Longtime resident Steven Horvath was recently elected Lions District Governor of District 11A1, which includes all of Wayne and Monroe Counties. There are 39 Lions Clubs in the district which he will govern.
Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world, with more than 1.4 million members in 208 countries. Organized in 1917 by businessman Melvin Jones in Chicago, this small group of businessmen has grown into what it is today.
In 1920, the Detroit Lions Club invited a group of Windsor businessmen to lunch to discuss Lionism in Canada. This turned out to be the beginning of Lions Clubs International. In the near future a monument will be erected in Detroit to commemorate the beginning of Lions Clubs International.
Horvath joined the Trenton Lions Club in 1993 and has served in every office position with the exception of Treasurer.
He has been awarded the Trenton Lions Club “Lion of the Year” four times since becoming a member. He is the recipient of the Ken Lautzenheiser award along with numerous other awards. He is also Melvin Jones Fellow recipient.
Horvath and his wife, Norma, and their daughter and son moved to Trenton in 1970. He was employed by the Burroughs Corp. (later became Unisys Corp.). They currently have six grandchildren and four great-children with another great-granddaughter due in September. He and Norma are members of the First Presbyterian Church in Trenton.
On June 16, Steve and Norma flew to Busan, South Korea, to attend the 2012 Lions Club International Convention. At this convention, Horvath finished his Governor’s training and was sworn in as District Governor of District 11A1.
Every year, Lions Clubs International gather for the purpose of electing an International President as well as inducting the District Governors. The newly elected 2012-2013 International President is Wayne Madden who lives in Auburn, Ind. The theme for his reign of office is “In a World of Service.” The convention in South Korea was the largest Lions convention ever held. There were 55,272 registered attendees from various countries throughout the world.
While in Busan, Steve and Norma visited several points of interest. June 25 was the 62nd anniversary date of the start of the Korean War. Since Horvath is a Korean War veteran, he and his wife wanted to visit the United Nations Memorial Cemetery located in Busan.
Horvath said it was a very solemn experience.
“All of the flags of the 16 countries who fought in that war were proudly displayed at the cemetery,” he said. The Horvaths also saw some of the gravesites of 2,300 soldiers. Engraved on the “Wall of Remembrance” were the names of 40,896 UN troops who sacrificed their lives for world peace and freedom.
One day while Horvath was attending one of his training classes, Norma visited Shinsegae Centumcity (certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest department store).
“It not only carried everything and anything anyone would want to buy, but there was also a ‘Starium’theater; 32 eating areas; skating rink; a lovely outdoor park on the deck of the ninth floor with grass, trees, shrubs, flowers, an observation deck and a children’s play area,” he said. “A golf range was on the top floor (14th floor). It was spectacular. It was definitely a one-stop shopping department store.”
Horvath said the Lions Clubs are always in search of new members.
“Any man or woman 18 years or older who is interested in serving their community, the Lions would love to have you,” he said.
The Trenton Lions meet at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at Westfield Center, and anyone is welcome to attend to see what the organization is all about.
“In April, one of our annual fundraisers is selling white cane pins during the Lions White Cane week,” Horvath said. “During the month of December, you will see Lions standing with containers selling candy canes. In July, The Trenton Lions Club has their concession trailer at Trenton’s annual fireworks and also at Trenton’s Mid-Summer Festival.”
They also hold an annual golf outing. The donations/monies received from these projects are used for various programs around our surrounding communities, as well as purchasing glasses for the needy in the area.
“We also make donations to Penrickton Center for Blind and Multiple Handicapped Children, Michigan Eye Bank, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Trenton Food Pantry, Bear Lake Camp for Blind Children, Trenton Parks and Recreation Department, the Lions Hearing Center and other worthy groups,” Horvath said. “We also provide scholarships to Trenton Highs School graduates. The Trenton Lions Club is dedicated to the Lions motto, ‘We Serve.’ ”