The Melvin Jones Fellow Award, named for the Lions Club founder, is awarded to Lions members who have been selected by their peers for outstanding service to the club and community. Other recipients include Elroy Eberwein, Dean Houk, George Kveck, Peter La Torre, Alvin Nelson, Tex Pace and Daniel Perez.
Barsamian served as Lions president in 1964 and many offices and committees over the years. He had perfect attendance for the first 15 years and has been a privileged member for the last two years. Barsamian sponsored Lion Pete la Torre, Gene Gomes and Manuel Reza in the club.
Barsamian worked alongside fellow Lions for more than 25 years at the Easter Sunday Lions Pancake breakfast and provided the 3-foot tall stuffed Easter Bunny that greeted breakfast goers at the entrance. Barsamian also works at the Lions Chicken Barbecue each year at the Apricot Fiesta. He is known for attracting customers to the site, as well as preparing the food.
Barsamian also served on the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce and is a past president. He has also contributed to the Downtown Patterson Business Association and was past president twice, as well as a member of the Apricot Fiesta board. He and his family have supported numerous community events and organizations over the years.
Barsamian, a local pharmacist, was original co-owner with his wife, Eloise, (also a pharmacist) of the Patterson Drug Store, Newman Pioneer Drug Store, Gustine Pioneer Drug Store and Dos Palos Drug Store. These days, the Barsamians are also co-owners of Premier Medical Supplies and Option Care in Ceres and the Dos Palos store with their sons, Randy and Robert, also pharmacists.
Andy and Eloise have been married for 59 years and moved to Patterson in 1958. Besides Randy and Robert, the couple has a daughter, Brenda, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The local Lions Club began in May 1947 when 25 men met at the American Legion Hall; the Turlock Lions assisted with charter night plans. More than 350 people attended charter night on July 12, 1947.
The first project was a two-way radio to use in a police car, and the second was building a barbecue for the city park. Over the years, they have supported man local causes and organizations, worked alongside other local organizations in constructing the Patterson Community Stadium in 1971, and installed lights at the high school baseball field among many other pursuits. The local club has also had the popular Student Speaker contest since 1948, where high school students can advance to regional and district competitions by speaking on a designated topic.