The Lions Club visited longtime member and upcoming President Cliff Criswell at the refurbished Pickin' N the Park building on June 1 for a special dinner. Criswell and the Pickers had prepared a delicious spaghetti dinner which was enjoyed by 18 members of the club and their guests.
"We might start meeting at Cliff's place if he always feeds us like this," quipped outgoing President Ken Nunley.
Following dinner new member Doug Craven, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Logan was sworn in as Logan County's latest Lion. Craven's parishioner Roger Perry was his sponsor and President Nunley explained that there are over 1.3 million members of the Lions Club all over the world who work together on project to make their communities better.
New officers Criswell, Larry Roarke, Tom Aguirre, Ann McCormick, Chuck Puckett and Linda McGlothen were sworn in along with board members Odis Ratcliff, Glen Ables and Roger Perry.
"The officers you are replacing will be happy to help you out," Nunley told the new officers.
Members of the club were also given awards for their hard work and dedication to the community.
• Linda Brennan was given an award for her work with the local LEO club, teaching young people the merits of Lionism, volunteerism and leadership.
• Roarke received the Ray Gore award for distinguished volunteerism.
• Criswell received the Ralph Queen Award for promoting Lionism through his projects.
• Dr. Ed White received the Distinguished Lion award for his years of dedication to the organization's vision projects and to the community.
Incoming President Criswell who takes the helm of the club in July, had a power point presentation on the Lions Clubs featuring the history, membership, organization and service of the club.
Lions was founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones in Chicago and now has over 1.3 million members across the world in 45,000 clubs in over 200 countries. In 1925 the Lions Club began working to eliminate causable blindness after being challenged by Helen Keller. In 1954, the Lions Club were asked to help draft the charter for the United Nations. In 1968, the Lions Club International Foundation was formed to help people all over the world. Today the LCIF offers 500 grants annually to help clinics and work on vision and diabetes projects as well as Habitat for Humanity.
"But everything starts with the membership," Cliff Criswell said.
Criswell also had a surprise for longtime Lions stalwart Odis Ratliff. Cliff presented Odis with the "Webmasters Award for Computer Illiteracy" noting that he had not received a single email from his 83-year-old compatriot. Criswell joked that in his long lifetime Ratcliff had received may awards for his decades of dedication and service to many walks in the community, but this was the first time Odis got an award "for doing nothing."
In other Lions news:
• Aguirre gave an update of the infamous Lions Survey of the top civic clubs in the county.
Aguirre said that Logan was blessed to have so many excellent civic clubs, all of which were competitive to the benefit of the community, but the question always arose as to which was best. So Ratcliff put together a fact finding team consisting of objective members of the Lions Club from all walks of life to decide which club was the best.
"It was completely unbiased," Aguirre said, with a straight face. "During part of the survey we discovered that one of the panel members, a local judge was suspiciously like a famous Old West Judge named Roy Bean who was known to give people a fair trial before the hangin'. Right now, we are researching to see if these two such similar men may be related."
The end result of the survey was that the Lions Club of Logan was the number one club, Aguirre said proudly. The second and third clubs were Lions Clubs in nearby areas.
"We had a good panel on that survey," agreed Ratcliff. "We had a good judge, a good lawyer, a good Trooper and a lot of good Presbyterians."
• Roger Perry said Duck Race tickets are being printed up now for distribution soon and that volunteers will be needed to assist with sales.