Awards & Fellowships

Our club awards annually awards a fellowship to a deserving Lions Club member(s), supporter, or community organization. In 2017 we began to alternate between the Birch-Sturm Fellowship, a statewide award, and the Melvin Jones Fellowship, an international award.

In 2017-18, the Janesville Lions Club founded its own annual award, the W.T. Clark Award. Named for our club’s first president, it is given to a club member in sincere appreciation of their dedicated service.

W.T. Clark Award Winners

  • 2017-2018: Eric Kuznacic
  • 2018-2019: Dave Welton
  • 2019-2020: Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • 2020-2021: ?

Birch-Sturm Fellowships

In 1990, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation recognized the need to establish a special commendation for those who demonstrated excellence in their service to others. The Birch-Sturm Fellowship was developed for this purpose.

The Fellowship is named in honor of the only two Presidents of Lions Clubs International from Wisconsin, Frank Birch and Clarence Sturm. The Birch-Sturm Fellowship is one way for clubs to honor anyone, living or deceased, who has displayed dedication and commitment to the Lions’ motto “We Serve.”

Each Birch-Sturm Fellow receives a plaque, vest patch and a Fellowship lapel pin. Also, their names are inscribed on the Birch-Sturm Fellowship Master Plaque, honoring all Birch-Sturm Fellows, located in the Foundation Office.

Janesville Lions Club Birch-Sturm Fellows

  • 2012-2013: David Wagner
  • 2013-2014: Greg Heinen
  • 2014-2015: Julie Press-Raese
  • 2015-2016: Henry Havlik
  • 2017-2018: Verne Shea
  • 2019-2020: Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • 2020-2021: David Welton

Melvin Jones Fellowships

The Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) is the backbone of the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). The fellowship is named as a tribute to the founder of the Lions Club International, Melvin Jones. Designed as LCIF’s highest honor, the fellowship symbolized those attributes and characteristics of individuals who are dedicated to humanitarian service attributes such as generosity, compassion and concern for others.

Melvin Jones Fellows receive a special lapel pin, a plaque and a congratulatory letter.

Janesville Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellows

  • 1985-1986: James W. Kestol
  • 1986-1987: George Gressman
  • 1987-1988: Marvin E. Helgesen
  • 1988-1989: William English & Clark Woodstock
  • 1989-1990: Honor Roll – Eye Bank Workers
  • 1990-1991: Leo Anderson and George Gilman
  • 1992-1992: Mae Thornton and Craig Leo Club
  • 1992-1993: Harold Figi, Wilson Montgomery and Lee Sherwood
  • 1993-1994: Paul Larson, Don Mrdjenovich and Jerry Shutt
  • 1994-1995: Mary McBride, Dick Milbrandt and Al Bates
  • 1995-1996: Al Kempfer, Bob Mills and Pat Phillips
  • 1996-1997: Paul Larson
  • 1997-1998: Bill Murphy and Dick Grant
  • 1998-1999: Richard Selje, Philip Tyrrell
  • 1999-2000: John Eyster and Steve Huth
  • 2000-2001: Jean Austin and Karen Krueger
  • 2001-2002: Coral Swanson and Dan Janis
  • 2002-2003: Nancy McKinnon and Dale Anderson
  • 2003-2004: David Wagner
  • 2004-2005: Robert Collins
  • 2005-2006: Douglas Bunton
  • 2006-2007: Gregory Heinen
  • 2007-2008: Steve Johnson
  • 2008-2009: Jon Wangerin
  • 2009-2010: Janine Peterson
  • 2010-2011: Bob Clapper
  • 2011-2012: Jane Vance
  • 2012-2013: Mike Payne
  • 2013-2014: Mark Schroeder
  • 2014-2015: Margaret Drinkwater
  • 2015-2016: Verne W. Shea
  • 2016-2017: Julie A. Press-Raese
  • 2018-2019: Blaine Vance

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