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Trafford, Manor Lions Clubs on the prowl for new members

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn-Trafford Star During their membership drive on Sunday, Trafford Lions Club members look over scrapbooks and historical photos of the club's work in town. Members include (seated) Jane Popolosk and Lucy DeHaven; (second row) Christine Giacomin, Tony Nigro, Mary Colbaugh and Mel Buchin; (back row) Lunwood Leeman, Rita Windsor, Dan Gerkin, Robin Gerkin and Betty Buchin.

A couple of Lions Clubs in the area are on the prowl for new members.

Trying to attract younger members, the Trafford Lions Club and Manor Lions Club both had open houses this week to describe their roles in the community to prospective members.

Heads of both clubs say they hope to pull in more volunteers to take the load off their aging members to keep the clubs' presence strong in their communities. The Trafford club has a 69-year tradition; Manor's club is three years younger.

The search for new members is particularly important in Trafford, where the club has about 18 members on the roster but the typical turnout for a meeting is between 10 and 12, President Mel Buchin said. Without new members, the existing volunteers might have to consider disbanding to join nearby groups, such as the Level Green Lions Club, he said.

At its peak during his 25-year run as a Trafford Lion, the club had about 50 active members, Buchin said.

“We want to continue to be in Trafford and do things for the people in Trafford,” he said.

The local clubs are affiliates of Lions Clubs International, which boasts that its 1.35 million members make it the largest service-club organization in the world.

Many of the local clubs prioritize providing eyeglasses for people and raising money for community groups, including food pantries.

Joy Clontz, the president of the Manor Lions, said her group helped with the establishment of the playground at Lower Manor Park. The group is known for its periodic chicken barbecues at the intersection of Route 993 and Sandy Hill Road.

Manor counts 23 volunteers as members, but many of them are older than 70 and can't participate as often as they used to, Clontz said.

“I think it would be a sad day for Manor if they didn't have the Lions Club,” she said. “I think the food pantry would suffer because we do give a lot of donations to them.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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