Welcome to LOVF

2024 Raffle Winners


September 21st

24C Fall Conference

Holiday Inn Tanglewood

Our History


Nelson County, located about an hour southwest of Charlottesville in District 24-C, is a rural county with several mountain ranges. In the mid 1750’s, many settlers built their homes in the hollows between the mountain ranges, knowing that they could find water. Generations of families lived there in those same houses for 200 years without experiencing any flooding problems. Would one think that flooding might occur in the mountains?

August 19-20, 1969 – Hurricane Camille brought disastrous flooding to Nelson County. The hurricane hit the Gulf Coast two days earlier, weakened over land, and stalled on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, dumping a world record quantity of 27 inches of rain, mainly in a three-hour period. The ground was already saturated from a downpour of 5 inches over a five- hour period the previous day. More than 130 public bridges were washed out in Nelson County, while some communities were under water. The entire county was virtually cut off, with many roads and almost all bridges, telephone, radio/TV, and electric service interrupted.

With more than 30 inches of rain coming off these mountains and draining into the hollows, the hollows became rivers, with their banks creeping up the side of mountains where the houses were built. Happening so fast, many people did not have time to get to higher ground. Houses, barns, people and livestock were washed down the hollows, along with trees and wild animals. Many families (approximately 150-175 people) lost their lives. Some of the bodies were never found and lie buried under the mud and trees.

Nelson County Lions Club, the only club in the county, asked the Lions clubs throughout Virginia to assist in this tragedy. Realizing that they needed more hands-on service than they could possibly provide, they made direct calls to the Lions clubs in northern Virginia, asking for immediate assistance for their neighbors and relatives who lost food, clothing, and in some cases everything they owned. Clubs responded by organizing drives for contributions of clothing, bedding, food, and medicine. Past District Governor Roy Rotenberry recalls the Red Cross and Salvation Army joining the forces, followed by the Amish and Mennonites. All of this took precious time during which large numbers of people suffered.

PDG Roy went down to Nelson County and saw first hand houses that had landed in hollows, and roads completely gone. The major road through Nelson County, Route 29, was washed out and bridges gone. You can imagine how isolated those people must have felt, trapped in the mountains, no homes left, and everything they owned had washed down the hollows. The federal government eventually provided some relief; however, the devastated people needed immediate assistance. The Lions of Virginia did not have the means to offer financial help but collected many supplies and contributed assistance in every way possible.


The inability to respond quickly with funds to the Nelson County natural disaster prompted the Lions leadership team of District 24-A to forge ahead in laying the groundwork for a statewide foundation that would be managed by the six sub-districts in Virginia. Past International Director and attorney at law Bill Hix, member of Falls Church Lions Club, served as legal counsel in drafting by-laws that would allow the formation of a non-profit corporation. Necessary exemptions to allow funds to be collected and, if necessary, expended would be included.

By late summer of 1972, most of the paperwork was complete and the State Corporation Commission approved the Articles of incorporation for the Lions of Virginia Foundation. Multiple District 24 Council of Governors, comprised of Lions Roy Rotenberry (24-A), Mercer Motley (24- B), Carlyle Reeves (24-C), John Wroten (24-D), Carlton Saul (Council Chair 24-E), and Clarence Slagle (24-F) worked together to iron out the details of the foundation. The Council elected District Governor Roy Rotenberry to serve as the founding President of the new board with the responsibility of arranging the first meeting of the board, electing officers and directors from all six districts, and approving recommendations made by the committee.



As stated above, in 1972 the Lions of Virginia took a giant step to promote and provide emergency aid and statewide humanitarian efforts for greater service through the formation of Lions of Virginia Foundation, Inc. (LOVF), a public non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation. Virginia Lions enthusiastically agreed that this approach was the most appropriate medium for statewide Lionistic humanitarian achievement. They knew the foundation would be a vehicle to allow all Lions, Lioness, and Leo clubs in the state of Virginia to join together and respond immediately to emergency situations.

The foundation, since its beginning, has focused its major areas of involvement in disaster relief, sight and hearing conservation, and other areas of Lions Clubs International emphasis. The Board of Directors administers the Foundation. It is comprised of the Executive Committee (President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer); Past District Governors who have served in the preceding two years; current international officers; six elected District LOVF chairpersons, and the Past Presidents of the Foundation.

How To Contribute

There are several ways to contribute to the Lions of Virginia Foundation, Inc. Please choose the option that best suits your giving wishes:

  •   A General Contribution to Lions of Virginia Foundation
  •   By honoring a special individual with a Lions of Virginia Distinguished

Humanitarian Award (Cost is $750 which may be spread over 3 payments

        By honoring a Distinguished Humanitarian recipient with a Progressive Award (Cost is $750 and recipient must already be a Distinguished Humanitarian)

        A Designated Contribution to the Special Needs Equipment Fund (These contributions may not be applied to the Distinguished Humanitarian or Progressive Awards)

        A bequest or trust set up with assistance by your financial advisor or attorney, which provides funding for LOVF.

Contributions should be mailed to:


I/C Lion Mary Beth Schwab 

102 Oak Meadow Drive

Bridgwater, VA 22812

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