Club History

The Eldridge Lions Club was officially chartered on June 15, 1953, with the 32 original members below.

Lloyd BaustianHugo EckermannLester H KayDetlef Strahledort
Robert C BaustianForrest T EdwardsVernon T KroegerHarry E Stutt
Carl BerhenkeFrank D EwoldtR.P. LagoniAlfred Surber
Werner L BraachDonald A FullerRichard PatzerRobert K Tank
Frank S CasiezellFred GertzHarold H PlettRoland L Thede
Lloyd CregerEugene GreenRaymond M PorterLeo O Tomberg
H.F. CuppAlbert W HamannElmer SchlunsenRobert L Wiese
Delbert DownsKarl H KayEdwin J StenderDanio Wuestenberg

The Eldridge Lions Club has evolved over the years and currently consists of 70 members. The timeline of event below are just a glimpse of events since the club was chartered nearly 70 years ago.

Feb. 4, 2015

Eldridge resident Ken Sullivan won the Judges’ Choice Award at the Eldridge-North Scott Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Chili Cook Off. The Eldridge Lions Club won the People’s Choice Award, and the Wendy Henzen Agency – American Family Insurance – won for best decorations.

Nov. 27, 2013

Eldridge Lions Club President Tracy Harris presented a plaque of appreciation to Frank and Angie King, owners of K & K Storage in Eldridge. The Kings supported the club by donating the use of a storage unit for equipment used by the Lions. 

June 26, 2013

The Eldridge Lions Club celebrated 60 years of service to the community. As part of the anniversary celebration, the club recognized Robert Wiese and Wayne Littell for their service to the club over the years. The charter president was Ray Porter.

June 2013

The Eldridge Lions celebrated 60 years of service with a gathering on June 15.

June 13, 2012

Eldridge and Walcott Lions members were involved in delivering eye tissue from the Iowa Lions Eye Bank to various hospitals to be used to help individuals regain their sight. Participating Lions included: Blue Grass Lions Walter Hilbert and Kathy Labounty-Thompson, and Eldridge Lions Ann Baughman and Sue Matje.

Jan. 4, 2012

Winners of the Eldridge Lions Club International Peace Poster Contest were Isobel LaCorte and Stephanie Black (tied for second) and Zach Holst (first). 

Oct. 5, 2011

Eldridge Lions Club members succeeded in unearthing a time capsule that had been buried at Sheridan Meadows Park in Eldridge since 1986. The plan had been to dig up the time capsule after 25 years. Lions members had forgotten about the burial but were reminded after an item about the project appeared in the “Our Past” column in The North Scott Press. Longtime Lions members, Art Matje and Wayne Littell, had headed up the original project so Matje took it upon himself to unearth the capsule. Eldridge park employee Daryl Claussen suggested that they contact Bob Millet of Quad Cities Locating Service. Millet initially failed to locate the time capsule, but he dropped by the park regularly to search until one day he was able to call Matje with the news that he’d located the box. Unfortunately, due to water leaking into the box, the only distinguishable items remaining were a couple of water-logged North Scott Press newspapers and a child’s deformed rubber toy. Matje commented that “it was still fun to do this.”

Sept. 21, 2011

The first-grade students at Ed White Elementary in Eldridge each received an American flag as part of the “Flags for First-Graders” program. The program, sponsored by the Eldridge Lions Club and Eldridge American Legion 639 and Auxiliary, helped educate American youth on flag history, respect and protocol. Lions’ members Jeanne Frick and Barb Blake presented flags to Liam Regan, Maddy Kayser, Emily Smith, Ellie Blowers, Keaton Braack and Hope Hansel.

March 23, 2011

Lions International District Governor Art Matje of Park View, along with his wife, Sue, announced that members of the Eldridge Lions Club were gearing up to host a two-day convention with approximately 200 attendees from throughout eastern Iowa. One of the club’s main service projects dealt with helping people with vision impairments.

Sept. 1, 2010

Eldridge Lions members spent a day putting up windscreens at the Sheridan Meadows Park shelter. Those volunteering included Greg Andresen, Linda Garcia, Dan Ferry, Dan O’Flahrity, Sheldon Isely, Art Matje, Sue Matje, Kathy and Bob Rhinehart, Jan Kroeze, Wayne Littell, Mike Ripperger, Elza Sager, Merlyn Frick and Patrick O’Flahrity. 

Aug. 4, 2010

Adler Gottschalk and Carolyn Keppy were winners of the bikes sponsored by Happy Joe’s at the Eldridge Lions’ pancake breakfast.

