Lions Club of Union City

Making a Difference - Since 1963

2012 - 2013

President: Greg Stewart

Secretary: Kelly Musgrove

The installation of officers at the home of Pres. Greg and Lion Laura Stewart kicked off our 50th Anniversary celebration year. A commemorative pin was designed to mark the occasion, with a party to be held on February 23, 2013 at the historic Masonic Home. Again, we sold fireworks, sponsored the Boy Scouts and other youth groups, participated in Make a Difference Day, and hosted our Senior Thanksgiving dinner. We chartered a new Leo Club at Moreau High School, and the Leo Club at Logan High School grew to over 200 members. Held our 50th Student Speakers Contest. Lion Carol Dutra-Vernaci was elected the first woman Mayor of Union City.




2011 -2012

President: Tony Acosta

Secretary: Jenny Cutter

The Lions sponsored the Summer Lunch Program, which provided daily lunch to Union City children at the local community centers. Another successful fireworks fundraising effort took place in July. Both the annual Crab Feed and Restaurant Stoll events were sold out, with proceeds designated to benefit the youth in our community most affected by State budget cuts. The Club also participated in Make a Difference Day, the Sister City Festival, and the Senior Thanksgiving Dinner. Turkeys were provided by Tri-CED and cooked by the Crowne Plaza. Milestone: Tony Acosta was the first UC Lion to serve two terms as President.


2010 - 2009

President: Fred Penning

Secretary: Jenny Cutter

Several Lions participated in the Sister City Festival, where the Club hosted a table. The Lions again helped restore the gardens at the Meyers’ Estate, and held the Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors. The holiday party was held at Federicos’ restaurant, and a Crab Feed fundraiser was held in January.  Proceeds from the Crab Feed were used to build a new food pantry at Centro de Servicios.

2009 - 2010

President: Bill Stone

Secretary: GloW Watson

The Installation of Officers took place in June and kicked off a year of fun activities, including a cruise to Mexico fundraiser. Several Lions worked on the Gathering in the Park event in July, and the Lions participated in the UC50 Concert and Fireworks show in September, including a food booth to raise funds. Six volunteers participated in a Lions in Sight eye clinic in Guaymas, Mexico, where they distributed over 400 pairs of eyeglasses to the needy. The fireworks booth and Student Speakers Contest continued, along with our Senior Thanksgiving Dinner at Ruggieri Senior Center. The club organized a casino bus trip and the Inaugural sold-out Restaurant Stroll at Union Landing was a huge success. The club also raised funds selling fireworks, and participated in Make a Difference Day once again at the Meyer’s Estate.




2008 - 2009

President: Dave Sweilem

Secretary: Gloria Watson

2009 Marks the 50th Anniversary of the City of Union City, and the Lions sponsored the celebration with a $10,000 donation. Additionally the Club took charge of putting on the City’s anniversary parade, and organized a car show the same day. As usual, the Club hosted the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors, held the fireworks fundraiser, and presented the Student Speakers Contest.

2007 - 2008

President: Linda Fernandes

Secretary: K. Gallegos / G. Watson

Installation held at the Meyer’s Estate. Fireworks fundraiser held in July. Hosted the Lion Al Roderigues Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner for seniors. Five Lions participated in a Lions in Sight clinic in Valladolid, Mexico. Rajiv Narayan won the Student Speakers Contest for the second year in a row. Club visit to City of Hope was inspirational to all who attended.

2006 - 2007

President: Tony Acosta

Secretary: Kristina Gallegos

Six Lions volunteered on a Lions in Sight clinic trip to Union deTula, Mexico. Held fundraiser in partnership with the New Haven Schools Foundation. Partnered with the American Red Cross to host two blood drives at Logan. Meeting location changed to the Crowne Plaza. Union City's Student Speakers Contest winner advanced to the MD4 championships. Make a Difference Day Project at the Meyer's Estate. June Luau raised $12,000 and an additional $5000 was used to benefit the Scouts from California School for the Blind. The year ended sadly with the passing of beloved Charter Member Tom Kitayama.

2005 - 2004

President: Carol Dutra Vernaci

Secretary: Linda Fernandes

13 members got CERT training for local disaster response. Club donated $1000 for Hurricane Katrina relief. Renovated the rose garden at the historic Meyer's Estate (Dry Creek Cottage) for Make a Difference Day. President Carol lost a membership bet and had to play the sax and do stand up comedy. Field trips tours of the Masonic Home and Alma Via. Participated in WinterFest. Hosted the University of the Philippines Concert Choir fundraiser.

