Saturday, June 15, 2024

Lions celebrate 35 years of service


8 new members installed and Ivy Alamilla is new Lions Queen

On Saturday night, October 23rd, 2010, the San Pedro Lions’ Den was decked out and ready to welcome guests for their much anticipated 35th anniversary celebration. Charter members, newly installed members and current active members joined other invited guests in celebrating the accomplishments of the Lions over the past year, as well as acknowledge the enormity of 35 years in Lionism.

It was Happy Hour from 7pm to 8pm and members and invited guests took advantage of the free drinks while mingling and catching up with friends. At 8pm everyone took their seats to witness the official ceremony. Master of Ceremonies (MC) Lion Jorge Aldana kept the ceremony flowing, and the first order of business after the singing of the national anthem and prayer (led by Mr. Wil Alamilla Sr.) was the coronation of the new Miss Lions San Pedro, Ivy Alamilla. Beautiful and gracious Miss Alamilla was crowned by two-term President Melanie Paz and SP’s Lion Bar Queen Paula “Pedie” Palaza.

President Paz then took to the podium to give an overview of the San Pedro Lions’ accomplishments. She thanked the Lion members who have been active in helping to make changes to the Lions Park in the Mosquito Coast. Generously donated by Charter Member Lion Bob Witte, the beachfront land was a bit neglected for a while, however, under the present administration, the Lions have joined hands to refurbish the picnic tables, palapa roofs, fix and update the bathrooms, and a new playground set is being built so children can enjoy themselves.

Also high on the accomplishment list is the monthly visits to the island by BCVI (Belize Council for the Visually Impaired). Thanks to the visits, up to 20-25 people get their eyesight checked, and for many, simple issues are dealt with for a small fee, if not for free.

Future plans include an after-school program from 3-5pm for children to attend while parents are still at work. They will be able to enjoy organized activities as well as tutoring and homework help. Apart from the Lions Quest program which teaches children life skills and self discipline, the after-school program will provide yet another helping hand to the youth of the community. In closing, President Paz thanked the members of the club for their support, and encouraged them to keep the spirit of service, that Lionistic spirit, alive.

Chair of Zone 59, Lion Baldemar Graniel then came to the podium to officiate the installation of the new members. For this installation, there were eight new members eager to join the club. As part of the official ceremony, Graniel explained the role of the club in the community, and asked that they take their new responsibility seriously. With their pins placed on their lapels, the new inductees vowed to work closely with the other club members in improving the community. In a fun twist, they had a roaring competition, with the new members blowing away the competition with their enthusiasm and extra-loud roar.

A special anniversary toast then followed, led by Mr. Francisco Verde and included special invited charter members taking center stage to celebrate the great accomplishments of San Pedro Lions Club. Mr. Verde took the moment to reiterate the importance of wearing the Lion badge with pride, asking the new members to always keep it on, and to know that wherever they are in the world, there is a network of Lions Clubs where they will always be welcome.

A delicious dinner followed the toast, and everyone had a chance to mingle, congratulating the new inductees, as well as dancing and enjoying the joyful sounds of Rompe Raja. The cabinet meeting officially scheduled for the following day had to be cancelled due to the incoming storm (which later developed into Hurricane Richard). Congratulations to the Lions on their 35th anniversary of service to the community!!

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