The Cranberry Township Area Lions Club this year presented the Melvin Jones Award, its highest club honor, to member Michael Doerfler for his leadership, service and humanitarian efforts.
Becoming a Lions club member was a natural turn of events for Doerfler because of his first-hand experience with the club’s dedication to helping the blind and the visually impaired, Lions Club said.
The Cranberry resident had vision problems that began with his premature birth in 1982, ultimately resulting in blindness. Over the years, the Cranberry Lions Club purchased assistive devices for Doerfler to use while he was a student at Seneca Valley and when he attended Point Park University.
An active club member since 2002, Doerfler was club president in 2006-07 and in 2009-10.
One of his personal service projects with the Lions is visiting Seneca Valley’s elementary schools, where he reads to the children from Braille books and explains how he manages the daily activities sighted people take for granted. Doerfler then encourages students as they role-play wearing a blindfold to perform various tasks.
The club has since made a $1,000 donation in Doerfler’s honor to the Lions’ Club International Fund.
Doerfler graduated from Point Park University with bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and communications. He recently joined the Discover Hope Here networking group and blogs on its Web site about job searches. In December, he will begin writing a column for Northern Connection magazine.