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Lions Club celebrates 74 years

Ridgecrest Lions Club President Lion Michael Spahn–  I, Michael Spahn, write this as the new Ridgecrest Lions Club President. “I am so proud to stand on the shoulders of all this history. I thank all the Lions before me and I am gracious of the named, and especially the unnamed, community members and organizations that make Ridgecrest and Indian Wells Valley the way it is. Tomorrow the Ridgecrest Lions club will be 74 years old but we are very much still active in this community. We hope to make a huge splash this coming year and hope to celebrate with a big party at the end of it. 

“We Serve.” The Lions Club International adopted this motto in 1954. But the Ridgecrest Lions club had already been serving this community in Indian Wells Valley for 6 years. Chartered on August 5, 1948, the club was known as the Indian Wells Lions Club and was the first non‑military/non‑secular charitable non‑profit organization in the area. 

Our club was renamed to the Ridgecrest Lions Club in 1974. The Ridgecrest Lions Club has been involved in everything from food drives, vision screenings, student scholarships, flag program, fundraising, duck drops, fireworks, and so much more.

Among these many things, here are some highlights through the decades. In the 1950’s, the Lions club built and supported two baseball diamonds for the Inyokern and China Lake Little Leagues. We held our first Lions Student Speakers Contest for higher education scholarships. 

The 1960’s, the club donated and supported the establishment of a state college in Ridgecrest, now known as Cerro Coso Community College. Also in 1964, the club started the annual flag program where Lions members place flags out to businesses in the community of recognized holidays. 

The Ridgecrest Lions club, in the 70’s, raised funds to build the permanent Corn Booth at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds, which we still operate out of for every county fair. During the 80’s the Ridgecrest Lions Club supported many charitable organizations such as youth baseball, family and children in need, and vision/glaucoma screenings. 

The 1990’s, the club decided to take on improving the Independence Day fireworks display. We started a Fireworks Fundraiser Bingo event in 1998 to continually make a better show year after year. 

In the 2000’s we aided in building a new Women’s Shelter facility and donated & supported our local “Respect the Law” dinner. During this time, the Lions Club also invited Santa Claus to visit with boys and girls and thus getting a permanent spot at Santa’s Art Shop.

In these past twelve years, the Ridgecrest Lions Club membership may have waned but we have not slowed down. The Lions continued to serve corn and pulled-pork out of our booth and provide flags to businesses as well as Santa to the community including a Santa visit to the Animal Shelter. We contributed to charitable causes like the City of Hope and the local Salvation Army.  

We even provided relief to victims of the 2014 Lake Isabella fire from a Lions Club International Emergency Grant. The Ridgecrest Lions aided those in Ridgecrest and Trona when the 2019 earthquakes hit by bringing food and supplies to those in need as quickly as possible and even helping individuals get their mobile homes standing upright again. 

We are actively working to get a community pool for this city. This Ridgecrest Lions club with the help of everyone in this area will get a pool for all of us to enjoy.”