By Ed Kane, Freelance Graphics
The annual installation ceremony in any club is always a festive, joyful event. It’s a time of looking at what’s been and what is to be. A time to praise individual efforts and re-assign roles. At Lakewood First Lions praises are a given, what with the heartfelt time and toil invested by so many members. But this year was kind of special — special because Melvin Jones made a guest appearance at the party to recognize a very special person.
Melvin Jones is the founder of Lions Clubs International. Now long gone but always honored, he makes his appearance in the form of the most cherished form of recognition a member can receive — the coveted Melvin Jones Fellowship. It is not a recognition given lightly, and the recipient is determined by those best able to judge the merits that person’s contributions to the causes of the organization. The club makes a substantial monetary payment to Lions Clubs International and receives a handsome plaque for the recipient. Because of the nature of the work done by members they can and often do receive numerous certificates of accomplishment and achievement during their membership. But the one that is sure to hang in a prominent location forever is the Fellowship plaque.
This year the honor was earned by a relatively recent member whose contributions to the club’s work has astounded even life-long members. She is now serving as president of the club for another year-long term, so the future looks promising as DeAnne Bennett takes hold of the reins armed with plenty of Lions leadership experience under her belt.
For more on the event and Lions Clubs visit www.livelikealion.org. Lakewood First Lions meets at noon on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Rams Restaurant in Lakewood. Meetings and membership is open.