By Janet Gonter
-Robinson Township Historical Society-
Most people have heard of the Robinson Lions Club, but few really know much about them. In a nutshell, they are community service personified. As their slogan says, “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.”
The Robinson Lions Club was formed in 1955, sponsored by the nearby Imperial Lions. William Pintar was the first president, with Charles Puhlman Jr., secretary, and Frank Butya, treasurer. The Robinson Lions are just one of 46,000 individual clubs, all part of Lions International, which boasts 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries.
The Robinson Lions support both the international and state organizations, but their main focus is on special projects in the Robinson community.
In its early years, the Lions began many ambitious projects.
They installed lighting for the original Burkett ball field, constructed the Burkett Park Lions Shelter, sponsored a Little League tournament, purchased a defibrillator for the Robinson Township EMS, and much more.
They organized a program to provide eye exams and glasses for township residents in need.
The program for the blind has remained a central focus, including eye screenings for area preschool children, yearly trips for sight-impaired residents to the Beacon Light Lodge Camp for the Blind in central Pennsylvania and participation in Leader Dogs for the Blind program.
The Lions’ commitment to the blind dates back to 1925, when Helen Keller challenged the Lions International to “become knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” They have met and exceeded that challenge for nearly a century, as has our local club.
The list of nonprofit organizations aided by the Lions goes on and on, including Robinson’s three volunteer fire departments (Moon Run, Forest Grove and Groveton), eight area church food banks, the Robinson Community Foundation (builders of the original Clever Park playground), area sports and scouting programs and disaster relief programs, to name just a few.
The Robinson Lions are probably best known for their broom sale. For many years, the Lions visited every home in the township to take orders, but the township’s rapid expansion has made door-to-door solicitation impossible.
Lions International’s motto is “We serve.”
For 65 years, the Robinson Lions have put their heart and soul into proving it.