Denman is pride of Oak Harbor Lions

Rene Denman is the first woman to be president of the Oak Harbor Lions Club.

“When Rene Denman accepted the top spot in the Oak Harbor Lions Club she racked up a couple of firsts. She is the first woman to be president of the Oak Harbor Lions Club, which began accepting women members two years ago. At 38 she is probably the youngest. And, as I told the members at the installation, not only would I be the first woman president, I will also be pregnant during my term, Denman said last week. She is expecting her first child in January.The club responded with huge support, Denman said. My baby will have a lot of godfathers and godmothers.Heading up a Lions Club isn’t a first for Denman. She was also the first woman to be named president of her old Lions Club in Northern California.Her interest stems from her family’s long history with the Lions. Her grandfather, Darrell Erickson, 80, of Gig Harbor, is a past District Governor. Erickson traveled to Oak Harbor to take part in Denman’s installation as president.He’s been a Lion since 1973, Denman said, and he’s still active. Her mother and father are both active Lions, too. Denman herself has been a Lion for 10 years. She has belonged to the Oak Harbor Lions since she and her husband moved to Whidbey two years ago when Denman retired after 13 years with Costco Wholesalers.Her goal for the 69-member club during her term is to get a higher percentage of the membership involved in the club’s many community projects, which benefit the Lions sight and hearing programs and many community needs. That’s not to say that most members aren’t involved, she said. But she does feel that current members have a large amount of experience that needs to be passed on to other Lions.And she’d welcome more members. If you’d like more information, call Denman at 675-9167. “