March 11, 2009

Lancer Leos, a student service group sponsored by the Eldridge Lions Club, received its charter in a ceremony at Faith Lutheran Church. Charter members included Hailee Gehrls, Tova Hettinger, Olivia Hawley, Susan Leslie and Samantha Scheckel.

Dec. 24, 2008

The Eldridge Lions Club contributed more than $500 to help provide gifts for Santa to hand out to children of families who were victims of the floods in Cedar Rapids. 

June 4, 2008

Two North Scott sophomores were nominated to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. Alexandria Hawley, the daughter of John and Kim Hawley of Eldridge, and Olivia Hawley, the daughter of Mike and Jennifer Hawley of Eldridge were sponsored, respectively, by the Davenport Optimist Club and the Eldridge Lions Club.

March 19, 2008

The Eldridge Lions Club named Jalois Crotty as Lion of the Year. The club also honored Mike McKenna with the President’s Appreciation Award for his work on the club’s newsletter. 

April 6, 2005

Bob Wiese received the Lions Foundation’s Warren Coleman Honorary Award in recognition of his years of service. Tony Hill was named Lion of the Year.

April 28, 2004

The Eldridge-North Scott Chamber of Commerce honored Lorenz Behrens of Long Grove as the “Volunteer of the Year.” Always a modest person, Lorenz had not sought any recognition for the many ways he had stepped forward to help without thought of compensation or thanks. Some of his associations included the American Legion, Eldridge Lions, North Scott FFA, Scott County Corn and Soybean Association, Faith Lutheran Church, the Iowa State Historical Society, and at the various races in the area: The Bix, Eldridge Moonlight Chase, Long Grove.

Dec. 25, 2003

Three sixth-graders at Ed White Elementary were the winners in the Eldridge Lions Club Peace Poster Contest. The theme of the contest was “Our World, Our Future.” Arbor Danielsen’s poster finished first and advanced to district competition. Jenna Weille was the second place winner, and Olivia McDermott won third place.

Oct. 1, 2003

Bob Wiese of Eldridge was honored for 50 years of service to the Eldridge Lions Club.

April 10, 2002

Eldridge Lion Elza Sager presented the “Lion of the Year” award to Michael McKenna, past president of the club.

June 14, 2000

Dennis Longlett was presented with the Eldridge Lions Club “Lion of the Year” award by fellow member Wayne Littell.

May 19, 1999

Nancy Dalton of Long Grove was the winner of the Eldridge Lions’ “Food Chase” and managed to toss $438 worth of groceries into carts during her race through the aisles of Slagle’s Food Pride in Eldridge. 

April 21, 1999

Eldridge Lions Club member Wayne Littell was named “Lion of the Year.”

Feb. 19, 1992

The Eldridge Lions tabbed Bob Blanche as “Lion of the Year.” Blanche was a 26-year member of the Eldridge Volunteer Fire Department (serving as chief from 1969-1975), a former Eldridge councilman and Eldridge Park Board appointee as well as mayor from 1976-1982. 

Jan. 29, 1992

Fred Hamann, Eldridge, retired as director/agent of American Mutual Insurance Association, Mt. Joy, after 24 years with the company. A lifelong resident of Eldridge, Hamann was past president of the Mississippi Valley Milk Producers Association and past director of the National Milk Producers Association. Hamann’s other involvements included Eldridge Lions Club, Faith Lutheran Church, Scott County Farm Bureau, and Knights of Pythias. 

Feb. 14, 1990

Retired North Scott superintendent of schools Melvin Heiler was honored as the Eldridge Lions Club’s “Man of the Year.” 

April 12, 1989

Fred Hamann was honored as the 1989 Eldridge Lion of the Year. Fellow Lions Club members Art Matje and Earl Kuehl presented Hamann with his award. Volunteers stepped forward to make sure that the Eldridge Festival would continue. The Eldridge Lions had sent out a call for help in organizing the event and the Eldridge Jaycees, North Scott Kiwanis, Eldridge Chamber of Commerce, Pythian Sisters, Kappa Gamma Sorority, the Eldridge United Methodist Church, Scott County Library and Sheridan 4-H Club responded with offers of assistance. 

April 5, 1989

Coletta and Wayne Littell were honored by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center for their decade of service in coordinating the Eldridge Lions Club Blood Drive.

March 29, 1989

Eldridge Lions Club put out an invitation for new volunteers to take over the Eldridge Summer Festival after having assumed the responsibility for 25 years. 

