The Lions Clubs of Barbados Celebrates 50 Years

TLions Club celebrates 50 yearshe Lions Clubs of Barbados are depending on Barbadians for their support as this organisation continues to work for the good of the community.

That reminder came from Lions District Governor of Sub District 60 B, Lloyd Barker who was speaking yesterday morning at the Lions Club of Bridgetown’s 50th anniversary church service at the James Street Methodist Church, James Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael.

“The Lions Clubs are depending on you for all the assistance you can give. When you see us coming around for donations, doing fundraisers and so on, we do it for the good of the community,” said Barker.

He said that the Lions Clubs foremost contribution was towards the preservation of sight but over the years, it has been extended to include other humanitarian efforts that render assistance to the less fortunate.

Barker added that the Lions Clubs have been assisting those who need it most including persons overseas in Haiti, Japan and St. Lucia who were impacted by natural disasters in recent times.
He noted that the Lions Club of Bridgetown, then called the Lions Club of Barbados, was the first to be chartered in Barbados in 1961.

Currently, there are eight Lions Clubs and two Leo Clubs in Barbados and in the District, 61 Lions Clubs with 2 000 members and 40 Leo Clubs.

In his sermon, Rev. Colton Bennett who has been a Lion for 45 years implored those in attendance to be imitators of Christ.

Rev. Bennett said the church and organisations such as the Lions “are not places for prima donnas. When you do things and you don’t get praise, you should not sulk and walk away. You should not be looking for prestige or doing it for thanks.”

He said that persons should serve the community in humility whether it is in the church, clubs or in any other capacity.

The reverend recognised many stalwarts of the Lions who have passed on and others who are present today. He stressed that they are serving not necessarily for thanks or glory but because God wants us to use our talents and gifts.

The Lions Club of Bridgetown also presented a donation to the church at the service. (AR)

Lions gather for good food, to give to Haiti relief efforts

With the Leadership and inspiring passion to serve others, Roxboro Lion Alan Michael, manager of Golden Corral Family Restaurant in Garner, the people and aid workers of Haiti will receive needed funds. With endorsement from Golden Corral Headquarters and General Manager Al Gauge, the entire restaurant staff, other community service organizations, the Garner Police Department, the Garner-Raleigh community, and the Lions Clubs from District G raised $1,182.43 for LCIF Disaster relief efforts in a country few had ever visited.

These necessary funds were raised in only four hours. In the local depressed economy, everyone attending was aware of the needs for compassion towards the people in Haiti. Golden Corral also added to the effort with financial aid from part of the guests meal purchase. LCIF and the needs of people in Haiti also won over our guests and new friends within the Garner Police Department. A Garner Civitan called his Civic Club members to become a part of this exciting effort.

Partnering with Lions Clubs, Golden Corral is not new to stepping up to the needs of communities and their citizens around the world. Always generous in extending assistance for the local communities, the needs of Lions, and around the world, Golden Corral is a leader and sets an example to businesses throughout the world with the necessity of offering assistance when needed. The Garner Golden Corral and management answered the immediate need in both the LCIF-Katrina and LCIF-China efforts by raising needed funds for relief in those LCIF efforts. This was the same kind of partnership and event held. As a long standing member of the Roxboro Lions Club and past LCIF Sight-First II Coordinator, Lion Alan Michael has the insight to employee quality compassionate people who know what needs truly are. His staff is multi-culture in background and he has had to learn three languages to be able to communicate in his daily duties. The Golden Corral service and support staff donated their hard earned income as well for this effort. An event like this makes is fun however, it is harder for the service staff because of the people involved trying to serve the guests, informing everyone about what Lions accomplish through LCIF.

The Garner Police Department, “McGruff the Crime Dog”, met and greeted everyone that entered the restaurant. McGruff never missed the opportunity to have his picture taken with those that were young as well as those that were young at heart. The Police officers took care of the tables and serviced needs while the Lions of District 31-G, worked with the dinner guests by meeting their immediate needs for fun, knowledge and informational flyers with dinner. Lions filled in to take care of any gaps in service for the guests. Lions handed out flyers, explained what Lions accomplish both locally and globally, LCIF, and community needs within the State of North Carolina. Laughs, conversation, education and Service to Others made this a great night for everyone involved.

