Lions Hall of Fame welcomes Weatherford
By Dave Rogers
For The Record
L.E. “Stump” Weatherford said he “was very humbled and very honored,” when he found out he had been selected to the Texas Lions Hall of Fame.
Weatherford, a member and two-time past president of the Orange Lions Club, received the award at last weekend’s Lions of Texas Centennial State Convention at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio.
He is the first Lions member from Orange County to receive the honor since it was first awarded in 1972.
Being chosen “bestows an honor upon one who has been outstanding in using their time, talents, and resources to further the cause of humanitarian services,” rules for the Hall of Fame state.
“Our motto is ‘We serve,’” Weatherford said.
And Weatherford has served the Lions, and assisted in their projects to serve humanity since 1975.
In San Antonio, he told the audience a favorite story from several years ago.
“I took a little kid on Father’s Day from Bridge City to the Lions Camp in Kerrville. He had prosthetic legs,” Weatherford recalled.
“About 10 miles out of Kerrville, he said, ‘I can’t wait to see the Olympic-size swimming pool.’
“It had rained the entire drive over and was still raining when we pulled up. He got his little walker out of the trunk and instead of getting in line to check in, he just went straight down the walkway to the swimming pool.
“He was so happy to be there, he was crying. And you could tell the tears from the rain. I realized I was a Lion then.”
Weatherford is a native of Athens, Texas. He says he’s been going by “Stump” since his seventh-grade football coach gave him the nickname.
“If you knew my real name, you’d understand why they call me Stump,” he said.
He is retired from DuPont, where he was a lab technician. He dated his wife, Dayle, for 11 years before marrying her in 2010. They have six children.
“I’m just glad that God gave me life to serve other people,” he said. “There’s a lot of people out there less fortunate than we are.”
Weatherford has 41 years of perfect attendance at the Orange Lions Club, which he served as president in 1985-86 and 2012-13. He has brought 23 new members into the club.
Twice, he’s been chairman for the Lions Club Carnival.
“I’ve been doing the snow cone stand at the carnival for 25 years,” he said.
During his most recent tenure as president he created, implemented and continues to serve on the Orange Lions Club Charity Carnival Committee.
He helps deliver 125 to 150 Christmas baskets every year, helps the Salvation Army Ring the Bells and helps with White Cane Day. He helped organize and sponsor the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School Leo Club. He works the annual City of Orange Easter Egg Hunt, Orange County Sheriff Cops & Kids and Blue Santa Programs.
Weatherford is treasurer of the Texas Federation for the Blind of the Beaumont area. He has been Ambassador of the Year for the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.
Stump and Dayle were named King and Queen of Mardi Gras in Orange this year.
He was elected Lions District Governor 1997-98 and was elected to 2010-11 State of Texas Multiple District Two as Council Chairperson. He is currently President of MD-2 Past Governors Association. He is on the Lions Eye Bank of Texas Board of Trustees.
Stump is currently the President of MD-2 of Texas Past District Governors Association.
“I’m very honored that the district put me up for this honor,” Weatherford said, “and this being the centennial year [100th anniversary] for Lions Club makes it extra special.
“They announced it at the district convention and I was surprised – even my wife kept it from me.
“It’s been a very enjoyable 41 years.”