A Melvin Jones Fellowship is the highest award in the Lions Club organization. This award recognizes a commitment to humanitarian services. The award is given to any individual Lion who contributes $1,000 to Lions Club. Many times, an individual does not make a contribution, but a club makes a donation in an individualâs name.
The Paynesville Lions Club has a committee that decides who is deserving of a Melvin Jones Fellowship. Generally, the recipients are people who have donated lots of time and have been actively involved with the club.
Schuelke has been a Lion for 28 years. Dosdall has been a Lion for 41 years. Benson has been a club member for 33 years.
Benson transferred from Lake Bronson's Lions Club when he moved to Paynesville and bought a business.
All three fellowship recipients have perfect attendance records. They have been involved in nearly every Lions event, from community service to fund raising, since they joined the Lions.
"I don't think there's any activity that the club has participated in that I haven't participated in," Dosdall said.
The humanitarian service is what has kept all three men with the organization for so long.
"You don't get into Lions Club for personal benefits," Dosdall said. "Personal benefits come from the satisfaction of doing humanitarian things."
Benson said he also "feels good" working with an organization that provides services to the community and the world.
Schuelke likes the "camaraderie" between the Lions at meetings. He also likes the fact that Lions are the world's largest service organization. Although the Lions' largest programs, many of which help with diabetes, hearing loss and blindness research, aren't local, but "local people benefit" from these programs, Schuelke said.
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