Melvin Jones Fellowship Recipients

The fellowship, which was created in 1973, takes its name from the founder of Lions Clubs International (LCI), Melvin Jones. It is an honor — not an award. The fellowship was established as LCIF’s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service.

The fellowship is symbolized through an inscribed plaque and a lapel pin presented to the recipient. Because of the nature of the fellowship, it can be conferred upon individuals only. The honor is not given to a Club, district, or other groups. It is not a requirement that the recipient be a Lion. A Melvin Jones Fellowship may be given to honor the memory of a deceased individual.

River Falls Melvin Jones Fellows include:

Clete Henriksen 9/30/94

James D. Foster 11/13/95

Robert B. Johnson, Jr 6/7/00

Melvin Germanson 1/31/01

Alan Stewart 3/14/03

Rod Rommel 5/17/05

Fletcher Baker 2006

Don Page 2007

Byron Dopkins, Sr 2008

Lee Nelson 2009

Mark Sams 2010

Byron Dopkins, Jr. 2011

Larry Testa 2012

Todd Frisch 2013

Vince Seidling 2013

Mike Stifter 2014

Gerald Emholtz 2015

Tom Carroll 2016

Birch-Sturm Fellowship Recipients

The Birch-Sturm Fellowship was created by the Wisconsin Lions Foundation to honor those individuals who exemplify undying dedication and commitment to Lionism. The fellowship is named after Frank V. Birch and Clarence L. Sturm, the only International Presidents from Wisconsin. The program somewhat mirrors the Melvin Jones Fellowship program in that it honors individuals through a plaque, lapel pin, patch and name inscribed on the Master Plaque at the Wisconsin Lions Foundation office.

River Falls Birch-Sturm Fellows include:

James Foster 1992

Bill Sperling 1993

Dick Ritzinger 1994

Byron Dopkins, Sr 1997

Robert Johnson, Jr 1997

Mel Germanson 1997

Bill Donais 1999

Alan Stewart 1999

Fletcher Baker 2002

Byron Dopkins, Jr 2002

Larry Testa 2005

Michael Stifter 2006

Mark Sams 2008

Bill Sazama 2009

Judy Rommel 2010

Rod Rommel 2011

Larry Testa  2012

Rose Rude 2013

Warren Kozitza 2014

Todd Frisch 2015

Elaine Baker 2016

Tim Cashman 2017

Dan Murray 2019

Roger Horness Service to Youth and Community Award

The Roger Horness Service to Youth and Community Award honors Mr. Roger Horness who was a long time member of the River Falls Lions Club and active community participant. The award honors a River Falls citizen, member or non-member, annually who in the spirit of Roger Horness serves to make the River Falls community better. The award became the combined Youth and Community award in 1987.

Roger Horness Service Award Recipients include:

1980 Liz Oostendorp-- Service to Community
     Tom Andres-- Service to Youth

1985 Mel Germanson Service to Community

1987 Dorie Hoffman

1989 Tom Carroll

1990 Stan McCullogh

1991  Mr. and Mrs. Fred Reihle

1992 Ron Wunrow

1993 Al Stewart

1994 Dick Rinehart

1995 Judith Permann

1996 Dennis Schultz

1997 George LaFave

1998 Pat McCardle

1999 Jerry Carter

2000 Jim Dollahon

2001 Jerry Brandt

2002 Francis Ogden

2003 Mary Betzel

2004 Ann Lydecker

2005 David Black

2006 Kirby Symes

2007 Mary Waters

2008 Dorie Hoffman

2009 Richard Pechacek

2010  Dr. Robert Johnson

2011  Darryl Hetrick

2012  Carol Mottaz

2013  Diane Brady

2014  Bob Gustafson

2015 Michelle Rinehart

2016 Jason Nesbitt

2017 Cindi Danke

2018  Rose Rude

2019 Jamie Benson

James Foster Memorial Lion of the Year

The Lion of the Year award was first given in 1980 and then annually from 1985 on to recognize the outstanding service of an individual Lion during a given service year.

Lion of the year Recipients  include:

1977/1978 Larry Testa

1978/1988 Roger Horness

1979/1980 George Kind

1980/1981 Gregg White


1982/1983 Clete Henricksen


1984/85 Byron Dopkins, Jr.

1985/86 Galen Berry


1987/88 Herb Hoefer

1988/89 Bill Sperling

1989/90 Jerry Morrow

1990/91 Bill Donais

1991/92 Larry Testa

1992/93 Jim Dollahon

1993/94 Tom Carroll

1994/95 Bob Casey

1995/96 Jim Wookey

1996/97 Nate Jackson

1997/98 Fletcher Baker

1998/99 Dr. Bob Johnson

1999/00 Rod Rommel/Fletcher Baker

2000/01 Mark Sams

2001/02 Bill Sazama

2002/03 Mike Stifter

2003/04 Mary Beth Williams

2004/05 Peter Stern

2005/06 Dr. Bob Johnson

2006/07 Todd Frisch

2007/08 Don Schwab

2008/09 Al Stewart

2009/10 Rose Rude

2010/11 Warren Kozitza

2011/12  Vince Seidling

2012/13 Dan Murray

2013/14  Elaine Baker

2014/15  Judy Rommel

2015/16 Todd Frisch  and John Lisowski

2016-17  Mike Miller

2017-18  Michael Page

2018-2019 Todd Schultz

Knight of Sight Award

The Knight of Sight Fellowship award can be achieved through an individual or Lions Club cash donation of $1,000 or more. Your name will be prominently and permanently displayed on the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin Knight of Sight Wall of Honor, and will also be recognized in the next LEBW Annual Report.

This is the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin's highest form of recognition that may be presented to an individual, by their club, zone, group or district, who exemplifies the LEBW's mission to give the Gift of Sight in Wisconsin, the United States, and internationally.

Knight of Sight Recipients include:

2008 Dick Ritzinger and Rod Rommel

2009 Dr. Bob Johnson

2010 Mel Germanson

2011 Mark Ritzinger

2012 Don McLean

2013 Mary Conroy-Johnson

2014  Dan Murray

2015 Ann Jilik

2016  Judy Rommel

2018  Elaine Baker

2019 Tom Rasmussen


Ray Hempel Fellowship - Lions Pride Pride Endowment Fund

Lion Ray Hempel was an avid camper, Boy Scout leader and a Lion, so it didn't take him long to decide what was needed and that the Lions should start a camp for blind children.  A site search led to today’s Lions Camp property, nestled in the rolling hills of Central Wisconsin near Rosholt, its purchase approved at the 1956 State Convention.

Lion Ray served as the first Lions Camp Director and eagerly took on its development. In 1959, at the Camp Gateway Dedication, Lion Ray was recognized as the originator of the Wisconsin Lions Camp by Lions International President, Clarence L. Sturm. Lions Camp has since touched the lives of tens of thousands of children and adults with special needs.

An Awardee will receive a Ray Hempel Fellow lapel pin, a personalized recognition plaque and their name added to the permanent Ray Hempel Fellowship Recognition Display in the Lions Pride Office.

Ray Hempel Fellowship Recipients include:

2013  Larry Testa

2014  Mel Germanson

2015 Rod Rommel

2016 Al Steward

2017  Mark Sams

2018  Don Schwab

2019 Melissa Murphy

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