Elmira’s Freda Walker of Woolwich Community Lions has been honoured for her dedication to the organization with an International President’s Leadership Award, presented to her at the annual District A15 Lions convention.
“I am very appreciative to receive the International president’s award … it was quite a surprise,” said Walker. “[It’s in] last fall’s Lions magazine, another great honour, a full-colour page.”
Walker, along with Lion Karen MacDonald, served on this year’s International convention host committee as welcome ambassadors, greeting thousands of Lions around the world. Both were asked to oversee a service project, “Clean the World.”
The award is usually given personally by an international director after the district governor has nominated the recipient. As the fourth highest Lions Club International award, it celebrates the distinguished achievements to those who fulfill the club’s service mission.
District governor Kevin Bansfield said there was a particular moment that made Walker stand out as a recipient.
“I have to write an application of someone deserving. It’s someone you recognize for doing something great within the organization,” said Bansfield.
“The reason she got the leadership award is because when we were in Las Vegas for our international convention last year, a project was coming off the rails. Freda and a couple of others stepped up and helped international organizations, convention committee to plan their service activity in Vegas, which was building some gardens in not the greatest neighbourhood in Las Vegas. So that was pretty cool, in my mind. “
People internationally were so impressed with her that Walker had been invited to Milan for the international convention this year, an invitation she accepted. Bansfield said it was her ability to complete projects – local and international – exceptionally well was another factor in her receiving the award.
“So it seemed like a natural fit for me that we need to recognize this as an organization, but even as a district,” he said. “That we do have leaders that aren’t just here in our own backyard but are leaders abroad.”
*This story has been updated to reflect that Walker will be paying for the trip to Milan rather than having expenses covered.