Not a large organization by service club standards, the 20-member Antioch Lions nevertheless raise a substantial sum every year to support an impressive array of local, national and international charities, many of which are traditional Lions services. Past contributions have included an Antioch High School Scholarship Program, Antioch Senior Citizens, eye exams and glasses for indigent children, the Delta Learning Center, Lions Center for the Visually Impaired, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Wilderness Camp for Deaf Children and 25 other charitable enterprises.
Lions meetings are typically dinner events that begin with the Pledge of Allegiance, a song, prayer and guest introductions. The installation dinner includes awards to
Lions members who have worked especially hard during the past year. Club President Linda Cozby was not on hand to present the awards due to pressing commitments elsewhere. Lion Chuck Begley did the honors, passing out plaques to Cara Begley and incoming president Larry Doweidt, who in turn presented Begley with the prestigious Lion of the Year award. "I'm really honored to get this award and I'll cherish it greatly," Begley said.
After awards presentations, Jim Clark took over to officially install Larry Doweidt as president, Dennis Redden as first vice president, George Boring as secretary, Chuck Begley as treasurer, and Pat Fermin, John Fredrickson, Dennis Redden and Dave Traum as directors.
Newly installed president Doweidt addressed the group, saying, "It's nice to see everyone here from Brentwood and Antioch. I think all of the (Lions) clubs on this side of the hill can do a lot more working together to spread the load (of community service)."
Doweidt is a native of Antioch, born on Fifth Street and a graduate of the Antioch High School class of 1964. Retired for three years from Henkel Aerospace, Doweidt now works part-time as a consultant. He became interested in the Lions Club as a result of his daughter babysitting for past Brentwood Lions Club president Rod Linn.
"Rod talked to me about Lions and I joined the Rye New Hampshire Lions Club when my employer transferred me there in 1994." Doweidt moved back to Antioch in 2004 and became the Antioch club's vice president. He and wife Debbie have two daughters and a grandson.
Goals for the Antioch club in the coming year are to establish an Internet Web site presence, grow the club's membership, work on more cooperation with other far East County clubs and continue fundraising activities using the club's traditional crab feed, car shows and beer booths at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds.
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