Two area Lions from District 14U, comprised of Schuylkill, Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties were among those honored at the Multiple District 14 Pennsylvania Lions annual convention held in Gettysburg and deemed the "best ever" by many attendees.
The educational seminars, the Pennsylvania State Lions Band, the necrology service, the food, the fellowship-all drew accolades, as did the banquet's principal speaker, Lions International President, Wing-Kun Tam from Hong Kong.
He shared the success of one of his presidency's major goals, planting one million trees. Although it took at least three weeks before the report was generated that more than one tree had been planted, the total so far is in the multiple millions.
He also had the more than 500 Lions, Lioness, Leos and guests at the banquet responding to his message of "I believe" with a unified "We believe!"
That Lions in the Commonwealth are doing great things was proven as he, assisted by Lions International Director James A. Cavallaro from Springfield, and Past International Director Bob Miller of Orwigsburg, presented the International President's Leadership Award to various Lions including Sandy Gallagher of Jim Thorpe.
Lion Gallagher was nominated by 14U's District Governor Scott Dudley based on her service to the District.
She was the first female member of the Jim Thorpe Lions Club, having been inducted in 2007. She was doing the work of Lionism long before she became a Lion, says Dudley, by assisting the Jim Thorpe Lions Club in many projects and fund-raisers. A charter member of the Jim Thorpe Lioness Club as well, she served as president in 2001-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2011 and continues to serve that club as an active member.
In addition, she also served as District Lioness Liaison and Club Extension Co-Chairperson in 2005-2006, Chairperson in 2006-2007 and Committee Member in 2007-2009.
This year she is serving as Region Chairperson in District 14-U, having served as Zone Chairperson last year, and always does outstanding work, including promoting the Tree Planting Campaign at her visitations.
The award she received is the second highest international recognition a Lion may receive for services rendered.
The second District 14U recognition, the highest award given by the International Lions organization, the International President's Medal Award, was presented by International President Tam to McMichaels resident, Lion Bob Argot, Past District Governor, also at the behest of District Governor Scott Dudley.
Lion Argot, who had received that prestigious award previously in 2004, was recognized for his "continued dedicated work in mentoring, recruitment, extension and rebuilding."
His service to Lionism in the just the past 10 years includes serving as Zone Chair, Region Chair, District Governor, District LCIF Coordinator, Cabinet Chaplain Chaplain or Assistant Chaplain, State Council Chaplain, Cabinet Secretary, Extension Chair, Youth Seminar Committee, MERL Team, District Rally Team, District Constitution and By-Laws Committee. Lion Argot also serves on the state Finance Committee and during his tenure as District Governor formed the Bushkill/Smithfields Lions Club, serving as its mentor for two years.
"It's an honor to be presented with the award by the International President in person," says Argot.