Shoreview and Arden Hills now have a Lions Club


Shoreview City Council members Sue Denkinger, Cory Springhorn, Mayor Sandy Martin, Emy Johnson and Terry Quigley used gold shovels to toss some dirt Oct. 23, marking the beginning of construction on the city’s $15.6 million community center expansion. Mike Munzenrider

Lions Club International boasts being a global leader in community and humanitarian service, with clubs from Chile to China, Haiti to Hungary, Sweden to Somalia, Turkey to Thailand.

With 46,000 clubs spanning the globe in about 200 countries, Jim and Judy Zewers of Shoreview were, in their words, “surprised and disappointed” when they discovered that their own “vibrant community” didn’t have a Lions Club. 

So, they started one.

 

Two dozen and growing

Already two-dozen members strong “and growing,” the new Shoreview/Arden Hills Lions Club emerged in mid-October thanks to the efforts of the Zewers, who initially set out just to create a smaller “branch club,” an offshoot of the North Suburban Evening Lions Club.

However, when the couple began to gauge interest in the community, they quickly learned something more would have to be done. 

“The number of people interested in joining grew to a number that surpassed what we needed to establish our own club,” said Jim, who’s lived with his wife in Shoreview for more than 25 years. The couple lived in Roseville previously. 

 

In the family

Jim joined the North Suburban Evening Lions Club, based in Roseville, about a decade ago. Judy, who was born and raised in Roseville, officially joined the same club about four years ago, though she “grew up in a family that was very active in Lions,” she said. 

In fact, Judy said her father, Alvin Ahlf, helped charter the North Suburban Evening Lions Club, the Shoreview/Arden Hills’ club’s sponsor, decades ago. 

“Lions are service-minded men and women who volunteer, first to support our local communities and then our global communities,” Jim said. “Locally we support the community by volunteering our time where needed, helping other community partners as needed, or donating funds raised through fundraising events held in the community.”

 

On the local level

The Zewers said in general, the clubs work on everything from building something to benefit or beautify the community, to disaster relief around the globe.

“Our goals are to make a positive impact on our Shoreview/Arden Hills community and help people in need,” Jim said. “We also hope to network with businesses and individuals in the community to form partnerships in our service efforts.”

The club, which is open to anyone interested in joining, meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. 

The Zewers are still trying to nail down a permanent place to meet and ask those interested to email them at zewersj@aol.com or jzewers@aol.com with questions about joining, and for the location of the next meeting. 

“We are looking for energetic, civic-minded people of all ages to join us,” Jim said. “Members are encouraged to participate in any way that fits your schedule.”

The couple also said joining is an opportunity to strengthen leadership skills.

The charter celebration for the Shoreview/Arden Hills Lions Club took place at Shoreview Community Center on Oct. 15, and the club’s leaders are already planning what’s next.

“We are currently in the process of assessing the needs of the community to identify a service project for December,” Judy said. “Keep your eyes posted for announcements of the event, anyone is welcome to join us.”


 

Jesse Poole can be reached at bulletin@lillienews.com

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