Middlebury Lions recognize service

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Lions Club at its annual awards night banquet Monday honored four club members and one community member with one of its highest tributes, and bestowed its Lion of the Year award on member Cleon Bigelow.
In a celebration of another year of service to the local and worldwide community, Lion Tom Broughton presented the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowships to Lions Cathy Anderson, Dave Nourse, Donald “Doc” Hunt and Cory Newton, as well as to Mark Perrin, owner of Green Peppers Restaurant.
Broughton spoke briefly about each recipient during the presentations at Rosie’s Restaurant. He said he needed only three words to describe Perrin: “generosity, generosity, generosity.” He noted that Perrin “is constantly recognizing our most precious commodity: our children,” and “gives weekly to our food shelves.”
“All you have to do is look at all the thank you notes (displayed at Green Peppers) from those he has helped,” said Broughton.
Of Anderson, Broughton said, “When there’s a call for a volunteer, this individual usually has (her) hand up first … (she) is small in stature, but big in spirit.”
Nourse is “hyper (and) always on the run,” Broughton said. “For many, many years, (he) has kept us on the straight and narrow.” The club treasurer, Nourse “loves to deal with change, but prefers paper,” Brought joked.
Hunt, said Broughton, “knows all the shortcuts in Vermont … has a friendly way with customers at our Field Days booth,” and donated live turkeys for this year’s annual Lions Club auction.
Broughton said that King Lion Cory Newton “is certainly not afraid to accept a challenge … is very, very organized, committed to the ‘We Serve’ philosophy, and (to) making sure the needs of all the community is met … (he) is the one who created the spark.”
When Newton presented the Lion of the Year award, he that Bigelow “always seems to be reminding us of why the club is set up the way it is, and why we do things one way and not the other.”
Bigelow also worked on every wheelchair ramp built by the Lions this year, and worked extensively at the Lions’ Field Days booth last summer.
During the ceremony, the Lions also presented Peter Jensen with a $25,000 check to benefit the new hospice care room at Helen Porter nursing home in Middlebury.
Next year’s officers were also installed at the ceremony. Lions Roger Desabrais Jr., Pat Broughton and Greg Wry were elected as first, second, and third vice presidents, respectively. Lion Janet Piper was elected as the new club president.
The Lions Club International was founded in 1968 and is the world’s largest service organization. Since it was founded, it has given $708 million throughout the world to charitable organizations, relief efforts, and youth scholarships. Last year, Lions Clubs throughout America averaged $13,578 in charitable contributions. The Middlebury Lions Club gave roughly $78,000.
Reporter Ian Trombulak can be reached at [email protected]

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