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History: Local: Community Organizations

Lannon Lions Club

Unofficial Site 

History of Lions

1965 - the Lannon Lions Club is formed. Election of officers is held on July 1st of each year.

1960's: late - the Lannon Lions Club start the grade school flag football program.

1970/Feb - The Lannon and Sussex Lions Clubs have scheduled a money raising grudge basketball game between themselves to raise money for the Hamilton prom party. Tickets cost 50 cents.

        /Mar. - The Lannon Lionettes were beaten by the Sussex Lionettes, 17-10, in a benefit basketball game.

1984 - April 16, the Club held an 18th anniversary party at the Lannon Village Hall. At that time, the Club had 43 members. A special guest was Sussex Lion Wilmer Marx, who was president of the Sussex Lions in 1965 when the Sussex club sponsored the formation of the Lannon contingent. Thirteen of the 18 past Lions Club presidents attended the party. It was noted that the two Clubs have participated jointly in many activities, and now Lannon Lions Club have a roast beef stand at the annual Lions Daze (and it's rumored they also bring their ability to make it rain at the festival).

1990 - Silver Anniversary of Club's founding. Held their anniversary on May 6. Dick Pankratz was the only Charter Member left from the original founding group in 1965. Fritz Miller had 23 years in, while Bob Sieloff and Wayne Tyree had 22 years each. In the 25 years, the Club has donated over $150,000 to various charities and activities.

            For fund raisers there has been Halloween candy sales, light bulb sales, a pig raffle in 1971, pancake breakfasts, Lannon Quarry Days, spaghetti dinners, mud wrestling, flea markets, and a sandwich tent at the Sussex Lion Daze weekend.

            Money raised had gone for Easter egg hunts, ballpark improvements and shelter, college scholarships, glasses for the needy, basketball programs, Christmas baskets for the needy, scouting support, and aid to the hearing impaired.

1993/7/6 - Wayne Tyree of Sussex was named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation in recognition of his commitment to serving the community. Member of the Lannon Lions Club, District 27A2. Received a plaque and a lapel pin acknowledging his dedication to the foundation's humanitarian goals. The Melvin Jones Fellow is the highest award given a Lion member.

1994/2/11 - Lannon Lions Club serves "roadkill" for annual venison dinner.

94/7/12 - Robert J. Sielaff was named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation in recognition of his commitment to serving the community. Member of the Lannon Lions Club, District 27A2. Received a plaque and a lapel pin acknowledging his dedication to the foundation's humanitarian goals. Sielaff joined the Lions Club in Peshtigo in 1965 then transferred to Lannon's Club when he came here to found the F&M Bank in 1968. (Originally the Bank was rental quartered at the old J.J. Flanagan/Miller Food Store on the corner of Main St. and Lannon Rd.). He is married to Yvonne for 46 years and has 1 child and 2 grandchildren.

Lannon Lions Club Officers

Year President First Vice President Second Vice President Third Vice President Past President Secretary Treasurer Tail Twister
1965 George Spiering              
1966 Jim Loveless       George Spiering      
1967 Walter Becker       Jim Loveless      
1968 Tom Metcalf       Walter Becker      
1969 Tom Feldman       Tom Metcalf      
1970 *Dick Pankratz       Tom Feldman      
1971 Art Magnusson       Dick Pankratz      
1972 Charles Kruse       Art Magnusson      
1973 Norm Lueck       Charles Kruse      
1974 Art Haessly       Norm Lueck      
1975 Wayne Tyree       Art Haessly      
1976 Lloyd Turner       Wayne Tyree      
1977 Bob Sielaff       Lloyd Turner      
1978 Dale Sonneman       Bob Sielaff      
1979 Guy Vance       Dale Sonneman      
1980 Harry Langermann       Guy Vance      
1981 Van Van Ert       Harry Langermann      
1982 Don Roskopf       Van Van Ert      
1983 Ron Vogt       Don Roskopf      
1984 Dale Sonneman       Ron Vogt      
1985 Bruce Ernst       Dale Sonneman      
1986 Ray Schoedl       Bruce Ernst      
1987 Russ Charon       Ray Schoedl      
1988 Mark Spranger       Russ Charon      
1989 Ralph "Bud" Reimir       Mark Spranger      
1990 Helmut Gasik Bud Reimer Ken Peterson Jerry Boedecker Ralph "Bud" Reimir Wesley Knutsen Carl Islo Ron Samanske
1991         Helmut Gasik      

Reference Sources:  "Lannon History: Village of Lannon - Golden Jubilee 1930-1980" edited by Fred Keller; "Yesteryear in Sussex", by Fred Keller; "Yesteryear in Sussex: Revisited", by Fred Keller; "The First 150 Years: Lisbon-Sussex, Waukesha, County, Wisconsin", compiled and edited primarily by Fred Keller; "Sussex Lions Club, 27-A2, Sussex, WIS., U.S.A., 50 Years: 1939-1989", compiled and edited by Fred Keller; "Sussex Fire Department 60th Anniversary Book";

Lannon Lions elect first female leaders
by Fred H. Keller, Sussex Sun Staff Writer July 04, 2007
Since its founding in 1965, the Lannon Lions Club has been a men-only domain. No more. This venerable 29-member civic organization now boasts not only women members, but also its first female leaders: President Darlene Ehley and Secretary Shirley Burkhalter.
The other officers are Treasurer Jim Spagl and Past President Jim Doro.

