Chartered in 1921, the Pratt Lions Club was honored at the 2019 17-K District Convention Governor's Banquet last weekend in Hays for having the oldest club.
Numbers have dwindled over the years, the past 98 years to be exact, but the Pratt Lions Club was honored for having the longest-running membership in the western region of the state at the 17-K District Convention Governor's Banquet last weekend in Hays.
"Our charter was signed July 1, 1921," said Pratt Lions Club Secretary Treasurer Stephen Hedrick. "At that time the original club was the Pratt Evening Lions Club."
According to Hedrick, the Pratt Evening Lions Club sponsored the formation of the Pratt Noon Lions Club, and between the two there was likely more than 100 members for many years.
"Eventually, membership dropped off in both clubs and they combined efforts," Hedrick said.
More than 61 Lions Clubs were represented at the regional convention March 22 and 23, all gathered to celebrate 100 years of Lions Clubs in Kansas. The Pratt Lions Club banner, carried by Pratt's newest members Harold and Jennifer Stultz, led a ceremonial parade of more than 35 club banners which took place during the 17-K District Convention Banquet, presided over by District Governor Reland Cole.
There are three districts in Kansas with equal or more memberships found in the 17-K. World-wide, the Lions Club International is comprised of more than 1.3 million members belonging to 45,000 Lions Clubs. All have the same motto, "We serve."
Pratt Lion Club members Chelsey Rose was awarded at the convention for her service as a Zone 16 representative. She traveled several times during the year to visit Lions Clubs in Dodge City, Medicine Lodge and Liberal for communication and coordination purposes.