2004 - 2003

President: Rick Sealana

Secretary: Pam Navarro

Meetings moved to the eMocha Café in Union City - By joining the Chamber of Commerce, we attracted several new members and formed a good partnership for projects - Raised almost $9000 on fireworks sales - Six Lions made an eyeglass clinic trip to Mexico with Lions in Sight - The Luau raised over $5000 to help the ailing Oakland Blind Center - Losing a membership challenge, 2VP Tony Acosta appeared in drag as the now-infamous Lion Antoinette. Rick Sealana, President – Pam Navarro, Secretary.

2003 - 2004

President: Jim Navarro

Secretary: Don Watson

The Lu'au for Gabriela raised over $11,000 to buy a wheelchair lift for a child with Muscular Dystrophy and fund other service projects - A Police Appreciation Dinner was held, and the Club served 400 seniors for Thanksgiving Dinner - Membership challenge brought in 16 new members, and humiliated the Prez, who shaved his head; and 1VP Rick Sealana and Tail Twister Ken Buffum who got a pie in the face. The Union City Leos Club was revitalized.

2002 - 2003

President: Gloria Watson

Secretary: Don Watson

The year started off well with the induction of new member Bernard Lipscome at the first meeting of the year. The Club participated in the Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled person in need, and collected many used eyeglasses for recycling.

2001 - 2000

President: Marilyn Moody

Secretary: Chris Bohn

Built wheelchair ramp for disabled citizen - Toiletries collected for the homeless. Decorated and auctioned a Christmas tree at the Union City WinterFest - Third Pancake Breakfast held at Kitayama School - Lions cooked and fed 300 Make a Difference Day volunteers - First live auction held at Spaghetti Feed - Fingerprinted children at PAL Truck Show.

2000 - 2001

President: Ken Buffum

Secretary: Chris Bohn

Fireworks sales continued as main fundraiser - Second pancake breakfast held at Kitayama School and Greenhouse erected - Lions painted another home for Make a Difference Day - Served breakfast at PAL Truck Show and hosted third Western BBQ - Seniors' Thanksgiving Dinner moved to Ruggieri Senior Center and featured a big band and dancing for the first time.

1999 - 2000

President: Helen Kennedy

Secretary: Gloria Watson

Launched Kitayama School Garden & Greenhouse project - Joined with Destination Imagination for a new Leos Club - Western BBQ fundraiser continued, and cooked at the Tow Truck Assn. BBQ - Al & Marcella Roderigues and Muthulakshmi Balavenkatesen selected Lions Community Heroes for Alameda County Fair - PAL Truck Show participation - Lions named Volunteer Organization of the Year.

1998 - 1999

President: Chuck Aarmes

Secretary: Ann Riojas

Western BBQ dinner held for the first time as a new fundraiser - Donated shopping carts for senior citizens - Fed participants at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life - Lions painted and repaired a home for Make a Difference Day.

1997 - 1998

President: Larry Cheeves

Secretary: Ann Riojas

Cooked, served, walked in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life - Held three Pancake Breakfasts at the Farmers' Market to increase community awareness of the Lions Club - Built planter boxes and beautified El Centro de Servicios Community Services and Police Substation as a World Service Day project in conjunction with 'Make a Difference Day' - Membership 64.

1996 - 1997

President: Steve DeLucchi

Secretary: Ann Riojas

Cosmetics and baby clothing collected and donated to Tri-Cities Shelter - Donation to UC Police for domestic violence alarms - Clothing and food collected for disaster aid to flood victims in Modesto - World Service Day project done on 'Make a Difference Day' where we cleaned, painted, repaired and replaced the 'Welcome to Union City" sign - Eyeglass collection boxes placed in several business' in Union City resulting in bigger collection of used glasses turned in to Lions in Sight project - Membership 67. Lion of the Year: Helen Kennedy.

1995 - 1996

President: Joan Honebein

Secretary: Ann Riojas

First woman President of Club - Regular donations continue - Participated in the Police Department Bike Rodeo - Collected $1000 in a successful White Cane Days - Membership 68.

1994 - 1995

President: Don Watson

Secretary: Ann Riojas

Fireworks Booth continued to be big fundraiser $11,300- Made donations to sponsor a race car, a soccer team, a Boy Scout meeting place, and other community projects - New fundraisers were added, including Safeway script, Entertainment Books, and Rexall Drugs - Disaster aid for flood victims was given in the form of clothing, household items, food, and money - Membership 83.

