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Lions Club

Md 1-District A
Chicago Illinois United States
Club Number:000013
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Page created at2002-07-30
and Last updated at:2015-11-06.


MELVIN JONES was born January 13, 1879 at Fort Thomas, Arizona. As a young man MELVIN JONES made his home in Chicago, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency.

MELVIN JONES soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen?s luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. While secretary of the Business Circle, MELVIN JONES felt the business men could put their talents to work improving their communities, so at his invitation similar delegates from other men's clubs in the United States met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, the Association of Lions Clubs was born.

MELVIN JONES eventually abandoned his insurance business and devoted full time to Lions at International Headquarters in Chicago. In 1950, MELVIN JONES was conferred the title of SECRETARY GENERAL of LIONS INTERNATIONAL for life.

MELVIN JONES the founder of Lions Clubs International died June 1, 1961, at the age of 82. His philosophy of life, - you can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else, lives in our motto "WE SERVE".

It is not given to a great many men in the ordinary conduct of their lives to exercise leadership within a group, yet every member of a Lions Club has this opportunity. Group action, the ability to live with others, is the basis of our civilization. By giving the business and professional men of the community the chance to lead their fellows in activities that redound to the good of the entire community, Lionism is promoting the cause of human advancement.

- Melvin Jones


Melvin Jones along with other business men in central Chicago's business community, who needed a way to improve communications within the community, formed the Business Circle of Chicago in 1908. The Business Circle of Chicago changed its name, in March 1917, to Central Lions Club of Chicago. The President's listed below, prior to 1917 were members of the Business Circle of Chicago. Melvin Jones who worked very hard in the development of Lions Clubs International formed June 7, 1917, did not accept the Presidency of Central Lions Club of Chicago until Lion year 1920-21.


1908-09                    James Carlton                    1909-10                    Frank L. Fry

1910-11                     E. W. Ballard                       1911-12                    F. C. Smalley

1912-13                    Albert H. Tyrell                    1913-14                    Dennis S. Sattler

1914-15                    Frank L. Fry                         1915-16                   Joseph Trienens

1916-17                     F. H Hallenbeck                 1917-18                    Charles B. Clemons

1918-19                    William J. Livingston         1919-20                    H. A. Winchell

1920-21                    MELVIN JONES                   1921-22                   Edwin J. Raber

1922-23                    William J. Livingston          1923-24                   Ernest L. Kreamer

1924-25                     H. R. Van Gunten                1925-26                   J. W. Rubekamp

1926-27                    Lloyd E. Work                       1927-28                  A. A. McKinley

1928-29                    Harry McMahon                    1929-30                  Jens Smith

1930-31                    C. Earl Sutton                        1931-32                   L. O. Challman

1932-33                    C. Norman Dold                    1933-34                    Dalton E. Cole

1934-35                    Edwin S. McCready              1935-36                    Maurice Blink

1936-37                    Harry E. Wulfing                    1937-38                    C. C. Burkholder

1938-39                    Dalton E. Cole                        1939-40                    E. S. Beaumont

1940-41                    John L. Watts                         1941-42                    William J. Bock

1942-43                    Walter F. Kettel                       1943-44                    Clarence B. LeMar

1944-45                    Victor G. Nardi                        1945-46                    O. C. Milburn

1946-47                    Emmet J. Martin                     1947-48                    Ernest O. Huber

1948-49                    Philip C. Corrado                   1949-50                    Richard E. Joyce

1950-51                    Richard E. Jay                        1951-52                    Vince B. Nyhan

1952-53                    Clyde F. Neer                           1953-54                   Henry Krueger

1954-55                    Henry B. Witt                            1955-56                   Harry Hofherr

1956-57                    Frank J. Sitzberger                 1957-58                   Clarence G. Schultz

1958-59                    John McSweeny                     1959-60                    George J. Reithal, Jr.

1960-61                    Dr. Roman T. Skudnig           1961-62                    George A. Abell, Jr.

1962-63                    Glen Wilkins                             1963-64                    Norman H. Cook

1964-65                    Earl C. Palmer                          1965-66                    Nicholas R. Harrison

1966-67                    Carl J. Christien                       1967-68                    William T. Leinenweber

1968-69                    Lee E. Breadman                     1969-70                    Francis A. Ferrone

1970-71                    Charles Gladstone                  1971-72                   Clarence O. Geschke

1972-73                    Daniel J. Proskey                    1973-74                    Harold Tracy

1974-75                    Anthony B. Corrado               1975-76                    Gustav H. Havermann

1976-77                    Robert J. Achille                      1977-78                    Steve F. Grenvich

1978-79                    John V. Miliauskas                  1979-80                    Edward W. Gjertsen

1980-81                    Richard J. Klaskin                   1981-82                    Philip Y. Tom

1982-83                    Paul L. Beltz                              1983-84                    Jesse D. Sherrod

1984-85                    James A. Lee                            1985-86                    Richard E. Zabelski

1986-87                    Mitsuo Sakata                           1987-88                    Gerald G. Sanderson

