Officers for the coming year and awards for service during the past year were announced by the Freistatt Lions Club at its annual Charter Night.
Jim Tesreau, past district governor of the Lions, installed the officers and made presentations.
"Freistatt has got to be one of the best Lions clubs in the state," Tesreau said. "The clubs that raise more money work hard every week on bingo. People burn out. The Ernte Fest here is a fun event. I sense there's more camaraderie here."
Tesreau said Lions District 26, including Freistatt and Monett, is the only one in the state that has not seen a membership decline in the past year.
Occasionally the Lions are criticized, Tesreau reported, for sending money to Third World countries. Money comes back locally as well. Tesreau recalled that the Lions donated $30,000 to the Monett area after the 2007 ice storm. In response to tornadoes, the Lions sent another $30,000 on two separate years back to the area. Tesreau felt confident such generosity supported area Lions when they needed it, as well as helping those far away.
Among the awards announced was Harold Schimke as Lion of the Year and Steve Kleiboeker for Non-Lion of the Year.
Steve Schoen was recipient of the Edward Dalstrom Award, the highest honor given by the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service for support to its efforts. Maurice Schoen was tapped as a Melvin Jones Fellow, named for the founder of the Lions Club International.
Marcus Schoen was sworn in as president. He presented a plaque to Ronnie Dunn as outgoing president. Dunn received a round of applause from the club members.
Other officers included Marty Jenkins as first vice president, Merlin Bracht as second vice president, Harold Lampe as third vice president, Joe Crabtree as secretary and Dan Haines as treasurer. Maurice Schoen was named tail twister, and Roy Obermann took on the duties of lion tamer.
Loren Barnes and Wilber Claude were elected to the board of directors. Continuing on the board are Johnny Lind and Jerry Sitton. Joe Pennington and Dale Scott were elected to the land and building committee, on which Glen Obermann and Fred Schoen also serve.
Kevin Cloud was named chairman for the 2009 Ernte Fest.
Tesreau said new leaders will bring change, just as changes in technology have transformed the communications process. Not all change is bad, he said.
"Things you've tried before, it might be time to try them again," Tesreau said. "We've got to see what changes we can use to make us better Lions."