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Killingworth Lions Inducts First Women Members
The Killingworth Lions Club has sworn in its first women members - an historic first. The newest Lions - Nancy Keyes, Laurie Kumnick, Ann Pellegrini, Carol Reimers and Peg Scofield - took an oath that included Helen Keller's challenge to become "Knights of the Blind."

In 1987, the constitution of Lions Clubs International was amended to allow for women to become members. Lions Club membership is by "invitation only" as mandated by its constitution and by-laws. All member applicants need a sponsor who is an active member and of good standing in the club.

The Killingworth Lions' induction ceremony, held at the Killingworth Congregational Church, was executed by past Presidents Charlie Martens, Nathaniel Titcomb, Tim Foreman and Hilary Kumnick. Visitors included Lions District Governor Nanette Burdick, past District Governor (PDG) Denise Dudek, as well as International Director Carolyn Messier and PDG Norm Messier.

The 1.36 million member organization is expanding as it nears its 100th year celebration in July 2017. Region Chair Hilary Kumnick shared that, "It was a moving experience for me to be a part of this induction. We continue to Strengthen the Pride. These new Lions will help us better serve our community, our youth, our environment, vision-related causes and to contribute more to Lions Clubs International's critically important worldwide Humanitarian efforts."

Chartered in 1970, the Lions have served the town of Killingworth well by raising over $600,000 for humanitarian causes. Serving the community is what the Killingworth Lions do best: an annual dinner celebrating senior citizens; corn dogs and pizza at the Durham Fair; an Easter egg hunt; $2,500 Service Awards to graduating high school students; helping establish Youth and Family Services and the Killingworth Foundation; PediaVision screenings for all incoming RSD17 students; completing the new playground at Killingworth Elementary School; creating the Kids Night Out dance for HK Middle School students; Parmelee Farm benefit concerts highlighting nationally known folk singers; and members rebuilding the Parmelee pole barn into a Lions Pavilion for community use. Club President Joe Ferjak stated, "It is an honor and a privilege for me to lead this terrific group of men and women, especially during one of the most historic moments in our 44 years. Our Club's Board of Directors and members have been looking forward to this night. Membership Chair and Charter Member Charlie Smith and Director Greg Wind were successful in making this induction celebration a seamless, entertaining and memorable evening."

The Club's future is enhanced with the addition of five bright, motivated and energetic women. As pointed out to the club by ID Carolyn Messier, "The hands of these five new members, all of whom happen to be women, will be working side-by-side with you; contributing to making your club, your community and our world a much better place in which to live."

Charlie Smith eloquently summed it up adding that, "We are fortunate to focus on the side of our pin signifying the Lion looking not backward…but forward."
Photo by Dean Rupp. Lions Clubs International Director Carolyn Messier, Ann Pellegrini, Nancy Keyes, Peg Scofield , Carol Reimers and Laurie Kumnick, and District Governor Nanette Burdick.