The Flagstaff Ballroom in Jim Thorpe was really rocking on Sept. 15 as Lions, Lioness and Leos, representing clubs in Schuylkill, Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties, held their 30th Anniversary at the annual District 14 U Rally.
Roscoe the Lion, a 15-foot inflatable Lion, was there to greet guests for a fun filled evening. Club banners from 28 clubs decorated the walls showing the purple and gold colors of Lions Clubs International.
Before the Rally, 35 Lions scheduled tours of the Asa Packer Mansion courtesy of the Jim Thorpe Lions Club. Lions arriving at the Rally were treated to a beautiful evening to view the "sky-light" tour of Jim Thorpe and the surrounding Pocono area from the balcony of the Ballroom. A fellowship hour was followed by a motivational speech by Past International Director Harold Ott from Boalsburg, Pa.
PID Ott spoke of Lions International President Eberhard Wirf's theme Move to Grow, explaining that the first place we need to move to grow is in the mind and heart of each individual Lion.
"Individually, we have to see our Lion experience in a new light," he said. "We have to rediscover the passion to serve. Each of us needs to move to put service on the front burner of our Lion value system."
Following PID Ott's presentation, District Governor, Robert Neumoyer, led the Lions with a cheer, "14U is the Best, We shine high above the rest," assisted by Lion cheerleaders carrying signs to rouse the spirits of the 185 excited and motivated Lions.
After District Governor Neumoyer's Welcome and Introduction, he spoke of his District Project, Lions Helping to Feed the Hungry.
The district governor stated that many local people are going hungry. The needs in our community are greater now than ever before and we have a challenge to support all our families and children within our communities. He asked Lions to support this district effort by welcoming members of this committee into their club to learn how they can take an active roll in supporting food pantries and food distribution centers.
Past District Governor Robert Argot was on hand to present the 2008-2009 Lion Awards. Outstanding Club Growth Awards were presented to the Summit Hill and Milford Lions Clubs.
A first place Rally Attendance trophy was presented to the West Penn Lions Club. The second place was won by the Jim Thorpe Lioness Club.
The evening ended with a motivational "chalk talk" by Elva Hurst from Lititz. In her presentation, Elva used chalk to draw a large picture illustrating a story that is presented with pre-recorded music and narration.
The theme for her chalk talk was called 'Together We Serve" which focused on the History of Lions Clubs International from its inception in 1917 by Chicago businessman Melvin Jones though the most recent accolades of Campaign Sight First II. In this campaign, Lions world wide launched its most aggressive sight preservation effort ever by raising over 200 million Dollars to end preventable and curable blindness throughout the world.
Eleven Lions and Lioness Clubs received the Positive Growth Award. They were Cressona, Frackville, Lehighton, Minersville, Nesquehoning, Pine Grove, Porter Tower, Shohola Area, Tri-Valley, and Western Pocono.
Six Service Awards were given. Linda Benner received the Region Chair Outstanding Service award. Lions Ronald Olsommer, Larry Williams, Lizanne McElwee, and PDG Jimmie McElwee each received the Zone Chair Outstanding Service award. Lion Thomas Leskowsky received a Zone Chair International President's Commendation for Service award.
Eight Lions Excellence Awards were presented. Four Club Secretary Excellence Awards went to club secretaries PDG William Harkness from Milford, Dorothy Morgan from Tri-Valley, Charles Rush from Western Pocono, and Dave Sennett from Tower. Three Club President Excellence Awards were presented to club presidents William Brennan from Porter Tower, Yvonne Lettich from Tri-Valley, and Ken Mims from Milford.
The Club Excellence Award went to the Tri-Valley Lions Club.