District 14 U International Association of Lions Clubs celebrated a successful past year at the 21st annual District Convention held this past weekend at the Best Western East Mountain Inn and Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre.
The event opened with a necrology service on Friday night that recognized the previous year's deceased District 14 U Lions, Lioness and Leos and continued on Saturday with special speakers, luncheon and evening banquet and concluded on Sunday with the Melvin Jones Fellow breakfast.
Eugene M. Spiess, past international director, William Harness, past district governor; Angela Mimms, district governor; Lizanne McElwee, incoming district governor, and Sharon Kimmel, who became first vice district governor following elections, presided over the luncheon and dinner programs and presentations.
During the luncheon, Spiess of Moore, S.C., spoke about service, youth, health and disaster relief programs.
"When clubs come together they change lives," said Spiess. "That is what you do every single day with your club. We don't do it for a pin. We don't do it for a pat on the back. We do it because of our motto, "we serve."
He noted that the youth are the future of Lions Clubs and recommended that Lions Clubs form Leo Clubs. He also noted that another way to involve youth is through the Peace poster contest and Leo Club Exchange program, where a youth from another country visits the United States.
"When you bring in students from other countries, you expand their knowledge," he added.
He also promoted the eye glass program which helps change the lives of people when they can see.
Spiess concluded his talk with reminding Lions how they have made a difference with disaster relief.
"We've helped with every disaster, putting out hundreds of thousands of dollars out for victims," he said. He also noted the 315 Eye Hospitals which were built and the 8 million cataract surgeries that were done. He noted that Lions have had 41 million children vaccinated against measles.
"Measles are the leading cause of blindness in children," he said.
During the luncheon, Kimmel, second VDG and a member of the Tri-Valley Lions Club, was presented the Pa. Counsellors Award, recognizing her for her exemplary service to her club. The Pa. Counsellors Award was established by Multiple District 14 Organization of Past District Governors to honor Lions who have worked at the club or district levels.
Also recognized during the luncheon was Wesley Levan, a member of the Pine Grove Lions club. He was presented a Melvin Jones Fellowship in recognition of his support of Lions Youth Seminar and Edward Steigerwalt of the Bowmanstown Parryville Lions Club was presented a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation to honor him for his outstanding service to his club as club secretary.
During the Saturday night banquet, Alicia Silliman, zone chairman, and member of the Lehighton Area Lioness Lions Club was the recipient of the Pa. Fellow for her service "behind the scenes" work at the district level. Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation was established to provide support for Pennsylvania projects involving sensory impairment.
A Melvin Jones Fellow was presented to Larry Williams, zone chairman and a member of the Nesquehoning Lions Club. Williams was honored for his exemplary service. Much of the funding for Lions Clubs International Foundation comes from Melvin Jones Fellowships.
Larry Dagna, Orwigsburg Lions Club and Zone Chairman, Pa. also was presented the Pa. Counsellors Award, an award established by Multiple District 14 Organization of Past District Governors to honor Lions who have worked at the club or district levels.
William Harkness, PDG, a member of the Milford Lions Club was presented a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation for his service to Lions International. The award recognizes him for his exemplary service to those in need.
Judy Dudley, PDG and a member of the West Penn Lions Club, was presented the Extension Award. The award was presented by the District Governor for providing assistance in the organization of a Lions Club. Dudley assisted the Beltzville Lions Club charter and has been a presense in the growth of the club over the past 18 months.
Angela Mimms, DG, was recognized with the Joseph L. Wroblewski Fellowship. The award recognizes Mimms for her commitment and service as an outstanding Lion.
Also presented awards were: Melissa Seidof of the Milford Lions Club, Leo Achievement; Paul Barth, PDG, Certificate of Achievement, Diabetes; Donald McConnell, zone chairman, Certificate of Achievement, Hearing; Karl Jones, Certificate of Achievement, blind and visually impaired; Robert G. Argot, PDG, Western Pocono Lions, Certificate of Achievement, Lions Clubs International Foundation.
During the Sunday morning Melvin Jones Fellow breakfast, Lioness Marie Barth of the West Penn Lioness Club and Melissa Seidof of the Milford Lions Club were named Pa. Fellows. The recognition supports humanitarian efforts within Pennsylvania.