Collins Lion’s Club celebrates 60 years
James Wright, Sr., first president of the charter group of the Collins Lion’s Club presented on the history of the club at the March 13 meeting held at Windsor Manor, Nevada. Approximately 20 members and family members, including his wife Hazel and son James Wright, Jr., were in attendance at the meeting.
“I’m pushing 96, and I don’t have an enemy in the world. I’ve outlived them all,” Mr. Wright quipped, surrounded by fellow Lions.
Wright shared anecdotes from the many activities initiated in Collins by the Lion’s Club, some of which were the Collins Parade, Teachers’ Supper, Sweet Corn Feed and Ladies’ Night Out. Of the many stories shared, the origin of the unique utensils used to barbecue large numbers of chicken halves for the chicken dinner was one of the most amusing. Cyril Lengeling and John Wright, Sr. innovated the current grates used for barbecuing as many as 50 chicken halves each, roasted over an open pit formed from large cement bricks. When praised for the design, which is still used for Collins Days Chicken Dinner today, he said, “If you do well on a committee, you’ll find it’s hard to get off.”
In its early days, the club realized that the doctor who served the town wasn’t eliciting fees from all of his patients due to the depressed economy. His wife, because of this, was still doing their laundry by hand in a tub. To show the community’s appreciation for his selfless service, money was provided to purchase the doctor and his wife a new washing machine. This spirit of community is still a priority to the club and its members.
The club raised a discussion of the current state of membership, brainstorming ideas to include a wider variety of Collins citizens. Ideas were bandied about for informing the community of the open opportunity to join meetings at any time and addressing the challenges today’s society presents to families that have ever increasing obligations.
When the club originally formed, meetings were held twice monthly. Currently, Lion’s Club meets once each month at the Collins Community Center. Originally, the club met at local eating establishments or was hosted by Collins citizens. Members reminisced about meeting at the café on Main Street (which is no longer there), the Methodist Church, and various Ames, Colo and Nevada restaurants. Dues in 1954 were $30.
The original charter members included James W. Wright, Sr., President; L. D. Holland, 1st Vice President; Harold Hale, 2nd Vice President; Reverend Robert P Robinson, Secretary-Treasurer; George L. Kimberley, Tail Twister; Alvin Hanson, Lion Tamer; Ralph. W. Vasey and Dwight O. Luing, Directors, and members at large, R. P. Armstrong, Claude Ballard, Royal Cory, Lawrence Dodd, Elmer Haley, C. B. Kimberley, Raymond Long, John E. Patterson, Donald Pointer, C. R. Stone, John W. Stratton, Dr. E. H. Smith, and Dent Wilson.
The March 4, 1954 edition of the “Collins Gazette” reported the news of the Charter meeting, sponsored by the Maxwell Lion’s Club, in attendance, who presented the Collins Lion’s Club with a “gong” to be used to begin their meetings, which is also one of the many traditions still observed. According to the article, 180 local citizens attended the gathering in the school gymnasium, including representatives from Rippy, Nevada, State Center, Ogden, Centerville, Ames and Bedford.
At the conclusion of the formal meeting, an award was presented to James W. Wright, Sr. for 60 years of membership and to Bob Schmitt for 30 years.
If you live in the Collins or Maxwell area and would be interested in joining Lion’s Club, please feel free to join any of the monthly meetings held the second Thursday of the month at the Collins Community Center or call club president Pam Twohey at 515-782-5066 for more information.
Collins Easter Egg Hunt, April 19th
The Collins Lion’s Club is sponsoring the annual Collins Lion’s Club Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. on April 19 at Trailside Park. All are welcome to attend. The hunt itself is intended for children currently in fifth grade or younger.
Collins Library Trivia Night, March 22
The Collins Library is sponsoring a Trivia Night event on Saturday, March 22 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30. Teams of two to eight people may enter for $10 per person.
New Collins Correspondent
Tammy Sposeto is now serving the Tri-County Times as a correspondent for Collins. Sposeto lives in Collins with her husband and two children. She has three other adult children, one living in Newton with his wife and her first grandson; one attending DMACC in Ankeny; and one attending Waldorf College at Forest City. Employed by KELTEK, Inc in Baxter in sales and marketing, a member of the Maxwell Christian Church and the Collins Lion’s Club, as well as a former board member of the Newton Community Theatre, Sposeto is immersed in the local community in which she lives and enjoys very much assisting her friends and neighbors to promote events and news of interest.
Tammy Sposeto can be reached via email at email@example.com, by mail to PO Box 122, or by phone at 515-339-2783.