Since being chartered in 1947, the Philippi Lions Club has accomplished many things. The club has participated in numerous fundraisers, from selling brooms to selling food and sometimes just asking for donations. It has contributed to the West Virginia Sight Foundation and Lions Club International, as well as local causes such as bands, schools, Energy Express, Code Blue, the Sheriff's Department, the City Police drug dog and many others.
The club has assisted people in purchasing eyeglasses and hearing aids and helped them to get needed eye surgeries. The club has collected several thousand pairs of used eyeglasses for recycling and helped other organizations such as the Salvation Army and the American Legion. But the one thing the club is internationally famous for is its Ambulatory Equipment Program.
In 1966 the family of a deceased Lion donated his specially purchased hospital bed to the Philippi Lions Club. Not really knowing what to do with the bed, members of the club decided that it should be loaned out to someone else in the community who was in need of it. That was the beginning of the Philippi Lions Ambulatory Equipment Program. A committee was formed with its purpose being "to find, obtain and loan out needed medical equipment."
Tommy Roy of the Philippi Lions Club displays some of the medical equipment purchased through the club’s fundraising efforts.
After 46 years, the program is still going strong. Currently there are 220 items on loan, including wheel chairs, beds, porta-toilets, shower stools, walkers, canes, lift chairs and other miscellaneous items. The program is mostly maintained by committe chairman Tommy Roy, with help from other club members.
Most of the items are donated to the club and some items the club purchases if there is an immediate need for an item and there is none available. There is no charge to use any of the Lions Clubs' medical equipment, but some recipients do return additional equipment or contribute cash, which is applied to the purchase of more medical equipment.
The ambulatory equipment program is unique to the Philippi club and was featured in the July-August 1990 edition of The Lion Magazine. A quote from the article still holds true today:
"When asked about the suitability of such a project for the other Lions clubs around the world, Lion Roy said, 'At a time when an increasing proportion of the population is so dependent on the expensive, short-term use of ambulatory medical equipment in their daily lives, I can think of no more satisfying project and no more rewarding cause in which to get involved. Senior citizens, especially, have important medical needs which occur at a time in their lives when they can sometimes least afford them. Our role as Lions is to serve and this is another way in which to do it.'"
Roy has been a member of the Philippi Lions Club since April 1, 1950 and has been chairman of the Ambulatory Equipment Program Committee since its conception. In 1992 he was named one of the Top Ten Business Leaders of West Virginia by The State Journal.