As part of the day-long program, the White House will honor Gregory Jeffrey as one of 11 members who are “Champions of Change.” These individuals have devoted their time and effort to their communities across the country and had the opportunity to share their stories with administration officials and Lions club members around the globe.
The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans
doing great work in their communities. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Jeffrey, a past Indiana Lions council chairman, leads an annual medical mission to Latin America to improve the lives of thousands of residents in need. Needless to say he was both elated and humbled when hearing about the honor.
Each trip to Honduras and El Salvador requires one year of planning and a team as large as 70 volunteers and medical professionals.
The North Webster resident has been a member of the Fort Wayne Central Lions
Club since 1985 and has lead the missions since 2004, performing 2,000 vision exams and nearly 200 eye procedures.
“Volunteerism and community service make this country stronger. Lions club members across the country are leading this charge at home and around the world,” said Jon Carson, deputy assistant to the president. “From providing educational opportunities to children and youth to their initiatives providing vision care for seniors and underserved communities, the work of these Champions of Change and Lions club members knows no boundaries.”
The event was shown live at whitehouse.gov/live.
Indiana was the only state to have two Lions so honored. The second Hoosier
Lion is Douglas Rodenbeck, Fort Wayne who has been active in youth development for decades, serving as the chairperson of a Leo club initiative that built family suites at the St. Joe Regional Medical Center Burn Unit.
Leos, the youth program of Lions Clubs International, lead a fundraising drive under Rodenbeck’s guidance that raised $170,000 for a place of refuge for families going through a difficult time.