The Fair Haven Lions celebrated their 50th anniversary Saturday evening, April 27, at Generations Ballroom. Members of clubs from Kimball, Cold Spring, Annandale, Clearwater, Rockville, St. Augusta, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sandstone, and Princeton came to honor the Fair Haven club.
Originally chartered Jan. 30, 1963, as the Kimball Lions, and sponsored by the Rockford Lions, the club included all of Maine Prairie Township and the City of Kimball. Doc Alden was the charter president. They started with 31 new members and two transfer members. (What else was happening in 1963? That was the year that President Kennedy was assassinated, zip codes were introduced, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first “I Believe” speech, the first Bond movie premiered, and Beatle-mania arrived in the United States.)
Feb. 25, 1966, the club changed its name to Clearwater River Lions, and they added both Fair Haven and Lynden Townships.
July 1, 1982, the name was changed to Fair Haven Lions. Regardless of the name, the club has been going strong for 50 years. (The Kimball Lions were started up again in 1983; they celebrate their 30th anniversary this year.)
Bob Harms of Kingston was the guest speaker. He shared the lawnmower ride he took last summer, from the Canadian border to Iowa. Because Harms has a hearing impairment, this has become his cause. The trip raised $41,000 for the Lions Children’s Hearing Center.
The journey took him 10 days at exactly 7 miles per hour, on a Toro riding lawnmower. (He noted that it got exactly 7 miles per gallon as well.) One observation along the way: butterflies and grasshoppers can go faster than a Toro. One humbling moment: when he was passed by a woman jogging. One high point: they were met by Lions all along the journey, and treated to hotel stays, breakfasts and dinners. Lions also helped with fundraising at many points along the way.
Their stop in Windom, Minn., was doubly significant. The Toro Harms rode was built in Windom, and those who made it came out. It also was in Windom that Harms met Maren, the 3-year-old poster child for the Lions Hearing Center.
Harms was in 35 newspapers along the way, and was interviewed by several radio stations including one that checked in with him every night.
The 10-day journey proves again that one person with a mission can make a real impact. Lions around the world do this every single day.
Photo on the right, Bob Harms of Kingston was guest speaker, sharing his experience of the lawnmower ride from Canadian border to Iowa.
The head table included, from left, guest speaker Bob Harms, Deborah Harms, Mary and Lions Gov. Dave Thompson, Dale and Fair Haven Lions Pres. Shirley Fischer (standing), Lions Gov.-Elect Donna May Landwehr, Past District Governor Bill Landwehr, Marilyn and Lions First Gov.-Elect Duane Finger.