1993 - 1994

President: Jerry Taylor

Secretary: Thom Allison

Referrals to Sight Savers continue - Donation to building of memorial to Korean and Vietnam War Veterans in Union City - Six clients received eye surgery in Project Sight First - $1,000 each donated to Union City Police Department Bicycle and Canine Unit - Club honored eight members with Melvin Jones Fellowships ($8,000) - Club assisted Police Department with Bike Rodeo for over 500 children - Membership 100.

1992 - 1993

President: Don Dickover

Secretary: Thom Allison

Scholarships to Logan students amounting to $3,000 were awarded - $1000 was given to the victims of wildfire disasters - Used eyeglasses were collected for underprivileged countries - On March 20, 1993 UC Lions chartered the Golden State Lions Club - Membership 116.

1991 - 1992

President: Mark Tayo

Secretary: Jerry Taylor

Summer and winter Youth Exchange students were hosted - Student Speakers contest had other clubs requesting Logan students too - Many hours were worked at Bingo and many hours spent repairing and maintaining the Oakland Blind Center's van - another visit to twin club In Santa Rosalia - Over 85 exams for eyes and ears were done at Our Lady Festival - 200 close captioned TV decoders were donated to School for the Deaf - Rex Davis elected as District Governor - Membership 123.

1990 - 1991

President: Luther Powell

Secretary: Jerry Taylor

A Third delegation traveled to twin with the Ilo I lo Lions in the Philippines - the traditional projects of Flag Day, White Cane Days, Senior Thanksgiving. Pancake Breakfasts, Lions Night with the "As", Special Kids, Crab Feed, Youth & Community continued - Candidate for Lt. Governor was Rex Davis - First woman inducted into the Club was Mary Olsen - Membership 130.

1989 - 1990

President: Pasquale Palmieri

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

The Club took First place in the Governor's contest - An entire field hospital was obtained and shipped by the UC Lions and distributed to the Pasay Hospital and Cebu Medical Center - The Second Special Kids Circus was sponsored with 4 public performances in December - Lion of the Year, Bill Bohn - Membership 125.

1988 - 1989

President: George Hagan

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Twelve Lions traveled to Philippines to twin with Cebu City on January 1989 - The Clubs reconditioned and donated three ambulances, to Pasay General Hospital. Cebu Medical Center and Santa Rosalia, Mexico - over 1500 Special Kids were guests of the UC Lions at a "World Class" circus held In Union City. four other performances as part of a fundraiser profited the Club $15,000 - The Club was awarded the District Community Service Award at the 4-C3 convention where the Club took Second place In the Governor's contest - Lion of the Year, Tom Salata - Membership 120.

1987 - 1988

President: Wayne Barker

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Club held it's 25th "Silver Anniversary Dinner at the UC Holiday Inn - Special Kids Party included Santa arriving by helicopters at the corner of Decoto & Alvarado Niles in Union City 500 in attendance - Club shipped more books to Pasay City and Cebu City Philppines - Served Pancake Breakfast at Gladiola Festival to 300 - Club budget was 874,877 - Second Place in District Governor's contest - Lion of the Year: Luther Powell - Membership 115.

1986 - 1987

President: Mike Riley

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Held Bowl-a-thon as fundraiser for White Cane, raised $1,387 - Painted and repaired Hearing Screening Unit for the District Foundation - Hosted 256 at Senior Citizens Thanksgiving dinner and 152 at Special Kids Party - Youth & Community profit $5.4000 - 310 attended Lions Night at the A's. Crab Feed again sold out. Lion of the Year: Pasquale Palmieri - Membership 107.

1985 - 1986

President: Jerry Fox

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Replaced broken windows in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Union City - Provided services at the Association of Bay Area Grocers dinner, raised $1,500- participated in Drug Awareness Program "Quest" contributing $1200 toward instructors for youth. - Membership 105 - Lion of the Year, Wayne Barker.

1984 - 1985

President: Al Guzman

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

A delegation of Lions visited the Philippines and twinned with the Pasay City Host Lions and with the Cebu Lions Club - Donated 400 pounds of school books and supplies to Philippines and later 10,000 pounds more - Held "First Fathers+Children" dinner with snakes and reptiles from the Wildlife Conservation Show - Dedicated and donated Community Reader Board - Lion of the Year, Rex Davis - Membership 93.

