Melvin Jones Award Recipients:
1992 John Hayden
1993 Jay Dickenson
1994 David Frost
1995 Roger Harrison
2004 Robert Atwater
2009 Jim Bittner
2011 Art Harris
2016 Matt Costello
Robert Uplinger Awards
2002 John Hayden
2003 Darlene Lutz
2005 Art Harris
2007 Julie Obermiller
2008 Barker Fire Department
2008 Mike Feltz
2009 Matthew Costello
2009 Richard Corwin
2012 Chris Czelusta
2013 Lauren and Alice Whiting
Lion Matt Costello Receives the Melvin Jones award
As a young businessman, Melvin Jones joined the Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. Because of their limited appeal, they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones, then a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, had other plans.
"What if these men," Melvin Jones asked, "who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?" Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men's clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born. Melvin Jones’ personal code was "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else."
On June 18, 2016, the Barker Lions presented Lion Secretary Matthew Costello with this honor. An active Lion for over 40 years, Lion Matt exemplifies the best that Lions has to offer. In presenting the award, incoming Lions President Chris Czeulsta pointed out that Lion Matt is a man who shares his time and talents with any who need his help. From Meals on Wheels to St. Patrick’s Church to the Hartland Historical Society, many benefit from his efforts. A past Union Sun and Journal Unsung Hero, Czelusta used that article to point out his activities throughout the community and with him family. A retired teacher, Czelusta asked those present who had Costello as their driver education teacher. Numerous hands went up. Pointing out that the meaning of the name Matthew is Gift of God, Czelusta pointed out that Lion Matt is a gift to our club and our community.
This ceremony took place after the installation of officers. Past District Governor Clancy Burkweit installed the following officers: President Chris Czelusta; Vice Presidents Sarah Jenks, Carl Stoloski and Tom Ware; Board of Directors Members John McDonald, Tami Carr, Tim Leising and Dick Weeks, Lion Tamer Art Haris, Tail Twister Lori Brounsheidl, Membership Committee Fred Leuer, Kent Wakefield and Scott Ecker; Secretary Matt Costello; Treasurer Jim Bittner and Past President Fran Costello.
Photo: Lions District 20 N Governor Mike, Lawkowski, Lion Roger Harrison, Barker Lion President Kevin Bittner
Barker Lions Recognize Member with the Uplinger Award
At the January 21, 2015 meeting of the Barker Lions, District Governor Mike Lawkowski present member Roger Harrison with the Robert J. Uplinger Award. Established in 1993, the award honors outstanding Lions and non-Lions or organizations who perform exemplary service to a Club, district, or community. These honorees possess the highest examples of Lionistic character, ideals, purpose, and service. The award cannot be purchased by an individual-it must be presented as a recognition of the recipient's service.
Lion Roger has been a member since 1958 and has served in a number of leadership positions, including President. Currently a Board Member, Lion Roger chairs the annual Cheese and Sausage Sale. Many in the community remember him as an Agriculture Teacher and Football coach at Barker Central School. “He is probably one of the most dedicated members we have,” said Lion Club president Kevin Bitttner. “Lion Roger is well respected among his peers, is enthusiastic and has a positive, can-do attitude that is infectious.”
Roger Harrison receiving his 55 year pin.
On Monday, February 19, 2013 at Whiting Door, Akron, NY members of the Barker Lions
Club 20-N surprised Lion Lauren Whiting with a presentation of the Robert J. Uplinger
Distinguished Service Award honoring both him and his deceased wife, Alice, for their long
time community support and involvement, especially for their
commitment to the local food bank.
Lion Lauren was also recognized for his community service as a Lion as well as his long
standing involvement in the Barker Lions Club. Lion Lauren was
presented with a pin for dedicating 15 years of service to the club.
Photo: Pictured left to right Back row: Lion Mike Feltz, Lion Art Harris,
Lion Frank Eldridge, Lion Rich Burley, Lion Chris Czelusta
Front row: Lion Lauren Whiting
Lion Chris Czelusta received the Robert Uplinger Award at our installation dinner on August 18, 2012. Congratulations to Lion Chris!
