By Joe Rector
Originally published June 21, 2010.
Reprinted with permission from West Side Shopper-News)
The Karns Lions Club meeting Monday evening at the Karns Pool will be a special one. Members will enjoy a meal, and then they’ll honor two of their own. Joe Dailey and Bill Shannon are celebrating their 50th years as members of the organization.
The club received its charter in 1954, and both men joined in 1960. Dailey’s dad was one of the founding members, so it was natural for him to join. His sons Gary and Rick joined the club, and now his granddaughter and her husband, Lacey and Tony Fleming, are members of the Karns Lions.
Along the way, Dailey and Jackie, his wife of 61 years, have been involved in a variety of Lions projects. The Karns Lions built the original Karns High School football field that was situated where the elementary school is now located. Dailey says Knox County couldn’t afford it, so members signed notes to get enough money to build the stadium and hoped they wouldn’t lose their homes in the process.
In 1969, Dailey and other Lions Club members again signed notes. This time the money went toward building the community pool. Members and their spouses worked at the pool during their vacations. The club sold the land on which the Karns Volunteer Fire Department is located, and it leases the land for little league fields and the community center for $1 a year.
Dailey served as president of the Tennessee Lions Eye Bank in the 1990s.
Bill Shannon joined the Lions Club for a different reason. He had a cousin who was blind, and he became interested in the club’s work with sight conservation. He worked to get glasses for children and adults and tirelessly collected money every October for White Cane Days. He also served on the board of directors for the Blind Training Center in Arkansas.
Shannon and his wife, Jean, have been married for 62 years and have two children. They have enjoyed opportunities to help others, and Shannon says that he’s developed some close friendships with other members through the years. The success the Lions Club has had in Karns shows what can happen when people join forces in a common cause.
He says he’s had fun with projects throughout the years. They’ve had fundraisers for the pool and shot mistletoe out of trees for sales. Shannon says he proud of how the club reaches out to the community with parks and food baskets. Service is the key to the Lions Club’s existence.
Together, Joe Dailey and Bill Shannon have given 100 years of service to the Karns Lions Club. They both hope that future generations will preserve the club’s strong presence in the Karns community.