1983 - 1984

President: Rex Davis

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Club led District in holding Special Kids Party at Great America - Collected 1032 pounds of clothing for needy adults and children in community - Hosted Community Appreciation Dinner for social and service clubs in City - Held first 'bowl-a-thon - Donated pill counter to Tiburcio Vasquez Clinic - Worked with other clubs on "Eyes for Peter" project to transport a young Polish boy to Stanford for eye surgery. Held Easter Egg Hunt. Committee formed for twinning with Lions in Philippines - Lion of the Year Buzz Wittler - Membership 96.

1982 - 1983

President: William Bohn

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Sent four deaf children to Wilderness Camp - Participated in Union City's "Low Rider Happening" - Served 251 senior citizens. 259 Special Kids, 950 at Crab Feed, 436 at Pancake Breakfast - Distributed 15,000 phone books with Leos - Harry Duncan nominated as International Director and elected at International Convention in Honolulu Hawaii July 1983 with representation by Julian & Ann Riojas, Ken Garcia, Bob & Bernice Ferguson. Chuck Armes, Larry Duncan - Lion of the Year, Al Guzman - Membership 85. Diabetes screening held at Central Park West.

1981 - 1982

President: Bob Ferguson

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Larry Duncan served as District Governor - Donated $2,317 to Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. several Lions manned phones 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. - Removed trees and did landscape work at Oakland Blind Center - Lion of the Year, Bob Dent - Membership 70. Served 180 at Senior Thanksgiving Dinner, and fed 35 retarded elderly adults at Harris Convalescent Home. Third annual Crab Feed.

1980 - 1981

President: Julian Riojas, Jr

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Sponsored Union City Leo's Club with 19 members - Sold 380 tickets to Lions Night at "A's" - Hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for 210 senior citizens - Second Annual Crab Feed at Centennial Hall - Electrical, concrete and paving work done at Oakland Blind Center and repaired Sight Mobile - Larry Duncan nominated as UC Lions Candidate for District Governor - Lion of the Year, Bob Ferguson - Membership 52.

1979 - 1980

President: Eduardo Xavier

Secretary: Buzz Wittler

Operated two Fireworks Booths for the first and only time ever - Four Lion families hosted Youth Exchange students from Japan - Held first "Pizza Fun Meeting" at Uncle Joe's Pizza - Held First Annual Crab Feed at Veterans Hall in Niles, 572 meals, raised $5,000 - Donated station wagon to Oakland Blind Center - Placed Third in Governor's Service Contest - Lion of the Year, Bill Bohn - Membership 46. 200 from UC attended Lions Night at the A's.

1978 - 1979

President: Dennis Greenberg

Secretary: Bill May

Participated in First Annual Founders Day Parade for Union City's 20th Birthday - Hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for 50 senior citizens - Third Annual Special Kids Christmas Party had 200 in attendance - Worked on security lighting at Oakland Blind Center - Membership 57; Lion of the Year Buzz Wittler. Collected 482 pairs of eyeglasses and 694 lenses for the Blind Center. Built and installed a merry-go-round for disabled children at Glankler School. Population: 32,850.

1977 - 1978

President: Larry Duncan

Secretary: Terrance Belanger

Harry Duncan served as District Governor - First Special Children's Party held at Union Square Mail - Club finished 2nd in District Governor's Contest - Lioness Club of Union City chartered February 2, 1978 - Blood drive collects 23 pints - Lion of the Year Bob Ferguson - Membership 50. 70 kids attended our Special Kids Christmas Party. Celebrated the 15th Anniversary with a meeting at the Oakland Blind Center.

1976 - 1977

President: Jacob "Buzz" Wittler

Secretary: Fred Dent

Held first Flea Market - Club began tradition of honoring a Club member as Lion of the Year, with first Lion of Year Larry Duncan - Club adopted slogan 'Lionism is Offering Needed Service" - Club announced Harry Duncan as candidate for District Governor - Membership 53. Hosted Hospitality Room at convention. Held a flea market fundraiser.

1975 - 1976

President: Bill May

Secretary: Fred Dent

Started "Dime and a Prayer" collection jar to help City of Hope - Club contributed $1.00 per month per member to Oakland Blind Center - World Service Project - Repaired, painted and donated storage trailer to "Little Angels School" - Worked on painting and fixing up new Chamber of Commerce office building - Membership 51. Gave a monthly food basket to the needy.

