Lions Club of Berkeley Annapurna was founded in April 29th, 2006 with a core mission to serve people within Nepalese community and reach beyond. We believe that whenever a LionsClub gets together, problems get smaller because we work with the grassroots; reaching people where they are at.
The club was initiated by Lion Gyanu Panta, Lion Rajen Thapa and Lion Mani Nepali, Then Lion Suman Dahal, Lion Jagannath Goutam, Lion Khagendra Dhungel, Lion Laxmi Chaudhari, Lion Dhruva Thapa, Lion Ram Chandra Dhakal actively came forward to make it happen . The first initial meeting of the proposed Lions Club of the Himalayas was conducted in the Taste of The Himalayas, Berkeley on February 8, 2006, chaired by the Guiding Lion of Richmond Pinole Club Lion Gyan Panta. The other members present were Lion Rajen Thapa and Lion Mani Nepali Paneru.
Just after three days of the first initial meeting , a fruitful mass meeting of the prospective Lions was held on Saturday, February 11, 2006. The meeting was honored by the presence of Lion Linda Griffin PDG. Amidst a remarkable and an exciting gathering of thirty Nepalese individuals, on the meeting all the participants vowed to serve as dedicated Lions.
The meeting was initiated by invocation by lion Linda Griffin (PDG), followed by a pledge in Nepali language. Starting with Ms. Linda Griffin, all the participants were introduced themselves. Mr. Jagannath Gautam read the objective of the Lions Club. Lion Gyan Panta highlighted on the history of Lions Club sharing his exciting personal and organizational experience on his long journey of Lionism. PDG Griffin praising the enthusiastic participation of the Nepalese in the Bay Areas explained ten reasons why we should be lions. Mr. Rajen Thapa further highlighted on the urgency of founding and running of an independent Lions Club of the Nepalese community. PDG Ms. Linda Griffin closed the social meeting with closing remarks. Mr. Mani Nepali Paneru, Secretary of the proposed Lions Club, minuted the meeting.
The orientation was held on February 29, 2006. It was decided that the Charter Night will take place on in a grand manner on April 29, 2006.
A great pride was taken by all the charter team being a part of this historical lions club of the Nepalese community. As far as we know, Lions Club of Berkeley Annapurna is the first such club in the state of California and the second in the USA.
The Charter Night
The Charter Night witnessed an enthusiastic and historic participation. The Charter Secretary reported “ This function has not only given us entertainment and encouragement, but also has promoted prestige and credibility to the Nepalese community which is bound exert a positive affect for our future endeavors for generations, provided we continue to work with our heart and soul., nearly two hundred adults participated the function and it was enjoyed and appreciated by each and every one. The program booklet designed by our rising graphic artist Pratik Thapa, was greatly appreciated. We are deeply indebted with his valuable contribution. Mr. Shrawan Nepali and his team consisting of Babita Sitaula, Raj Kumar Gurung, Priyanka Thapa, Roshani Neupane, Shrawani Neupane, Prajawal Chaudhary and Sanjaya Dhungel did a wonderful job. We thank their parents and guardians for supporting us in the preparation.
The Ballroom of world famous Double Tree Hotel was decorated with a remarkably high standard. We thank PDG Lion Linda Griffin and the Hotel Staff for their love and support. In the roaring but pleasing environment the function started with the call to order by the Master of Ceremony Denis Pederson. The district Chaplin Laurel Martin led the invocation followed by Color guard and Pledge of Allegiance By Vince Lipinski with his team the Boys Scouts of America Troop 19 Berkeley, CA.. VDG Gary Wong led the song “GOD BLESS AMERICA”. Master of Ceremony Dennis Pederson spoke on “Lions Today’s World” after the introduction of Dignitaries.
Then the exciting installation ceremony progressed with the Welcome speech of District Governor Walter Griffin. William F. Innaccone. Past International Director inducted 43 charter member. He recognized Berkeley Annapurna Lions Club to be the Largest Nepalese Lions Club in America in terms of the Charter members.
Charter President Rajen Thapa gave a powerful speech and expressing the commitment to his level best to lead the club to serve Nepalese and American community. He also presented Token of Love to the Lion Dignitaries and honored deserving Lions including the Coordinator of Charter Night Committee and Director Shrawan Nepali and Charter Secretary Mani Nepali. ( I express my hearty gratitude for this honor to the President and all the Charter members)
Presentation of Charter was done by Antony Freeman. President of Berkeley Lions Club followed b presentation of gifts by different clubs ie, Ygnacio Valley Commuters Lions Club( Bell)., Richmond Pinle Lions Club( Gavel)), Lafayette Lions Club(International Flag set)and Crockett Lions Club( Presidential Plaque) Mani Nepali introducing Nepali Culture expressed utmost happiness and pride to be a lion. Pooja Sharma was the Master of Ceremony for the cultural show. Denis Peterson gave a closing Remarks and Shrawan Nepali the Coordinator of the Charter Night Committee gave vote of Thanks to all the institutions and individual who contributed to make the Charter Night a grand success.
Activities and achievements:
The following are some of our noteworthy activities.
In the Forth Installation ceremony and fund raiser event which was held in June 6th 2009, was grand success and was able raise US$ 760.00 in our fund raise account.
This year we donated US$ 350.00 to Pabitra Sewa Nepal (a Childcare and orphan home) in Nepal from fund raised in Deusi-bhailo program organized by us in Tihar.
The club has fund raised US$ 1083.00 and contributed to Haiti Earth Quake Relief from its members and well-wishers
The Current President (2009-2010) Ram Chandra Dhakal purposed to bring Lion Jacket in his first business meeting and brought 40 Lion logo Jackets order from Nepal.
The Current President Ram Chandra Dhakal Provide International Lions pin And Certificate to all Members on behalf of guest honor presence, Lion International’ Director Dr Bill Annakane on date of Induction Program.
A remarkable Charter Night Celebration in Double Tree Hotel, Berkeley Marina
Membership orientation and Trainings
Empowerment and education of our community through guest speakers mostly lions.
First Dance Competition in the history of Northern California succeeded by First Vice and as Acting President Lion Ram Chandra Dhakal. It was a grand success.
Fund raising event in Mt. Everest Restaurant in Berkeley.
Collected initial data of Nepalese families in the Bay Area
Started its own website
Third installation ceremony and Fund raiser event was a grand success and was able to raise 1200.00
Tihar Nite Nepali cultural event was a great success which was able to win a massive public support.
Donated to cleft service institution, Oakland Blind Center and flood victims of Nepal.
Established partnership relation with Gorkha Lions Club of Nepal having 25 years of Service history. Now, supporting its partner club, Gorkha Lions Club to establish an Eye hospital with operation facility has been our prime concern and objective.