4ACONIA — Lions Clubs International is renowned as the largest service organization in the world. The highest honor any individual club can bestow is the Melvin Jones Award, named for the founder and original guiding force of the organization. The award is given "for dedicated humanitarian services" achieved through the club.
Over the past two years, the Laconia Gilford chapter of the Lions presented the Melvin Jones award to three deserving individuals. In 2012, Marylin Brown was the recipient. Brown has been tireless in her efforts in support of the Lions mints program, and also the food service program held at the Loudon race track. In addition she has served as head of the committee organizing the electronic recycling event since its inception in 2011. Brown became a Lion in 2006, but has been an unofficial supporter of the club for over thirty years. The tradition of Lionism in her family includes her husband Allan, a Lion primarily in Connecticut from 1967 until 2004. And that tradition extends back to her father Ted Corbett, a Lion for 60 plus years in several states and overseas.
In 2013, Barbara Young was the recipient. Barbara was a Lioness before achieving Lion status in 1992. She has been more than diligent and dedicated in her work on behalf of the Loudon race track program, traveling to and from the race track twice per year from Exeter, New Hampshire, to prepare and monitor the lunch division of the Laconia-Gilford Lion's Club food concession stand. Young became the Chair and Director of the lunch committee in 2013.
The Melvin Jones Award, the organization's highest state recognition award, may be given to anyone, whether they are an actual Lion or not. In 2013, the award was also given to Brenda Ferland, owner of Café Dejavu in Laconia, in recognition of her continuous and exemplary assistance in facilitating operations and resolving questions with the Loudon race track food service program.