Lions recognize local youth

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: The Lions Club Past Council Chair (PCC) Ralph Williamson, left, praises the work of Eagle Scout Gavin McCabe.

By Brooke Curley

FORT THOMAS – As local and International Lions Club members gathered Saturday morning to rededicate the Melvin Jones Memorial, they honored local youth as well.

The Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial was abuzz in Fort Thomas on Saturday morning when individuals from all over the world reunited to rededicate themselves to Lionism. This year is the Lions Club International 100th anniversary and the Lions of Arizona 94th anniversary.  However, while the Lions gathered, they also paid tribute to the talent and hard work of local youth.

The Melvin Jones Memorial was visited by Lions from all over the world. One speech was given entirely in Spanish, and multiple national anthems were sung with respect. A prayer was offered, and the American flag, along with flags from multiple other nations, was presented.

“We have to rededicate our hearts, our soles our minds, to the cause of our great association,” said Lions Clubs International First Vice President, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal.

Lions Club Past Council Chair (PCC) Ralph Williamson presented awards to roughly seven individuals, including two local teens. The first to be recognized was Eagle Scout Gavin McCabe, 17.  McCabe is a resident of Fort Thomas and has aided the Lions  in maintaining the grounds at the Lions International Memorial. In years past, the grounds would become dry and dusty from broken sprinklers and overrun with weeds. McCabe is one of the individuals that the Lions recognized who has brought the grounds back to a crisp and clean appearance.

“If something needs getting done, I do it,” McCabe said.

McCabe will graduate high school in this coming semester, and Williamson jokingly told the scout that he is not allowed to graduate until McCabe has found a replacement for himself.

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: One of the two local teen given recognition, Clara Kupsh, painted a mural inside the Lions’ memorial museum.

The other teen awarded was a young artist, Clara Kupsch, 17. Kupsch is a Central resident and attends Mt. Graham High School. Kupsch was given her award for her artistic contribution to the inside of the Lions’ memorial museum. Kupsh painted a mural depicting the scenery looking directly behind the museum.

Kupsch said that she didn’t know if she wanted to take classes at Eastern Arizona College when she graduated or not. However, she said that she did want to explore the possibilities of an artistic career.

“Id like to see where it takes me,” Kupsh said. “I don’t know how far I’ll go.”

Of the entire floor to ceiling mural, Kupsh said she enjoyed captivating the shapes and color of the mountains the most.


About the Lions Club International Foundation

Lions around the world are united by a great spirit of giving and dedication to helping others. As the official charitable organization of Lions Clubs International, a leading humanitarian organization, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports Lions’ compassionate works by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts.

We help Lions serve
LCIF helps Lions improve peoples’ lives around the world, from combating vision problems to responding to major catastrophes to providing valuable life skills to youth. Because LCIF helps Lions carry out large-scale projects through our grant programs, Lions increase their impact in their local and global communities and serve even more people in need around the world.

Our funds come from individuals
Donations from 1.4+ million Lions in 210 countries and geographic areas provide the vast majority of the revenue received by LCIF, making the Foundation a leading humanitarian organization. Lions know their donations matter and that funds entrusted to LCIF will support initiatives that impact communities and change lives.

We form lasting and successful partnerships
LCIF leverages the donations we receive through effective partnerships with other foundations, corporations, and governments on the local, national and international level. We are proud that LCIF was named the #1 non-governmental organization worldwide with which to partner, according to a 2007 Financial Times independent survey.

We have key areas of service
To support Lions’ mission of serving communities and meeting humanitarian needs, LCIF provides grants in these focus areas:

Saving Sight
Serving Youth
Providing Disaster Relief
Meeting Humanitarian Needs
We make an impact