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The Lions Club of Coppell celebrated a great year of service to the community at their recent awards banquet, held at the Airport Marriott on June 6, 2016. In celebration of the club’s prestigious “Club of the Year” award,   founding club members Joe Shirley, Bill Westcoat, and Jim Strell  carried in the traveling trophy in a  white-gloved. It is the second time in four years the Coppell Lions Club has been given that distinction.

Outgoing Coppell Lions Club President Ed Darling served as host and emcee for the annual event, which brought several District dignitaries, business partners and guests. In a year when the club sought to transition from having “event sponsors” to active community partners, club members recognized two outstanding partners for their dedicated efforts to help the community. Bob Austin from Kroger and Christina Glidewell from RE/MAX DFW Associates were honored with plaques by Darling.

The 2015-2016 year also saw the formation of the student-led LEO Club at Coppell High School. LEO’s are young adults in high school that carry on the same dedication to service indicative of Lions Clubs. Lions Dan and Julie Madden served as liaisons to the new group that was chartered in the Fall of 2015, and has grown to over 20 members.  The inaugural president of the LEO Club at CHS, Haasi Pidparthi was also honored by the President for her outstanding leadership in the organization of the club, her efforts in attracting new members and her guidance in community projects that benefitted those in need.

Several outstanding individuals were presented service honors during the banquet. Lion Dan Madden received highest recognition as “Lion of the Year”  for the club, while  Lions Fred Conger and Tom Garriss were both honored as Melvin Jones Fellows. The Fellowship award is an award of high distinction based on humanitarian service, and is named after the founder of Lions Clubs International.  

Club secretary Stan Lockett was honored with a Jack Wiech Fellowship named for the founder of the Texas Lions Camp.  Lion Jeff Helsley received a Texas Lions Foundation Fellowship for his service.   A number of other awards for attendance and services achievement were presented, during the evening.

The evening culminated with the induction of the 2016-17 officers and board of directors.  Coppell’s own Bill Smothermon, who has served two terms as President of the Club since joining in the early 1970s,  will be the incoming District Governor for the entire 2-X1 area, which covers an area as far south as Ennis, and north and east to Greenville.  History was recorded, when District Governor Smothermon inducted his daughter, Melinda Helsley as Coppell Lions Club President for the upcoming year.

Other officers inducted for the 2016-17 year were: First Vice-President, Dan Madden;  Second Vice-President Lynne Garriss; Vice-President of Special Projects, Alfred White;  Secretary, Stan Lockett, Assistant Secretary, Peggi Smothermon; Treasurer, Tom Garriss; Membership Chair, Doug Pearce;  One-Year Board Directors Alex Rosenblum and Jeff Helsley;  Two-Year Board Directors Alice Conway and Kevin Mascarenhas; Tail Twister, Sarah Kathman; Lion Tamer, Ron Harrison; Publicity and Outreach, Julie Madden;  and Webmaster and Social Media Director, Korky Kathman; The immediate past president, Ed Darling, and the three founding members also will sit on the board of directors.

Outgoing club president Ed Darling gave a slide show reminder  of the year in review. going through photos that qualified the Club again for yet another Club Excellence award. The presentation also included a recap of service projects that benefitted the Coppell Nature Park, the Coppell High Scholl Food Bank, the Community Holiday Toy and Food Drive, Sports Extravaganza for Disabled Children and the Texas Lions Camp.

The 2016-2017 year marks the 100th year of service of Lions Clubs, whose first national convention was held in the Dallas Adolphus Hotel in 1917. From that beginning of a few members, the Lions have grown to be the largest service organization in the world, with 1.5 million volunteers in over 200 countries.

Interested individuals that would like to join the Lions Club of Coppell, are invited to check out their website at for information on enjoying the benefits of being a member of the dynamic, growing club.

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