Salado Lions Club
HomeWho We AreLinksNewsEvents

As the last active Charter Member of the Salado Lions Club, I shall endeavor to recount from memory. If I miss some peculiar dates and names, please note that my memory is not as computerized as I would like it to be.

I believe we got started in the spring of 1974. Members of the Killeen Evening Lions Club (Crawford Deavers was one of them) contacted Roger (Buddy) Read, then pastor at Salado Baptist Church. Buddy helped out in the organization but never joined. He moved to another church before the club got started. He and the Killeen Evening Lions representatives came to the teacher’s workroom of the old high school and talked with several teachers (myself included). I told them I’d be interested in being a member as long as I didn’t have to serve as President. There is still probably a lot of that going on!

The core group of teachers contacted their friends in the community and the fledgling Salado Lions Club spread it’s wings. I do not recall the date of the first meeting. All I remember is that it took place in the spring of 1974.

With the guiding hand of the Killeen Evening Lion’s Club, we elected the first slate of officers. Robert (Bob) Kelly won the honor of being the Charter President. Other officers I do not recall, but I remember the names of the Charter Members: Bob Kelly, Joe Bentley, Ed Brooks, Jim Evans, Jamie Bonner, Jr., C.B. Hodge, Tom Raborn, Don Cunningham, Jimmy Taylor, Dennis Cabiness, Glen Hodge, Frank Fuller, Archie Guyer, Red Huston, Leroy McGregore, Don Simonton, Jack Thompson, Roger Barker, and Danny Ringer.

Our first meeting was held at the Salado Truck Stop Restaurant. Our philosophy then was to rotate eating places-sort of spread our money around the community. For a brief period we cooked and served ourselves at the Salado School cafetorium. When our chef moved away, we met at the River Forest in Belton, then at Little John’s (now Hallmark).

Attendance began to diminish. The drive to Belton was driving members away. Cowboy’s Barbeque opened at an opportune time. He welcomed the business and the Lions were glad to get back to a local meeting place. From Cowboy’s, we moved to the restaurant Perry Dalby opened in Salado Square and we followed him to the Tyler House. The most recent meeting place is Mill Creek Country Club at the Creekside Restaurant.

But return to 1974. We organized the club just in time to have a fund raiser at the Art Fair. The Killeen Evening Group loaned us their concession trailer from which we served cold drinks. They also loaned us a tent, complete with a cotton candy machine. Should you ever have the desire to become a human sugar stick, just operate a cotton candy machine. By the time you work a 3 hour shift with that contraption, every square inch of your body is sugar coated. We were fortunate that no bee hives were in the immediate vicinity. However, every housefly in Bell County considered us walking gourmet treats!

Having had a rough experience at the Art Fair, we recovered sufficiently to venture providing a concession for the Gathering of the Clans that November. Experience had proven a good teacher. We borrowed only the Killeen Club’s tent and served cold drinks and sandwiches. Before the next Art Fair we invested in an old school bus. It had been partially converted into a mobile concession stand. We added a few necessities and jumped, head first, into the Art Fair Concession business, serving hamburgers, barbeque, coffee and tea.

Salado Lions participated in other fund raising activities in the formative years. We sold light bulbs...once. We sold Christmas trees for a couple years. We even provided a concession stand for a track meet at Salado long before the high school had any track and field facilities (either 1975 or 1976).

The fellowship of Salado Lions has served our community for better than a decade now. We have grown from a handful of members to one of the largest clubs in our District; and we still remain a fellowship!