(The first 60 years from facts compiled by Lion Skippy Brooks)
The Wrentham Lions Club was chartered on April 22, 1941.
The 1st money raised was the clambake on August 10, 1941; netting a profit of $259.33. This money was used on the Club’s 1st project, the building of the Girl Scout Camp in the town forest.
The Club sponsored several bond drives, built a pick-up shelter for soldiers and sailors on the Common and made a donation to Sturdy Hospital of $250 to enable Wrentham residents to have a $30/week deduction from their hospital bill.
1943 was also the year of the 1st ‘Father and Sons Night’. Red Sox Baseball player, Ted Williams, attends meeting handing out baseballs.
1st Lions Club in the state to sponsor X-ray survey for tuberculosis in a five-day period. 1,128 persons of the town registered, approximately 80% of adult population in 1947.
Made donations to Massachusetts Eye Research Fund for its inception in 1953 and continues to this day.
Started Nurses Scholarship in 1953 and enhance the scope to include Health profession careers.
Santa Claus visits to needy children began on Christmas Even in 1953, average 200 gifts a year and continue today. Contributions each year by individual Lions.
Christmas Party for Wrentham Senior Citizens. Over 200 residents attend this annual Holiday Dinner.
The start of the Club’s traditional Wood Choppers Ball. A time for Wrentham elite to learn several skills, cutting wood, doubled cross-saws, axe contest and home-made food contest. This event continues today.
In November 1965, Club held the 3rd free Glaucoma Clinic for Wrentham residents. Three hundred persons were examined over a 3-day period.
In 1964, Club started the Wrentham Lions Auctions; this was the major fund raiser for the next 23 years until 1987.
The Seventy’s, Eighty’s & Ninety’s
Wrentham Lions Club begins long-term commitment to the State Eye-Mobile.
Lions 180’ Banana Split on Wrentham Common for all the residents in the community at Wrentham Day.
The New England Patriots Cheerleaders attend ‘Fathers & Sons’ Dinner, excellent turn out by the Club members.
Assisted in the 1973 Wrentham Tri-Centennial Celebration by sponsoring the banquet and ball.
Wrentham Tri-Centennial Celebration by sponsoring the banquet and ball.
In 1982, sponsored the 1st ever Wrentham Lions Helen Keller 10-K Road Race. This annual event ran for over 10 years, before we handed over the reins to the Wrentham Road Race organization.
Dedication of Helen Keller monument on the Town Common in 1981.
Wrentham Lions achieve a new milestone with over 100 club members.
From 1983 to 1998, the Lions Journey for Sight Bike-A-Thon raised over $18,000 for State sponsored projects.
Wrentham Fishing Derby, for all residents of our community. This has turned out to be a great family event.
Wrentham Food Pantry, to help families in their time of need we underwrite the cost of support.
In conjunction with our other Lions Clubs, Plainville, Norfolk and Wrentham sponsored the King Philip Leos Club. With over 60 members is one of the largest in the state.
Road Race/Duathlon begins.
1995 Wrentham Lions Annual Golf Tournament begins.
Parking events to raise the required donations to support all of our charities: Dog Shows, Cracker Barrell Fair and Arts & Antique Festival.
The Two Thousands’s
(The new Millennium from highlights provided by PKLs)
2000 – 2001: Our Club was home to a District Governor and hosted the Mid-Winter event.
Celebrated our 60th anniversary at Lake Pearl Luciano’s. Club was instrumental in chartering the King Philip Leo’s Club.
Wrentham Lions Club golf team won the Wrentham State School Charity Golf Tournament. Our KL was District co–Lion of the Year.
2001 – 2002: Bernardini fund established. Club issued District’s first Blue Badge. Club sponsored the District Peace Poster Winner.
2002 – 2003: Beginning the Great Circus Experiment.
2003 – 2004: Year when our Wrentham Lions KL and the KP Leos President were part of the same family. Club donated a Jaws of Life tool to the Wrentham Fire Department. Culmination of The Great Circus Experiment.
Beginning of a decade-long wait for a KL Cookout.
2006 – 2007: Our Club President was the 1st woman KL and the 1st second generation President in the Club’s history.
2007 – 2008: Club donated the sign for the new Rice Field Recreational Complex on Emerald Street.
2008 – 2009: Great memories of Club members’ support and enthusiasm, and their willingness to help at Club activities. Appreciation for the help and efficiency of the Club Secretary. Having fun and enjoying being the KL for a year that seemed to fly.
2010 – 2011: In May 2011 The Club sponsors the Wrentham Low Vision Group at the Wrentham Senior Center. The group provides helpful low vision aids and information about eye diseases, resources, coping skills, and new technology as well as emotional and social support.
2011 – 2012: Beginning of the Club selling Christmas trees at the American Legion. The Club donated a visual aid machine to a Wrentham graduating senior at KP High School for use at college, and donated new hearing testing equipment to the Wrentham Elementary School.
2012 – 2013: Special memory of the Banana Split and the Senior Christmas Party. First year of the Dancing with The Wrentham Stars where our Club Dancer raised $25,000. This financial success enabled the Club to donate to the Sandy Hook – Newtown CT fund, the Boston One Fund, Hurricane Sandy relief fund, and more to the MA Lions Eye Research Fund.
2013 – 2014: Kick-off of the “Old Tamers Night” to recognize our more seasoned Club members. The first Husband and Wife team to become members of our Club. Our donation to the Newtown, CT Lions Club for their work with the Sandy Hook Elementary School survivors.
2014 – 2015: Started with Wrentham Day, the banana split, and the great ice bucket/fire hose challenge. Christmas Trees, Senior Christmas Party, and a great comeback for our Christmas is for Kids program. We tried some new things, said goodbye to some old friends, and geared up for our 75th. A year end KL cookout and campfire with good friends and fond memories. Many thanks to my Secretary, Treasurer, VPs, and a very supportive club.
2015 – 2016: Kicked off our 75th year of Lionism with great traditional Lions events – Wrentham Day banana split, fundraising at the Crackerbarrel Fair, selling Christmas trees, and the Senior Christmas Party. Supported our 2nd Lions club member “dancer” at Dancing With The Wrentham Stars; and new pancake breakfast and corn-hole tournament fundraisers. Capped off year with spectacular 75th anniversary celebration at the birthplace of our club, Franklin Country Club.
2016 – 2017: With the 75th year under our belt, this year was one of fine tuning the successful public service and fundraising events, including the Giant Banana Split at Wrentham Day, parking at the Crakerbarrel Fair grounds, Christmas Tree sales, the senior Christmas Party and the Santa Project, among others. We also joined forces with Norfolk Lions to have our first Polar Plunge at Lake Pearl, which raise more than $25,000 of MA Lions Eye Research and set the standard for cooperative fund raising for important causes. The Club added many new and involved Lions for a net gain of membership.
2017-2018: Our 77th year was a year of growth, with a dozen new members, nine of who were women. In many ways it was the beginning of the next chapter of the club, although the page is yet to be turned because the words are still being written.