The Westfield lions Club was chartered in october of 1930

Charter members:  Ralph D. Ackerson • Norman Beeson • Rev. Fred T. Champion • W.P. Dugan • Charles Irvin, Roger Irvin • Robert Funderburg • Hubert Horton •Marl Horton • Dr. E. B. Lemon • J.C. McMullan • Richard McMullan • Chase Mendenhall • Emmett Mendenhall • C.H. Million • Oliver H. New • Glen Stultz • Walter Sturdevant • Harry Talbert • Lant Summer • Morris Tomlinson


For a time, the club’s future seemed uncertain. Some consideration was given to become a non-affiliated club, but in 1933 a special meeting was called at which time it was decided to continue as a part of the International Association of Lions Clubs. Some new members were added and in 1934 the club sponsored the 100th anniversary celebration for the town of Westfield. The centennial was an enormous success, and from that time on the club has been active in the community, district and at the state level.

For twenty-seven years, the club met in the Community Room of the Westfield Public Library, which is now the home of Cave Printing. In the beginning, meetings were held weekly on Thursday evenings, with Ladies (spouses) Night each month. Later, meetings were changed to the first and third Thursday evenings each month, the first being Ladies (spouses) Night. Meals were usually served by women’s organizations from various churches in the township. In the 1930’s the cost of a meal was 35 cents – 50 cents per meal. Meals are still served today by various organizations in the community.

In 1955, plans were drawn for a clubhouse to be built on land purchased from the town. With members doing about 80% of the construction work, the building was completed in 1958. In 1970, the building was enlarged to almost double the original size. A bequest from the estate of the late Lion Leland Rees provided the funding for a complete renovation of the kitchen area. Still another renovation took place in 1995 when the roof and siding were replaced. Because of its central location, the building is in use over 150 times per year for 4-H meetings, club events and meetings, reunions, wedding receptions and other events. Several local churches started with services in the building.

Community and fundraising projects have been many and varied. The first annual Westfield Lions Club Fish Fry was held in 1933 – the first fish fry ever held in the county. The Club was one of the first groups to sponsor a three-day county agricultural show – the forerunner to the Hamilton County 4-H Fair. Many Lions to this day still play various roles in the fair. The Club has also been involved with minstrel shows, a womanless wedding, turkey shoots, ham & bean and chili suppers, pancake breakfasts, garage sales, raffles and chicken and pork barbeques. One of larger undertakings was an antique show held at Westfield High School. The show was started and managed by the late Lion David Peek from 1967 through 1973. Now the major undertaking for the Club is the semi-annual Poker for Sight Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. The first of these started in 2007.

In 1980 the Club celebrated its 50th anniversary as a joint venture with the Arcadia Lions Club, with Past International President Jim Fowler the featured speaker. Ten years later the Club celebrated 60 years of serving Westfield with James Whitcomb Riley (aka Henry C. Rider). The Club’s 65th year was commemorated with Lions and their guests enjoying remarks and comments from Past International Director Carter Everage in the Palomino Room at the Indianapolis Horse Patrol. The Club’s 75th anniversary was celebrated at the Bridgwater Country Club, with the evening’s entertainment being “The Wildest Dream” – a ladies barbershop quartet.

Generous contributions have been and continue to be made by the Westfield Lions Club. Recipients of the Lions’ generosity include the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) for disaster relief around the world, Lions Cancer Control Fund of Indiana, Indiana Lions Eye & Tissue Bank, Indiana Lions for Leader Dogs, and the Indiana Lions Speech & Hearing Trustees. In 2013, at the Indiana Lions Mid-Winter Conference, the Club was presented an award by International President Wayne Madden (Auburn, IN) for being the largest contributor to LCIF in the state of Indiana.

Several members in the Club have assisted, and continue to assist, Lions projects at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana State Fair and the Hamilton County 4-H Fair. Locally the Club is extremely active with the Westfield school system. Free eye exams and glasses are available for any Westfield school student in financial need. Also, the Club distributes free dictionaries to all the 3rd graders, honors the high school’s top 10 seniors, outstanding male and female athletes, sponsors 2 Westfield High School females to attend Hoosier Girls State, sponsors 3 Westfield Middle School students’ trips to Washington, D.C., awards the Lester L. Tudor Scholarship ($2000), the Florence S. Benson Memorial Scholarship ($2000), the Trade & Vocational School Scholarship ($2000), the Russel Career Development Scholarship, sponsors the high school’s Leo Club (established in 2009) and awards scholarships to outstanding senior Leos. The Club also allows free use of the clubhouse to area cub scouts, brownies, boy scouts and girl scouts. Along with all of this, the Club supports and donates to numerous local, state and national organizations.

During the 1982 – 1983 year the Club successfully sponsored the election of its first member as District Governor of District 25-D. Lion Robert L. Benson (also a Life Member) served this office for the 1983 – 1984 year. Life Member and Melvin Jones Fellow Lion Tom Hull served as the District Governor’s secretary and treasurer. Melvin Jones Fellow Lion Dan Wilcox was the second member of the Club to serve as the District’s governor (2012 – 2013). His Cabinet Secretary was Melvin Jones Fellow and Westfield Lion, Jeff Larrison, who also served as Cabinet Secretary in 2013 – 2014. Also tapped to serve District Governor Wilcox was Melvin Jones Fellow and Westfield Lion Joe Edwards (Cabinet Treasurer for 2012 – 2013). Westfield Lion and Melvin Jones Fellow Ron Perkins also served as Cabinet Secretary for the District. Several other Lions have served in various other capacities in the District and State.

The late Lion Roy O. Hadley joined the club six months after the club was chartered and remained active until his death in 1994. To many, he was “Mr. Lion” and in his honor and memory the Roy O. Hadley Lion of the Year was established. This award is presented to the Lion who over the past year carried out Lion activities in the manner of Lion Hadley. Roy O. Hadley Community Park on the northwest corner of Main and Union Streets in Westfield was named in his honor.

The Club has been blessed by various donations over the years, but one gift stands to be remembered for years to come. The late Life Member and Melvin Jones Fellow Dr. Malcolm D. Bray and Mary gave the club an endowment of $25,000. The endowment will be used for the continuation of high school awards.

Westfield Lions look forward to rendering service in the community in the years that lie ahead, and to spreading the growth of Lionism throughout the world.



Rodney Benson

1st Vice-President

Bill Nesbitt

2nd Vice-President

Craig Cooley


Jeff Larrison


Keith Sanborn

Tail Twister

Carl Wurtz

Lion Tamer

Carrie Larrison

Membership Chair


LCIF Chair

Dave Sobczak


Brian Abraham (Chairman)

John Wardlow

Gary Smith

Tom Balchik