A club award, individual recognitions, including the naming of Lion of the Year, and the installation of officers highlighted the recent meeting of the Western Pocono Lions Club at the American Legion Post home in Gilbert.

Special guest District Governor Scott Dudley, joined by his parents, Past District Governors Ed and Judy Dudley, participated in the program.

The first honor was given to the club. That recognition was the club's placing third in District 14U in membership.

"Let's go for first next year," one club Lion suggested.

That growth would please the new Lions Club officers, although many were retaining a certain position from this past program year.

After giving a synopsis of each position's duties of office, District Governor Scott installed the following: Lion Tamer, Herman Green; Tail Twister, Jeff Hinton; Board of Directors, Chris Sweeney, Mary Jane Lucrezi, and Bethlinn Mackes, 2-yr. directors; Pat Buccieri, Joanne Rush and Tom West, 1-year directors; Membership Chair, Charles Rush; Second Vice President, PDG Bob Kelsey; First Vice President, Michael Piersa; Treasurer (in absentia), Matt Held; and Secretary, Jon Evans.

"You are the president's right-hand man," he told Evans before installing the club's chief officer, Charles Rush, as president of the club for the coming year.

Rush then continued the program by recognizing the Lion of the Year, David Rowan.

Rush said Rowan joined the pride on April 3, 2002 and immediately became an active member. Rowan served on the board of directors in 2004, 2005, 2006, worked Breakfast with Santa, staffed the West End Fair booth, and jointly led the Bowl-a-Thon fund-raiser.

As Rowan received his award and the applause of his fellow Lions, family and guests, Lion Fred Klein added how he met Rowan at the West End Fair in 2002 and they talked about their common background in Staten Island and how their children attended the same school.

"And we've been friends ever since," said Klein.

The third portion of the awards events was District Governor Dudley bestowing membership chevrons for 10, 30 and 35 years of Western Pocono Lions Club membership.

Lion of the Year Rowan received a 10-year chevron as did First Vice President Mike Piersa.

Don Gower was recognized for 30 years of membership.

Receiving a 35-year chevron, as based on the 2010-2011 program year, were Steve Carey and Past Council Chair (PCC) Chris Sweeney.

Sweeney and Piersa had also been recognized for being June birthday celebrants.

Piersa began his relationship with Lions when he was in the Leo Club at the Pleasant Valley High School and served as its first president.

Sweeney came to the area with his wife Rita over those three-and-a-half decades ago and is known for the Ben Franklin Store they owned and operated on the site now housing the West End facility of Head Start and the Imagination Zone.

As the evening drew to a close, Rush reminded all that the monthly club board meeting would be held on Monday, July 2, since the first Wednesday of the month is a holiday, the Fourth of July, and that many service hours would be required of members in regard to the upcoming August West End Fair, which serves as a fund-raiser for the Lions Club as well as a community awareness outlet for the club's existence and its many outreach projects.