Cullman Lion’s Club holds Installation Dinner for new officers

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Lions Board of Directors- Seated: District Governor Mechele Mosley, Dave Gratz, Club President Milford Parrish, Fred Osborne, Bill Ruehl, George Krigbaum, Gary Murphree; Standing: Chris Brooks, Jerry Bonner, Delane Ray, Jim Burke, Craig Gadow, Javon Daniel (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Lions and Lionesses met on Monday evening at Stonebridge Farms for a dinner and installation of the new 2022-2023 officers by Lion’s International District 34A Governor Mechele Mosley. The Lion’s Club makes continual efforts to support its community through donations and service. Mosley spoke about the history of the Lion’s Club, “A little over 100 years ago, a man named Melvin Jones was looking for some business opportunities and he decided that—and this is one of my favorite quotes—‘you can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else,’ so rather than networking to make more money, he started networking to provide service in his community and that became our Lion’s Club.”

In 1973, in honor of their founder, the Lion’s Club started the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. The Melvin Jones Fellowship was established as Lions Clubs International Foundation’s (LCIF) highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service. The Fellowship provides 70 percent of the Foundation’s revenues. A recognition of humanitarian work, a Melvin Jones Fellowship is given to those who give $1,000 to LCIF or to people for whom a donation was made by others.

Mosley stated, “When the war started in Ukraine, the Lions Clubs in surrounding countries used LCIF dollars to run buses to the border. They stocked those buses with food and water, and they picked up refugees and got them to safe areas as quickly as they could. That was your foundation donation dollars at work.”

The Cullman Lion’s Club has made enough donations to become a Model Club. At the Foundation’s 100-year anniversary, they issued a challenge to clubs to donate $500 a member. Mosley announced, “When you’re the largest club in 34A, that’s really a lot of money, but this year, your club has made that achievement and is one of three Model Clubs in District 34A. That means you donated to our foundation where a hundred percent of your donations goes back out into the community.”

Javon Daniel who has served as president for the last two years said that 2021-22 has been a banner year for the club. He stated, “You made this a joy, and it has been my honor and privilege to serve as your president.”

Daniel gave out some special awards to deserving Lions. He surprised Lion Morris Mangum with a 50-year watch for his 50 years of membership with the club, starting in 1970. Because of Covid restrictions, the Lion of the Year Award was not given out last year, so two Lion of the Year Awards were presented in recognition of outstanding service, loyalty, and devotion to the Lion’s Club. The 2020-2021 recipient was Rickey Peek. The 2021-2022 recipient was Gordon Boyd.

Lionesses- Seated: District Governor Mechele Mosley, Ginger Hogeland, Mary Daniel, President Linda Cotten, Cynthia Tubbs, Kaye Walker Standing: Christina Gadow, Lauryn Ivey, Stephanie Lawson, Dean Twilley, Jane Rooker (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

The Lioness Club President Dean Twilley also spoke about her time as president and gave the highlights of the year for the Lionesses. “It definitely had its challenges. Anytime there’s change, there will always be growing pains, but even with all the changes we had a very successful year.” The Lionesses donated to Cullman Caring for Kids, Curt’s Closet, Christmas love, Good Samaritan clinic, Flourish of Cullman and more charitable causes.

The Lioness of the Year for 2021-2022 was awarded to Ginger Hogeland who became a Lioness in 2003 and served as the club president in 2009. She has been a chairperson and served on several committees. She is part of the Cullman Regional Medical Board and the Chamber of Commerce, and also worked closely with United Way and The Red Cross. Twilley said, “Lion’s International motto is ‘we serve.’ So, when I think of a person who goes above and beyond for her community, I think of this lady.”

As a part of the installation of new officers, new Lion and Lioness Club Presidents Milford Parrish and Linda Cotten were passed the gavel from their predecessors and gave acceptance remarks. Cotten stated, “This is something new for me and I’m looking forward to it. Don’t forget our motto is ‘we serve.’ That’s what we’ve been doing in the past record-breaking year that we’ve had and let us continue to serve.”

Parrish closed with, “Nothing compares to the Lions Club. My fellow Lions, they’re just next to nothing. I appreciate every one of them. The good thing going into this year is we have got a great bunch of officers. No one should do everything themselves, and I for one sure can’t, so I know I’m going to be calling on some of you for work and for information and knowing all of you, I’m sure that I’ll get it.”

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