Lions Club

The Little River Lions Club formed in 1938 and just like the national organization, aiding the visually impaired was the club’s focus. Local efforts started humbly with broom sales at Don Miller’s business, and for years he served as chairman of the event. Gone are the broom sales, but today the club collects gently used eyewear to help those in need. As the community changed, so did the Lions club.

The club expanded its fundraising efforts and partnered with community events such as the old round-up celebration, a fall timber festival, and truck and tractor pulls. Sponsorships included various baseball teams and Boy Scout troops. Recent undertakings include ticket collection at home football games, selecting and honoring the Citizen of the Year and installing the playground equipment in city park.

Lions Club Projects2

Members of the Lions club firmly believe in giving back to the community. Meetings are held the first and third Thursday mornings of the month at Oliver’s at 6:30 a.m. To join the Lions club or for more information, please contact Nathan Olander at 620.897.6637  or Karen McLean at 620.897.6546.

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2019 Citizen of the Year: Randall Olander

Randall Olander was presented the Little River Lions Club “Citizen of the Year” award at the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Randall joins at last a long list of distinguished stalwarts of our community that have been so honored over the past 47 years that the Lions Club has been presenting the award.

Randall has lived his entire life on Hilltop Farm south of Little River. He attended Rockville School in his younger years and Little River High School for his prep education. After graduation at Kansas State University and marrying his high school sweetheart Alice they settled down on the farm to raise a family. While building a legacy of four very successful children, Nathan, Brian, Sisa and Cliff, Randall has been involved and a leader in many local and community groups.

He was on the school board for 24 years, some of those being difficult ones when there were some unpopular decisions that had to be made. He was on the football chain gang for many of those years giving him an excellent view of his sons on the field.

Randall served in the Army Reserves, coached Little League baseball, was a 4H project leader, has served on the Little River Community Development committee and the Rice County Extension Council. He has been in the Lions Club since 1971serving as President four different times.

Most recently Randall serves on the Sandstone Heights Board of Directors and was president during the recent bond issue that passed by a 3 to 1 margin.

If you know Randall you know what a great guy he is and why he is our 2019 Citizen of the Year!

Past Citizen of the Year Winners

1972: Gene Deeds
1973: Donald E. Miller
1974: Edward Hodgson
1975: Mildred Strohm
1976: Paul C. Perry
1977: Arthur Johnson, Jr.
1978: Merlin L. Peterson
1979: Don Young
1980: Marjorie Stowe
1981: Fred Barta
1982: Dan L. Brayton
1983: Jack Wempe
1985: Francis & Helen Reed
1986: Bernard Smith
1987: Howard Hodgson
1988: Mildred Hicks
1990: Kenneth Nelson
1991: Bill Oswalt
1992: John Wempe
1993: Phyllis Whiteman
1994: Bill Best
1995: Vernon Kruse
1996: Grant Davis
1997: Robyn Galyon & Shane Cordell
1999: Bruce & Jackie Ramage

2000: Art Hodgson
2001: Frank Carlton
2002: Steve Kruse
2003: Vernon Janssen
2004: Howard Hodgson (Lifetime Achievement)
2005: John Fuller
2010: Russell Stephenson
2011: Tom Heindorn
2012: David & Debra Nelson
2013: Jean Oswalt
2014: Beth Myers
2015: Jon Paden
2016: Carolyn Wright