Local Lions saluted

The Fort Frances Lions Club held its 43rd-annual recognition dinner Friday night at the K.C. Hall here.
The evening saw many members recognized for their charitable work and dedication to the club, as well as the induction of two new Lions.
The hall was buzzing with excitement as June R. Hamalainen and Ronald Skrupa pledged their allegiance to the club.
“I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the country it represents. One nation under God, liberty, justice and tolerance for all,” echoed members in the background.
Longtime Lion Gord McBride was presented with the Milestone Chevron award in recognition of his 50 years of involvement with the local club.
McBride joined the local branch in January, 1957 and has demonstrated active commitment to humanitarian causes to our local and global communities since joining.
“It should be noted that I was 11 when I joined the club,” joked McBride.
Each year, an individual is named with the prestigious title of Lion of the Year. This year, not one but two members were selected.
The father and daughter duo, Luke Schill and Bridget Dobransky, were appreciated for their fundraising efforts and go-getter attitudes.
Dobransky, who only joined the Lions Club a year ago, on behalf of her father’s request, told those on hand that she was not expecting such an award and was speechless.
“I’m very honoured and don’t know what to say.
“Thank you,” she continued. “I’m glad I became a Lion and will be able to represent the Lions of Fort Frances far into the future.”
Meanwhile, George Bartlett earned the Melvin Jones award for his dedicated humanitarian services on behalf of the Lions Club International Foundation.
“I’m very grateful to be a Lion—and honoured to have received this award,” he said.
Others were recognized with the following awards:
•Medal of Hope—Bud Danylchuk;
•Distinguished service award—Joseph Gervais;
•President’s Appreciation awards—Richard Bird, Jacques Fiset, John Pohanka, and George Bartlett;
•Secretary award—Jeannie Fiset; and
•Treasurer’s award—George Elliott.
Certificates of appreciation were also given to Donna Wilson, Rose Bird, Dave McBride, Dawn McBride, Jeannette Roth, Aileen Brown, Dick Bird, and Flora Danylchuk.
Club president Al Carrier addressed the crowd about the various contributions the club has made to the community of Fort Frances—and the continuing contributions it is making.
“It starts at the grassroots,” Carrier stressed.
Some of the major projects established by the group are the Lions Millennium Park ($450,000), Riverside equipment ($150,000), Riverside expansion ($50,000), and FFHS auditorium ($25,000).
Some of their recurring contributions go to local organizations such as Meals on Wheels, FFHS bursaries, the CNIB Eye Van, D.A.R.E. program, food bank, and Christmas hampers.