Alicia Silliman opened the May 2 meeting of the Palmerton Lions Club by telling how important volunteers are. The meeting was held at the Fireline Hotel, and before the evening was over the owners, Jane Hower and Ken Huber, had become Lions.
Silliman said each volunteer group will not only receive a check but information about the club.
"Volunteerism is work done without any expectation of return. We're here because we are all volunteers. Press. John F. Kennedy made it easy to volunteer. Volunteerism is what our community is about. Just look around you.
"Volunteers change lives and communities. Imagine a world without volunteers to provide services not otherwise available. By caring for others we help ourselves also. It is a giving from our hearts. Thanks for doing what you do best," said Silliman.
Menna Borger gave the invocation thanking God "for the opportunity we have to serve you and our neighbors each day."
Bob Silliman said entertainment has been booked for the fair and Past District Governor Robert Neumoyer guaranteed the weather. Anyone needing help to get eyeglasses may contact Jim Sheckler at 610-826-4533. For information about Lions contact Nick Hawkey at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ninety-five year old Steve Orovec won the 50-50 drawing and was told now he could take his girl out on a date, but he turned the money back to the club.
Neumoyer said installing new officers is important for the coming year. Those installed are Betty Silliman, Lion Tamer. She has control of the bell and received a Butterfinger bar because the bell tends to disappear and the president has to ask where his "gong" is.
Karen Green was named Tail Twister to promote fun because if there is no fun people won't come. She received a Snickers bar. Alicia Silliman was named program director. She provides variety in meetings and received a Soy Joy bar.
Three Musketeers bars went to the vice presidents - Nick Hawkey, Dolores Unangst and Millie Hawkey. The president was urged to put the vice presidents in charge of projects. Hawkey was also named membership chair. The chairman of the International Lions said the more hands and hearts the better a club will function. He received M&Ms for many members to assist.
Mark Green was named treasurer with Jim Sheckler as assistant. They received Pay Day bars. Bob Silliman was named secretary - the right hand of the president. In that position he will attend zone meetings. He received a Mounds bar for the mounds of work.
George Unangst received a Power Bar for his position as president in charge of committees and service organizations. He will attend district meetings.
On the board of directors are the Rev. John Hazel, Menna Borger, Jim Sheckler and Leonard Borger.
Helen Keller asked Lions for help for the blind in 1925. Out of that came an ongoing program including Beacon Lodge camps and Lead Dogs. Neumoyer suggested they visit the eye bank on Union Boulevard, Allentown. It is the largest in the country.
There are seminars, leadership programs and Leo Clubs for youth.
Bob Silliman presented the Spirit Awards. They went to Blue Ridge Toy and Food Drive's Nick Hawkey. It helps 50 kids in Palmerton and provides toys to Friedens Church and the Salvation Army. The Christian Action Committee of Palmerton Area Churches serves 150 families with a food bank, said George Ashman. Mike Harleman of Dream Come True said the organization fulfills wishes for seriously ill children.
Lower Towamensing Fire Company's Bill George said the company answers 150 calls a year from brush fires to emergency calls. According to recipient Suzanne Blose Meals on Wheels serves 28 clients. It will have its 40th anniversary next year.
The Palmerton Community Ambulance donation was accepted by Jean Solarczyk. It answers 1,700 911 calls a year. Diane Danielson is director of the Palmerton Library at a time when libraries are struggling. She appreciates the donation.
Wayne Knirnschild said Towamensing Fire Company "is there when you need us most." Palmerton Fire Company goes above and beyond in its assistance. Mike Williams accepted.
Silliman gave a thank you to "a special lady, my wife Alicia."
Menna Borger presented the Volunteer of the Year award to George Duell, a Palmerton educator. He is active in many veterans' organizations and is raising money for the Palmerton Veterans Memorial. He is also active in his church.
Duell said everyone has time and talent but can't be all things to all people. "We can help some" and he mentioned a veteran in Allentown whom he helped get medical attention.
George Unangst was named the Lion of the Year. He is a member of the Lehigh Township Fire Police, co-chairs the waffles and ice cream stand and assists at dinners provided by the Marine Corps League.
Unangst said, "You do what you can do."
A rose was presented to Ruth Beer. Her husband Charles passed away recently. He was one of the first members of the club, although not a founder. His daughter, Mary Lou, is a member of the club.