Sixty years ago on July 6, 1957, the East Hampton Lions Club was Chartered at an installation, dinner and dance held at the Terramaugus Hotel in East Hampton (now the Chatham Apartments) with 26 inducted as Charter Members. G. Everend Wheeler was installed as the first President with Directors Ted Amenta, William Morrissey, Carl Terp and John Moriarty. Among those first members were William O'Neill, who would become Connecticut's 84th Governor, Frank Popowitz, our First Selectman, and others dedicated to the betterment of our community including Ralph Adler, William Bates, Ed Everitt, H. Carl Feist, Roy Goff, Robert Haas, Ken Hood, Warren Hoyrup, Donald Markham, Marshall Nichols, Rudolph Planeta, John Paonessa, William Proffitt, Edward Pratt, William Sladyh, Anthony Sudak, Myer Taylor, Ubal Vincent and Charles Witkin.
Today, the Lions Club International, formed in 1917 and now celebrating its Centennial, boast 1.35 million members in over 45,000 clubs across 206 countries - all dedicated "to serve their community."
The character that defines the quality of life in a community can be measured by the camaraderie of those working towards its betterment, embodied by a commitment to service. We have all witnessed them in action, be they Lions, Rotarian's, Democrats or Republicans, Masons or the Ambulance Association and their many fine members working at the Old Home Day Celebration last weekend. Those food booths, raffles, and other fund raising activities all get put to work back in our community supporting humanitarian service, eye screening, scholarships, the food bank, and those in need. In this sometimes polarized world, its comforting to see common energy for so many worthwhile causes.
And to newly installed President Allen Guiot and Lion Club members - thank you for you dedication and service as you embark on your next 60 years.