As the end of the Lions Year approaches, a number of the Coppell Lions were the recipients of several prestigious awards at multiple functions. The 2013-2014 year was one of the most successful ones in the history of the club.
“I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year. I believe that we have one of the most active clubs in the area and this will be yet another year that we have grown in membership, in addition to exceeding our community commitments,” said Coppell Lions President Ken Boatman.
At the Coppell Lions end of year banquet held on June 6, Boatman awarded several awards to outstanding members. Receiving Texas Lions Foundation awards were Lions Tom Garriss and Korky Kathman for their work with financial records and communications. The honorary award is one that provides a donation to aid the Texas Lions Foundation, which is committed to filling humanitarian needs throughout the world and whose purpose is to promote human welfare by careful application of contributed funds. responsible for education of youth and helping them make good decisions.
Lion Tom Williams was presented a Texas Lions Camp Life Membership award. Mr. Williams was recently elected as a director to the organization and has dedicated countless hours of service to helping children with disabilities go to the camp located in Kerrville. In addition he has served as the club photographer and organized this year’s Pancake Breakfast, a signature event for the club each year.
Lion Phillip “Flip” Griffin, a long-time member, former District Representative and Past President was given the Distinguished Service Award. Flip has dedicated his service to the club for over 20 years, and acted as the Pancake Breakfast coordinator for most of that time. Boatman remarked that “Flip Griffin embodies the heart and spirit of not only the Coppell Lions, but all of Lionism. His commitment to his community is something that is well recognized by the people of Coppell and the lives that he’s touched.”
Lion Ed Darling received this year’s “Lion of the Year” award for his leadership and service to the club and to the community. Mr. Darling was in charge of multiple projects for the club and led them to successful conclusions. He spearheaded the new alliance with the Farmer’s Market, and worked to help the advancement of the Lions and their service to various charities in and around Coppell. Earlier in the year, Lion Melinda Helsley was awarded the Grass Roots Lion of the Year representing outstanding achievement of a member with less than five years tenure.
One of the highest honors that a club can bestow is the Melvin Jones Award, a distinction that is named after the founder of Lions Clubs. President Boatman bestowed this award to Lion Bill Smothermon, who has been a Coppell Lion for over 20 years and served as it’s President twice. Bill guided the Coppell Lions to Club of the Year in 2012-2013 and has since taken a leadership role in the District, where he will become the Second Vice-District Governor in the coming year. “I can think of no one that lives the life of a Lion like Bill Smothermon,” Boatman said. “His guidance and leadership has allowed us to be one of the best clubs around and his contribution to the community is priceless.”
A little more than a week later, on June 14, at the Colin County Community College, the District held it’s third annual Lions University where area Lions are invited to receive training for their office and for vital leadership skills. Lion Fred Conger was called on to act as Dean of the University and bestow almost 100 degrees to participants from all over North Texas. Also at that event, Past International Director Beverly Stebbins presented the fourth highest award in Lionism, the International President Certificate of Appreciation, to Lion Korky Kathman from Coppell, recognizing his efforts on the Global Leadership Team and contribution to the University as a whole.
The Coppell Lions will usher in another slate of officers on July 1, bringing an end to a very successful year where two four-year academic scholarships were given out along with sizeable donations being made to various charity organizations. Over 100 were fed at Christmas and over 6,000 hours of community services were logged in the community. The latter achievement placed the Coppell Club in elite company, becoming one of only a few to log 5,000 hours of more in each of the last five years.