It’s not often the public sees Lord Mayor Betty Disero caught off-guard, but the St. Davids Lions certainly managed to surprise her at their Thursday night meeting last week when they presented her with the Melvin Jones Award, the highest form of recognition given by Lions Clubs worldwide, for humanitarian ideas and services.
Disero told the members gathered for their regular meeting that she’d been invited to the club for dinner, but was unable to stay,
having a regional council meeting to attend. However she took the time to drop in and chat with members before dinner.
When club president Steve Burrows introduced her as a special guest, and called her to the podium, she still didn’t know she was about to be honoured for her support of the St. Davids Lions Club.
“Our community throughout the Niagara Region has always supported our Lions club,” said Burrows, “especially in the last two years. With their unwavering support we have been able to enrich the lives of the less fortunate. In appreciation of that we are honoured to have with us tonight a representative of our community who has personally, through helping our club, made the world a better place.”
Lord Mayor Betty, Burrows said, “has always championed the St. Davids Lions Club at every opportunity. She helps spread our brand in the community.”
She has sold tickets at the grocery basket game at the carnival, he said — she promised to do so again
this year — and with her husband Dan, and with friends, has attended many Lions fundraising activities, including barbecues and fish fries.
She has helped by providing service projects for the Lions to perform, Burrows added, and the Lions wanted to show their appreciation with the Melvin Jones Award for humanitarian services, seldom given to people outside Lions membership.
“This means the world to me,” said Disero, emotionally wiping away tears. “I couldn’t receive it from a better group of people. I’m beyond words to describe how much the St. Davids Lions Club has given back to the community.”
The Lions dinner had several members from other clubs attending, in the area for a division convention being held in St. Catharines. Don Noland, a past international director from St. Louis, Missouri, was asked to present the Melvin Jones plaque and pin to Disero.
Meanwhile St. Davids Lion Al Snider, an international director, was in Russellville, Arkansas for a Lions convention being held there.