CHAPMANVILLE— Members of the Lions Club of Logan celebrated in style and nominated the officers and new members who will lead them in community service projects through the next year at the 2012 Officers Induction Dinner at the Logan Country Club on June 30.
Longtime Lions member and former president of the community service club Roger Perry was startled when he was announced as the club’s 14th recipient of the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship award by Lions stalwart Odis Ratcliff. Members of the club had kept the honor a secret from His Honor (as Perry is a longtime circuit court judge).
“This is a special honor for me to be chosen to make this award,” Ratcliff said when he presented Perry with a plaque. Ratcliff noted there have only been 14 Melvin Jones members since 1940 and that four of them were present in the room.
“It is an honor to be in that company,” Perry said.
Perry was honored a second time when he was chosen to receive the club’s Ray Gore Award for outstanding volunteerism.
Fellow Lion Glen Ables was awarded for being a long time valuable asset for the club.
Lion Jay Nunley acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which came smack dab in the middle of a tremendous heat wave on a day when many in Logan County were without electricity. Nunley noted that recent past President Chuck Puckett must have missed a meeting too, referring to the club’s penchant for catching members who miss meetings and electing them as officers.
“I have known him since school, and we were roommates in college,” said Nunley. “Most science majors have a goal of using technology to make the world a better place. Chuck just wanted to make better moonshine.”
Nunley roasted other club members, including legendary long time Lion Ratcliff.
“When Odis was in school, they had not invented history yet,” said Nunley. “When Ben Franklin had the key on a kite to discover electricity it was the key to Odis’ apartment.”
Past District Governor Eddie Queen was the event’s special guest speaker, and he noted that he was honored to induct new officers and swear in new members to the world’s largest non-governmental service organization.
“I was a president of my town’s Lions Club three times,” he confided to Puckett. “I missed two meetings too.”
Queen noted that Ratcliff was the oldest active Lions Club member in West Virginia, and noted the Lions are active in over 200 countries in the world. There are 184 Lions Clubs in West Virginia. Queen shared memories of working with local Lions Club members on flood relief and other projects and noted that when you consider such activities as flood relief, disaster assistance and help for those with hearing and vision problems, you begin to realize the Lions Clubs are the best kept secret in any community given the group’s penchant for not bragging on itself.
Queen noted the Lions Eye Foundation brings a lot of donated money right back into District 29-0 which is Southern West Virginia. He said the foundation has been working with West Virginia University by providing grants for research and is looking into working with Marshall University to help even more people. Queen said $50,000 worth of new equipment has been purchased for the Lions Mobile Vision Care van which provides free screenings all over the district. Queen noted that even though the Lions Clubs are known for helping the needy with vision check ups and eye glasses that in recent years the club has spent twice as much money purchasing hearing aids for those with hearing problems. He said that thanks to the Sight Foundation more than $53,000 was spent in Southern West Virginia and $23,000 of that was spent in District 29-0. “When you donate to the Sight Foundation it comes back to our community in spades,” Queen said, noting that Lions Club members are heroes because they help others because it is the right thing to do. “They are volunteers, they do not get paid.”
Queen said Lions Clubs were on an upswing in membership and noted that the Lions Club of Man has 10 new members, all young.
Queen inducted their officers for the upcoming year: President Chuck Puckett; 1st Vice President Harold McMillen; 2nd Vice President J.D. Charles; Secretary Linda McGlothen; Treasurer Tom Aguirre; Tail Twister Ken Frye and Lion Tamer Glen Ables.
Ratcliff, Bill Cerrerre and Linda Brennan were named as board members. Queen said he was honored to swear in Jeremy Bannister and Elijah Hooker as the newest members of the Lions Club of Logan.
Incoming President Puckett said the club was going strong and currently had two fundraisers in the works — The traditional rubber ducky race coming up on September 8 where one lucky participant will win $1,000 for a $5 ticket, and a raffle of a special commemorative Ruger 10/22 .22 caliber Boy Scouts of America rifle. The drawing for the rifle, which features an engraved buttstock with Boy Scout imagery will be in November.