Lion Lisa Larsh recognized with Melvin Jones Fellowship
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout Lion Lisa Larsh has been recognized by her peers with the Melvin Jones Fellowship.
“It’s one of the greatest honours you can receive from your club, as a Lion,” shared District Governor Shirley Koroniak of the Vermilion Bay Lions Club, who presented Larsh with the fellowship on August 18 in Sioux Lookout.
“The Sioux Lookout Lions did it in a really special way. They involved a few members from Vermilion Bay Lions (Gary Hutchison, Susan Hutchison and Forrest Mann)… so that nobody would know who is being nominated,” Koroniak shared. The fellowship is named after Lions founder Melvin Jones.
Fellowship recipient Lisa Larsh explained that all Sioux Lookout Lions were eligible to be nominated, “Each club member was provided a voting sheet, either paper copy or digital, and they chose which Lion they thought should receive it. They also needed to give their reasoning for their choice. All votes were sent to Lion Gary and the committee then determined who won,” Larsh explained.
Long-time club member Larsh shared of receiving the fellowship, “I have been a Lion for 27 years - 5 years in Armstrong prior to Sioux Lookout. I've held the President's office here once, but have been the Secretary on and off (more on than off!) for the past 22 years. I was extremely honoured to receive the Melvin Jones, especially knowing that it was determined by my fellow Lions, every single one of which deserves to be recognized for their hard work and volunteerism. We are a small club who have been together for a long time and as close as family, so the honour is pretty special!”
Koroniak shared in her presentation to Larsh, “Our founder, Melvin Jones, once said, “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for someone else.” I’d like to think Lions have gotten pretty far because our precise mission is to help others.
“One of the most important ways that Lions make a difference in this world is through the Lions Clubs International Foundation, or LCIF. LCIF is the charity arm of our association, and it is the way that Lions and community leaders help in rescue, disaster rebuilding, and eye health on a global scale. Through LCIF grants, Lions help other Lions and the communities in which we live and serve.
“Melvin Jones Fellowships, named in tribute to the Founder of Lions Clubs International, are the cornerstone on which LCIF grants are built, and LCIF’s highest honor. Nearly 70 percent of all donations that LCIF receives each year are from these Fellowships.”
She added, “Our new Melvin Jones Fellow, as well as these previous recipients, have demonstrated a great humanitarian spirit. We honor all of them for their generosity and their contributions.”
Sioux Lookout Lions Club President Chris Larsh explained, “Every year our club gives money to the Lions Clubs International Foundation. What happens because of that is your accrued donation, over a number of years, allows us to earn these awards. The award is given from LCIF on behalf of the club, to a member.”
The annual District Governor’s visit took place at a club member’s home on Abram Lake.
“It was great that we were able to put on what I thought was a very classy, yet casual evening for our District Governor,” Chris Larsh said, adding, “It was a very proud evening. It made me proud to be a Lion.”
Service Awards that evening also recognized Lions Dennis Brock - 20 years of service, Tracy Goretzki, Clifford Goretzki - 25 years of service, and Sioux Lookout Lions Club President Chris Larsh – 30 years of service.
“I was surprised that it was 30 years for me,” Chris Larsh said adding, “You don’t think about how long you’ve been a part of something.” He said he has very much enjoyed his time as a Lion.
“It’s amazing these long-time members. They’re still giving back so much service to the community. I can’t thank them enough,” Koroniak added.
Recognized for Perfect Attendance for 2019-2020 were Lions Bill Melnichuk Jr., Chris Larsh, Lisa Larsh, Rhonda Konrad and Debbie Michaud.
The Sioux Lookout Lions Club also inducted four new members: Jeff Caughill, Caroline McIntrye, Mike Lalonde and Syrena Lalonde.
“Our motto is: We Serve. The organization is built around service,” Koroniak explained.
“We actually have five global service areas, sometimes we refer to them as our main pillars. Vision, Diabetes is one that is fairly new. Childhood Cancer is our newest one. Environment and Hunger. We try to focus as much service as we can around all of those areas. Another thing we like say is, Where There’s a Need, There’s a Lion… the recent Red Lake evacuation is a prime example… several Lions Clubs in the entire region banded together to support those citizens from Red Lake,” Koroniak concluded.