"We need to think of the service we do," Lions Past International Director Dr. Harold R. Ott of Boalsburg, told Lions of District 14U over 100 strong from the four-county area-Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Schuylkill counties- as they met in Kresgeville for the annual District Rally.

PID Ott, who is running for the nomination of second vice president for the international service organization, was the principal speaker at the rally, which also saw the presentation of checks to area food pantries as a result of Immediate Past District Governor Bob Neumoyer's focus on hunger in District 14U.

Lion Ott expressed his thanks to 14U, which gave him the highest percentage of eligible votes in a special election held in the state in support of his candidacy for the international position, and brought greetings from the current International President Sid Scruggs III of North Carolina whose theme is "Beacon of Hope."

Individual Lions are to be "Beacons of Hope," as are clubs to be to their respective communities, PID Ott reminded all. He lauded the District for being a Beacon of Hope for its "Feeding the Hungry" project.

Need does not go away, he assured his listeners.

PID Ott also gave suggestions for what Lions could do to be that beacon, that light, to others, including hands-on service such as cleaning someone's sidewalk, raking leaves for one who no longer can, driving someone to the doctor's office, beautifying the community, helping and doing youth projects, and building portable ramps.

"The more service we do, the more members we may get."

"We here are blessed," he said recalling the troubles and tragedies in other areas and faraway places such as southern Sumatra, Indonesia and Haiti.

He challenged all to be that "Beacon of Hope" as individuals and as clubs as he concluded his presentation and awards for good work within the District for the past year were given out.

Among those receiving such recognition from Immediate Past District Governor Bob Neumoyer were "Lions, Feeding the Hungry" region chairs, including: Region 1, Lions Charles Rush and Adele Argot; Region 2, Lions Mary Labert, Larry Williams and Holly Williams; Region 3, Lions Bud Barnes, Dave Sennett and Sharon Kimmel.

Donated funds of $1,738, were given directly to the Greater Berks Food Bank or Second Harvest for 21 Region 2 and Region 3 tax-dollar supported food pantries, which include Carbon and Schuylkill counties, for credit to each food pantry's account.

Funds of $1,861 for Region 1, which includes Monroe and Pike counties, involving 11 tax-dollar supported food pantries, will be presented individually to those entities.

Together those food pantries serve an average of over 5,550 families. That number continues to grow monthly.

Also presented by IPDG Neumoyer were Club Excellence awards to Pine Grove Lions and Pocono Lions; Region Chairperson Excellence Awards to Lion Angela Mims, Milford Lions, and Lion Linda Benner, Lehighton Lioness Lions; Zone Chairman Excellence Awards to Lion Betty Goodrich, Pine Grove Lions, and Lion Ron Olsommer, Tobyhanna-Newfoundland Lions; Club Secretary Excellence Awards, PDG Lion Jim McElwee, Orwigsburg Lions; Lion Wes Levan, Pine Grove Lions, and Lion George Barthelenghi, PoconoPines.

Club President Excellence Awards were presented to: Lion Bob Ames, Coaldale Lions; Lion John Hazel, Palmerton Lions; Lion Vernon Strouphauer, Pine Grove; Lion Wayne King, Pocono Lions; Lion Joe Bussiere, Stroudsburg Lions; Lion Nick Luca, Shohola Lions; Lion Duane Hawk, Bowmanstown-Parryville Lions; and Lion Dale Reeder, Lehighton Lioness Lions.