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Lions getting back to basics with service to community

Lions getting back to basics with service to community Lions getting back to basics with service to community

The Cornell and Lake Holcombe Lions clubs joined together Oct. 23, to fete those who have made a difference inside, and outside, the organization, as part of the annual Governor’s Night. Held at Paradise Shores 4 in Holcombe, District Gov. Delores LaFaive spoke on what her theme is for the area.

As part of a four-generation Lions family, LaFaive watched her dad as a member of the Lions, before joining with her husband. After that, she has watched as at first her son, then granddaughter, have joined the ranks of Lions.

“I’ve just kept it simple: we serve,” said LaFaive said of her theme. “I wanted to go back the basics, I wanted everyone to think why we’re here, what we’re doing here.”

She encouraged the two clubs to work together, to make the organization great and to think outside the box. LaFaive asked that members give back to the community and be mindful of the environment.

Photo by Ginna Young

Welcoming new member Roger Mueller (left) was Lake Holcombe Lions Club member and sponsor Jane Ash. Mueller was sworn in Oct. 23, during the annual Governor’s Night, as was his wife, Barbara, who was unable to attend the event.

“Remember, a Lions club should be seen and heard, and not the best kept secret,” said LaFaive.

Afterward, awards were handed out, with the George Sutor Community Award the first up. This year, the Lake Holcombe Lions handed out two community recognitions – one to Linda Boettcher and the other to Dawn Rank.

Boettcher received her award, for being a silent helper of the Holcombe community all her life. She was a teacher at the school, where she volunteered in many capacities and now helps when, and where, she can, in her retirement, as well as helping run the Leos Club.

For Rank, the award comes through her efforts with the Lake Holcombe Food Pantry and most recently, in the food distribution center’s expansion fundraising project. Before the project, Rank’s work was primarily done in the background, but that work has come to light as word of the expansion gets around.

The Lake Holcombe Lions then handed out the Melvin Jones Fellowship, awarding them to Carrie Ably and Emma Trottier. For each award, $1,000 was donated in their names, to the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).

“We have many members in our club who go above and beyond, and make our projects successful, so selecting recipients for awards is difficult,” said Lion Dianne Bayerl.

Ably was recognized for her time as co-chairman in the annual ice fishing contest and caretaker as the Lions’ medical closet. She also prepares the club’s taxes.

As the club treasurer, Trottier not only keeps track of finances, but has been part of almost every Lions event since she joined the organization. She also is instrumental in the annual Breakfast with Santa and is a trained eye screener.

Next up, the Lake Holcombe Lions named those receiving the Knight of Sight Fellowship. Recipients of the award also have $1,000 donations each donated to LCIF in their name.

Bill Seipel was one of the awardees, as he has been part of the annual golf tournament, which is one of the biggest fundraisers, making even the rainiest events a huge success. He also can be found at the grill for charcoal chicken dinners.

Also receiving the award, Sue Sublett is one of the ticket sales leaders for the club and can be spotted at most of the club’s events. Bayerl laughingly said Sublett has also become very proficient at potato peeling.

District Gov. Delores LaFaive encouraged Cornell and Lake Holcombe Lions to get the word out about what they do, so they can help those in need. LaFaive said those words as part of the combined Governor’s Night Oct. 23.

It was then the Cornell Lions Club’s turn, as they chose to hand out the Ray Hempel Fellowship. Hempel changed the vision of the Wisconsin Lions, when he made it his mission to create a camp where sight-challenged and disabled kids could have an outdoor experience.

Through his efforts, the Lions Camp was born, which gives thousands of disabled people the abilities to enjoy Wisconsin’s outdoors near Rosholt. Those who receive the fellowship, have a $1,000 donation given in their name to the Lions Pride Endowment Fund, which supports the camp.

This year, the Cornell Lions selected Lion Jim Mercer as the fellowship recipient.

“We have a Cornell Lion who goes above and beyond the Lions mission,” said Cornell Lions president Pat Denison. “Whether for a Lions project, fundraiser or the community, what he has done makes a difference to our community.”