The San Marcos Lions Club met Wednesday to reflect on the year, give out worthy recognitions and install new officer. Above, John Bilodeau presents Dennis Gutierrez with Lion of the year. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
'WE SERVE': San Marcos Lions Club lauds members during awards, installation banquet
Stepping up during a shut down.
That’s one of many challenges the Lions Club of San Marcos met head on during a pandemic filled year. But on Wednesday night, it was a celebration as a contingent of club members gathered to reflect on the year, give out worthy recognitions and install new officers.
The Lion of the Year award was given to Dennis Gutierrez — the clubs president — for outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 restrictions. Gutierrez showed constant support to each Lion in the club, was project manager in all aspects of club business, special speaker at LEO Lion events, and assumed club leadership duties midway through 2020-21.
“I’ve had some great mentors and I'm looking forward to next year,” Gutierrez said. “I want to put last year behind us. We lost some veteran members, but we gained new members. We got young couples coming in … this is what we needed.”
Dr. Charles Johnson received a coveted Melvin Jones award.
Lions Clubs International was founded in Evansville, Ind. on Oct. 24, 1916. This International Association subsequently evolved as an international service organization under the guidance and supervision of its secretary, Melvin Jones.
The San Marcos Lions Club was chartered Nov. 12, 1941. In the almost 80 years of existence, only 36 Melvin Jones Fellowships have been awarded.
“Dr. Charles Johnson is a retired faculty member with 30 years teaching experience at Texas State University. He was department chair of the Health Services Research Department and the creator of the graduate program in Health Services Research. This was an innovative program focused on the measurement of healthcare quality indicators and outcomes,” Gutierrez said. “Lion Charles joined Boy Scouts of America in the Late 80s. He’s earned several awards including the highest award in scouting, the Silver Beaver. He’s attended several national jamborees. He and his wife Linda’s proudest moments were watching their two sons earn the rank of Eagle Scout.”
Above, Larkin Smith (left) and Gutierrez (right) present the Melvin Jones award to Dr. Charles Johnson. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
The Texas State Medical Explorer Post 4077 was created in 1991. The idea was that college students could benefit from the successful career awareness Boy Scout program of exploring and at the same time, focus on the skills important to beginning health professionals. Hundreds of students benefited from the enormous opportunities and went on to become medical professionals earning medical degrees in a variety of fields such as: Internal medicine, pediatric oncology, general surgeons, epidemiology, radiology, dentistry, nursing, research and Peace Corps volunteers.
“Dr. Johnson has many years of experience in community service through the Kiwanis Club. He has held several positions within the club up through president; and has served a term as Kiwanis Lt. Governor for Central Texas,” Gutierrez added. “Dr. Johnson joined the San Marcos Lions Club in 2018. His vision was to take the Medical Explorers to a new level. With the assistance of several leaders in our district, he was instrumental in chartering the first Omega Leo Lions Club in Texas specializing in Medicine. On March 5, 2020, the Texas State University Medical Explorers Omega Leo Lions Club was formed.”
On July 1, Dr. Johnson will lead the district as the District Alert Chair controlling over $30,000 dollars in District Charitable funds available for disaster relief.
Lions Clubs International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This Fellowship Award is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.
Presidential Awards were given to Past District Governor Michael Smith for his service as the MD2-S3 Global Leadership Team Coordinator, outstanding service to the Texas Past District Governors Association, Club Service Chair, member of the District Governor's leadership team, outstanding service in special projects.
Above, Smith (left) recevies Presidential Awards. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
Other recognitions included a new – ‘You Are Awesome’ award.
Those receiving awards were:
Brian Olson — outstanding support, special committee assignments, assistance in city contracts.
Above, Olson receives a Lions Club You Are Awesome award. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
John Schramm — Longtime tube rental consultant, assistance in city contracts, vendor contracts, school scholarships chair.
John Bilodeau — Service to the community outside the umbrella of Lions, service in mission work, special committee assignments, awards committee.
Above, Bilodeau receives Lions Club You Are Awesome award. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
Rowe Ray — longtime program chair, intra club communications, special committee assignments, 80th Club Anniversary Chair.
Above, Ray receives Lions Club You Are Awesome award. Photo courtesy of Nancy Smith
Clyde Schneider — used eyeglass collections coordinator with many Lions Clubs and different organizations.
Jason Clouse — continuous assistance with Food Bank Distribution efforts, service to the community outside the guidelines of Lions Club.
The 2021-22 officers are: President — Dennis Gutierrez; 1st VP — Mike Thrasher; 2nd VP — Lance Winter; 3rd VP — Bill Hull; Treasurer — Joe Kenworthy; Secretary — Ryan Spencer; Service Chair -— PDG Michael Smith; Marketing and Communications — Linda Jalufka; Program Chair/Historian — Rowe Ray; Membership Chair — PDG Larkin Smith; Tube Rental Chair — John Schramm; Finance Chair — Cody Dailey; Tube Rental Manager — Mark Jalufka; Lion Tamer — Corey Wheeler; Tail Twister — Ted Groholske; LCIF Coordinator — PDG Michael Smith.
Club Directors — Mitch Hoffman, John Bilodeau, Bob Mooney, Carla Caskey Sisk, Greg Carr, and Stephen Traeger.