PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Lions Club was founded on December 12, 1970. The 22 charter members of the club were: Ben Vlaun, Frank Arnell, Fred Baptist, Will Barendsen, Leslie Cannegieter, Jack Cooper, Walt Dietl, Victor de Tulio, Samuel Hazel, Carl Heineman, Ronald Van Grieken, Rudy Dovale, Johannes Arrindell, Franck Jansen, Rudolf de Kort, Rush Little, Gunter Muller, Henk Nahar, Alphonse O ’Connor, and Don Pointer. The late Ben Vlaun was the club’s first president.
Over the years, the St. Maarten Lions Club has grown, and currently has 57 members. In 2000-2001 Lisandra Havertong MJF served as first female President. The President for 2016-2017 is Davey Woods whose one-year term started July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, at midnight.
The club has two Leo Clubs, which are the St. Maarten Leo Club for children ages 12-18 and the St. Maarten South Leo Club for young adults 18-31 years old. All 3 clubs meet are various times at the Lions Den on Sucker Garden Road #13.
The club is known by the community for its many projects and fundraising activities such as: Annual Lion Wally Havertong Christmas Bingo Spectacular; the Lion Nelson Van der Linde Senior Citizens’ Party; the Father’s Day Car Raffle; the Lion Rudy Hoeve Health and Wellness Fair and the Quest Education program, among many others. The club is also well known for sight awareness, promoting educational programs and sports among the youth. Curbing drug and alcohol abuse among the youth is also one of the club’s main programs.
The club is part of Sub-District 60B, Zone 4 and has produced 3 past district governors namely, Maxime Larmonie PMJF, Wally Havertong PMJF and Claudius Buncamper PMJF. The colorful signs of the St. Maarten Lions Club are visible across the island and indicate the various districts. The public can find additional information about the St. Maarten Lions Club on their Facebook page or on their website www.sxmlions.org.