The Sandy Spring Lions Club is a local community service organization based in Sandy Spring, Maryland. We have about 40 active members who meet once a month for dinner, to discuss club business, and to hear a program about local community issues. We also do service projects throughout the year and fundraising so that we can support local charities.
We are an affiliate of Lions District 22-C, which covers over 70 clubs in Washington, DC, Suburban Maryland, and Southern Maryland. We have had four of our members go on to become District Governor. We are also affiliated with Lions Clubs International, which has clubs in over 200 countries, and over a million members worldwide.
The Sandy Spring Lions club was chartered June 25,1946, becoming the 28th club in District 22-C. In the early spring of 1946 a group of local business and professional men were invited by Lion Larry Slater of the Silver Spring club d a meeting which was held in the Sherwood High School Library. District Governor Hoagy Colston and Lion Robert Billhimer of the Rockville club were there. All three gave inspirational talks. At the end of the meeting 18 men signed up to become Lions.
A committee was formed to contact other potential members and by the time the organizational meeting was held,on May13, 1946 40 men had agreed to become Lions.
The new Lions came from a wide geographic area. They used a secret ballot method to select the name.
They started out having two meetings a month but quickly recognized that in a farming community regular attendance would be a problem. They switched to one meeting a month becoming the first club in Lions International to meet just once a month.
For many years we were pressured by both the District and International to go back to two meetings. It became the annual task of each new District Govenor to get us to switch. Some of the confrontations were classic. We held our ground. After almost twenty years the then current D.G. said ” I don’t know why International wants you to change, You fellows do more with one meeting than most clubs do with two or four meetings. We’ll leave you alone.” They have left us alone since.
As a very young club in 1947 or ’48 we recognized that there was no auxiliary power source for the Montgomery General Hospital. Members of the club found a use generator that needed to be rebuilt, bought it and restored it. The club paid the whole cost of its installation. It served as the auxiliary power source for the hospital until a new facility was brought online in the 1960’s.
In the 1960’s, the club set up an annual health fair with vision, hearing, and other health screenings. This project became a model for Lions clubs in our district to emulate.