La Mesa Lions Club Installation and Awards Dinner celebrates another year of service

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More than 60 La Mesa Lions attended its annual Installation and Awards Dinner held at the Terra American Bistro on June 19 for a celebration of another year of success and to install the 2017/18 officers. Now in its 68th year of service, the La Mesa Lions is dedicated to serving the local community with its Lions in Sight Project, yard work at Sharp Hospice Care’s LakeView Home, Lions Student Speakers Contest, school sponsorships, Lions Youth Exchange Program, blood drives, and the collection of eye glasses, hearing aids and books for the underserved. And much more.

More than 60 La Mesa Lions attended its annual Installation and Awards Dinner held at the Terra American Bistro on June 19 for a celebration of another year of success and to install the 2017/18 officers. Now in its 68th year of service, the La Mesa Lions is dedicated to serving the local community with its Lions in Sight Project, yard work at Sharp Hospice Care’s LakeView Home, Lions Student Speakers Contest, school sponsorships, Lions Youth Exchange Program, blood drives, and the collection of eye glasses, hearing aids and books for the underserved. And much more. The world’s largest service organization the Lions Club International is celebrating its centennial, founded in 1917. Its mission is to teach the importance of brotherhood to man with more than 1.4 members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas in the world.

It was a festive evening with an excellent farm to table dinner provided by Terra, as the Lions inducted a new member, gave out awards to outstanding service and installed its new officers for the year.

Past President David Shaw said he was happy with the goals reached for the year. Increasing the visibility of the local Lions within the community and the District, improving the communication between the members, increasing membership, and service in the community. He said that with each and every fundraiser or event the Lions held within the year, it was the hard work of the many members that made each one successful. It held a toy drive, sock drive, Christmas bags, Park Appreciation Day, Flag Day Parade, the Quest Program, student speaker contest that gave away three scholarships and the continuous collecting of eyeglasses are some of the highlights of the year.

“Every year we want to get better and better,” he said. “Service is what it is all about. We donated more than $20,000 back into the community.”

Shaw said it was important to recognize the people that made a significant impact within the year with the Lions’ special awards.

The Melvin Jones Fellow award is in honor of Lions’ founder was given to Don Huckle. Receiving the Dwight E. Stanford Award, founder of the Student Speakers Foundation and contest, Dr. Tom Callan, a past recipient of Lion of the Year, presented the award. Callan said it is a prestigious honor and a committee selected this year’s recipient, Shirley Mellien.

Shaw said he was delighted to present this year’s President Cup, and award given by the outgoing president to one person that they fill has hoped them the most in their term. He said being president of a service club that meets every single week is not an easy task. Shaw said that without the inspiration and help of Irene Simon, he believes it has made it a much better year.

Membership Chair and Past President Beth Morgante inducted the board members with a unique “recipe of success,” where she presented each of the board members with kitchen tools that related to their upcoming positions, utilizing her “Mary Poppins bag.” “I was thinking about what it means to be a Lion and particularly what it means to be on the board,” she said. “We’re committed to serve our community, one another, and our well deserving charities that we support. Often this means taking time off work, from family, but that is okay because we are together with our Lions family.”

Incoming President Rick Hannum is serving his third term as president this year. He said it was a wonderful installation and receiving the Horse Award (a statue of the back end of the horse) was appropriate and he was proud to be the first president to receive it at his installation. Hannum said he would like to achieve quite a bit this year and has inherited a club on a positive momentum. “I want to interact with youth and increase our efforts to begin Leo Clubs in our local schools and to go to our local schools to see if there are things they need that we can provide,” he said. “I feel very strongly about blind and sight programs in our area, and this metropolitan area has among the finest blind and sight projects than any city in this country. They require our support.”

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