Illinois Lions District 1J Governor Leo Snyder, left, presents the Lions International Leadership Award to South Elgin Lion Paul Groth. Submitted photo
Updated: July 22, 2013 6:08PM
SOUTH ELGIN — The South Elgin Lions have been involved in the community since 1954. During the club’s recent installation dinner, several Lions were honored for service.
Paul Groth of South Elgin was given the Lions International Leadership Award, the third-highest award on the international level; and the Jim and Joyce Davis Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest awards on the district level. These awards were presented by District 1J Governor Leo Snyder.
Over the last several years, Groth has assumed additional responsibilities, and he is known as the “go-to guy” in the district. He has assisted with major changes to the district’s website; and he has traveled to speak at various venues, including the Lions’ international convention in Minnesota, Lions USA/Canadian Forum in Alaska, several state and district conventions, and area meetings at his own expense.
This year, he assumed additional responsibilities at the district convention. He also has started and continues to organize yearly eyeglass sorting events to assist the Lions of Illinois Foundation in distributing donated glasses from throughout the state.
Groth has been a member of the South Lions Club since 2001 and participates in almost every club activity. He is past president of the South Elgin Lions and sits on the board of directors.
Lion Jamie Lutz of Lombard was presented with a Melvin Jones Fellowship by President Lion Kim Wascher for her dedication as club secretary. The Melvin Jones Fellowship is the highest award in Lions International. Melvin Jones, whose personal code — “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else” — became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world over. The monies earned by International Lions Foundation supports several projects worldwide, including prevention of blindness, measles, and disaster grants, most recently for the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Lion of the Year was presented to Lion Molly Huerta of Elgin for her work and dedication to the South Elgin Lions Club. Since joining the club in June 2011, Huerta has assumed several responsibilities including building rental manager; editor for the monthly newsletter, Roaring Rumors; bingo team captain; and chairman for the community Fourth of July meal after the parade and beer tent during Riverfest. She also served on several committees.
Rookie of the Year was presented to Lions Rich Dobbertin and Laura LeDonne of South Elgin. They both joined the South Elgin Lions Club in January 2012, and it did not take them long to become active in the club, working the bingo kitchen and other bingo assistance and working with the Leo Club.
Snyder presented certificates of appreciation to Lion Kim Geske of South Elgin for her work organizing the district’s bowling fundraiser and making several significant changes, including adding a category for blind youth to participate; and Lion Gary Hyman of South Elgin, for his work on the Lions International Peace Poster Contest for the district. Hyman increased the number of clubs and schools participating in this international contest for today’s youth.
Former Lion Joe Groth and his wife, Lucy, were honored posthumously by the Lions of Illinois Foundation when their family received a Leaf on the Tree of Service on their behalf. Lions Viktor Scham and Paul Groth also received Lions of Illinois Foundation Fellowships.
The South Elgin Lions Club also promotes diabetes awareness and provides hearing tests and hearing aids to those in financial need. This club keeps active in the community by participating in South Elgin Riverfest, Candy Day, hosting bingo every Saturday night, and several fundraisers throughout the year.
With the money raised, the club has been able to make donations to South Elgin families in need, Holiday Food Baskets, South Elgin Food Pantry, Salvation Army, Little Angels Nursing Home for severely disabled children, Special Olympics, Leader Dogs for the Blind, and many others.
Those interested in becoming a member can attend a meeting on the first Wednesday of the month at the club at 500 Fulton St. in South Elgin or call 847-888-9575.