Club salutes lion-hearted volunteer
Jamie Hamilton was prepared, notes in hand, to speak to the Grand Junction Lions Club about the new Colorado Mesa University athletic program at the club’s annual luncheon Tuesday afternoon.
Instead, he was surprised with a standing ovation after he was named the Grand Junction Lion of the Year.
Hamilton is the chief executive officer of Home Loan, the associate athletic director of fundraising for Mesa State College and the tournament chairman of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
As is Lions Club tradition, the group roasted its award winner with a good-humored history of Hamilton’s life through pictures, which included remarks about his celebrity good looks and love for disco music.
Hamilton accepted the razzing and gave a little back.
“You are irrelevant, a bunch of misfits, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” he said.
Hamilton joined the club in 1988. Since then, he has worked diligently to support the group, which raises funds through its annual carnival to support community programs that “do the most good for the most people.”
Many club members felt Hamilton deserved the award for years.
“You should have gotten it a long time ago,” Mike Russell said as he shook Hamilton’s hand.
“We typically honor not someone who has done a lot in the past year, but someone who has contributed greatly to the community as a career of service,” said Ky Oday, Lions Club president.
Hamilton’s accomplishments and the awards he has received from the community are vast, but he said he is honored and humbled to have his name added to the list of 64 distinguished professionals who have received the award in the past, such as Gregg Palmer, Doug Simons and Tillie Bishop.
“He more than fits into this group,” said Butch Miller, athletic director for Mesa State. “He’s been a real mentor and role model to me.”
Hamilton’s wife, Debbie, said every award her husband has received has been special.
“He just does what he does for the love of his community, but it’s nice to be recognized,” she said.