The Lions Club of Owensboro won’t be commemorating the 100th anniversary of its founding this month with any social events because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Incoming club president Larry Miller said club leaders hadn’t planned anything because they weren’t able to meet regularly and discuss ideas due to COVID-19. When members did meet virtually, they cut the cord on the annual Soap Box Derby, which is the nonprofit’s premiere event and fundraiser of the year.
“We really didn’t have adequate time or opportunity to plan events,” Miller said. “A hundred years is quite a longevity there, quite a history and a proud club that’s done a lot of good things in the past.”
June’s cancelled Soap Box Derby would have been the 20th running of the event since it was brought back in 2001.
The Owensboro Lions Club charter was dated June 19, 1920, making it one of the oldest clubs in Kentucky. The organization is known for its services to the blind and visually impaired, although humanitarian services have expanded over the years.
“The Lions Club International has always been a provider of eyeglasses and eye exams,” said club secretary Mike Tichenor. “I think it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t celebrate together, and hopefully we can at least get the word out about our club and how long we’ve been active in the community.”
Miller said he’s hoping the coronavirus will have a short-term effect on the club’s activities, and he’s looking ahead to plans for next year after the annual officer change in leadership next month.
“Not physically being able to be together has been kind of a real blow,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we can still have some time to do that even though we might miss the official June date on that.”