Feb. 5, 1981

Marv Hinkle was named the Eldridge Lions Club’s “Man of the Year.” He was a past president of the club, and had 13 years of perfect attendance. Jim Tank, the 1980 recipient, presented the award.

Aug. 7, 1980

The Eldridge Lions Club was one of several clubs in east central Iowa to pool funds to establish a multiple-use water system for a village in Bolivia.

May 29, 1980

The Eldridge Lions Club announced raffle tickets were on sale for the Summer Festival drawing. Prizes included an Amana radar range, a hindquarter of beef, a 9-inch portable television and a portable gas grill. Proceeds would go toward furnishing one of the new baseball diamonds in Eldridge.

April 10, 1980

The Eldridge Lions Club donated $570 to the Eldridge Fire Department, enough to buy a Porta-Power unit for the rescue truck. Earl Oelerich of the Lions made the check presentation to fire chief Hank Stutt.

Feb. 7, 1980

Jim Tank was named the Eldridge Lions Club “Man of the Year.” The previous year’s recipient, Dwain Swanson, made the presentation.

March 22, 1979

Mike McGinnis, representing the Eldridge Lions, and Chris Porter of the Eldridge Jaycees, presented checks totaling $3,000 to Jim Tank, member of the committee in charge of fundraising for the tennis complex located at the high school. North Scott students used the courts, but they were also open for use by the public. With these most recent donations, only $2,000 remained on the $55,000 debt.

Jan. 11, 1979

At its 25th anniversary program, the Eldridge Lions Club honored six charter members: Albert Hamann, Richard Patzer, Hugo Eckerman, Lester Kay, Robert Tank and Raymond Porter.

Dec. 1, 1977

Marcia Claussen, daughter of Russel Claussen, Eldridge, who had been blind since birth, returned from Leader Dogs for the Blind training in Rochester, Mich., where she acquired an 18-month-old Black Lab named Candy. Marcia was the switchboard operator at Central Trust and Savings Bank, Eldridge, and Candy daily accompanied Marcia to work where she sat beside Marcia’s chair and quickly made friends with the bank customers. Eldridge Lions Club members had made this possible for Marcia, who commented that Candy was surely a big improvement over her cane. 

Aug. 25, 1977

The Eldridge Lions Club sponsored a back-to-school event during which they brought the Franzen Brothers Circus to town. The circus was held on the ball diamond directly south of the Eldridge water tower in a tent planned to accommodate 1,500 people. Lion Jack Albrecht said that the profits would go to the city tennis court fund. 

July 7, 1977

The two-day Eldridge Summer Festival featured games by Westphal Amusements, dances on Friday and Saturday nights, food, door prizes, and a baseball tournament. The Eldridge Lions sponsored the festival with all proceeds going to the North Scott tennis courts and the Lions’ sight foundations. 

June 30, 1977

The North Scott School Board voted 3-1 to donate an additional $10,000 to help to fund the tennis courts at the high school. The school board had previously designated $7,500 toward project. The vote was discussed in length, because some board members raised the concern that there were many projects within the district needing funding. Bob Dahlquist, Ned Mohr and Bob Carter voted “pro.” Dana Danforth voted “no” while Jim Tank and Harland Rohlk abstained. The Eldridge Lions had raised and donated $7,800 toward the project. Individual donors had given $4,000. With the latest contribution from the school district, the remainder to be raised was $18,000 to reach the $54,000 goal.

Jan. 20, 1977

Raymond Porter of Eldridge was elected Potentate of Kaaba Temple at the annual Shriners meeting. Porter, an insurance business owner and past mayor of Eldridge, was also a member of Eldridge Lions and North Scott Rotary and on the boards of Central Scott Telephone Co. and the North Scott Industrial Development Group. 

Jan. 13, 1977

The Eldridge Lions honored Wayne Littell as the club’s “Man of the Year” for 1976. Wayne had been involved in many community activities, including forming the Eldridge Community Blood Bank, directing the St. Ann’s Catholic Church choir, and serving on the city of Eldridge Plan and Zone Commission. He also enjoyed singing and playing his accordion as a volunteer at many functions. 

Dec. 2, 1976

Winter arrived in a hurry on Nov. 26 with a heavy snow that bottled up area streets and highways and wreaked havoc for Thanksgiving travelers. The Eldridge Lions Club sponsored feature-length movies for children. The movies, a series of three weeks, were shown at Ed White Elementary School. Club members Lorenz Behrens and Albert Hamann were pictured selling tickets to Margie Hamann and Christine, Colleen and Cheryl Bulazao and Kris Thompson. Movies included “Wackiest Ship in the Army,” “Calamity Jane,” and “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kid.” 

