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Outgoing President Fred Conger (right) passes gavel to Incoming President Ed Darling, ushering in the 99th year of Lions Clubs.

The Coppell Lions Club held its annual awards banquet on June 28 at the Coyote Ridge Golf Club to announce the officers for the coming 2015-2016 service year and to bestow service awards to its members. 

Outgoing President Fred Conger, highlighted the year in which the Lions gave over 6000 hours in service projects and donated over $17,000 to scholarship winners, community service organizations, high school projects and civic needs.  At the recent Lions University Leadership Training, Coppell members made up a full ten percent of those receiving recognition, which included one Presidential Appreciation Award. 

Carolyn Dorman, who is the State Strategic Planning Director and the District Global Leadership Chairman was on hand to initiate the new officers into their role for the coming year starting on July 1.  Those officers are:  President, Ed Darling; First Vice-President, Melinda Helsley; Second Vice-President, Dan Madden; Third Vice-President, Alfred White; Secretary, Stan Lockett; Treasurer, Tom Garriss; Membership Chairman, Doug Pearce; Tail Twister, Ed Sircy; Lion Tamer, Julie Madden; Two-year Directors,  Alex Rosenblum and Jeff Helsley; One-year Directors, Lynne Garriss and Ken Schraeder. 

Presidential appreciation awards went to Stan Lockett and Ken Boatman for their support of club activities, while other specific awards went to Bill Smothermon, Melinda Helsley, Tom Garriss, Ed Darling and Ed Sircy. 

Each year the President of the Club can nominate and receive permission to hand out various fellowship awards sponsored by Lions Clubs International and the Texas Lions Clubs. These organizations provide vital services to children and adults alike in areas such as youth camps, sight programs, diabetes awareness, disaster relief and child abuse prevention.   Each organization has its own endowment system and clubs are encouraged to donate to these charities when applicable to honor those members who have served with distinction in their duties. 

The Texas Lions Foundation provides assistance and funds for humanitarian need and disaster relief. Receiving Texas Lions Foundation Fellow Awards were Jim Strell and Joe Shirley, both founding members of the Coppell Lions. 

The Texas Lions Camp, sponsors weekly camps for children who are physically challenged,  with Down Syndrome, or living with diabetes.  The camps are free of charge and are available to any age-appropriate child just be contacting their local Lions Club. President Conger bestowed two Jack Wiech Fellowship Awards to Bill Smothermon and Tom Garriss, for their dedication to the principles of Lionism and a Life Member award to Margaret Bryan for her tireless contribution to the TLC and serving as the club’s liaison.  Lions Melinda Helsley, Dan Madden and Sarah Kathman all received mini-bricks with their name as a representation of their own personal brick to be laid in the entryway of the Lions Camp in Kerrville, Texas.  Receiving Oak Leaf Awards for their support of Lion’s programs for children were Margaret Bryan, Korky Kathman and Ed Darling Their names will be enshrined at the Texas Lions Camp Endowment Tree in Kerrville. 

The highlight moment of the evening is always the presentation of the Lion of The Year Award, which is voted by the membership itself. This year’s recipient was Dan Madden who served countless hours in service as well as being a Board Member. 

Incoming President Ed Darling received the gavel as the symbolic transfer of leadership, and urged unity and opportunities to re-dedicate efforts to help those in need, “I will continually strive to direct our efforts to continue to provide services for our community with the help of all of you here tonight.”

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