1988-89                    Thomas C. Sammis                 1989-90                    Joseph J. Kissel

1990-91                    Joseph J. Kissel                      1991-92                    Steve F. Grenvich

1992-93                    Steve F. Grenvich                    1993-94                    James L. Harvitt

1994-95                    Richard C. Carlson                  1995-96                    Diane R. LaRochelle

1996-97                    Diane R. LaRochelle                1997-98                    Patrick T. Driscoll

1998-99                    Joanne S. Davis                       1999-00                    Joanne S. Davis

2000-01                    James Kesteloot                       2001-02                    James Kesteloot

2002-03                    Bonnie Miller                              2003-04                    Bonnie Miller

2004-05                    Daryl Pomykala 2005-06                    Daryl Pomykala


This list will repeat


The Business Circle of Chicago formed in 1908 by a group of business men including MELVIN JONES for fostering better business relations, changed it's name in March 1917 to Central Lions Club of Chicago.

At the invitation of MELVIN JONES, representatives from comparable clubs in other cities met in June, in Chicago, and formed Lions Clubs International. For some reason now obscure, Central did not register into the International organization until August 1917. This precluded being called a Charter Club, however International people did recognize Central as "The Mother Club of Lionism".

Central Lions Club of Chicago (Chicago Central), originally helped the disadvantaged in the city , especially a school for troubled boys. Prior to World War II, Chicago Central had over 250 members, but the war effort made the decentralization of central Chicago businesses move into suburban settings, causing a number of members to join clubs where they lived. Chicago Central however, continued to flourish with the International offices in downtown Chicago and being the "Mother Club", many visitors to International attended Chicago Central's meetings. As Lionism grew, Lions of Illinois was established and  the club participated in their activities such as Candy Day,  Sight & Sound Sweepstakes, the raising of money for the Lions of Illinois Eye Research Institute and an active participant in "Sight First" eyeglass recycling efforts.

Unique projects of Chicago Central Club has been the founding of an organization along with a suburban Lions club called Dialogue which produced special print materials for the sight impaired. That organization was eventually purchased by a west coast publishing firm. Chicago Central for the last 35 years has played the role of  Santa Claus for sight impaired, hearing impaired, and emotionally impaired students of a Chicago inner city school. Chicago Central was instrumental in the establishment of Chicagoland Radio Information Services (CRIS Radio) some 20 plus years ago. CRIS Radio provides verbatim reading of local newspapers, reading of novels, monthly movie narrative, and other features to the sight impaired community through special radio receivers they obtain free to use and over the telephone with a "Dial in Service". Members of the club continue to be very active with this organization today. Chicago Central is also proud of it's member Lion Philip Y. Tom (who was inducted by MELVIN JONES into the club in 1958) for serving as an International Director for Lion years 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. 

Lion Richard Carlson
District 1-A Lion of the Year 2004


Lion Richard Carlson is a long-standing active member of the Central Lions Club of Chicago. During his 10+ years of service, he has held every major club office including Club President and is currently our Club Secretary/Treasurer. Appointed by Past District Governor Catherine Rondinelli (2001 - 2002) and re-appointed by Past District Governor Ralph Koller and District Governor George Toft, he also holds the Cabinet Co-Chairmanship of the Eyeglass Recycling Program of District 1-A. Selected by PDG Dan O'Reilly for his organizing talents, he is also the Hospitality Committee Chair for the 2007 International Convention.

Over the years, Lion Dick has made many significant contributions to the Central Lions Club of Chicago. In addition to his leadership positions, he has supported the Club in numerous ways. His current major responsibilities are being our Eyeglass Recycling Coordinator, Candy Day Chairman, Sight & Sound Chairman, web master, and editor of Centrallion, our club newsletter. He designed our Club pin and created and manages our Club web page. He has always been a willing and giving Lion, offering to get involved with any Club activity. His very frequent response is "I'll do it" and/or "I can help." Reliability, capability, organization, and enthusiastic participation characterize his Club persona. No matter what the task, he gets the job done!

Since his retirement from Harris Bank, Lion Dick has continued his work with our club with feverish dedication and energy and has expanded his volunteerism to two organizations: Chicagoland Radio Information Service (better known as CRIS Radio) and The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

At CRIS Radio, Lion Dick initiated the "Lions' Review" program during which he announces upcoming activities of the Chicagoland Lions Clubs. He has also conducted live interviews with Lions to share the Lions message with 40,000 CRIS Radio listeners. In addition, he serves as an on-the-air and dial-in CRIS reader. For the past three years, he helped organize an eye screening activity sponsored by the Lions of Illinois Foundation and Chicago Central Lions Club at the CRIS Radio location during which we had 40 - 50 participants, very impressive for a new Club event! He has been an invited guest speaker at several Lions Clubs in District 1-A to share information about CRIS Radio's multiple programs and services.

