Branniffs honored for Lions Club service
Published 8:15 am Friday, April 29, 2016
Edwardsburg Lions Club member John Braniff was honored for 60 years of service at the Lions District 11-B2 Convention held in Holland this past weekend.
Braniff joined the Lions Club at the age of 22 in January 1956.
“The meetings were held in the old American Legion Hall, which is now Robin’s Nest Quilts and More,” Braniff said. “The club had about 60 or 70 members at that time and the president of the club was Jim Winter, who was also the mayor of Edwardsburg.’
During his 60 years, Braniff has served at president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, Tail Twister and Lion Tamer.
“You name it, I did it,” he said.
Some of Braniff’s most cherished moments as a Lions Club member include purchasing a hearse that was turned into an ambulance for the Village of Edwardsburg. Dances were hosted to help raise the money for the soon-to-be ambulance, which was given to the fire department once it was converted.
It would later go to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and then to the Village of Jones according to Braniff.
Another of Braniff’s favorite memories is of the Sight Mobile.
“They used to set it up in the Gateway parking lot and screen community members’ eyes,” he said. “A lot like it is done now with Project KidSight for the children from the ages of 1 to 17.”
Through the years, the Lions Club has built two playgrounds — one behind the elementary school and another that is still standing at Gunn Park.
Braniff’s wife Marj was also recognized for being in the Lioness Club for 60 years.
“At the beginning, the club was not called the Lioness Club, it was just an auxiliary club that the women of the Lions members started until the Lioness Club was chartered later down the road,” Marj said.
John and Marj Braniff have spent their entire lives in service work and said they have fond memories because of it.
“The Edwardsburg Lions Club is extremely proud of Lion John Braniff and his knowledge that he brings to the club as well as Marj has been to the Lioness Club,” Lions Club member Tanda Stiffler said. “They both truly held strong the motto of ‘We Serve.’”