Lions Clubs International President inducts young adults in Leo Club

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(Edison, February 16, 2014) – Lions Clubs International President Lion Barry J. Palmer rejuvenated Edison Visionary Leo club on Friday by inducting 54 new members. The induction was held at TV Asia Studio in Edison. Leo club is a an activity of Lions Clubs to mentor youth and give them opportunity to serve the community.

This was Lion Barry J. Palmer’s first visit to New Jersey. Lion Palmer is the leader of world’s largest humanitarian community service organization. With his theme “Follow your dream”, he is leading this 97-year-old organization to get ready for another century of service. As a part of his agenda, he has challenged lions to recruit and mentor young adults into Leo program. Edison Visionary Lions Club accepted that challenge and recruited 54 new members. To mark this success, Lion Palmer visited Edison to congratulate Lions and motivate Leos.

Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, Edison Mayor Tom Lankey and TV Asia CEO H. R. Shah were on hand to welcome the President. Mayor Lankey stressed the importance of volunteerism and community involvement. H. R Shah, a member of Hoboken Lions club in 1974, stated the importance of Lions movement to better the communities. He expressed gratitude towards the organization to kick-start his career as a community leader. Assemblyman Chivukula got a thunderous applause when he refused to call himself a former lion. He stated “Once a lion, always a lion”. He accepted honorary membership of Lions Clubs offered by the International President. Councilman Dr. Sudhanshu Parasad also graced the occasion with his presence.

During the induction ceremony, Lion Palmer talked about his vision for the future of community service. He thanked new Leo club members for taking the first step towards serving the community. He gave several examples of Lions and Leos making a difference around the world. He stressed importance of Education and character building. Lion Palmer also explained the LEO motto – Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. All the attendees were mesmerized by his speech.

During the event, Jersey City Gurudwara was recognized for their contribution towards the disaster relief fund of Lions Club International foundation. Sarvesh Dharayan, Atma Singh, Rina Bajpai, Kajol Bishnoi and Ojas Chitnis received Melvin Jones Fellowship for their generous contributions and service. Ojas Chitnis (10) is the youngest recipient of fellowship in New Jersey. Rohan Singeetham was announced as a local winner of the Peace Poster competition for the youth.

The event was attended by several dignitaries including Past International Director Bob Moore, Past council chair Bob Virgadamo, District governor Winster Ceballos and Nancy Jakubczyk, Past District Governor John Kobland, Cabinet treasurer Anu Chitnis, District Leo Chair Fay Kobland, Chairman of Lead India 2020 Hari Eppanapally, Jugesh Soni, Virendra Tavathia and Seema Jagatiani More than 20 members of Edison Visionary Lions Club and several Leo parents actively participated in the event. Vice district governor Lion Mahesh Chitnis applauded the support of Varsha Naik of Navarang Dance academy for her extraordinary effort in recruiting several members. Leo advisors Poonam Dutta and Subarna Sahni were also recognized.

Edison Visionary Lions club is serving Edison community since 2010 through it’s various service activities like Sandy relief, socials for individuals with special needs, providing food and clothing to homeless, disaster relief for fire victims and many more. Under the leadership of Mahesh Chitnis, this club has become one of the most active community service organizations in the central jersey area.

With 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million Lions is the world's largest service club organization. Its members do whatever is needed to help their local communities Lions clubs sponsor approximately 5,800 Leo clubs in 140 countries. While helping others in their community, Leos develop leadership skills and experience teamwork in action.

For more information about the Leo and Lions Club Programs, visit Lions Web site at or contact Lion Mahesh Chitnis at

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