Congratulations to Lion Art Harris on receiving the Melvin Jones Award at the installation dinner on August 20, 2011. Lion Art is very deserving of this great award.
At their July 2009 meeting, the Barker Lions Club held its Annual Installation & Awards Dinner. Secretary Matt Costello and Past President Dick Corwin were honored at the dinner by Lions Club International with its coveted Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award. The award honors outstanding Lions, non-Lions and organizations that perform exemplary service to the Club, District or Community. These honorees possess the highest examples of Lionistic character, ideals, purpose and service. The only other Uplinger awards we given to John Hayden (2002), Darlene Lutz (2003), Art Harris (2005), Barker Fire Department (2007), Mike Feltz (2008).
Lion Secretary Matt, Lion President Rich,
District Governor Lion Jim
Both Matt Costello and Dick Corwin are long-time, active Lions Club members and have participated in numerous service projects:
Lion Matt is a 4-H Leader, active in Barker’s St. Patrick's Church, and is a retired Driver-Ed teacher (taught many, many Barker Residents safe driving techniques). Matt is head of the community’s Holy Name Society, in addition to his active participation at all levels of Lions club activities, from serving Home Coming Hot Dogs, he’s a convention Band Member,
he makes sure the secretary’s reports are done in an efficient and timely fashion, and he is active on the BCS Alumni committee.
Lion Dick has for the past 25 years served on and chaired the Town Sunshine Committee. In fact, he is the ex-officio Barker Sunshine Committee bringing meals, flowers and needed assistance for those who are ill or infirm. He is a local hearing aid and glasses advocate, arranging for hearing tests and payments to equip those in need. Lion Dick also provides Meals on Wheels delivery and is active in Barker’s Faith United Methodist Church. Through the decades, Dick Corwin, by his actions, has improved the quality of life for a great many town residents.
Lion Robert J. Uplinger was a Past International President and a member of the Syracuse Host Lions Club. He served as the 55th International President in 1971-72. Lion Bob was an energetic and devoted Lion who devoted himself to promoting and advancing Lionism in Multiple District 20 and the world. He served our Association with outstanding distinction and was the first recipient of the award given in his name. He served for many years as the Co-Chair of Lions Day at the United Nations. For his dedicated service he received numerous honors and awards.
The Lions Club of Barker has bestowed its highest honor on Jim Bittner by awarding him the Lions Club International Foundation's Melvin Jones Award. Because of the high cost of this recognition, clubs are extremely selective and do not give the awards out on a regular basis. Barker Lions has only given the award five other times: To John Hayden in 1992, Jay Dickinson in 1993, David Frost in 1994, Roger Harrison in 1995 and Robert Atwater in 2004.
In Bittner's more than 20 years in the Lions Club, he has served in practically every office. Over the years he has organized and managed the pancake breakfasts and chicken barbecues the club runs to raise money for its local community charities and to help out the Barker Central School student organizations, including Spanish Club trips to Puerto Rico, Music Club Boosters and the Barker Boy Scouts for scholarships. In addition, he supports the Barker Food Pantry with its Holiday Food Baskets and organizes and delivers the baskets at Thanksgiving time. In addition, funds the Lions Club raises go to provide glasses and hearing aids for those in need. He was also the district environmental chairman for a year for the district.
Bittner is also the president of the Niagara County Farm Bureau. As part of New York Farm Bureau, this group keeps current on the myriad of agricultural issues. They work with other organizations and political leaders to preserve agriculture in our state. As an active member of the Cornell School of Agriculture
and Life Sciences Alumni Association, Bittner works with students wishing to further their education at Cornell and by aiding working farmers with the research support they need to improve their agricultural practices.
Melvin Jones was the founder of Lions Club International, an organization that stands for Liberty, Integrity and Our Nation's Service. Jones' personal code was "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.” He formed the Lions Club in 1917 when he was 38 years old, after joining a business luncheon group. The purpose of the group was to promote the financial interests of its members. It did not take Jones long to ask the question: What if these people, who are successful because of their drive, intelligence, and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?"