The future for the San Pedro Lions Club is looking brighter than ever. To back up this statement was the recent installation of 13 new members to the club. Once again, the creative decorating team adorned the Lions Den with the royal colors of purple and gold to recognize the importance of this special ceremony.
With the third tap of the bell, Lion President Ruben Gonzalez called the meeting to order. The gathering joined voices in singing the National Anthem followed by Lion Abel Guerrero who gave a short invocation. The members were then given the sad news of a recent accident involving Lion members. A passenger bus and a truck collided head-on in Central Argentina, killing 23 people. The Argentine news agency Noticias Argentinas said many of the passengers were members of a Lions Club from Entre Rios bound for a National Convention. The San Pedro Lions Club and friends observed a moment of silence to pay respect for their fellow Lions. Master of Ceremonies, Lion Angel Nuñez then introduced the invited guests; District Governor Lion Alberto Mahler, Mayor Alberto Nuñez and spouse, and San Pedro Lions Queen, Miss Irenie Gonzalez. Irenie did the honor of welcoming the gathering on behalf of the club.
Following this was the main event, the installation of new members. Heading up this part of the ceremony was Past District Governor Lion Baldemar Graniel. Lion Graniel mentioned that some of these members had already been installed at the National Convention held last month in San Estevan, but that this ceremony was necessary to introduce the new Lions to the community. The thirteen new members, as the Master of Ceremonies mentioned, "have heart, energy and vision to serve." They join 42 active San Pedro Lions, now bringing the total to 55. The inductees were called to the front, accompanied by their sponsors, to be sworn in. After agreeing to certain responsibilities, they were presented with their Lions pin and certificate by the Lions Queen. Inductees were welcomed with three loud roars by the rest of the Lions.
Adding thirteen new members to the club is admirable, but more impressive yet was a surprise presentation made by newly installed member, Lion Ramon Nuñez. During his presentation, he spoke of the many accomplishments of the Lions, but the one goal they have fallen short of, is also his dream - a first-class clinic. He is negotiating with friends from the industry, throughout the USA, and has brilliant plans for the future of this project. He will disclose more information in the near future. Lion Ramon left the crowd in awe as he presented the Lion President with a check of $100,000.00 for the new Lions Clinic. Loud cheers filled the Lions Den during this presentation. Lion Ruben graciously accepted and thanked him on behalf of the San Pedro Lions Club and the entire community.
President Ruben Gonzalez then took the stand and awarded ten members of the Lions Club with the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) Contributing Member Award. This honor went to Lions Flora Ancona, Severo Guerrero, Edilberto Marin, Nita Marin, Joe Alamilla, Angel Nuñez, Gonzalo Muñoz Sr., Ruben Gonzalez, Manuel Ancona, and Pedro Salazar Sr.
The Guest Speaker for the evening was District Governor Lion Alberto Mahler. During his remarks he reminisced about the last time he addressed the club, during their 23rd Anniversary. He congratulated the San Pedro Lions Club and stated it was financially the strongest in District 59. He continued by saying this was not something the club gained immediately. It came through years of hard work by industrious members. Governor Mahler took time to pay tribute to long term chartered members still active today. He encouraged San Pedro Lions Club to take an active role in forming a Leo Club; to interact with youth in civil duties for the good of the community. He strongly believes these youths are the leaders of tomorrow and the club should steer them on the right path.
The official ceremony came to an end with the singing of the Lions Song followed by a vote of thanks by President Ruben Gonzalez. Entertainment was provided by The San Pedro Dance Company and Barbara's Dance Group. Following the dances, dinner was served and the incomparable Wil and Dale took the stage. The night turned out to be one of celebration, good music and great company. The thirteen new members installed are: Elvia Staines, Raul Cabral, Ada Ayuso, Jorge Varela, Tere Gomez, Ramon Nuñez, Carmelita Heredia, Natalia Muñoz, Isela Graniel, Rosario Graniel, Oneida Marin, Bina Kumul and Gonzalo "Reds" Lara.
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