On September 23, 1954 a small group of Winthrop Harbor businessmen met to establish an organization that would help the community, and be of service to the less fortunate, as well as give them enjoyable social contacts. These men met with representatives of different organizations in their own towns and unanimously agreed that the community needs could be best answered with a Lions Club. A Past District Governor from Lake Zurich, Lion Stan Sebby, met with the group and all agreed that the Lake Zurich Lions Club would sponsor this newly formed Winthrop Harbor Lions Club into this great International Organization.
On November 17, 1954 the first charter night was held and the Winthrop Harbor Lions Club was chartered with 74 members. Today we have 72 members including two charter members, namely S.A. “Jimmie” Harris and William Blagg. District Governor Morris Benzuley from the Fox Lake Lions Club was the installing officer and was assisted by State Secretary Henry Friberg who helped organize the Winthrop Harbor Club.
Through the years, the members of the Winthrop Harbor Lions Club have been involved in many projects such as carnivals, beverage booths, pancake breakfasts, Jubilee Days of Zion, Candy Days for the Lions of Illinois Foundation, blind fishing, blind road rallies, Toys for Tots, Leader Dog for the Blind, the Zion Public Library, Juvenile Diabetes, high school scholarships and computers to the W.H. Grade schools to name a few. Throughout these efforts, contributions of over one and one-half million dollars have been made to serve the community and further Lionism around the world. A large source of revenue has been twenty years of bingo with many dedicated Lions working each week of the year.
Fifty years ago when the Winthrop Harbor residents were traveling throughout the State of Illinois, they had to explain the geographic location of Winthrop Harbor Village when asked where they lived. The village was named the “Corner Stone of Illinois”. Today, people from all over the State recognize the contributions of this club under the humanitarian motto of the Lions International “WE SERVE”. Since 1956 a member of this club has served on the 1-F district cabinet and has led that cabinet under the leadership of three District Governors namely, S.A. “Jimmie” Harris, Dr. Louis Abboud and Paul Pushee