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Crestline Lioness celebrates 35 years

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Crestline Lioness recently celebrated making a difference in the mountain communities for 35 years. Lioness is part of Lions International, the world's largest service organization. When Crestline Lions President Ronald B. Grant and Lion Mary Hoskins met Norco Lioness members at a district meeting in 1978, they knew nothing about Lioness, so they decided to investigate. Hoskins founded Crestline Lioness in November 1978, and although Crestline Lions recently disbanded, Crestline Lioness continues to serve the mountain communities in cooperation with their sponsoring club Big Bear Lions. Each Lioness club must have a sponsoring Lions club.

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The primary mission of Lions clubs all over the world is preserving sight, inspired by a speech that Helen Keller gave to the Lions in 1921. Crestline Lioness provides eyeglasses for school children and adults who cannot afford them. They also support a number of local charities, including the Boys & Girls Club, the local food bank and Guide Dogs of the Desert.

Lion/Lioness Mary Hoskins was unable to attend the celebration last week, but founding member Maria Emert was present, along with Past District Governor Lion Ronald B. Grant. Together, they told the story of the founding of Crestline Lioness.

The club originally met upstairs in the bowling alley on Lake Drive in Crestline. Today they meet in a banquet hall at Leisure Shores Senior Citizens Center beside Lake Gregory. Starting with 35 members, the club has remained strong. Membership numbers have gone up and down, but the current membership is about 30.

Originally a women's auxiliary for the Lions, the Lioness clubs now accept both men and women as members, as do the Lions. In fact, new member Dan Lahr was installed at the 35th anniversary celebration, which took place at a regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday of February 2014. The club meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month except June, November and December, and the public is welcome to attend. Pot luck dinner is served free of charge.

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