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By Dena Martin
The Times 

Jesse Smit, Dan McKinley are Waitsburg Lions Award Winners

Smit is Lion of the Year, McKinley receives Melvin Jones Award, at annual dinner


Courtesy Photo

Retiring Waitsburg Lions President Randy Farley (l) presents Secretary Jesse Smit with the Lion of the Year award.

WAITSBURG – On June 5, the Waitsburg Lions Club wrapped up their season with a Lady's Night dinner, award ceremony and induction of new officers.

Following a thank-you dinner for the ladies for their behind-the-scenes help and support, Jesse Smit was named 2017 Lion of the Year, and Dan McKinley received the club's Melvin Jones Award.

Outgoing President Randy Farley announced Smit's award. Smit has been a Waitsburg club member for only three years, but has shown great commitment. He is an active participant in fundraisers and activities and serves as the club secretary, even when having to drive from the Tri-Cities to attend meetings.

The Melvin Jones award was presented to longtime Lions member, Dan McKinley, who emotionally accepted the award from former recipient Guy McCaw.

"Dan has been chairman of the salmon feed for a good many years. The preparation and organization required in leading up to that event is a pretty big load, not to mention the event itself," McCaw told The Times.

McCaw said that McKinley also heads up the "wood detail" each year, which involves gathering five to 10 cords of wood to be used in the smokers during the rib and salmon feed fundraisers. He also let slip that McKinley still takes good-natured ribbing for once felling a tree over John Kenney's pickup "many, many years ago."

"The Melvin Jones isn't just about Lions service. It's as much about what you do in the community. Dan has always been active in the community, and was president of the Days of Real Sport board and served on that board for many years," McCaw said.

The Melvin Jones Award, named after the Lions Club International founder, is the highest award in Lionism. In order to give the award, a club must donate $1,000 to Lions Club International.

Donated funds are then used to help communities in need. In 1996, Waitsburg received approximately $42,000 from Lions Club International to repair the City Pool after it was badly damaged in that year's flood.

"For many years we didn't give the award because we spent all of our money in the community. But after we were on the receiving end, we decided this was something we wanted to do," McCaw said.

Melvin Jones recipients are selected each year, by past recipients of the award. Former recipients are: Wayne Peterson (2003), Bill Thompson (2005), Glynn Davis (2006), Bob Patton (2007), John Payne (2008), Tom Baker (2013), Terry Jacoy (2014), Guy McCaw and J.E. McCaw (2015), Ken Miller (2016), Dan Cole (2017) and Dan McKinley (2018).

New members Kenny Dimmick and Dale Roberts were inducted into the club by sponsors Ken Cole, Jr. and Jack Roberts.

Past President Randy Farley led the installation of new officers: President Ross Hamann, First Vice President John Alleman, Second Vice President Mark Pickel, Treasurer Kevin House, Secretary Jesse Smit and board members Marvin Arland, Ted Bren, Howard Smith Jr. and Ken Cole Jr.


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