Muskogee Noon Lions Club presented more than $10,000 to the community during its annual installation and awards ceremony Wednesday at Cowboy’s, said Dr. Richard Creed, the club’s president.
Wayne Wilburn was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest award given by a club. He joins 57 other members of Muskogee Noon Lions Club who hold the coveted title. The $1,000 donation to Lions Club International Foundation that made the award possible was designated for tornado relief in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Lions Club districts were the recipients of LCIF grants to aid victims of the recent storms.
Marge Younger was recognized for her dedication by being named Lion of the Year. The Heart of the Lion Award went to Kent Edwards, who also brought in the most new members during the past year. The club continued its longtime support to Muskogee County 4-H with a donation accepted by Mandy Blocker to fund the county fair’s 4-H Hall of Fame awards and other projects. Ronna Johnston of Parkview School accepted a $2,200 check for her school to be used for activities for the students.
Donations were increased to traditional charities Ark of Faith and Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center. Sally Weisenbach and Pat Pack accepted the $400 checks. The Muskogee Public Library was again the recipient of a $400 gift to aid its programs.
Three Muskogee High School students were honored with $500 scholarships. They were: Sunia Hassan of Parkview School, Courtney Daniel of Muskogee High School and Alyssa Hill of Hilldale High School.
Needy local residents received new glasses during the last year through the donations of the club and Creed, the owner of Creed Eye Center in Muskogee. The club spent $3,750 during the last year, with Creed donating frames and exams, making it possible to serve more residents.
Lions World Services for the Blind in Little Rock, Ark., and Leader Dogs each received donations of $500. Both of these facilities serve the Oklahoma area. A local resident was recently a student at the Little Rock facility, which teaches life and job skills for adults with visual impairments.
Oklahoma Lions Club Foundation was given $800. The foundation funds the Oklahoma Eye Bank and Oklahoma Lions Club Boys Ranch. The club recently gave $350 to Parkview School to fund a special project and Oklahoma Braille Foundation.
Creed was installed as the new president. In addition to many years of service as a member and optometrist, he has previously served as president. Other officers for 2013-14 are: Weldon Key, first vice president; Jim Adams, second vice president; Jennifer Cotner, third vice president; Howard Potts, secretary-treasurer; Wayne Wilburn, Lion Tamer; Marge Younger, Tail Twister; Kent Edwards, membership chairman. Directors are: Sheri Creed, Brian Meadows, one-year terms; Don Younger, and Patrick Cale, two-year terms.
The club will mark its 97th anniversary in the fall. It has the special designation of being a charter club since it was one of the first Lions Clubs in the world. It was chartered in 1916 and was one of the few clubs that helped organize International Lions Clubs the next year in Texas.
The club’s annual Pancake Day helps fund these donations. The event returned downtown this year to the Muskogee Civic Center. The club plans to have the event in February 2014 there also.
Other service projects during the year include bell ringing for the Salvation Army, food drive, sale of Cowboy Cadillac tickets, member Christmas party, and assistance with tornado relief assisting the Carney Lions.
Regular meetings are held at noon Wednesdays at Cowboy’s. Contact any member for information on joining. Plans are being made to accommodate those unable to attend a noon meeting.