Lions Club looking to reboot in Berthoud

By John Gardner
The Surveyor

Ken Schwols, area leader for Lions Club’s global membership team, was out last week talking to folks in Berthoud about the community’s needs in hopes to restart a local club.

Schwols is a recruiter for Lions Clubs across seven states and, since the Berthoud Lion’s Club disbanded last year, he’s trying to get an idea of the level of interest for the service organization that’s had roots in town since 1954.

“It’s an old club, but it’s kind of dwindled down,” Schwols said. “I’m trying to start out fresh again.”

The local Lions Club has done so much service work over the years and the organization still owns the depot in town. The depot is currently being maintained and used for meetings by the American Legion, but Schwols would like to see it be used by the Lions once again.

“I’m trying to see if there are people in the community that want to do service work,” he said. “They don’t have to make all the meetings; do what you can when you can.”

Schwols spent much of last Thursday talking to residents about what services are needed and what voids the service club could fill in the community. He said Lions Club members used to volunteer to take tickets at local high school sporting events and parked cars at graduation ceremonies and organized an Easter egg hunt for many years.

“We did the hamburgers and hot dogs in the park for Berthoud Day for quite a few years,” he said.

He’s hopeful there is enough interest to start the club locally again. Schowls recently held a similar meeting at the depot, but only one person showed up. He said a new club may be different from the previous one. He said a lot of other clubs stay connected, plan events, and even have meetings through social media.

“That could be what ends up happening here,” he said, “Maybe not entirely an online club, but maybe a hybrid.”

The Lions Club is a service organization with more than 1.35 million members around the world in 208 countries.

“It’s a big organization, but we do our local work in the community, and that’s what we target for,” Schwols said. “We do that first.”

And he thinks Berthoud is still a viable community for a healthy club, and hopes more people attend the upcoming informational meeting.

“There should be, the town’s growing and there are towns smaller than this that have one.”

Schwols is hosting an informational meeting on April 2, at 7 p.m. at the Lion’s Club Depot on Third Street in Berthoud for anyone interested in volunteering, or just finding out more about what the organization has to offer.

“Come and see what we’re all about,” Schwols said.