Seeley Lake Lions Club
The Non-Profit Niche
March 10, 2022
The Seeley-Swan and Blackfoot Valleys are home to many non-profits. All these non-profits play a vital role in our communities and most are run by volunteers. Over the next several months we will feature these various groups in an effort to highlight who they are, what they do and how to get involved. To nominate your favorite non-profit for the feature please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-677-2022.
Seeley Lake Lions Club
SEELEY LAKE – Seeley Lake Lions Club is an international non-profit organization operating under the umbrella of Lions Clubs International. Governed by the overarching mission to be "the global 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 Lions Clubs." The Club motto is "We Serve."
The first Seeley Lake Lions Club originated 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 area 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 chartered in 1978.
Women were invited into Lions Clubs in the early 1990's, adding a much-needed dimension to the organization. Lion Anne Zimmermann was the first female member and Cheryl Lewis was the first female to serve as president.
The Seeley Lake Lions Club was instrumental in the renovation of two significant community assets, which it continues to manage and maintain: the Sullivan Memorial Community Hall and the Seeley Lake Lions Club Park (technically Clearwater Park, managed in cooperation with Missoula County).
Since the Lions Club took over the operation of Clearwater Park in 1996, they have added a storage building, an ice skate shed, an outhouse and an asphalt walking path. Members annually mow, control the weeds and clean up trash as well as maintain the winter ice surface for ice skating. Thanks to a recent grant award, the park soon will get new playground equipment. A tractor with mower, snow blade and sweeper brush will be purchased to help with maintenance.
The Seeley Lake Lions Club also carries out many other service activities designed to enhance Seeley Lake and assist those in need. Community service projects include conducting eye screening in the schools and providing eyeglasses for those unable to purchase their own; distributing emergency firewood to those in need; organizing the annual Easter Egg Hunt; hosting a chili feed at the Rich Ranch Community Appreciation Day; delivering Christmas food baskets; awarding scholarships to Seeley-Swan High School students; and participating in the state's "Adopt a Highway" cleanup.
To help fund these activities, the Lions Club bi-annually publishes the Seeley Lake Telephone Directory which includes the greater Seeley-Swan area. Other fundraisers include a Fourth of July firewood raffle and the sale of sandbags for winter use. The Seeley Lake Lions Club does not employ anyone in their efforts to support the community, so they pay no salaries. All labor is donated generously by members of the community. This means that every dollar goes toward the intended goal.
According to the Seeley Lake Lions Club current president Gary Lewis, "The Lions Club is all about improving and helping the community. One hundred percent of the funds raised or donated go to projects to meet our mission."
In 2016, the Seeley Lake Lions Club helped establish the Leos (Leadership, Experience, Opportunity) Club which is a youth organization of Lions Clubs International. Operating out of the Seeley-Swan High School, the local Leos Club encourages youth to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities and joining a global family of young people making the world a better place. Any SSHS student can join the Leos Club by contacting SSHS math teacher Mary Stone, Leo Club Advisor.
Anyone is eligible to receive Lions Club services or participate in events. The Lions Club International organization has no political or religious affiliations, and all are welcome. There are over 46,500 Lions Clubs around the world, with over 1.4 million members serving in more than 210 countries. As the largest international service club in the world, club members feel they are a part of something meaningful and take pride in delivery of services to our community.
In Seeley Lake, general meetings are held every fourth Thursday of the month, beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m. and transitioning to a catered dinner meeting at 7 p.m. The location rotates between the Community Hall and local restaurants.
As a community-based service club, the Seeley Lake Lions are always open to new ideas for ways to improve and serve the community. New members are always welcome. Download an application for membership 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: P.O. Box 215, Seeley Lake, MT 59868-0215