Lions are the worlds largest and most active service club and are represented in all states of the United States and throughout most of the world. Its motto is “We Serve” and the Confluence Lions practices this concept. The sponsored programs and projects pursued by the club and the impact that it has made on our community attests to this commitment.
In 1917, the colors of purple and gold were selected by Lions International as their official colors. To Lions, purple represents loyalty to country, friends, to one’s self and to the integrity of mind and heart. It is the color of strength, courage and dedication to a cause. Gold symbolizes sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgment, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purse towards mankind.
Lionism began in 1917, when a young Chicago insurance agent, Melvin Jones, presented to a group of separate business clubs the idea of consolidating the individual clubs into one strong influential club, called the International Association of Lions Clubs. Their goal was to help the community and to serve humanity with emphasis on serving the blind.
On May 10th, 1939, community leaders of Confluence were approached by a member of the Somerset Lions Club who asked them to organize their own Lions Club. Based on that request, the Confluence Lions Club was organized on May 29th, 1939 by Larry Slater and 43 charter members who believed there was a need in the community for such a service club to unite those services that were already being provided. The Confluence Lions Club was established by charter on June 8, 1939 by a group of interested men from the communities of Addison, Confluence and Ursina, Pennsylvania. Meetings were held every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 6:15 pm. Dodd’s Hotel was the first meeting place and on June 26, 1939, the first Charter Night was also held at the Dodd’s Hotel. The first officers were President Clarence C. Shaffer and Secretary/Treasurer Robert E. Black. The Board of Directors included Dr. C. W. Frantz, D. L. Miller, Charles B. Humbert, and C. Cronin. The Charter was presented by Clarence G. Gephart, Governor of District 14B and President Shaffer accepted the Charter for the club.
Within the first year the club grew to 40 members due to the building of the Youghiogheny Reservoir. The membership remained steady until the completion of the reservoir and the start of World War II at which time it dwindled to 13. During the war, the Confluence Lions Club gathered five car loads of waste paper and one car load of scrap iron to contribute to the war effort.
Membership remained low until Lion Dr. Edwin M. Price became President in 1953. For the first-time membership increased to 50. Twenty-five years later the membership had reached 63.
In the early years the Confluence Lions Club raised funds by selling soap, light bulbs, candy, and brooms. They raffled off anything from a $20 radio to a $350 riding rotary mower. They held donkey baseball games and several talent shows. In 1959 and subsequent years they started selling chances to win an automobile. This was the beginning of our annual Raffle Dinner which we still hold today, though we haven’t raffled off a car for some time!
Back then, money collected was used for many projects including co-sponsoring a skating pond and play ground with equipment, making substantial contributions toward the High School field house, annually providing Christmas treats to local children, holding an annual Easter Egg hunt, providing glasses to the needy, providing Christmas baskets to the local needy families, providing benches for the town park and helping fund the local boy scout troop’s activities.
The club currently has more than forty members. There is always a need for new members who will enjoy participating in the clubs service activities and a relationship with other members of the community. Several social events are held throughout the year to encourage comradery.
Eleven of our members have received the distinguished Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. All members pledge to abide by the Lions Code of Ethics. The lions motto is "We Serve". The lions colors are Purple & Gold.