Negaunee man receives International Presidential Medal from the Lions Clubs International President

Gary Perala, a native of Negaunee, was recently honored with the International Presidential Medal from the Lions Clubs International President Dr. Jung-Yui Choi.
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Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:07 PM EST
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Gary Perala, a native of Negaunee, was recently honored with the International Presidential Medal from the Lions Clubs International President Dr. Jung-Yui Choi.

The Lions are the world’s largest humanitarian service organization serving in over 200 countries with 1.4 million members. At a recent ceremony, Perala was recognized for his outstanding service to Lions Club International, and for his dedicated service, hard work and compassion for those in need, in the Defense against Diabetes Grant Program.

Perala serves as the Project Chairperson of the Lions of Michigan Defense against Diabetes (D.A.D.) Grant Program in the Upper Peninsula and serves on the D.A.D Advisory Council in Lansing. He is also an active member of the Upper Peninsula Diabetes Outreach Network Advisory Council. The Lions Club International serves Upper Peninsula communities by providing free diabetes evidence-based educational programs funded by a grant from Lions Club International Foundation and the Lions of Michigan.

Lions Clubs of Michigan District Governor Bruce LaBelle presented the award.

“Gary embraced this position with great enthusiasm and experience and has shown exceptional leadership skills while running this statewide program,” he said. “Under his leadership he immediately developed working relationships with agencies and healthcare providers in our district and created multi-facilitated educational programs and services aimed at improving the lives of those living with diabetes and helping others from developing type 2 diabetes.”

Chris Smith, D.A.D. Advisor and Childhood Cancer Chairperson said, “Gary is very deserving of this award! He’s a compassionate team player that’s always willing to listen and help no matter when because he understands the seriousness of chronic disease. Gary is an advocate of Self-Management because he believes that it’s essential for achieving and maintaining optimal glycemic control.”

Perala expressed his gratitude to the many people who helped him earn this award.

“Everything I’ve been able to accomplish over the past two years can be attributed to great people and great collaborating partners like Ann Constance at UPDON, Magen Shully at AADE, Anita Carter and the MSU Extension team, Jill Van Drese and the UPCAP team, Gayle DeShambo and Amy Martin at UP Health System, Becky Rahe at Tai Chi for Health Institute, Elise Bur at NMU Center for Rural Health, Nicole Young Potvin at SBDC and Lions of Michigan D.A.D Team,” Perala said.

Perala said you can’t remove the disease, but you can offer support, comfort, and kindness in a number of ways. Our goal is to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve quality of life for all people who have, or are at risk for, diabetes through service, investment and kindness!

Perala has an extensive background in health and wellness and is currently owner of 906lifestyle LLC, a health-and-wellness-based company in Negaunee, MI and is currently working on an additional first-to-market business plan.

To contact Perala regarding health and wellness coaching, consulting, and speaking engagements, call 906-399-6233 or email ggpenergy@yahoo.com.

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