Club’s aging members want the scholarship to outlive them
Since 1991, the DeLeon Springs Lions Club has awarded local T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School students with thousands of dollars in scholarship money through the Charles Lennon Scholarship Fund. As the dwindling members of the once-great club get older, they’re looking to divorce the scholarship from the club to ensure it outlives them. The public is invited to have a say in the fund’s future this Monday.
“I figure if we don’t do something soon,” Lions Club Treasurer Dick Schuler told The Beacon, “it won’t be done.”
The DeLeon Springs club, which once boasted some 30 members, has hosted community events and donated money and time to members of the community since 1955. To ensure the $2,000 scholarships awarded annually to local high-school students live on, the organization plans to separate the scholarship from the Lions Club. Currently, the fund, which has been supported with donations and fundraising, is valued around $150,000.
Lions Club leadership is looking for members of the community interested in sharing their opinion about the future of the scholarship, and how trustees should handle it going forward. The public meeting discussing the future of the scholarship will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at the Hidden Valley Park recreation building, 91 Valley Drive, in DeLeon Springs.
Remembering a local legend
Charles “Chuck” Lennon was a community advocate and the founder and two-time president of the DeLeon Springs Lions Club. Lennon was also a fernery owner, a veteran and a local judge.
Lennon was also a strong advocate for education, so when he died in September 1991, Lions Club members set up a scholarship fund with donations in his memory.
The scholarship isn’t the only piece of DeLeon Springs that bears Lennon’s name. There’s also Chuck Lennon Park in DeLeon Springs, a 136-acre park built in 1992. The park was revitalized last month with the opening of a brand-new hiking trail.