The February meeting of the Oconto Falls Lions Club was quite out of the ordinary for two reasons. First, because District Governor Peter Andre and his wife Gayle brought greetings. Second, not only did DG Andre bring his wife, he also brought along a Birch Sturm Fellowship plaque, which was part of a surprise presentation to Lion Jim Patenaude.
In 1990, the Birch-Sturm Fellowship was created by the Wisconsin Lions Foundation to honor those individuals who exemplify undying dedication and commitment to the Lions organization. The Fellowship is named after Wisconsin’s only International Presidents, Frank V. Birch and Clarence L. Sturm who were great supporters of the Wisconsin Lions Foundation.
Lion Jim joined the Oconto Falls Lions in November, 1995 and was sponsored was Richard Delvaux. Jim worked his way through the officer ranks and served as Club President in 2001-2002. He served as the club treasurer for 11 years and recently stepped down in 2013.
The annual rose sale was an idea he initiated and continues to chair. He also was the spark behind bringing Frank’s Christmas Show to the Falls Area Performing Arts Center.
Jim was the driving force with the Lions resurrecting of the operation at the tubing hill at River Island. Jim did a lot of research on this, led the fund drive to get a new rope. got the place inspected and licensed for operation, organized training of supervisors, and coordinated the volunteer schedule when it started. As a result of the reopening of the hill, the club got a number of new members. Given his people skills, he has been a great organizer of social events, an important part of club membership. He is a great idea man and has got lots of projects off the ground. He has been a great asset to the club and the community and very deserving of this recognition.
District Governor Andre was proud to present the Fellowship to Lion Jim and congratulated the club on its many positive efforts in the community.
Pictured on the right is Lion Jim Patenaude and on the left is Club President Shane Senn. The two posed for pictures at the club’s recent board meeting.