Pickerington Times-Sun

Local Lions named 'Club of Year' at district convention

By MICHAEL HAYES
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The Pickerington Lions Club was named "Club of the Year" at the annual Lions District 13K Convention held in Lancaster earlier this month.

District 13K is comprised of 53 Lions Clubs in 10 counties, including Fairfield. The Pickerington Lions Club won the distinction in the 36- to 50-member category, for which there are 20 clubs.

"Our club members have worked very hard this year to serve our community and raise money for those in need," said Brian Fox, president of the Pickerington Lions.

"I'm so happy that our hard work has been recognized with this award," he said.

Fox said the club was singled out for its ability to excel in a number of areas such as its involvement in service activities, fundraising, eyeglass and eye exam purchases, charitable donations and collections of used eyeglass.

Its high level of participation in Lions Club District 13K meetings, seminars and events was also taken into account.

"They look at a lot of different things," said Fox, who took home an "Excellent President Award."

Club Secretary Bob Mauger and Club Treasurer Larry Twyman received awards honoring their roles as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Although Lions International's major service focus has historically been centered on assisting the blind and visually impaired, Fox said the Pickerington chapter continues to serve a myriad of needs in the community.

"We deal with a lot of blindness issues, helping the blind and the visually impaired, but really we do a variety of other things," he said.

"If someone comes to our club for help and we're able to help them in some way, we're going to do it," Fox said.

He said the club also received the District "Humanitarian Award" in recognition of it having donated more than $9,000 last year to both individuals and charitable organizations in Pickerington and beyond.

The Pickerington Lions Club provides funding to national and regional nonprofits like Canine Companions and Pilot Dogs, however, a lot of the money raised by the club gets re-invested into the Pickerington community, Fox said.

"We get several referrals a year from the (Pickerington) schools," he said.

"The school nurses know of certain students that need glasses but the parents can't afford them, we'll pay for the exam and the glasses," Fox said.

He said the Lions Club also organizes the Labor Day Parade and Fish Fry in Pickerington, an annual tradition approaching its 65th year.

"We've done the Labor Day Fish Fry since 1949, it's currently the biggest fundraiser we do," Fox said.

"On a decent day we'll make six, seven or eight thousand dollars in profit on that," he said.

Fox has been at the helm at the Pickerington Lions Club for the last three years, a position he said he has relished.

"It's a great club," Fox said.

"We've got a lot of good, active folks in the community that want to help those in need."

Lions International bills itself as the largest service organization in the world.

For more information about the Pickerington Lions Club, call 614-833-4728.

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