Founding Lion turns 100

Bill Snider will be celebrating his 100th birthday on July 26. He is the only living Charter member of the Ashland Lions Club. Bill helped start the first Lions Club in Ashland on September 13, 1938 with the required 15 members. Bill's father and brother were also Charter members.

Snider was elected president of the Ashland Club in 1941. His father was president in 1943 and his brother in 1949. During his presidency, Snider was instrumental in starting the school safety patrol, where uniformed students with flags helped school students cross the street. He also helped start swim classes at the city swimming pool. The cost was 20 cents per student, including towel. These two projects were recognized by Lions International in 1941 and featured in the Lions magazine.

Snider was the owner and operator of the Snider Coffee Company as wells as a hardware store. During the time Snider lived in Ashland, he loved Lithia Park. Several years ago, he expressed a desire to have an area set aside recognizing the work of the Ashland Lions Club. The Club Projects Committee, with the permission and assistance of the Ashland Parks Commission, found an area near the Band Shell, which was designated as the Snider area. It included walking paths, benches, picnic tables, as well as an abundance of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees and a Lions plaque. In 1996, the — Snider Lions were listed on the plaque, which commemorated their efforts in helping to make Ashland a special community. Snider also presented the Ashland Lions Club with a check for $5,000 to be used for yearly maintenance of the Snider area.

When Snider moved to Canada in 1957, the Ashland Lions Club gave him the title of honorary lifetime member. In 2003, Snider was presented with the Melvin Jones Award. This was the first time the Club had given this prestigious award to a member.

Presently, Snider resides in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada with his second wife, Fran.

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