June 10, 1976

The Eldridge Lions Club’s entry in the state Lions Convention parade won first place out of 75 units in the parade. Members of the float committee were Bob Pischke, Dick Shrad, Marv Hinkle, Fred Hamann, Don Hamann, Judy Hamann, Judy Schmidt, Pam Kuhl and John Kuhl. Ken and Rob White of White Roofing donated the use of their building for construction of the float. Dick Patzer of Eldridge Welding donated the use of his car to pull the float. Don and Shar Straka of Eldridge Body Shop painted the car to look like a lady bug. And Harold Kroeger of Kroeger Trucking volunteered to transport the float to the location of the parade in Dubuque. 

April 14, 1976

The Eldridge Lions elected officers: Marvin Hinkle, president; Leland Borland, vice-president; Jack Albrecht, second vice-president; Bob Bainter, third vice-president; Ken White, secretary; and Dave Fairweather and Jim Tank, directors. 

Jan. 14, 1976

Bob Pischke of the Eldridge Lions presented Gene Green the “Man of the Year” plaque as he was honored by the club for outstanding contributions to the club and to his community. Gene had been a charter member of the Lions, had served on the Eldridge City Council and had been Eldridge zoning enforcement officer as well. He was also a Scoutmaster and had coached Little League baseball. He had served as president of the Associated Master Barbers and Beauticians of America Chapter 1310. 

June 11, 1975

A group of volunteers attended the organizational meeting to begin to raise funds for the construction of tennis courts to be located on North Scott school property. Dwain Swanson, representing the Eldridge Lions, was named chairman of the group, with Don Krieter of the Jaycees as vice-chair. Judy Schmidt, representing the Eldridge Businessmen’s Association, served as secretary-treasurer. Others who agreed to work on the project included Dennis Fahrenkrog of the North Scott Athletic Boosters, Bob Blanche from the Eldridge Bicentennial Committee, and Fred Hamann, a member of the Knights of Pythias. Ed Fischer, representing the North Scott school administration, served as an adviser. 

April 16, 1975

The Eldridge Lions Club approached the North Scott School Board suggesting the possibility that tennis courts be constructed on school property. The Lions offered to help with the funding and suggested that the courts should be available to the public after school hours. Tennis courts had been considered by the board for several years but had never found a place in the budget. Mike Hamilton, North Scott business manager, reported that courts with a good surface would cost from $9,000-$10,000 each for four courts including fencing and a rally board.

April 2, 1975

With Easter approaching and frigid weather conditions continuing in the Eldridge-Long Grove area, the Long Grove Easter egg hunt was moved indoors to the Alan Shepard gym. However, the Eldridge Lions and Eldridge Girl Scouts conducted the Eldridge Easter egg hunt as usual in a snow-covered vacant lot north of North Scott High School on the corner of LeClaire Road and First Street.

Jan. 15, 1975

Robert Tank was named “Lion of the Year” at the Eldridge Lions Club Annual Award Night.

July 10, 1974

The outgoing president of the Eldridge Lions Club, Dwain Swanson, passed the gavel to newly installed president John Chappell.

July 3, 1974

The debut performance of the Bicentennial play, “Time and the River,” headed the billing for the Eldridge Lions’ Summer Festival. Julie McDonald of Davenport wrote the play and Mary Nighswander directed. A cast of 20 Quad-Cities area actors and actresses presented the play at Centennial Park. “Time and the River” was a dramatic presentation with music, designed “to reflect the rich cultural heritage of eastern Iowa in relation to the Mississippi river.” It followed a Scottish settler who became an Indian trader from the western-most battle of the Revolutionary War forward to the establishment of the City of Davenport. Other entertainment included a concert by the Davenport Chordbusters, prize drawings, baseball and softball tournaments, mini Olympics for children, and the Scott County Cookout King contest. 

Feb. 27, 1974

Eldridge city officials began efforts to establish a local ambulance service as an outreach of the overall Scott County service. The goal was to provide ambulance service to all persons in Scott County with a 15-minute maximum response time. The Eldridge Lions Club, the city council and the Eldridge Volunteer Fire Department planned to coordinate the service. One of the first steps was to locate a heated garage and to obtain adequate manpower. 

Oct. 31, 1973

Winners in the Halloween costume party sponsored by the Eldridge Lions included Ric and Ron Bainter, Mike Vis, Melanie Schmidt, Bran and Emily Birtell, Beth Kirby, Ryan White and Melanie DeCock. 

