Lions Club

Tom Stelte, President – (217) 625-7537

The Tale of Lionism in Pawnee

In the years since 1960, the involvement in the community, The Pawnee Lions Club has had an impact upon the community that is not commonly known. Many members who have joined the club in recent years are not aware of all that has been accomplished. The multitude of activities carried out and the thousands of hours given in the name of Lionism can never be completely chronicled. The material on these sheets is a partial attempt to summarize the involvement of The Pawnee Lions Club in the Pawnee community, and in the larger scope of Lionism through Lions International.

Fund Raising Activities

Candy Day: An annual fall activity specially aimed at raising money for the visually handicapped. We have raised over $9000 and donated all of it to Vision activities.

Auction Sales: Auctions have raised over $13,000.

Dinners: Ham and beans, spaghetti, chicken and noodles, chili and Vegetable soup dinners have been served over the years and brought in over $7500.

Raffles: Quilts, turkeys, beef, hogs, trips to Las Vegas, have been raffled and have netted the club over $4200.

Light Bulb Sales: An early fund raising method used by the club. We sold 18,600 light bulbs that brought in over $3700.

Hoop Fest: All profits are ear marked for School sports projects – over $30,000.

Local Sight Conservation

  • Provided over 62 eye exams and glasses
  • Sponsored four visits from the Lions Mobile Glaucoma Unit screening over 300 people
  • Purchased a tape recorder for a blind student
  • Purchased a brailler for a blind student
  • Provided specialist care for a young boy with an eye muscle problem

School Related Activities

  • Help sponsor student for ILL Teen Institute – 03
  • Purchased scoreboard controller for gym in 2003
  • Sponsored nine athletic banquets, hosted 398 students
  • Sponsored 43 academic banquets honoring 1×78 honor students
  • Bought a vision screening machine for the school
  • Provided a Resaca-Annie and a Baby-baby for use in CPR training
  • Helped finance and build a playground
  • Built the original football observation booth
  • Contributed towards building baseball dugouts
  • Contributed for building baseball-batting cage
  • Contributed annually to the school yearbook
  • Contributed annually to the after prom party
  • Made contributions to the Sports boosters
  • Awarded Thirteen $500 Scholarships
  • Bought the Varsity Basketball uniforms in 1993
  • Purchased a whirlpool in 1996
  • Co-purchased weight equipment in 1997
  • Purchased softball pitching machine in 1997
  • Donated $1200 toward cheerleaders to send them to the
  • Nationals in Florida in 1998
  • Bought a squat machine for the school in 1998
  • Helped to support the Pawnee/Divemon JFL
  • Purchased additional weight equipment in 1999
  • Co-purchased a tent for the Track Team in 2000
  • 50% of the cost for Volleyball Girls camp in 2001
  • Purchased training tapes for track in 2001

Pawnee Prairie Days

Was a co-founder of the Pawnee Picnic association that has provided a summer celebration every year from 1962 – 1986. We helped to provide the leadership and labor.

Khoury League & Youth Baseball

We have sponsored and financed sixteen teams.


  • Led the effort to bring a fultime doctor to Pawnee
  • Led the effort to start the ambulance district.
  • Contributed $1000 to the ambulance district in the start-up
  • Contributed over the years to the ambulance district
  • Provided a Social Security and Medicare explanation meeting
  • Sponsored a free hearing clinic


Have participated in Pawnee and area parades with floats 39 times.


  • Provided tickets for scouts and scoutmaster at five recognition dinners
  • Assumed sponsorship of Explorers in 1962
  • Assumed sponsorship of Boy Scouts in 1965
  • Purchased a new motor for the Boy Scout Bus, also purchased eight tents
  • Sponsored Brownies in 1972 and bought them their flags
  • Donated over $600 toward Scout trips
  • Donated $500 toward Trailer Purchase in 2000
  • Helped sponsor a scout for Sea Base in 2003


  • Purchased lambs at the lamb show nine years.
  • Financial supporter of the Sangamon County 4-H Foundation
  • Donated toward their trip to Florida, to pick up their safety award in 1996

Christmas Activities

  • Provided community Christmas decorations and put them up for 12 years
  • Sixteen years of bringing Santa Claus to town
  • 41 years of providing food for needy families
  • Nineteen years of music on the square during the Christmas season
  • Held a community party and program in 1979 and for all children in 1999

Community Clean-up

  • Took part in three community clean-up days
  • Rehabilitated an abandoned store on the square ($3000)
  • Provided six large trash receptacles for the business area.

