The Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards

The fellowship, created in 1973, is named in honor of the founder of Lions Cubs International, Melvin Jones, and  is LCIF’s (Lions Club International Foundation) highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service.

The Merced Breakfast Lions Club is honored to present the following individuals as recipients of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award:

2013-2014 Lou Mondo- Progressive

Good evening. It gives me great pleasure tonight to announce this year’s Melvin Jones Fellowship recipient. The fellowship is granted by the Lions Club International Foundation to individuals or clubs who contribute a minimum donation of $1000 in recognition of someone who has demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service.

Inclusion in the fellowship is one of the highest honors a Lion can achieve as the contributions made to this program provide 75% of the revenue the Foundation raises to support it humanitarian efforts around the world. Tonight’s recipient joins the ranks as a progressive participant having previously received this distinction.

Before I announce this year’s honoree I’d like to share some little known facts about his early years. Let me tell you. Researching his past was not easy. In fact, I had to use the freedom of information act to find anything at all. Although the information is deemed to be reliable, most of the text in the documents was blacked out. Here’s what I did manage to piece together. Born before the advent of modern medicine, our honoree got off to a terrible start. To the horror of everyone attending his delivery, the wet nurse dropped him right on the back of his head. Fortunately, the only long term physical effect was a permanent cowlick. For decades since then, it has been mistaken by many for that “just got out of bed look”.

Really, this is what the record says…I’m not making this stuff up.

He had an unremarkable childhood. His favorite subject in school was recess, in which he excelled. Most of his teachers remarked he was well liked by everyone and had a great attitude. But anything to do with verbal communication or technology was a real challenge for him. For reasons unexplained, the nuns at OLM School routinely had him standing in the corner with a bar of soap in his mouth. His math teachers tried in vain for years to teach him how to use various computing devices. In first grade they gave him a pencil and scratch pad. That didn’t work. In third grade they tried an abacus. Again, no luck. In sixth grade they tried a slide rule. That was a disaster. In junior high his teacher finally gave up and encouraged him to just use his fingers and his toes.

Again, this is what the record says…I’m not making this stuff up.

Perhaps the strangest item in the archived documents was a copy of the inaugural issue of Mad Magazine. One can only assume that throughout his adolescence our honoree used this to perfect his signature look “What, me worry?”

The records do show that later in life he had plenty to worry about. As an Army Medic stationed in Hawaii he was court martialed for passing military secrets to the North Koreans via teletype. After a sensational trial, he was eventually found innocent. His attorney was able to prove that he didn’t even know what a teletype machine looked like, let alone know how to operate one.

Again, this is what the record says…I’m not making this stuff up.

After his military service, the information contained in his file became more plentiful and far less redacted. The record shows that our honoree attended MJC and Fresno State. That he went on to marry a local girl, had two children, and that he worked for Crocker Bank for many years as an Operations Manager in Visalia and Merced.

What the record doesn’t show is what each of us knows about this year’s Melvin Jones Fellow.
  • We know of his love for his family, for his wife and children, and now especially for his grandchildren.
  • We know of his unwavering willingness to help anyone when asked…he has a hard time saying no.
  • We know of his loyalty to our country for he has served and defended.
  • We know of his service to our community, to the young, to the old, and to the less fortunate.
  • We know that he has served our club well having moved up through all of the offices and served on many boards.
  • We know he loves to cook a good meal just to see the joy it brings to others.
  • We know he can take a good ribbing all the while keeping a smile.

  • I hope this hasn’t sounded like an obituary. But, when all is said and done, for those of us who have had the privilege of working with him as a fellow Merced Breakfast Lion, the truth is that we’ve all been far more fortunate in just having him as a good friend.

    Please help me present this year’s Melvin Jones Progressive Fellow, with a rip roaring, Lou, Lou, Lou, LOU, to Louie Mondo!

    2012-2013 Gary Eno - TBD

    2011-2012 Bill Hawkins- Progressive

    What is the Melvin Jones Fellowship? That question is best answered in terms of individuals whose lives have been enriched by humanitarian projects. Projects made possible by donations to Lions Clubs International Foundation for the Melvin Jones Fellowship Program. The fellowship, which was created in 1973, takes its name from the founder of Lions Clubs International, Melvin Jones. It is an honor, not an award. The fellowship was established as LCIF’s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service. Fellowship donations of $1,000 are largely responsible for successfully launching the Lions aggressive global attack on preventable and curable blindness—the LCIF Sight First program and most recently disaster relief programs. LCIF has awarded $100,000 Major Catastrophe grant for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. These grants help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. This is the 25th consecutive year that we have honored an outstanding Merced Breakfast Lion with a Melvin Jones Fellowship. This year’s recipient has been a member of the club board of directors on numerous occasions. He has been a Merced Breakfast Lion for 33 years, has 33 years of perfect attendance, and was honored as a previous Melvin Jones Fellow. When we read about a Lions activity in our bulletin, it is a rare occasion when this Lion’s name is not on the list of participants. This Lion is no stranger to helping with disasters as he also volunteers with the Red Cross. It is a great honor to present this progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship to Lion Bill Hawkins. 11/13/2012

    2010-2011 Bob Faretta - Progressive

    2009-2010 - Marcus Minor (non-lion)

    2009-2010 Dave Silveira

    2008-2009 - Ken Harrison

    2007-2008 - Mark Seivert


         Ray Wenham


        Marco Rudolf


        Walt Dancy



    2004 - Jack Rowe Progressive 1999 - Bill Hawkins 1994 - Rose Ann Bresslor / Jack Rowe    
    2003 - Mike Carpenter 1998 - Ralph Johnson 1993 - Al Bardini / Gene Blankenship    
    2002 - Jerry McCleanaghan 1997 - Horst Seilnacht 1992 - Jack Kimberling    
    2001 - Bob Farreta 1996 - Tom Ferrari 1991 - Lou Mondo    
    2000-  1995 - Keith R Watters 1990 - Vince Peraino / Bob Ransom  
        1989 - Pat Quigley

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