CUBA CITY— Living up to the Lions Club motto, “We serve,” Jerry Sherwin has made it a point to assist the Cuba City community in any way he can.
“It is a real honor to be selected as Cuba City’s Cuban of the Month,” Sherwin said. “However, I feel that the entire Cuba City Lions Club and all of its members deserve this recognition. The entire club is responsible for the total effect that we have had in this community and the surrounding area for the past 54 years.”
Sherwin has been a member of the Cuba City Lions Club since August 1987. He has taken part in dozens of activities through the Lions Club over the years, including:
- Children’s Vision Screening program
- Lens Crafter’s Eyeglasses Assistance program
- Eye glasses and hearing aids collection for recycling
- Corneas transporter
- Leader Dog for the Blind coordination locally
- Low vision magnifier option
- “Opto-bionics” chip implementation experimental eye research coordination
- Diabetes awareness program
- Hearing aids program
- Lions Youth Exchange Abroad program
- Leo Club charter advisor
- Lions Peace Poster contest
- Scholarship committee
- Barbershop painting restoration
- State Bank clock restoration
- Meals on Wheels delivery
- Nursing home activities such as equipment purchases, Christmas party, serving ice cream and calling bingo
- Provide rides and services to community residents
- Assisted with the Cuba City Fair and Picnic events
- Funding for presidential shield replacement
- Funding for local residents incurring hardships
- Provide financial assistance for residents to purchase necessary equipment
- Develop Lions Park
- Construction, maintenance and improvements at Veterans Memorial Park and Splinter Park
- Repair and maintenance of Cuba City welcome signs
- Purchase trees to replace dead or diseased trees in the city
- Assist with building expenses and updates at the American Legion building
- Support local services such as the fire department, rescue squad, Scout groups, hunter safety program, Library projects, book exchange boxes, school programs, athletic booster clubs and Christmas for the Less Fortunate.
Additionally, Sherwin served as District Governor for the Lions Club District 27-D1 in 2002-03 and was inducted in Osaka, Japan.
“I have served in numerous other leadership capacities during my 29 years in Lionism,” Sherwin said.
He earned the “Melvin Jones” Fellowship award in 1997, the International President’s Leadership Award, International President’s Extension Award, Internation President’s Medal and Ribbon Award, Grand Master Key Award and Knight of Sight Fellowship Award.
He currently serves as president of the Lion’s Pin Traders Club of Wisconsin.
Sherwin and his wife, Elaine, have lived in Cuba City sine July 1968. He taught vocational agriculture for 34 years—three years in Potosi and 31 years in Cuba City.
“I was always looking to help people, and I started with teaching,” Sherwin said. “I liked to see the kids achieve, even when they didn’t think they could.”
He watched more than 200 students get four-year college degrees. He also served as FFA coach
“My legacy is having my former students attain their goals and satisfy their dreams, then return for chats years after graduating,” Sherwin said.
In 1987-88, Sherwin started the Leo Club at Cuba City High School. The Leo Club is a Lions Club for teens.
“If you can get kids involved in volunteerism, it will help the local community as well as everywhere they go,” Sherwin said. “It’s a very progressive group.”
The Cuba City Leo Club is one of the largest in the district.
“Cuba City has a good representation of volunteer organizations,” Sherwin said. “The volunteer fire department and rescue squad are excellent. The Knights of Columbus and Lions Club do a lot in the area. There are almost too many groups. We try to make sure we don’t stick our nose where it doesn’t belong to detract from others’ efforts.”
Sherwin said the other community groups all support each other, no matter their differences.
“All organizations play a big part in what makes Cuba City such a great place,” Cuba City Mayor Tom Gile said. Volunteers that make up these organizations commit a lot of their free time in hopes that it will make our community a better place.”
Sherwin is also an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and trapshooting as well as an occasional golf game. He maintains a garden, growing potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers and more to make picante sauce, salsa, pizza sauce and can tomatoes and tomato juice. He has been involved with the Grant County Ducks Unlimited group for over 39 years. He also served as the Platteville Bowling Association director for more than 15 years and has been the organization’s president since 2013. He has been a league bowler for more than 50 years and was inducted into the Platteville Bowling Association’s USBC Hall of Fame on April 25, 2015.
He and Elaine are active members of the Westview Methodist Church in Platteville. Together they have two children, Bradley Sherwin and Kimberly (Mark) Gehrke; one grandson, Connor Sherwin; and two step-grandchildren, Ryan and Shannon; and one great-grandson, Carson.
“We need to thank Jerry and each member of the organizations in Cuba City that give of their time unselfishly for something they believe will make a difference,” Gile said.
Editor's Note: This column will be a special addition to the Tri-County Press on a monthly basis. Look for each installment near the end of the month. All volunteers are recomended for the article by Mayor Tom Gile. If you have ideas for future volunteers in the community to be recognized, contact Gile at 608-744-3203.