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Lions Club of Fort Lupton celebrates 60 years

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — The Lions Club of Fort Lupton has given back to the community for 60 years.
    The Lions Club has provided eye exams, glasses, hearing aids for those in need, sponsored boy scouts, girl scouts and Weld County Harvest Fair queen candidates. The Lions have helped build a medical center and have held clinics for polio, glaucoma and diabetes testing.
    The club celebrated its anniversary June 17 at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center with guest speaker Ken Schwols, former international director of the Lions Club, which was founded in 1917 in Chicago by Melvin Jones.
    Kenneth Homyak, former district governor for the Lions Club, has been with the Fort Lupton chapter since the beginning.
    “Actually, I missed being a charter member by a couple of months,” he laughed.
    Homyak, a former principal at Fort Lupton High School, joined the Lions to connect with the community. He has seen the changing role of the Lions Club in Fort Lupton — but he’s coy about what he’s witnessed.
    “How was it different? More members, for one thing,” Homyak said, and then fell silent.
    When asked how the Lions Club has interacted with Fort Lupton, Homyak tapped his fingers on the program presented at the anniversary party.
    “It’s all there,” he said, giving the same response to the question of how the club has changed over the years. “It’s all there.”
    And inside the program, written on a manual typewriter and edited with white out, Homyak was right: a brief account of the club’s history was laid out with a wistful tone.
    “As the years have passed, we have lost the rivalry and friendships of other service clubs in the community,” the history read. “The Rotary and JayCee clubs are no longer active here. The Optimists and the Fort Lupton Lions Clubs are the only active service clubs in the city.”
    But the club’s history also highlighted the hard work and many accomplishments of its members.
    “Members from our club have served on various office on the state level. We have had a district governor, several zone chairmen, directors to the zone cabinet, and directors to the Lions Handicap Camp, Woodland Park,” the history stated. “We have won state honors many times for attendance and visitations. The club won the six North District Governors contest in 1965-66 with Ken Homyak as the District Governor.”
    And through the years, the men in the club have relied on the help, organization and culinary skills of their better halves.
    “We must recognize our Lions Ladies who have supported us all these years,” the program stated. “A special ‘Thank You’ for the meeting night meals you prepared for all those years and the special event meals of shrimp, chow mein, steak nights and pancake suppers.”
    The club was born in the minds of Fort Lupton residents Albert Walter and Burdette Cain. The club was chartered Feb. 25, 1953 with 25 members. The Lions estimate that there have been 200 members in the club, ranging at any given time from 10 to 45 people.
    In the end, members of the Lions Club know their history might be impossible to relate to someone who hasn’t witnessed it.
    “This review of the past 60 years is in no way complete,” the program stated. “We don’t have space to voice them all. There has been lots of hard work, fun, disappointments, enjoyments, long, short, dull, and exciting meeting. But most of all it has been a lot of comradeship and pride for the Lions of Fort Lupton. This is the past. We, the present Lions, have a great challenge to live up to in the future.”