1974 - 1975

President: Harry Duncan

Secretary: Ralph Kirkup

World Service Project, the Club installed siding on the Tiburcio Vasquez Medical Clinic in Union City - Club sponsored a Western Dance as a White Cane fundraiser - Mobile Sight Unit screened 80 persons as part of "FIesta Days' celebration - Membership 55. Lions Day held at the Oakland A's game. Raised $1300 for Youth and Community.

1973 - 1974

President: Earle Leffingwell

Secretary: Bill May

On March 30,1974 the UC Lions sponsored the Tropics Lions Club - participated in the Flag Day program for the first time and passed out 950 flags to fourth graders - Membership 48 - Population of Union City 24,290.  Member Ralph Kirkup was Deputy District Governor. Ladies Night held at OBC. Attended the Dawnbreakers Charter Night. UC population: 24,290.

1972 - 1973

President: Don Miller

Secretary: Dick Piepenburg and Bob Pounds

Fireworks sales netted $2,400 - "Tenth Anniversary" celebrated February 23,1973 at La Fuente Restaurant with 53 In attendance - Lion President also served as Mayor of Union City - Membership 42. Held annual BBQ. Donated $25 to Nicaragua Relief Fund. Club President Don Miller also served as Union City Mayor. Sight Mobile gave free eye exams.

1971 - 1972

President: Ralph Kirkup

Secretary: Bob Pounds

First-ever fireworks booth netted a profit of $700 - Club blood bank formed - The "Secret Lion'" came into existence at Club meetings - Stoves purchased for use at Pancake Breakfasts - Club finished eighth in Governor's Service Contest - Membership 41. Meetings held at Jorge's Steak House.

1970 - 1971

President: Manuel Seoane

Secretary: Bob Pounds

First Annual BBQ Dinner held July 18 - UC Lions assisted with Rubella Inoculation where 1490 were vaccinated - President represented the Club at International Convention In Las Vegas - Membership 31. Operated Mobile Sight Screening Unit. Had a booth at the OBC Bazaar. Helped vaccinate 1490 residents against Rubella.

1969 - 1970

President: Rome Collins

Secretary: John Geoghegan

Club operated a Putting-Skill Booth at Union City "Fiesta Days" netting $20 - Changed the number of meetings from one per week to two per month - Lions President this year also served as President of the Chamber of Commerce - Tom Kitayama represented the Club at the International Convention in Tokyo, Japan. Hosted putting skills booth at the Fiesta Days event.

1968 - 1969

President: Joe Kimura

Secretary: John Geoghegan

The Club sponsored Boy Scout Troop #177 - Bob Pounds elected Deputy District Governor - Al Roderigues chosen "Citizen of the Year" by Union City Chamber of Commerce - Membership at 32. Co-sponsored luncheon for new teachers. 500 people attended the pancake breakfast. Meetings held at Leo's Lounge. UC population was 11,441.

1967 - 1968

President: Al Roderigues

Secretary: John Geoghegan

Club purchased two season tickets to the Oakland Raider Football games which were given away to members at a drawing each Thursday prior to the home games. The President visited Lions Clubs in Taxco and Acapulco, Mexico. Two teams competed in selling Youth and Welfare tickets, with the losing team treating the winners to dinner.

1966 - 1967

President: Oscar Dowe

Secretary: Joe Kimura

Membership grew to 37 with a budget of $26,425 in Youth & Community, and $19,400 In White Cane funds - Club donated $725 towards the building of a Washington High Unified School District scoreboard for stadium. Held Student Speakers contest. Made donations to Guide Dogs for the Blind, OBC, earthquake relief in Lima, Peru, and gave a $250 college scholarship.

1965 - 1966

President: John Monohan

Secretary: Joe Kimura

Union City Lions Club and the Union City Chamber of Commerce jointly sponsored Third Annual New Teachers' Luncheon - Club was officially incorporated on March 29, 1966. The mobile Sight Conservation Unit came to UC and we gave 100 free eye exams. Held the 4th Annual Pancake Breakfast, with $200 in fundraising profits.

1964 - 1965

President: Robert Pounds

Secretary: Clayton George

Emphasis was on building membership and a solid place in our community. Pres. Robert was severely injured in a car accident, and 1VP Al Roderigues served in his place for several weeks.

1963 - 1964

President: Kenny Garcia

Secretary: Jim Duncan

Chartered by Centerville on February 26th, 1963 - 29 charter members - First White Cane Drive in October. Raised funds for the Oakland Blind Center, held the first Student Speakers Contest. Tragedy struck when our meeting place, the Ponderosa Restaurant, suffered a fire. Miraculously, the Club's charter was was saved!

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