Lions Club names Melvin Jones Award recipient
Commitment, work recognized at annual awards night
PETERBOROUGH — John “Jack” Nieskens, received the highest award of recognition possible in Lionism, the Melvin Jones Award, at the annual awards night of the Peterborough Lions Club. The award is usually given to a club member who has served in leadership capacity, but can be given to a member of the community, as well.
Nieskens, a longtime member of the club, has served not only as president, but as a member of the Board of Directors and has chaired events such as the annual Spaghetti Supper. “Jack is a dedicated Lion,” said Roland Patten, who presented the award. “He does what needs to be done and does it with a great sense of humor.”
The club paid $1,000 for the award and funds are used by Lions International to help the needy around the world. The club directed the money be used to support eyesight.
Brian Golec, chair of Vision Conservation, received the Granite State Award, which is given for exceptional services to New Hampshire citizens by the N.H. Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. The $500 the club paid for the award goes to the foundation’s endowment, so it will be there forever to help needy people with vision and hearing problems.
In making the award, Marcia Patten, president, noted that Golec has for many years dedicated himself to helping people get eye exams, glasses and hearing aids. He handles the many hundreds of pairs of glasses that are put in the recycling collection containers around the regions, and also works with those who need assistance, helping to fill out forms and make contacts.
Arlene MacArthur was named Lion of the Year and also received an award for her work as secretary.
Michael Reimer received an award for his work as treasurer.
Bob Bussiere received an award for his work as Tail Twister and Fred Giaimo received the President’s Award for working 20 years on Christmas Tree Sales.
Other awards went to: Sharon Monahan and Sandy Williams, Lucky Duck Race; Joyce Carroll, Spaghetti Supper; Patty Venning, newsletter; Diana Griffin and Sue Blanchette, Christmas party; Stephen Yerardi, White Cane program; and Betty Grayshan, representative to the district.
The club raised more than $13,000 last year, which was donated to local nonprofit organizations and also supported eyesight, both locally and around the world. The club’s latest project is the purchase of a Spot vision scanner that can detect vision defects in children, at least one of which can cause blindness if not caught early enough.
The Peterborough club, with assistance from the Souhegan, Gap Mountain and Monadnock Lions clubs, has raised half of the funds for the $7,000 eyesight scanner. A matching grant of $3,500 from Lions International is expected.
The screening process, which will be conducted by Lions Club members, provides a report that may recommend the child be seen by an eye-care professional for follow-up care.
For more information about Lions, call Marcia or Roland Patten at 924-6421.