Oct. 10, 1973

Vision screening for children ages 4-6 was sponsored by the Eldridge Jaycee-Ettes and the Eldridge Lions’ wives. Maureen Van Loon and Lorene Altenhofen were two of the volunteers for the project.

July 11, 1973

First-place winners and qualifiers for the State Fair at the Eldridge Lions Summer Fest cook-out contest included Dick McNurlen, Pat Morrissey and Glen Keppy. 

April 5, 1972

The Eldridge Lions appointed Norman Harvey as chairman for the Eldridge Summer Festival. Dwain Swanson and John Kuhl served as co-chairs. Ray Porter was in charge of ticket sales, and Bill Tubbs served as publicity chair. 

Feb. 3, 1971

The “Frontier Daze” celebration officially kicked off festivities for the Eldridge Centennial. A chuck wagon meal was served to approximately 525 people, many of whom were dressed in old-fashioned clothing and hats. Guests were also entertained by the Eldridge Centennial Sweeties: Barry Braack, John Small, Lorenz Behrens, Dwain Swanson, Pat Keefe, Jim Tank, Gary Ewoldt, Dale Braack, Bob Dahlquist, Dick Cole, and Dave Stephens.

Jan. 13, 1971

Robert Wallace was named “Man of the Year” by the Eldridge Lions. He was the first non-Lion to receive the award and was honored for his years of volunteering with local youth. Raymond Porter presented the award.

Oct. 28, 1970

The Keppy family performed well at the cornhusking contest hosted by the Eldridge Lions Club and the Eldridge Jaycees. Roy Keppy was the winner of the senior division; Glen was the winner of the junior division; Ralph was the runner-up of the senior division; and Merle placed third in the junior division.

Oct. 21, 1970

The Eldridge Lions Club prepared to host the second annual corn-husking contest on the Raymond Keppy farm. Congressman Fred Schwengel was among the contestants.

June 24, 1970

Several youth organizations were helping the Eldridge Lions Club sell tickets for the annual Eldridge Summer Festival. Pictured were Mike Oelerich (Boy Scouts), David Fahrenkrog (Little League), and Cindy Simkins (4-H).

Dec. 10, 1969

The Eldridge Lions Club kicked off its Christmas tree sale at the Whitehall Restaurant. Funds raised would be used for the Lions Halloween and Christmas parties and Easter egg hunt, Little League baseball, and programs for the blind.

Oct. 29, 1969

The Eldridge Lions Club planned to host an old-fashioned corn-husking contest at the Raymond Keppy farm. First prize was $40. If there was enough interest, the Lions hoped to make the event annual.

Oct. 15, 1969

The Eldridge Lions Club faced scheduling problems for its annual Halloween Parade. Because Oct. 31 fell on a Friday, they would be unable to use the high school cafeteria for the post-parade party due to a football game. Oct. 30 was also out because that evening was not only a “church night,” it was also Trick or Treat night. It was decided the parade would instead be held on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Costume prizes would be awarded for Most Comical, Most Original, and Most Gruesome.

Aug. 20, 1969

The Eldridge Lions baseball team defeated the Jaycees by a score of 8-4. Barry Braack hit a home run for the Jaycees, and Dwain Swanson hit one for the Lions. Pitchers were Bill Teubal, Bill Mahle and Dale Braack.

Jan. 8, 1969

Albert Hamann, Eldridge, was named Lion of the Year for the Eldridge club.

July 3, 1968

Plans for the sixth annual Eldridge Summer Festival sponsored by the Eldridge Lions Club included games, prizes, food booths, a baseball tournament, and music. The Lions organized the event, but other organizations were invited to participate, with each group keeping the profits from their particular activities. Summit Presbyterian Church observed its 110th anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. James Mohr of rural Eldridge hosted a gathering for Robert Ray, of Des Moines, the Republican candidate for governor. An ad in the paper announced that area residents could still be “Charter Subscribers” to The North Scott Press for the price of $3/ year for Scott County residents. Eckerman’s Hardware of Eldridge advertised Lawn Boy mowers on sale. Eldridge newcomers included Don Kreiter, Ray Schneckloth, Ken Smerillo and Matt Costello.

April 24, 1968

Eldridge Lions planted 2,500 evergreen trees on a six-acre tract of land owned by Ted Baetke. The land had been set aside for a conservation project, and the Lions planned to cut the trees at maturity to sell as Christmas trees.