One Helping of Community Service and a Side of Leadership: The LaVale Lions Club Scholarship at Frostburg State University

May 10, 2017 2:50 PM

Lions ScholarshipThe LaVale Lions Club’s chicken barbeque fundraisers are popular events in Allegany County, with people from all over flocking to Lions Field in LaVale for chicken prepared in the Lions’ secret marinade. Each year, the Lions serve about 40,000 chicken meals.

Funds raised through those barbeques directly support the Lions Club’s charitable mission in Allegany County. A new Lions initiative will also help two county residents study at Frostburg State University each year.

The new LaVale Lions Club Scholarship, established through the FSU Foundation, Inc., will provide two awards per year of $1,500 each. Allegany County residents enrolled at FSU with junior status and a 3.0-plus GPA are eligible to apply for the award. The first two scholarships will be awarded to students for the fall semester of 2017.

LaVale Lions Club First Vice President Michael Wallinger, professor emeritus of Communication Studies at FSU, said the Frostburg scholarship was a good fit for the Lions, following on the club’s existing scholarships to Allegany College of Maryland.

“It makes eminent sense to me, given our traditions of service, of service to youth and our roots in the community, to give a significant scholarship to an institution that is increasingly rooted in the community,” said Wallinger.

In keeping with the Lions Club’s mission of service, applicants must provide a written statement that demonstrates a significant role in community service and a record of leadership activity, as well as the intent to continue service and leadership as an FSU student. Through those award criteria, the scholarship supports students seeking to be engaged leaders who actively serve their communities.

“That was one of the essential requirements,” Wallinger said. “It fits perfectly with the Lions Club purpose. Our motto is, ‘We serve.’ We are a service organization – period. Every dollar we earn in fundraising goes right back into the community.”

Many Frostburg students choose to serve their community, and FSU helps them find opportunities for service and leadership. The Office Civic Engagement connects students with volunteer opportunities in nearby communities, while individual student organizations often choose local charitable groups or projects to support. Students can also join FSU’s Lions Campus Club.

Through programs like the Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, the leadership studies minor and others, FSU students have numerous opportunities to develop as leaders.

The LaVale Lions Club has served the youth, elderly and less fortunate in the LaVale area of Allegany County since it was chartered in 1955. The Lions have built parks and athletic facilities, loaned convalescent equipment, sponsored youth activities, provided vision screenings and collected eyeglasses and hearing aids to be recycled for those in need, all at no cost to the community. They partner with local elementary schools to provide clothing shopping sprees and sponsor an American Heritage Essay Contest at local schools.

To establish a new scholarship or support an existing scholarship at FSU, call the FSU Foundation, Inc., at 301-687-4068 or visit www.frostburg.edu/foundation.

To learn more about the LaVale Lions Club, visit www.lavalelions.com.
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Photo caption: Pictured from left are LaVale Lions Scholarship Committee Chair Mark Kyle, FSU President Ron Nowaczyk and LaVale Lions President John Warnick.