Two from Niles get Hall of Fame nod

Published 11:05 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – John Willis and Tom Majerek have always been highly involved with the Niles community.
Whether it's volunteering their time, heading one of the many organizations or just lending a helping hand, the two have helped bring many positives to the city and its surroundings.
That hard work and dedication was recognized last weekend when the two were inducted into the Optimist Hall of Fame in Grand Rapids.
The Michigan District Hall of Fame was established to reward good and effective Leadership and to motivate good leaders to continue in a leadership capacity within the Michigan District of Optimist International.
All Optimists of the Michigan District can qualify and meet the established requirements.
On Tuesday, Willis and Majerek were presented plaques in front of Noon Optimist members at their weekly luncheon meeting.
Mike Listenberger, past International Optimist Club president and member of the Niles Noon Optimist Club, presented the two with the plaques and spoke about the state convention.
"This is a very prestigious honor. At the convention, seven out of about 4,000 members were inducted, two being from Niles," Listenberger said.
He also explained that there are a total of 50-60 members in the Hall of Fame, with five being from Niles. "That says a lot about our Optimist Club," Listenberger added.
As he presented the two with their plaques, Listenberger spoke briefly about what the two have done with the Club.
Willis, who serves as Lieutenant Governor, has served in a number of other capacities throughout the years. He is the webmaster and is also responsible for the Optimist Soccer League, which involves around 1,200 children Niles and surrounding areas.
Majerek is president of the Noon Optimist Club, as well as the Riverfront Optimist Club. He has served as Assistant Associate Governor and serves on several other committees in the Michigan District.
Willis and Majerek were also awarded a Builder of Excellence medallion, which Listenberger explained is like winning the gold medal in the Olympic games.
"It's the highest award any Optimist can earn and I am proud to award this to John and Tom," Listenberger added.
There are 10 requirements in order for a candidate to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, some of which include 10 years of service to Optimist, serving positions, helping in the community and working in the committees.
"Optimist has an incredible impact on this community. Niles sure has put its name on the map," Listenberger said.