May 14, 2006

The Hagerstown Lioness Club celebrated its 28th anniversary recently with a banquet at the Grand Venice Hotel. Using the theme "Spring Fantasy", the ballroom was decorated by the Social Committee, chaired by 2nd Vice President Linda Perry and co-chair Carol Stouffer.

The program cover for the event was designed by Ann Shank Rohfer, daughter of Past District Gov. (PDG) Frank Shank and Hagerstown Lioness Elaine Shank.

President Jo Ann King welcomed the 120 Lionesses, Lions and other guests who were there to celebrate the Lionesses' 28th anniversary of service and friendship.

The toastmistress, Past President Betty Van Laningham, introduced the following special guests: Past International Director Murray Ryan; District 22-W (D22-W) Gov. Gary "Buck" Fisher; D22-W Cabinet Members, Secretary Wayne Wiles and Treasurer Sue Timmons; D22-W PDGs Marion Carmack, Dave Fisher, Mark Green (Immediate PDG), Cecil Massie and Frank Shank.


Other D22-W representatives included: Region 2 Chair Lion Rodney Timmons; Region 4 Chair Lion Tim Ganske; Region 2 Chair Youth Outreach/Leo Clubs Lion Barbara Ulrich; Region 2, Zone 2 Chair Lion Carol Alphin; Lions Vision Research Foundation (LVRF) Chair Lion Robert Bullock; Sight Conservation and White Cane Chair Lion Bob Davis; Diabetes Awareness Chair Lion Donna Jackman; and Lioness Coordinator Lioness Mary Stains-Ecker.

Also in attendance were sponsoring Lions Club President Rudy Krumpe, 1st Vice President Tom Perry and 2nd Vice President Gus Rethemey; and Pat Murphy, Executive Director, Maryland Medical Eye Bank.

In addition to the Hagerstown Lionesses, the following Lioness and Lions Clubs were represented that evening: Lioness - Hancock; Lions - Beaver Creek, Carroll Manor, Funkstown, Hagerstown, Longmeadow, Middletown, Mount Airy, New Market District, Roaring Run, Union Bridge, Westminster, West Hagerstown and Williamsport.

President Jo Ann King introduced Charter Members and Past Presidents who were there.

The Clear Spring High School "Reflections" Show Choir, directed by Beth Smith, provided entertainment for the evening. The choir's appearance had been arranged by the Program Committee, chaired by 1st Vice President Joan Bachtell.

Two nonagenarian Lionesses were recognized for their longevity in years and service: Catherine Spicher, 97 in October, joined the club in 1978; and Mim Eberhart, 95, joined in 1981.

An expected highlight of the evening was revelation of the Hagerstown Lioness receiving the 2006 Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. D22-W PDG LCIF Chair Marion Carmack conducted the award ceremony. In his opening remarks, he said that the recipient had been named a Melvin Jones Fellow by LCIF in recognition of her display of outstanding humanitarian service and commitment. He related that the award is named for the founder of Lions Clubs International, Melvin Jones, and is the Foundation's highest honor. He noted that she had been especially honored, since she had been selected for this award by secret ballot for nomination to LCIF by her sister Lionesses. He then welcomed her as a Melvin Jones Fellow and said that she becomes a part of a growing network of more than 234,000 individuals who are committed to improving the quality of life for people locally and in communities around the world.

Carmack then presented Lioness Betty Morgan with a personalized plaque and pin. Her daughter, Kim Lee, made a surprise appearance and fastened the pin to her mother's lapel.

Morgan joined the club in 1981, and has served in many capacities, which include serving as a member of the Board of Directors as ninth president; 1st and 2nd vice president, assistant treasurer, director, Lioness tamer and Gold Digger. Additionally, she has chaired or co-chaired many committees - some multiple times. She has served on the committee for vision screening of students in Washington County Public Schools since its inception in 1993. She is also club coordinator for requests from the needy for financial assistance for eye exams and purchase of eyeglasses.

In 1999, Morgan retired as a public health nurse after 32 yeas of service with the Washington County Health Department. She is a member of Otterbein United Methodist Church and serves as their parish nurse coordinator. She is also president-elect of the Hagerstown Women's Club, and assistant treasurer for the local nurses' alumni association; and she volunteers at The Maryland Theatre and Hagerstown Community College.

Lioness Betty is the eighth Hagerstown Lioness to be named as a Melvin Jones Fellow. Others were the late Charter Member Ethel Myers (1991), the first D22-W Lioness to receive this award; Charter Members and Past Presidents Doris Fisher (1993), Elaine Shank (1994), and Marie Byers (2000); and Past Presidents Mary Stains-Ecker (1993), Helene Frazier (2002) and Eloise Shaffer (2004).

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