by Patrick D. Pothier President, Ventura Downtown Lions
The Ventura Downtown Lions Club is celebrating its 100th Birthday this year. It was chartered on April 27, 1923, by 51 outstanding local businesses and community leaders. One of them was Fred W Smith who went on to become President of Lions Clubs International for 1947 – 1948, and another was Charles Rea, the then Mayor of Ventura. Another was Erle Stanley Gardner, an attorney who became famous as the author of Perry Mason detective stories.
Our Club and its members have a rich history of civic service and of service to the community and beyond. There have been 10 Members over the years who have been the mayor of Ventura, and at least 20 who were city council members. Many have served as public officials on various public boards and commissions, on private boards and nonprofits, and as public officials in a wide variety of capacities.
While our history is rich, and our present is just as rich. We are dedicated to providing assistance to individuals and community organizations that are in need and support. These efforts include, but are not limited to, providing camperships for deaf children, free eye exams for those in need, scholarships for local students, Thanksgiving baskets for families that are food insecure, as well as supporting the Salvation Army food pantries. We participate in both community and beach clean-up days and we recognize America’s hero’s – the Military Veterans and First Responders. We support those suffering from diabetes and the researchers seeking a cure, efforts to help and assist those dealing with mental health issues, and an active participant of the Rose Parade sharing the word to the world about giving back through Service, a wide range of other worthy matters.
While our past and present is exciting, our future looks even brighter. As we celebrate the past 100 Years of Service, we also begin to look forward to the next 100 years, and we are excited about what the future holds for us and the rest of the Lions around the world.
We would be honored if you wished to join us. If you want to become a Member of this great Service Organization, or would like more information about the services we provide, you can get more information at venturalions.org