At The Chicago Lighthouse, Lion Dick provides visual assistance to blind employees by reading correspondence, researching the literature, etc. The controller is "very grateful" to have him in the Accounting Department. He has overhauled the billing function for the Low-Vision Clinic by designing new forms, revising the filing process, and improving the methods. He functions as a consultant by addressing and resolving management issues and making recommendations for policy changes that enhance operational efficiency.

Lion Dick's knowledge about our organization and our Club and his experience as a leader and manager are valuable assets. In all of his Lions work, he is an involved volunteer who demonstrates initiative, analytical ability, and true commitment. Wherever he is working and in whatever activity he is involved, he plans and organizes the function, people, materials, etc. to bring ideas to fruition and achieve success. His contributions can be measured in the number of volunteer hours and in positive outcomes that change organizations and people.

The reactions of others to the nomination of Lion Richard Carlson as "Lion of the Year" are: "wonderful choice," "most deserving of this award," "very, very faithful volunteer," "always there," "a role model," "a work horse," "none better," and "no job too big or too small."

Lion Richard Carlson IS most deserving of the "Lion of the Year" award because he IS Chicago Central Lions Club! He epitomizes the qualities that Melvin Jones had in mind when he founded the Lions Club in Chicago in 1917. He envisioned applying sound business principles and high values to community service. Lion Dick's loyalty to Lionism comes from his heart. He is self-giving, not self-serving. Melvin Jones would have loved to have known, and worked with, Lion Dick Carlson. He is truly a Lion's Lion!


1.Wednesday,November 11th;Board Meeting, 12 Noon, Chicago Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

2. Tuesday, November 17th, 5:30 P.M., Regular Meeting, Salerno's Restaurant, 1201 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago

3. Saturday, December 5th, Birth-to-Three Christmas, 11:30 A.M., Chicago Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

4. Wednesday, December 9th, Board Meeting, 12 Noon, The Chicago Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

5. Tuesday, December 15th at 10:30 A.M., Preschool and CDC Children's Christmas at Chicago Lighthouse, 1850 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago followed by Holiday Regular Meeting, Salerno's Restaurant, 1201 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago


The trading pin of the  Lions Club of Chicago Central, see image, is rectangular and is 7cm by 3cm and is metal based. It depicts the skyline of Chicago and has an image of our founder, Melvin Jones with the words 'Mother Club of Lionism' under the name of the club.  A limited number of pins are available for sale from the Webmaster at a cost of US$ 2.50 each plus postage and handling.  All serious Pin Traders/Collectors are advised to obtain their copy before they are sold out. 90th Anniversary Pin  (NOT SHOWN)available for $10.00 plus handling and postage. Contact Lion Richard Carlson at


Photos from our 87th installation and awards night

87th President is Lion Daryl Pomykala being installed by District 1-A Governor Lion Austin D'Souza.

87th Board is Officers and Board. From left to right: Lion Richard Carlson, Secretary/Treasurer - Lion Bonnie Miller, Past President - Lion Philip Y. Tom PP & PID, Director - Lion James Kesteloot PP, Director - Lion Michael Cohn, Director - Lion Jo Ann Schalk, Director - Lion Daryl Pomykala, President - Lion Debra Schlies, Director & Lion Tamer - Lion Joanne Davis PP & ZC, Director & Tail Twister - Lion Lee Gilbert, Director - Installing Officer Lion Austin D'Souza, District 1-A Governor.


Photo on Left -  left to right-  Lion President Bonnie Barnes exchanging Friendship Banners and Club Pins with Lion Past President Tulay Ekmekci of  5 OCAK  Lions Club from District 118U, Adana, Turkey at December 11, 2002 Chicago Central Board Meeting.

Photo on right - left to right -  2nd V.P. Cheryl Megurdichian; Board Member Lee Gilbert; Club President Bonnie Barnes; Past President Tulay Ekmekci from  5 OCAK  Lions Club, Adana, Turkey; Board Member Carlene Sanderson; Secretary/Treasurer Richard Carlson; and Past President and Board Member Gerald Sanderson.


Canakkale Lins Club of MD 118, TurkeyThe Lions Club of Chicago Central thanks the Lions of Turkey (MD118) and especially Dr. Enzar Tore for the gift of Lionwap (Free internet ISP for Lion Clubs) to the Lions Community at large. In recognition of their efforts/work, our club displays the flag of Turkey on our site. Thank you Lions of Turkey. (Clicking on the flag will take you to the Lions Club of Canakkale, the home club of Dr. Enzar).

Bne Ekibin Lions of MD201, Australia

The Brisbane Ekibin Lions Club of MD 201 Q1  promote the use of the World Wide Web and have helped us in setting up our site. They are responsible for the setting up of numerous sites for Lions clubs in Australia using Lionwap - the free Internet site provider for Lions Clubs.

If your club wants to be on the internet,  Leave a message on their Guest Book by clicking on their club bannerette.  ITS A FREE SERVICE meaning you do not spend a cent, a dime, a penny or a nickle for their work and Lionwap is free too.  In short you get a web site that you will never have to pay for EVER -where else would you get such a deal - something for nothing!!!