The changes have been pushed, in part, by Lions International, which wants its affiliates to discard the separate Lioness Clubs and to integrate women into the formerly men-only clubs.
The Sussex Lioness Club, though, says it wants to remain independent of the male-dominated Sussex Lions and keep the women's club for women only.

The Lannon Lions' recent contributions to their community include the state-of-the-art Schneider Field for youth baseball and its concession stand-clubhouse, both located north of Joecks baseball field on Lannon Road.

Former Lannon Lions President Mark Spranger said the club raised about $150,000 in partnership with the village, and donated many hours of work to the project.

Lannon's little leagues now have a field to play on, while the Lions use the clubhouse for monthly meetings and activities.

The new concession stand and meeting room sport this motto, noting Lannon's famous stone: "Lannon Community Center, Built on Solid Ground."

The Lannon Lions have raised a substantial amount of funds since 1988 from the sale of beef and turkey sandwiches at Sussex Lions Daze — July 13-15 this year in Sussex Village Park.

The history of the two clubs' relationship goes back to 1965, when Sussex Lions President Bill "Willy" Marx, pushed Lannon members into forming their own Lions club, with the help of Lions Zone Chairman Paul Fleischmann, who served for a time as Sussex village president and is now chairman of its water commission.

The 25 founding members of the new Lannon chapter met for the first time on May 24, 1965: Richard Pankratz, Lloyd Neumann, H. William Osborne, Robert Gustavsen, Ervin Miller, William C. Galt, Paul J. Knoebel, Jack Dolphin, Paul H. Zastrow, Philip Demarais, Mathew Schneider, Milton Munns, Richard C. Prochnow, Leonard J. Ashley, Daniel Schnabel, Thomas Metcalfe, Walter H. Becker, Thomas R. Feldman, Fred Braun, Frank MacFarlane, Jr., James F. Loveless, Warren Schlaugat, Stanley T. Kujawa, George H. Spiering and Joseph Kofler.

A list of their projects since then includes the Lannon Lions Flag Football program, 1969-95; donating for the construction of the Lannon tennis courts, 1972; holding the first deer stew membership dinner, 1979; assisting the Village of Lannon in acquiring the Wisconsin State Historical Society bronze marker for Lannon Stone, 1979-80; helping the village celebrate its 50th anniversary, 1980; Olde Quarry Days, 1985-87; donating money to build a park shelter, 1989; purchasing a stove and refrigerator for Village Hall kitchen, 1991; helping buy ice rescue equipment for the Fire Department, 1994; donating money to remodel the village meeting room, 1995; purchasing a Fire Department generator, 1996; purchasing the old Fire Department ambulance and sending it to Mexico, 1988; donating and installing playground equipment in Joecks Park dedicated to Fritz Miller, 1999; planting tree dedicated to Mary Quartaro in Joecks Park, 1999; donating money toward Fire Department defibrillator, 2000; donating money toward extrication equipment for the Fire Department, 2002; spearheading renovation of Joecks Park and development of Schneider Field, 2001-04; donating the concession stand-storage building, 2004; and beginning fundraising for the community center building in Schneider Field, 2004-present.

The International Lions Club has assisted the Lannon Lions Club in awarding Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards to Wayne Tyree, Robert Sielaff, Mark Spranger and Bruce Ernst, and a Burch-Sturm Award to Jerome Boedeker.

The list of past Lannon Lions presidents reads like a "who's who" of Lannon history: George Spiering, 1965-66; James Loveless, 1966-67; Walter Becker, 1967-68; Thomas Metcalfe, 1968-69; Thomas Feldman, 1969-70; Richard Pankratz, 1970-71; Art Magnusson, 1971-72; Charles Kruse, 1972-73; Norman Lueck, 1973-74; Arthur Haessley, 1974-75; Wayne Tyree, 1975-76; Lloyd Turner, 1976-77; Robert Sielaff, 1977-78; Dale Sonnemann, 1978-79; Guy E. Vance, 1979-80; Henry Langermann, 1980-81; Wayne Van Ert, 1981-82; Donald "Red" Roskopf, 1982-83; Ronald Vogt, 1983-84; Dale Sonnemann, 1984-85; Bruce Ernst, 1985-86; Ray Schoedl, 1986-87; Russel Charon, 1987-88; Mark Spranger, 1988-89; Ralph "Bud" Reimer, 1989-90; Helmut Gaschk, 1990-91; Bruce Ernst, 1991-92; Wayne Tyree, 1992-93; Russell Charon, 1993-94; Harry Gentz, 1994-95; Dean Nagel, 1995-96; Ralph Basile, 1996-97; Gerard Schritz, 1997-98; Ralph "Bud" Reimer, 1998-99; Michael Grim, 1999-2001; Mark Spranger, 2001-2003; Dean Nagel, 2003-2004; and James Doro, 2004-2007.
©Sussex Sun 2007

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