North-east pair in US trip to mark 100 years of Lions groups

Two members of a North-east group will be travelling to Chicago to mark the 100th anniversary of the Lions Club International.

Daniel Veltman and Michael Hopkins, of the Stonehaven and District Lions, will be heading to the Windy City to attend the Centennial Celebration International Convention.

Founded on June 7, 1917, by Melvin Jones, the Lions Club International has gone on to become the world’s largest service club organisation.

During the six-day convention the duo will take part in a series of activities which will include a parade through the city.

Michael, who has been a member of the club for 10 years, said: “We will be there taking part in a number of events that will include helping the homeless and joining the parade with 30,000 other Lions in the city.

“It is going to be something quite memorable and great fun.”

Michael, 34, added: “We will aim to spread the Scottish pride, try to make new friends and we will learn about other clubs’ methods/ideas and make personal connections with international leaders and representatives from headquarters.”

Part of the event will also include attending a dinner to remember the founder Melvin Jones and represent all the North-east Scotland clubs.

Michael, whose dad Bill is a founding member of the Stonehaven club, added: “We will also represent every member of the public who has attended our events to show how proud we are to give back to the community of Stonehaven, which we love living in.”

When they return from the trip, Daniel, 29, will step into the role of secretary of the club and Michael will follow in his father’s footsteps and become president.

In the North-east there are clubs in Aberdeen, Banchory and Inverurie, supporting events within their communities and helping to raise funds for local causes.