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Vergennes Lions Celebrate And Strengthen Pride
photo by Photos ProvidedJanuary 7th to their dinner meeting. Delivering a speech on the Lions Club International Speak Out Contest theme of Strengthen Your Pride, the junior and senior competitors spoke for 5-7 minute on their views on civic pride and world community action. Always together in their work, the Lions Club members welcomed the students and spent a great deal of time talking with each of them. Winning the contest and representing Vergennes Lions at the state competition in March is junior Emily Martin
Tuesday January 13, 2015
By Cookie Steponaitis
There are groups of people who just know how to get things accomplished and when sitting as a guest at a Lions Club dinner it is easy to witness the underlying structure and order that on the surface appears like a casual gathering of old friends. People congregate, joke and talk while waiting for the food and meeting to get started, but once in motion the focus is on the agenda, business is quick, efficient and precise, moving on through several projects, topics and upcoming ventures with an effectiveness that is notable. The January 7th message of the Lions Club International President challenged each Lions Club to, “strengthen their pride.” Juniors and seniors from Vergennes Union High School competing in the 2015 Lions Club Speak Out Contest presented five-seven minute speeches to the assembled group. The Lions Club Speak Out Contest is held annually and connects to the theme of the message of the International president’s message. Students in grades 11-12 are welcomed to write and deliver a message linking community service, the international theme and their own experiences in a timed oration.
VUHS students who competed are Hannah Hatch, Marinna Wojciechowski, Julie Grace, Emily Martin and Julia Johnson. During their presentations each praised the Lions Club and spoke about the different leadership skills they witnessed working with the group in the community. “I take pride in seeing change happen and being a part of the group that not only makes it happen but encourages it,” shared Marinna Wojciechowski. Each of the contestants had their own spin on the contest theme, but praised not only the Lions but Addison County for raising them to see that change will not happen unless people orchestrate it. While the teens together have numerous hours of community service they were appreciative of the years of service and incredible amount of time spent by the Lions in their community projects and those designed to have a more global impact.
When the evening wound down temperatures outside had already dropped to zero but the atmosphere and message of the evening was a warm one of celebrating strengthening not only the pride and resolve of the Vergennes Lions Club but also setting goals for making a difference and moving forward. The winner of the contest was Emily Martin who will advance to the state level of competition in March in Middlebury, Vermont. All present had plenty to celebrate in the words spoken and actions of those present. The Lions is the world’s largest community service organization and their impact is felt locally, nationally and globally.
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