Community Improvement

  • Original house numbering for Pawnee
  • Provided and set up the original street signs
  • Built and painted the community welcome sign
  • Provided a sidewalk along north edge of park
  • Planted twelve trees in the park
  • Rewired and refurbished the park bandstand
  • Brought the question of a Park District to the referendum stage
  • Helped provide illumination of the war memorial
  • Provided a summer recreation program for 175 kids for six weeks
  • Paid for 50% of cost of brick planters in the park
  • Conducted a bicycle safety check and education program
  • Provided every home in Pawnee with a map of Pawnee
  • Purchased picnic tables for the square

Help to Others

  • Repaired and painted two houses of senior citizens
  • Have given over $1500 to residents who have suffered major losses
  • Have sent nine students to various camps
  • Provided wheel chairs, hospital beds, and crutches as needed
  • Arranged for community CPR training programs
  • Manned the telephones at CPR Telethons
  • Gave $400 to needy students at the IL School for Visually Impaired
  • Gave over $1500 to CPR Telethons for the Illinois Heart Association
  • Sponsored a Fund Raiser for Officer Bob Rhoades
  • Assisted in Fund Raiser for Mathew Crocker Day
Donated over $7500 to:

  • Hadley School for the Blind (correspondence courses)
  • Mary Bryant Home for the Blind
  • Leader Dog School
  • Dialogue (recordings for the blind)
  • Camp Lions
  • Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness
  • Lions Mobile Glaucoma Unit
  • Illinois CARE Project
  • Springfield Eye Bank

Honored Past Presidents

  • Ralph Walker (1960-61)
  • Dick Barnes (1961-62)
  • Moms Smith (1962-63)
  • Tom Brown (1963-64)
  • Wayne Sullivan (1964-65)
  • George Young (1965-66)
  • Aaron Vangeison (1966-67)
  • Gordon Sanders (1967-68)
  • Wayne Waganer (1968-69)
  • Dave Dickey (1969-70)
  • Dean Myers (1970-71)
  • Ed Maxey (1971-72)
  • Darrell Snelling (1972-73)
  • Carroll Waganer (1973-74)
  • Tom Stelte (1974-75)
  • Larry Hamblin (1975-76)
  • Charles Swain (1976-77)
  • Ray Jenkins (1977-78)
  • Ray Claycomb (1978-79)
  • Jack Andring (1979-80)
  • Bob Stelte (1980-81)
  • Ed Maxey II (1981-82)
  • Ted Knudsen (1982-83)
  • Steve Youngblut (1983-84)
  • Dave Kramer (1984-85)
  • George Bell (1985-86)
  • Bill Eldredge (1986-87)
  • Art Brown (1987-88)
  • Keith Ladage (1988-89)
  • George Sneyd (1989-90)
  • Denny Siez (1990-91)
  • Tom Frazee (1991-92)
  • Gary Star (1992-93)
  • John Mellinger (1993-94)
  • Tom Lederbrand (1994-95)
  • Mark Newhouse (1995-96)
  • Billy Miller (1996-97)
  • Tom Steve (1997-98)
  • Gary Star (1998-99)
  • Don Burton (1999-00)
  • Dan Ford (2000-01)
  • Tom Tindell (2001-02)
  • David Roberts (2002-03)
  • Michael Reynolds¬†(2003-04)

Honored Past District Governors

Ed Maxey 1977-78
Tom Steve 1985-86

Lists were updated in May of 2004