Charter Date: 2/2/1951 Club: #2266
Meetings: at Linden Lions Club House, 5041 N Market Street, Linden
Mailing Address: PO Box 233 Linden, CA 95236
The Linden Lions Club has enjoyed the experience of over 65 years of progress, service, leadership and achievement of Lionism. It all started in early 1951 when a Lion named Davenport stopped at the Linden Club and asked Chuck Raggio if there was a service club in the community. Further discussion with Al Giambruno, George DiCarlo and Sam Fonzi resulted in enthusiastic support for a Lions Club.
The Linden Lions Club was chartered on March 19, 1951, with 52 members at the Linden High School auditorium. 200 guests attended the dinner and Willard Whiteside was the Charter President. The sponsor was the South Stockton Lions Club. Those first Lions in Linden asked, What do we do?, Where do we go?, How do we get there? In our sixty plus years, we have done much, we have gone far and we have gotten there by getting started. What have we done?
In the beginning, meetings were held at the Linden Club, Mary Solari’s, Mel’s, Linden High School, Risso’s and Murphy’s. The Lions purchased the land and built the Clubhouse in 1955-56. They held the AAU Track and Field Meet in 1953. Collected tools for the Philippines. 1953: began the Community Swimming Pool Project in 1959 and with the help of the community dedicated it in 1964. Provided concrete planters for the High School in 1965; donated and installed a Lion Foundation at the Elementary School in 1970. The Linden Volunteer Emergency Service, a community project began in 1968, was completed in 1974. The Press Box for the High School football stadium and the lights for the Softball Complex were completed in the 80’s. Annually Linden Lions provide the BBQ lunch for the FFA at the Community Day Fair and Cherry Festival; the YEP program in 1968 with Lion Fred Lemmonvs help. In the 1950’s the Linden Lions built the Linden display in the Ag building at the San Joaquin County Fair and also manned the Beer Booth. Today the same Beer Booth operates in a permanent building built and paid for by the Linden Lions. It has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Club has awarded scholarships to graduating seniors at Linden High School for many years.
California Earthquake victims have also benefited from donations made through the Lions International. Linden Lions are noted for their many fine cooks. As a result the members and the community enjoy many specialty dinners, some for fun and some for profit. Fun dinners include Hawaiian night, Irish night, and occasional dinners featuring Swedish, German or Japanese food. Dinner projects are usually sold out. There are Cioppino, baroldi dinners along with a crab feeds and an Italian Night dinner/dance.
The Club is frequently asked to cook or cater other dinners during the year. Linden Lions support Lionism and almost all of it’s projects. The Linden Lions Club is unique. Unique in that we own our own Clubhouse. When Lions International would not allow the Club to go into debt to build the building a separate Hall Association was formed to raise funds to pay for the building. The last note was paid-off in 1967. Since, the Lions have added a storeroom on the south; moved the railroad tracks and added a bar on the north and enlarged the kitchen on the west.
We’re unique in that of the 65 past presidents, 34 are still active in the Club. Membership began with the 52 charter members in 1951. Linden Lions are the largest in the United States and 7th largest in the world. It is impossible to list all the achievements and activities of the Linden Lions. Through it’s activities and service it has helped to bring the community of Linden together. It is one of the top clubs of Lionism.