Tate County is home to many selfless citizens, who give of themselves to help others and some of them were honored by their fellow club members last week.
Les Perry, District Governor for District 30 State of Mississippi, from Tupelo, was a guest speaker at a meeting honoring Senatobia Lions and Lioness Jack and Joyce McMillen, Harleigh Baxter and Leon Young.
Perry said it was "a privilege to be here to help honor these fine people."
"Nothing is better than serving others less fortunate than us," Perry told the meeting. "This is fun, not work. These four have shown that through their years of hard work and dedication."
"Who we are in life is our choice," Perry continued. "Who we turn out to be is up to us. Every value that Lions stands for exists in each of our lives. God has placed these values in us and the Lions Club helps to bring them out."
Harleigh Baxter was honored by Marvin Carraway, past District Governor from Clarksdale.
Carraway stated that Lions membership numbers were down, but the clubs continue to bring in the same amount of money. He attributed this in part because of people like Baxter who has devoted 50 years to serving others through Lions.
According to Carraway, every dollar that is given through Lions to the Mid South Sight Service brings back $7.
Carraway said that Baxter had been an instrumental figure in the Senatobia Lions Club, the District, State of Mississippi, and International. He served as District Governor in 1987-1988.
"He is very deserving of this honor," Carraway said. "He has logged many miles, sold unnumbered cases of pecans, and flipped many a pancake in his service to Lions."
Baxter also served his country in the Air Force and Navy.
Baxter's granddaughter, Alexis read a letter from her brother, Joshua, who could not be there, honoring his grandfather.
Jack and Joyce McMillen
Jack and Joyce McMillen were honored by their grandson, Ryan Marshall.
Marshall said that what children need most is grandparents.
"Grandparents give love, support, time, patience and cookies," Marshall said. "They teach us values. The very values that my grandparents use each day in helping others. Through everything my grandparents do, they help someone. The most important thing I have learned from my grandparents is to help others."
"Everything I do in life will be done through things I have learned or been taught from them," he added.
Jack McMillen joined the Senatobia Lions Club in 1958 and has served faithfully since. Joyce McMillen has been a Lioness for 20 years, only because previous to then the Lions didn't allow women to join the club. Prior to those years, she worked faithfully beside her husband in the background.
Leon Young was honored by Jerry Arnold.
Arnold read a letter from Young's son, Daniel, who could not be there. He explained that his Dad had spent his life quietly at home, work, church and in the Lions getting the job done, whatever that job may be.
Young has been a Lion for 49 years in Senatobia and two years prior to his moving here. Like Baxter and McMillen, Young has sold many pecans, flipped many a pancake, and given his all to whatever project the Senatobia Lions Club was working on.
Arnold said he appreciated the opportunity to know and to serve with Lion Young.
When asked why they got involved with the Senatobia Lions, the answer was unanimous from all: to serve their community by helping others.
Their favorite project, hands down, is the pancake breakfast. They all said that not only is it providing a service to the community, but also provides a chance to meet and really know others in the community.
When asked what they foresaw in the future for Lions, all said it was to continue to serve their community in whatever needs arrived.
Young stated that membership may be down, but as long as the money is there, the Lions will continue to be here to serve. The community, in their view, needs the Lions Club. All emphasized that Lion service is service to God.
Mayor Alan Callicott said that he had known these people most of his life. After hearing the stories and honors placed on them, he would not look at them the same.
"Communities are better because of people like you," Callicott said. "What you do in service makes our community a better place."
In closing Lion President, Jim Burton said that it was an honor to serve with these Lions.