The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 21, 2013

Why the Lorain-Moxham Lions Club is disbanding after 33 years

Frank Sojak

— The Lorain-Moxham Lions Club, citing declining membership, has disbanded after 33 years of service locally and worldwide.

“I feel badly about it,” said the club’s last president, John Aubrey, a Johnstown optometrist. “It was difficult to see the club disband.”

Although it was a small club, it was very active, he said, citing numerous projects such as vision clinics and providing eyeglasses for less fortunate people in Lorain, Moxham and adjacent neighborhoods.

Both Aubrey and Frank Popp, the last public relations director for the club, said it was becoming difficult to get younger people to fill the void created when longtime members passed away or became ill.

“Every time I give some of the belongings of the club away, it hurts,” Popp said about disbandment.

“The club was an excellent one. When we started, we had 102 members.”

The largest number of members the club had was 120, he said. When it was disbanded, there were 19 members.

The club did much not only locally, but throughout the world, he said.

Locally, regularly scheduled diabetes awareness programs were among the numerous local programs, he said.

Statewide, the club supported camps for the blind and handicapped in Indiana and Huntingdon counties.

Globally, they collected numerous eyeglasses for the needy in Honduras and supported disaster relief worldwide, he said.

Popp said he and six other members – Aubrey, Robert Burkholder, Rev. Wilbert Boerstler, Darwin Wiegand, Don Kot, and Charles Holtzman, had more than 30 years of service each in the club.

The remaining members of the club have joined or are planning to join other clubs.

Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at