CEDAR CITY--Members of the Cedar City Lions Club had a night of appreciation and celebration of its 86th year with awards during a dinner at Cedar City Middle School last Thursday night.
Lions Club President Vivian Boyle welcomed everyone and shared the speech from Helen Keller during the Lions International Convention at Cedar Point, Ohio on June 30, 1925.
Keller spoke of being adopted into the Lions Club, as she had opportunities to serve through the American Foundation of the Blind.
“The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind,” Keller said. “Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided?”
Keller continued to state that the Lions Club can constitute themselves as Knights of the Blind in a crusade against darkness.
Boyle echoed Keller’s words and spoke of the Kite Flight for Reading and Sight that is meant to help kids read and provide glasses for children in need as well as give back to the schools for reading.
“It’s been on the agenda since 1925,” she said. “Because it is what she asked for.”
Scott Albrecht, doctor at Southern Utah Vision Care and sponsor of the Kite Flight for Reading and Sight, spoke of his passion for event.
“This Kite Flight for Reading and Sight is important for two reasons,” Albrecht said. “First, because its about sight and helping people see and second, it’s about kids. Those things are very important to me.”
He continued to say that 80 percent of learning comes through eyes and reading in particular can be the hardest because when a child cannot see it takes twice as much effort to try to read.
“It’s great to be associated with something that we can be of service to and includes those to things i”m passionate about,” he said.
A contest that the Lions Club started a few years ago is a Peace Poster Contest.
“We are a peaceful organization,” Boyle said. “We think peace in community, peace at home, peace in the world when it can happen is important, which is why we have a Peace Poster Contest.”
Boyle said usually there is only one winner from one of the middle schools, but this year, 13-year-olds Clair Swop from Canyon View Middle School and Angel Hilier from Cedar Middle School won. Both girls went around each table to show their posters.
Boyle also challenged the Lions Club members to have a plan to do what they can and bring more members in.
The song “This is my country,” sang by the 1949 Cedar City Lions Club, including the father of Lorraine Snow, one of the Lions Club’s oldest members, was shared by via record. The club members went to Madison Square Garden and took first place in a Barber Shop Quartet contest.
A final tribute and award was given to Bryan Kamerek as the Lion of the Year for his service and work in many Lions Club activities.
“He’s done some amazing things since he has been a member of the club,” Boyle said. “We appreciate so much, this gentlemen.”
Michelle Kamerek, Bryan Kamerek’s wife, shared her gratitude for the award to her husband and that service has always been important to them. She said that the service he has given started in the home with the family and continues with his job and with the Great American Stampede Rodeo publicity for the Lions Club.
“He always puts his clients and organization first to help them be successful,” Michelle Kamerek said. “He always has the best interest at heart.”