Ghazel and White recognized with Orcas Lions’ highest honor

The Orcas Island Lions Club met for their annual Holiday Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Deer Harbor Inn and honored members who contributed significantly to the community during the past year.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Community and Fellowship awards.

Recognizing the massive amounts of work that went into the effort to provide COVID vaccinations to the community, the Orcas Island Lions Club recognized Rick Hughes, Glenn Rook, Patty Miller, and Jeannie Spears for their work in coordinating vaccine clinics and making the calls necessary to reach the largest number of islanders. Hughes and Rook were present to accept the award. Hughes called the group a great team and complimented the organization’s determination in making sure the vaccines made it to the community.

“It’s because the Lions got behind the program, and pushed me to get behind it, that we were able to deliver 3,000 shots to the Orcas community,” he said.

Both Chris White and Tony Ghazel were surprised when recognized as this year’s recipients of the Melvin Jones Award. Named for the Lions’ founder and the service organization’s highest form of recognition, the award recognizes those who embody the “humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.”

Both men appeared deeply touched by the recognition. Ghazel compared winning the award to “winning a Nobel Peace prize,” and White reflected on how the Lions Club benefits the community.

The Orcas Island Lions Club was founded in 1972 and sports a current membership of over 40 men and women. For more information about the organization and the programs it sponsors, call 888-698-6607 or email