TROY — A book detailing the Troy Lions Club’s 75-year history has been donated to the Troy Historical Society’s local history library.
Earlier this year the Lions finished compiling the book which describes the community service, fundraising, and social activities of the club over the years. Complete with many photos from the club’s archives, the book lists activities from each year, beginning in 1942.
Some of the featured historical events include early service projects such as putting on the city’s Halloween celebrations, Junior Miss and Strawberry Queen pageants, sponsoring area sports teams, scholarships, and a vision-related mission trip to Russia. Also covered are ceremonies sponsoring the Fletcher and Sidney Lions clubs, as well as, the Newton Leo Club in Pleasant Hill.
Recorded are the five District Governors from Troy and the resulting sponsored district conventions. The book concludes with the current club activities of collecting used eyeglasses, providing eye exams, pre-school vision screening, and the recycled hearing aid project.
Over the 75 years, the dedicated work of four club historians contributed to the book. Charles Schnell, an original charter member of the club in 1942, complied the first history of the club from club records for the club’s 20th anniversary. Copies of his work survive to the present and are many times the sole reference available on these early years. George Minton joined the club in 1945. He took and collected many photographs of club activities. He also collected newspaper articles written about the club. Many of these photographs and articles are still preserved in the club’s archives today. William “Bill” Gillis joined the Lions in 1949. He became custodian of the club’s records and photos in 1967. For the next 25 years, he safely stored the club’s archives. During this period, he also collected and added minutes, financial reports, and newsletters. Without his efforts, much of the period between 1967 and 1992 would be lost. Steve Kaplan joined the Troy Lions Club in 1986. He took possession of the club’s archives after the club’s 50th Anniversary in 1992. He expanded on the 25-year history that Charles Schnell wrote by researching the material saved by Bill Gillis. Kaplan also digitalized many of the photographs from George Minton and added them to the history to help bring the written account to life.
“It was a real labor of love,” Kaplan said. “The book is 160 pages long and really illustrates all the community service the Troy Lions Club has done over the decades. There were so many interesting stories and pictures to share. It is great that we can preserve the history of the club and of the city.”
The Troy Lions Club serves Troy, Covington, Pleasant Hill, Piqua, Tipp City, and surrounding areas of Miami County. Its primary mission is vision health.
For more information see the Lions website at www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/Troy_OH or call (937) 335-7345.