Seeley Lake Lions Club – Seeley Swan Pathfinder
The Seeley-Swan and Blackfoot Valleys are home to many non-profit organizations. All of these not-for-profit organizations play a vital role in our communities and most are run by volunteers. Over the next few months we will be introducing these various groups with the aim of highlighting who they are, what they do and how to get involved. To nominate your favorite nonprofit for the feature, please email email@example.com or call 406-677-2022.
Lake Seeley Lions Club
SEELEY LAKE – The Lions Club of Seeley Lake is an international non-profit organization operating under the umbrella of Lions Clubs International. Governed by the overarching mission to be “the world’s leader in community and humanitarian service”, the club’s vision is “to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through the through Lions Clubs”. The club’s motto is “We Serve”.
The first Seeley Lake Lions Club began on June 4, 1960. A group of community members in the Seeley Lake area recognized the need for community-wide support for projects ranging from personal needs to the region’s infrastructure. The club faltered in its early years, but support from the Missoula Lions Club helped reinvigorate the group. The current Seeley Lake Lions Club was established in 1978.
Women were invited into Lions Clubs in the early 1990s, adding a much-needed dimension to the organization. Lion Anne Zimmermann was the first female member and Cheryl Lewis was the first female president.
The Seeley Lake Lions Club was instrumental in renovating two important community assets, which it continues to manage and maintain: the Sullivan Memorial Community Hall and the Seeley Lake Lions Club Park (technically Clearwater Park, co-operated with Missoula County).
Since the Lions Club took over operation of Clearwater Park in 1996, they have added a storage building, an ice skate shed, an outbuilding and a paved walking path. Each year members mow, control weeds and clean up litter, as well as maintaining the winter ice surface for ice skating. Thanks to a recent grant, the park will soon receive new play equipment. A tractor with mower, snow blade and sweeping brush will be purchased to help with maintenance.
The Seeley Lake Lions Club also conducts many other service activities designed to improve Seeley Lake and help those in need. Community service projects include conducting eye screenings in schools and providing eyeglasses to those who cannot afford theirs; distributing emergency firewood to those in need; organize the annual Easter egg hunt; hosting a chili meal on Rich Ranch Community Appreciation Day; delivery of Christmas food baskets; the awarding of scholarships to students at Seeley-Swan Secondary School; and participate in the state’s Adopt-a-Highway cleanup.
To help fund these activities, the Lions Club publishes the Seeley Lake Telephone Directory twice a year which includes the greater Seeley-Swan area. Other fundraisers include a 4th of July firewood raffle and winter sandbag sale. The Seeley Lake Lions Club does not employ anyone in its efforts to support the community, so it pays no salaries. All work is donated generously by members of the community. This means that every dollar goes towards the intended goal.
According to the current president of the Seeley Lake Lions Club, Gary Lewis, “The Lions Club aims to improve and help the community. One hundred percent of funds raised or donated go to projects to fulfill our mission.”
In 2016, Seeley Lake Lions Club helped form the Leos (Leadership, Experience, Opportunity) Club which is a youth organization of Lions Clubs International. Operating out of Seeley-Swan High School, the local Leos Club encourages young people to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities and joining a global family of young people who are making the world a better place. Any SSHS student can join the Leos Club by contacting Mary Stone, SSHS Math Teacher, Leo Club Advisor.
Anyone can benefit from Lions Club services or participate in events. Lions Clubs International has no political or religious affiliation, and all are welcome. There are more than 46,500 Lions Clubs worldwide, with more than 1.4 million members serving in more than 210 countries. As the largest international service club in the world, club members feel part of something meaningful and take pride in providing service to our community.
At Seeley Lake, general meetings are held every fourth Thursday of the month, beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m. and moving to a catered dinner meeting at 7 p.m. The location alternates between the community hall and local restaurants.
As a community service club, the Seeley Lake Lions are always open to new ideas to improve and serve the community. New members are always welcome. Download a membership application at http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/seeleylake/index.php or contact Mike Marshall, club administrator SeeleyLakeLionsclub@gmail.com or call 541-921-1809.
Current Board of Directors
President Gary Lewis
Vice President Wendy Dalrymple
Past President Jon Kimble
Secretary Cheryl Lewis
Treasurer Marcos Arroyo
Club Administrator Mike Marshall
Mailing address: PO Box 215, Seeley Lake, MT 59868-0215