided help to those in need.
The Lions have provided numerous scholarships for Apex High School seniors, sponsored Boy Scout Troop 209 and Cub Scout Pack 312, and held countless fundraisers for the Governor Moorehead School, Boys and Girls Home, Western Wake Crisis Ministry and many individuals.
In just the past year, the 44-member club amassed 3,325 hours of community service.
Lion Horace Johnson told those in attendance it was important to remember and uphold the traditions begun by the charter members more than seven decades ago.
“We honor those 31 men who stepped forward in 1937 and decided they wanted to serve, help others and make their community a better place to live and raise their – and now, our – families. Not just anyone can be a Lion. It takes someone who truly cares for others and wants to make things better for all.
“That is the challenge of the Apex Lions Club as they move forward, to find those who truly want to serve.”
In presenting the proclamation, Weatherly noted the Lions’ strong ties to town history. Many influential town leaders and businessmen served in the club through the decades.
“I’m really honored to be here for your special occasion,” said Weatherly. “The Lions have meant so much to Apex and the community.”
Weatherly recognized two former mayors in attendance, James Austin and Larry Jordan, and said they were part of the “great legacy of leadership in this club.”
“There are a lot of people in this room who have made lasting impressions on our community,” said Weatherly.
In another tribute to history, Lion president Hamilton Martin presented a certificate of appreciation to the Sanford Lions Club. It was the Sanford club who first sponsored Apex in 1937.
Sanford club vice president Phil Gurkin said he reviewed the Apex Lions’ history on their website and was very impressed with their many accomplishments.
“It is a privilege to be here with you,” said Gurkin. “You are an exemplary club not only for the state but the nation as well. I’m glad Sanford had a small part to play.”
Several awards were also handed out to current members. John Lynde and Bekki Bennett both earned Jack Stickley Fellowships, the highest honor given to a Lion. David Lawrence received a Melvin Jones Fellowship and John Potts was named the Apex Lion of the Year. Lifetime Lion Awards were presented to John Bryson and Bob McIver.
For more information on the club visit apexlions.org.