Maywood Lions celebrating a roaring 70 years
Maywood Lions Club is celebrating 70 years, and one of their original charter members is still active in the service organization.
Robert “Bob” Furrow, 97, still attends meetings, helps with fundraisers and participates in Lions Club activities, including the annual golf tournament in Curtis, an important fundraiser for the club.
“We play 18 holes,” he said.
That’s a lot for someone who will be 98 years old next Friday. He received his 70 year service pin in the Lions Club a couple of months ago.
The club started as a suggestion from the late Ward Bullock, Furrow said. Bullock owned the funeral home in Madrid and the hardware store in Maywood. He and Furrow used to have coffee together at the Maywood cafe. One day Bullock said, “We need to start a service club.”
They considered their options and finally contacted the North Platte Lions Club, who agreed to sponsor them.
“We got the word around and encouraged people to join,” Furrow said.
They organized in January, 1948. That was two years and a month after Furrow was discharged from the U.S. Army at the end of World War II. At first they met in the Maywood cafe, Furrow said, and now they meet in the community hall. Over the years Furrow has served as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, he said.
At their monthly meetings they have a potluck dinner, say the Pledge of Allegiance and take care of business. Furrow said the club raises money and uses it to do a lot of good in the community. One project he said he feels proud of is the playground equipment they bought for the Maywood Park. They provide a Santa Claus for the elementary school Christmas program every year and sponsor college scholarships.
“We used to paint the parking stripes down main street,” Furrow said.
Elaine Simon-Lenz is current president of the club. She said they welcome new members, especially considering that most of their members are in their 70s or older. Already they work alongside members of other community organizations with common goals, such as the Maywood High School FFA, who help with Lions Club highway cleanups twice a year.
“We try to mentor kids,” in the process, Simon-Lenz said.
Furrow said he is the only World War II veteran still living in Frontier County. He was part of the U.S. Army Airborne Engineers. They would use gliders to transport small Caterpillar tractors to repair landing strips. He was the company clerk, “because I could type,” he said. He was stationed in England. After D-Day, he served in France, Belgium and Germany.
From the landing strips back home to the fairways: Furrow said he has been golfing for some 50 years and still golfs regularly with his son, Scott, of North Platte.
“He and I play in the men’s league in Curtis every Thursday night during the summer,” he said.
In the Lions Club golf tournament they formed a team with Bob’s son, Mike, of Lincoln, and Scott’s son, Josh Boyles, of Castle Rock, Colorado.
“We have 28 four-man teams, and it fills up every year,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Furrow said he was married for 70 years. His wife Eileen died about two years ago, right after they celebrated their 70th anniversary.
According to the “Maywood Lions Club 70 Years of Community Service” booklet, the club sponsors the Student of the Month, FFA, and Boys and Girls State. They donated money to the school library, an electronic sign at the school and a powered cot for Frontier County ambulance. They have helped families with medical expenses and propane heating bills, donated turkeys to needy families and helped with many other financial needs in the community. They donate to Lions Eye Research Center and other charitable causes. They work in the community to clean up after storms, built welcome signs at village entrances, help with children’s activities and do other work to better the community.