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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;

  • Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
  • Valley Times : Do You Remember?
  • The Independent : Do You Remember?

The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.

They will also be found on this page each week as well.

 

If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

Archive Page

Lions still roar along after 80 years in valley

By Barry Schrader..................................February 3, 2005

Service clubs come and go as different generations have different priorities, but the Lions clubs in the valley have persevered for 80 years in Livermore, 75 years in Pleasanton, and 43 years in the Dublin-San Ramon area.
"Everybody ought to belong to a service club so people can step forward and take on public service projects instead of expecting the government to do it all for us," Lion Pete Snyder told me last week. Pete (former Dublin mayor and former BART director) is one of the charter members of the San Ramon Village (now Dublin) Lions Club formed back in 1962 and was their third president. He moved up the ladder to take district and regional offices in Lions International as well. He remembers the club's first president was Hank Cupples of Volk-McLain developers.
Some of their more notable projects over the years included planting all the trees at the Dublin sports park, building a park for handicapped kids near Kaleidoscope, and a Rent-a-Santa program initiated by his wife back in 1963 that is still in operation today. They set up Santa in an alcove at the old Shamrock Shopping Center and the kids and parents flocked in. Then they began taking orders for Santa visits to people's homes, and are still doing that 40 years later.
Over in Pleasanton the original Lions has now broken up into two clubs, one meeting the second and fourth Tuesday of each month for a 7 p.m. dinner downtown, while the Amador Valley club meets the first and third Tuesdays at noon for lunch. Pete Bailey was part of the first club for many years, but then became charter president of the new club in 1982. He recalls some of their more popular projects were raising a calf at a local ranch and then using the proceeds from its sale to do community projects, holding the annual crab feed at the fairgrounds which is still a big event, and hosting a "Big Money Giveaway" dinner where participants could win a sizable chunk of cash, with the remaining funds providing money for other worthwhile projects.
Livermore is the grand-daddy of Lions in the area, forming more than 80 years ago in 1924, so they hold the record of being the oldest continuously-operating service club in the Tri-Valley. Cy Beebe, now 89, has been a member of that club some 40 years and recalls many projects they sponsored over the years, including the Wings of Charity airshow, eyeglasses, and eyecare for needy in Laos, plus building the Sister Cities and Corner parks. One of Cy's proudest involvements was when they sponsored the first Boy Scout troop in the valley, which became the Twin Valley District of Scouting.
Bringing women into the Lions, as happened in all service clubs in the 1980s, has been a real shot in the arm for local Lions chapters. Now the women hold many of the offices, do much of the work, and really make things happen. There is also an auxiliary group to Lions called the Lionesses, mostly composed of spouses of male Lions. They have also contributed greatly to the betterment of the community over the years.
The Livermore Lions meet the first and third Thursday nights of each month at Emil Villas for food, fun and fellowship. All the valley's Lions chapters could use more members, so here's how to learn more about them and get an invite to dine with them as a guest. In Dublin call Pete Snyder at 828-2738. In Pleasanton call Roger McLain of the evening club at 846-3475 or Pete Bailey of the noon club at 846-4921. Livermore residents should call Andy Yuan at 961-1111. Their annual dues are reasonable and there is plenty of opportunity to hold office, chair a service project, or just enjoy the company of some of the community's movers and shakers. Even the Mayor of Livermore, Marshall Kamena, is a longtime member.

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Now the history mystery question for next week: How did Trevarno Road, the company-built housing area off First Street in Livermore, get its name? Marie Abbott, you must know the answer to this one.

The columnist can be reached via email at :

Historian2sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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