History of the Dundee Township Lions Club
The Dundee Township Lions Club has provided more that 70 years of service, which began April 2, 1937 with 39 charter members. Joseph F. Estes was the charter President and Harry D. Jacobs was Secretary-Treasurer during the club’s first year. The dinner meetings were held on the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Hill Top Inn, which was located at 310 W. Main Street, Dundee.
Outstanding food, fun and fellowship have marked the dinner meetings throughout the club’s long history. Over the years the meeting nights were changed to the first and third Thursday of each month and the dinner meetings moved from the Hilltop Inn to the First United Methodist Church Basement, Congregational Church of Carpentersville, Library Hall, Veterans of Foreign Wars Canteen, The Evergreens, Chateau Louise, Floyd’s Restaurant, Holiday Inn, Elgin, and currently to the Village Squire in West Dundee. The summer meetings are held at Freeman Park, East Dundee.
Men and women of good will from all walks of life have committed themselves to community service through the Dundee Lions Club and in so doing have formed close friendships. Our members have devoted thousands of hours of time and talent in the performance of service to those less fortunate than themselves. The Dundee Lions membership currently is in the mid thirties. The club is strong and a very high proportion of members are extremely active.
The Elgin Lions Club originally sponsored the Dundee Township Lions Club in 1937. In turn the Dundee Lions sponsored a new club in Hampshire in 1953 and a new club in Carpentersville in 1959. In 1980 the Carpentersville Lions sponsored the Gilberts Lions Club. This year, the Carpentersville Lions have disbanded and joined with the Dundee Township Lions.
Throughout the seventy years the club has always maintained a strong participation and involvement in the affairs of Lions International. Dundee members have served as District Governors during four different years. Lion Herman J. Ohe 1944-45, Lion Erv Deuchler 1954-55, Lion Walt Wilson 1974-75 and Lion Fred Schuttie 1983-84.
Fund raising functions over the years have included our annual Ranch Breakfast, , Candy Day for Sight & Sound, outdoor Chicken & Corn Roast, Jamboree Days Security, auctions, The Taste of Dundee, Donkey baseball and basketball, Kane County gate service, Meadowdale Raceways gate service, Circus Cracker Jack Day, Broom sale, all-male cast “Womanless Wedding” home Talent show, Heritage Fest Pancake Breakfast, co-sponsor bingo at the Firemen’s Carnival, and the Christmas tree sale.
“WE SERVE” is the motto of Lions International and service to community is emphasized in the Dundee club. Special emphasis is placed on Sight & Sound projects, but the club has contributed money, member’s time and talents to hundreds of worthwhile community projects in its 70 year plus history. A partial listing of community projects would include: Two pavilions at Randall Oaks Park, playground equipment to Dundee Township Park District, tennis courts and ice skating rink at Tower Park, the first washrooms at South End Park, Dundee Township Library Room, Lions Park East Dundee, Haeger Memorial Swimming Pool East Dundee, Jockey Club field lights, fence for Triangle Park, funds for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Dundee Scots, Tri-Cities Little League, Boys and Girls Club, F.I.S.H. Pantry, Easter Egg hunt, Children’s Halloween Party, Ice Carnival, Holiday Home Lighting Contests, sponsoring students to Illinois Boys State and Washington, D.C., river bank cleanup duty, hearing van, campers to Camp Lions, Festival of Trees during Dickens in Dundee, the Boy’s and Girl’s Middle School Basketball Tournaments and many, many others activities and projects.
Dundee Township Lions Club sponsored the Dundee Lioness Club in 1982. The Lioness Club members are service –orientated women of the community, who have completed many worthwhile projects in their 24 year history. The Lioness Club combined with the Lions in 2006.
Currently Dundee Lions Club is a part of the Fox River Region, Zone 1 lineup of District 1-J Lions of Illinois. There are 74 Lions Clubs, 11 Lioness Clubs, and 13 Leos Clubs in district 1-J. Worldwide there are over 44,000 clubs in 192 countries with 1.4 million members. All Lions are dedicated to seeking out and helping those in need.
There are many social functions for all Lions members. Each year we have a valentine dinner, family picnic, officer installation dinner, and a Christmas party. There are inter-club meetings with neighboring Lions clubs, inter-club and District Bowling and golf tournaments, and other activities.
While the history, activities and accomplishments of the first 70 years are an inspiration; it is only the foundation or springboard from which the Dundee Township Lions will continue to build a better community in which to live and to make a living.