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Olympia Host Lions honors Eileen McKenzieSullivan for humanitarian work


"The most important thing in life is to be of service," Eileen McKenzieSullivan told the Olympia Host Lions Club recently as she accepted a Melvin Jones Fellowship from Lion Dudley (Jim) Pitchford.

Named for a founder of Lions Clubs International, the Melvin Jones Fellowship is the highest honor a Lions club can bestow on an individual.

"Getting this award from the Lions, who are known for their service, is just very, very gratifying," McKenzieSullivan explained.

Olympia Host Lions have recognized a number of Lions with the Melvin Jones Fellowship over the club's 89-year history. This year's award, however, marks the first time the club has chosen a non-Lion to receive the award.

According to Pitchford, the Melvin Jones Fellowship recognizes McKenzieSullivan's many years of humanitarian service to the Olympia area and beyond.

"This woman is an institution!" Pitchford noted as he presented her with the Melvin Jones plaque and accompanying lapel pin.

McKenzieSullivan worked with Senior Services for South Sound for 38 years, including 24 years as Executive Director before retiring in 2020. She was instrumental in setting up a local daycare for people with disabilities.

She has also been active with the Providence Hospital Foundation, was named a Woman of Distinction, received a Distinguished Leader award from the Thurston Chamber, and helped to found the Tenino Young at Hearts Theater.

And McKenzieSullivan isn't stopping yet. With her Commercial Driver's License in hand, she can now be found driving for the Senior Services Trips and Tours program.

Olympia Host Lions has been serving the Olympia area since 1935 with a variety of local programs like the Lions Low Vision Resource Center and support for children with diabetes. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit or call the Lions EyeLine at 360 790-8667.

Editor’s note: Eileen McKenzieSullivan was a member of the original JOLT Advisory Board for the first year of The JOLT getting going. “She was very helpful to us as we launched,” said Danny Stusser, publisher of The JOLT.


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  • Grailking

    Love Eileen! We worked together on the LMTAAA Advisory Council and on a few occasions she'd be a little late joining a Zoom meeting, but before anyone could get too upset, she'd join from the bedside, or just outside the room of a friend she was visiting in the hospital.

    She's a great gal and a good friend to myself and the community

    Monday, January 22 Report this

  • Drutty

    An amazing lady and does it all with cheerful heart! Always a pleasure to be in her company!

    Monday, January 22 Report this

  • SusanKavanaugh00

    Yea for Eileen!

    Wednesday, January 24 Report this