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Hope Lions Hear Program From Longest Tenured Members

By Lion Mark Keith, 02/28/22 9:59 PM

The Hope Lions Club heard from three of its longest serving members of the club.  Jim Gunter, Dr. Don Freel, and Bill Byrd talked about some of the club’s past achievements.  Jim Gunter opened things up by telling the club about a “radio thon” the club did in 1974 to raise $25,000 for the medical expenses of local child.  Dr. Don Freel talked about how Harold Freeman had alerted the club that it had a considerable sum in a cd once and suggested they spend it on community projects.  Dr. Freel said they did.  Dr. Free also talked about the Hope Lioness Club and the previous Evening Lions that was in existence from the 70’s to 1990.  Dr. Freel also noted the first female member of the club was Kay Ross and explained how his late wife, Debbie, became a Lion in 1995.  He also talked about some of the unusual animals the club used to make money at the annual Lions auction.  Lion Bill Byrd talked about the various meeting places during his years in the club.  Those meeting places included the Town & Country, Perry’s, the Sheraton Inn, Holiday Inn, Western Sizzlin’, the Hope Country Club, and now Amigo Juan’s.  Byrd also talked about the Lions Club’s light bulb and broom/mop sales.

The three men represented 160 years of combined membership in the club.  Dr. Freel joined in 1965, Judge Gunter in 1966, and Byrd in 1975.  Two other members who are still active were not at the meeting are Harold Freeman (who organized the program) and Jack Gathright.