Recent activities at the Buckhannon Lions Club included speakers and new officers.
The officers for the 2012-2013 year were inducted by past president Charlie Watts. They are Dave Lilly, president; Sarah Downes, first vice president; John Phillips, second vice president; Mike Alborano, third vice president; Ben Crutchfield, secretary; Bill O'Brien, treasurer; Charles Green, tail twister; Tyler Williams, lion tamer; Frank Ellis, membership chair; and Sam Biller, Matt Hymes and Gary Frush, on the board of directors.
Recent speakers included Alison Rickman, Girls State attendee, and Matthew Belamy, Boys State attendee, who both were sponsored by the Buckhannon Lions Club. They spoke about their experiences at Boys State and Girls State.
Incoming officers of the Buckhannon Lions Club are from left, first row, Tom Hackett, Gary Frush, Ben Crutchfield, Dave Lilly, Sarah Downes, Bill O’Brien, Tyler Williams and Charlie Green; second row, Charlie Watts. Not pictured are John Phillips, Mike Alborano, Frank Ellis and Matt Hymes.
Past President Charlie Watts presents the gavel to the newly elected president, Dave Lilly.
Rickman said the Rhododendron Girls State was started in 1941 under the sponsorship and direction of the American Legion Auxiliary. She said attendees were divided into two parties, the nationalists and federalists, which represented the Republican and Democrat parties.
Also, she mentioned that she learned about city, county and state government and had guest speakers including Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Sen. Jack Yost, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Belamy also mentioned the government role playing that attendees take part in, as well as visits from the governor, senators and representatives.
Dr. Vadrevu Raju of the Morgantown Eye Clinic also was a recent speaker.
Raju studied in India, England and the United States and has performed surgeries around the world. He has been teaching at West Virginia State University since 1975 and is researching prevention of blindness in children.
He is active in many professional associations besides being a member of the Lions Club. He spoke on the importance of controlling diabetes, a leading cause of vision impairment and loss. He said diabetes is rising and there were 171 million cases in 2000 countries. This is the leading cause of new blindness in those under 65. Raju urged Lions in Upshur County to stay involved in every aspect of sight conservation.
Buckhannon Lions Club meetings are conducted at 6 p.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month, except July, at the American Legion Hall.
Anyone who would like to become a member of a service club that helps the community, call Maureen Hull at 304-472-3434 or any Buckhannon Lion member.