About Us: History

Venedocia Lions Building

Venedocia Lions Building

The Venedocia Lions Club was chartered on May 10, 1961 with 24 members, sponsored by the Middle Point Lions Club. Their Charter Night was held in the basement of the Salem Presbyterian Church on June 2, 1961.

The club held first held meetings at the Venedocia Town Restaurant, which now houses Farmer Smith's Popcorn. The first club president was John C. Lloyd, Jr.

The first service project for the club was cutting three truckloads of firewood for a woman with six children so they would have heat. The second service project was the construction of bleachers at the Venedocia Ball Park, which are still in use today.

In 1961-62, the club conducted an unsuccessful search for a town barber. They hoped to find someone fresh out of barber school to come to Venedocia to set up shop.

In 1962-63, the club sponsored a boy scout troop.

The Lions Building was erected in late 1969 and early 1970. The original mortgage note was $9,000. The club held a mortgage burning at the 1980 steak fry. The basketball/tennis courts were added in 1972-1973. The well hand pump was installed in 1975-1976. The shelterhouse was added in 1992 at a cost of $3,800.

The first Pancake & Sausage day was held in 1969. The used newspaper drive began in 1979-1980. The sausage trailer began operation in 1994 under the direction of Donald Richards and Jerry Koenig.

Fund raising activities over the years have included the sale of kitchen knives, light bulbs, brooms, geraniums, and Christmas trees, a turkey raffle, a community birthday calendar, a consignment auction, operating gate #2 during the Van Wert County Fair, nightly grandstand cleaning at the fairgrounds during the fair, a 50/50 drawing, a spaghetti supper, and a soup & sandwich supper.

Past service projects include an Easter Egg Hunt at Taylor's Woods in the 1960-70s, community bingo party in 1987, and annual Cincinnati Reds bus trip from 1990 through 1993.

 

Sources: Venedocia Lions Secretary Minutes Book and Club Historian John Lloyd's scrapbooks.

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