Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns, left, visits with Oak Harbor Lion James House in front of the city’s welcome sign that also features the emblems of the community’s service organizations. The Oak Harbor Lions celebrated the centennial anniversary of their parent club, Lions Clubs International, by installing a new emblem. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Lions’ centennial gets Oak Harbor mayor’s seal of approval

When Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns looks at the wood sign that greets visitors at the south end of the city, he sees more than the words “Welcome to Oak Harbor.”

Severns’ eye goes to the 10 emblems of service organizations, which to him, make a great statement about his community.

“It’s comforting to be able to drive into this city and see that,” Severns said.

On Wednesday, Severns was invited by the Oak Harbor Lions Club to be an honorary guest to help mark a special occasion.

In recognition of Lions Clubs International’s 100-year anniversary, the local club in Oak Harbor replaced the old emblem with a shiny new one.

Severns was handed a drill to do the honors, but let Lion Dennis Doll do the heavy lifting while the mayor assisted.

Oak Harbor’s club, one of five Lions clubs on Whidbey Island, has been helping people and causes in its community since forming in 1951.

It is one of two Lions clubs on North Whidbey — joined by the North Whidbey Lions Club.

“We’re all one community,” said Bob O’Dell, president of the Oak Harbor Lions.

The Oak Harbor Lions meet every Wednesday night at the Elks Lodge. They have 43 members but are always looking to recruit more.

“Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion,” is the Lions’ slogan.

The Lions have big hearts when it comes to helping those who are low income or have disabilities.

They’ve helped provide eye exams and glasses for people who need them and provided hearing aids to low income members of the community.

They’ve built wheelchair ramps for those who need them.

“We’re very much a hands-on club,” O’Dell said.

The Oak Harbor Lions sponsor Oak Harbor’s National Night Out in August. It is an event that heightens crime and drug prevention awareness and attempts to strengthen police-community partnerships.

They also provide scholarships each year to Oak Harbor high school students, participate in blood drives, help with road cleanup, distribute American flags around the city on holidays and more.

“If someone reaches out and needs help, we’re there to help out,” O’Dell said.

Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns, left, and his wife Rhonda Severns are pictured with members of the Oak Harbor Lions Club in front of the south entrance to the city. The club, with Bob Severns’ help, replaced its emblem on Oak Harbor’s welcome sign as part of recognizing Lions Clubs International’s centennial anniversary. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor Lions installed a new emblem on Oak Harbor’s welcome sign at the south entrance to the city in recognition of Lions Clubs International’s centennial anniversary. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

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