Lowell Skelton Receives AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Fellow Award
SML Lion Lowell Skelton (left) recently received the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Fellow Award. This prestigious award, which is given to no more than one percent of the volunteers in each state annually, must have he support of the State and Regional Coordinators. As a “Fellow”, he is an esteemed member of a professional group.  Skelton began working with Tax Aide when he joined the SML Lions in 2005.  He recruited volunteers, learned the software, and provided instruction.   If it weren’t for his efforts, there would be no Tax Aide Program in Franklin County today. The award was presented by Bill Jackson, Chair of the SML Lions Tax-Aide project.

Three SML Lions Receive Melvin Jones Award

On February 9, 2017, the SML Lions Club held its annual valentine’s dinner at the Waterfront County Club.  Sixty-four members and spouses  celebrated with  a special dinner provided by Club and a visit from the SML Harmeneers.

One of the evening’s highlights was the recognition of three SML Lions,  Ray Holt, Joanna Hudzik, and Art Summers, with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest award in Lionism.

Ray Holt has been a SML Lion since 2004.  He has served as the co-coordinator for Eye Glass Assistance, the co-coordinator for Vision Screening, and participated in vision screening in the schools. He is currently a member of the Scholarship Trust Board, has served on the Club’s Board of Directors,  and has supported Lake Clean-up, Adopt-a-Highway, Junior Golf Tournament, White Cane Day, Boat and Home shows, Swing-for-a-Cure, and packed Thanksgiving and Christmas bags at Lake Christian Ministries.  He and his wife, Shirley, have three children and one grandchild. 

Joanna Hudzik joined the SML Lion’s Club in 2006 and served as the Club’s President from 2012-2013.  She has participated in the Reverse Raffle, the Membership Committee and served as Co-chair of the Valentine’s celebration.  She is a member of the Scholarship Trust Board and was the driver of the Club’s entry in the 2016 cardboard boat race. She is Past President of the Rocky Mount Rotary Club and was awarded Rotary’s Paul Harris Award.  She is very active in the SML chamber and served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors from 2008-2010.  She is co-owner of Haywood’s Jewelers and in January 2017 was awarded the Shop Small Award and crowned Shop Small Queen.  She is a graduate of Ferrum College, a member of the Ferrum College Sports Hall of Fame, and a member of the Ferrum College Alumni Board of Directors 2009-20012.  She enjoys spending time with her husband Mark, traveling, sports and running, having just finished her first Marathon.

Art Sommers joined the SML Lions Club in 2013. He immediately became involved iwith Adopt-A-Highway, Hearing Testing, Lake Clean-up and Vision Screening while also volunteering for three time consuming service assignments simultaneously:  Tax Aide, the Lions Club Reverse Raffle, and construction of the club’s 2016 cardboard boat.  Art and his wife, Jan, have been coming to the Lake since 1994 and moved here full-time in 2009. 

The SML Lions Club will host its annual Reverse Raffle on March 11, 2017, at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center in Wirtz beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100, which includes dinner and beverages for two and the chance to win $5,000.

The money raised from the event goes to support the Club’s Scholarship Trust and other community projects.

The Reverse Raffle is an elimination drawing with prizes awarded throughout the evening. The last ticket drawn wins the grand prize of $5,000.

SML Lions and Good Samaritan Team Build Wheelchair Ramp
Members of the SML Lions and the Good Samaritan Team from Bethlehem United Methodist Church recently worked together to build a wheelchair ramp for SML Lion, Ray Braun.  The ramp, which required over 130 hours to plan and build, is located  at Braun’s home and will enable him to go in and out of his home more easily.  Pictured left to right:   Chuck Davis; Ade Simms; Joe Crouch; Art Sommers;  Rick Carroll; and Bill Koontz.  Not pictured, Chuck Neudorfer.


Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

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