Smith introduced as new Lions Club president

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

IRONTON — On July 1, Roy Smith took office as president of the Ironton Lions Club.

He first joined Lions in 1993 and has served as first vice-president in 2006-07.

Dave Swartzwelder was elected first vice-president; Michael Caldwell, second vice-president; Terri Taylor, secretary; Joe Wiseman, treasurer; Joe Jenkins, third vice-president; and Bob Blankenship, lion tamer and tail twister.

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Lions Club is a service organization and gives out eyeglasses, scholarships and contributes in other ways in the community.

The Lions Club’s biggest fundraising event of the year is the haunted tunnel.

“The tunnel itself is the old State Route 75 before they built State Route 93,” Smith said. “They filled in that tunnel about 1963. Then the Lions Club got together and basically leased the tunnel from the city and had it cleaned out. Originally the idea was to use it as a historic landmark and then we decided to use it as a fundraiser.”

So, they decided to make it into a haunted tunnel at Halloween. People from around the Tri-State area go to the haunted tunnel.

“I think it scares the adults more than the children,” he said. “We get great comments from people. “We have one of those rolling drums as you walk though and one of the last things we have is a chainsaw and someone in costume, like Jason. Just as they come along into that room, the chain saw gets started and they run screaming out of there.”

With the money the club raises, Lions give out scholarships, help people with glasses, and donated $6,000 to help build the walking track in Ironton.

They also put up markers and planted trees around the track.

“Someone came in and stole the trees and we had to replant,” Smith said.

Lions Club’s big push internationally is to collect old eyeglasses and have them refurbished. They have also purchased three seeing-eye dogs over the years.

The Ironton Lions Club meets at noon each Tuesday, except the last Tuesday of each month when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Ironton Giovanni’s.