BRANDON — Brandon Lions Club member Arthur Schmidt, of Riverview, was uncharacteristically speechless at the Aug. 7 meeting when Lions President Joseph Kuebler presented him with a plaque — naming the club’s meeting place after him.
The plaque was signed July 1 by Kuebler and Lions Secretary Patricia Stone and reads, “Henceforth let it be known this hall will be called Arthur Schmidt Hall.” It will hang in the clubhouse, the historic Limona Improvement Association building.
“I was so overwhelmed that I was without words,” said Schmidt. “I was almost in tears, knowing that the persons making that decision thought so highly of me.”
“It was a tough decision to make,” said Kuebler. “Other members also are very hard working and have contributed to the club. We decided to name the clubhouse after Art, based on the amount of work he’s done with the club and financial contributions he’s made.”
Schmidt, who just turned 85, joined the Amherst (Ohio) Lions Club in 1974, served as its president and received a Distinguished Service Award from them in 1995. He transferred to the Brandon Lions Club in January 1996 when he moved to Riverview.
As the club’s historian, he compiled a history of the Brandon Lions Club, the oldest service club in the Brandon area, dating back to 1954.
He once painted the entire exterior of the clubhouse. It was he who applied to Hillsborough County for partial reimbursement for replacing the front door and repairing the footer, which had been destroyed by termites.
A past member of the club’s board of directors, Schmidt works on publicity and helps with the Lions’ many projects, including feeding the homeless at the I Am HOPE Café, screening school children for vision problems, being adviser to the three local high school Leo Clubs and assisting at the annual Don Bishop Invitational cross-country track meet for high school students at Brandon High School.
Lions Club membership has provided Schmidt “a very rewarding experience,” he said. He invites others to join.
“We are currently seeking members,” said Al Rossi, treasurer.
To learn more, visit www.brandon lions.org, email [email protected], or talk with members at the club’s semi-annual garage sale between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sept. 13 at Arthur Schmidt Hall, 610 Limona Road.
Send news to freelance correspondent Barbara Routen at [email protected]