Just as “Lions Clubs International Foundation working with local Lions Clubs members with boots on the ground” at the Disaster site meet the timely needs in our world wide community and humanitarian efforts… previously stated from the immediate past Lions Clubs International Foundation President Al Brandel.

Every International Disaster in the recent years the Lions-Golden Corral Partnership has stepped up to be an important part of the cure for a disaster. The funding of a LCIF grant awarded to the country will secure a great future for Haiti in the years to follow this earthquake. The immediate grant aided in the initial disaster, the long term grant and relief efforts after others have left the country, this is what makes the Lions Clubs International Foundation different from others. Each dollar donated will make it to the relief effort and the goals of the rebuilding process. Outstanding humanitarian Lions Club members, like Alan Michael, have the unique opportunity to live up to the organizations motto, “We Serve!” This is what Lions Club Membership is all about, Service to Others.

Service organizations look for ways to draw younger members

By KRISTA KIELSMEIER

Age is just a number, but it’s a number that on average seems to be creeping up among members of local service organizations.
As young parents see their schedules fill up more and more with children’s activities, evening meetings of the Pleasant Hill Lions Club are kept brief to ease the time crunch.
“If our meeting is two hours, that’s two less hours to be with their family,” said Teri Dean, 56, who is the club’s president. She was a charter member of the club in 2003.
Dean said the meetings help organize the club, but the efforts to raise money for scholarships, health care, Thanksgiving dinners and other club services can be spearheaded by members who have only occasional attendance at those meetings.
“We’re just saying the meetings aren’t the primary focus of being a Lion,” Dean said.
She said about 15 people attend the Lions Club meetings on the first and third Monday of the month at the Doanes Park Youth Center in Pleasant Hill. The second monthly meeting offers a potluck meal to encourage parents to bring their children along. A play area also is set up during meetings.
Lions Club members often follow a family history of participation in the organization.
Gary Fry has been a member of the Mitchellville Lions Club for more than 30 years. The 63-year-old said many of the younger people who have signed up for Lions Clubs across the state are the children of veteran club members.
“It’s like most other service organizations,” Fry said. “There’s a void in the middle.”
He said once baby boomers retire, they might give the Lions Club a closer look to fill up that newfound free time.
The Rotary Club of East Polk County has success with a middle-aged group of business leaders, according to secretary Mary Rork-Watson, 46, of Altoona.
“You can have breakfast and go right to work,” she said of the Wednesday morning meetings at Prairie Meadows.
Club members recently have worked to eradicate polio and provide safer water in Africa.
Jeff Nolin, 40, of Altoona saw his parents, Gerald and Joan, head off to Altoona Lions Club events when he was younger, and he stepped into a similar role about eight years ago. He has been a past president of the club.
Andrew McGrean, 21, already has a great influence on his community as a member of the Southeast Polk Public School District board of education. He was elected to a second term in September. He, too, cites his family as his reason for getting involved.
“I grew up in the same town and had family in the area,” McGrean said. “I felt a little more connected.”
He completed the Altoona Leadership Program to learn more about city government and network with other people who want to serve the community. He and his 14 classmates were honored at a December meeting of the Altoona City Council.
Nolin said some of the most valuable members of the Lions Club also are the oldest and will be almost impossible to replace with members of a similar level of quality.
“They’re the glue of the club,” he said.
Nolin noted the overall age of the club members limits their ability to complete physical projects.
“There are not too many Lions willing to get up on a ladder,” he said.
As Nolin’s two children have grown, he has endured the balancing act that is so common for parents. As their activity list lengthens, he has fewer opportunities to assist the Lions Club.
Roger Mahnke, 76, is a longtime Altoona Lions Club treasurer who has seen the group change through the past four decades. The biggest meetings will draw about 25 members, and the club has donated thousands to Central Place Family Resource Center, food banks and families in need of eye care. Young members, though, are hard to attract.
“There are too many activities for families,” Mahnke said.
As Altoona and Pleasant Hill have seen rapid increases in population, children’s musical and athletic activities have been greatly expanded. That likely means more miles behind the wheel for Mom or Dad. Parents have to pick and choose among worthy organizations that all aim to improve their communities.
“We have three who are pretty young,” said Helen Waltz, 82, treasurer of the Runnells Lions Club, which has about 10 people attend each meeting. “We’re just trying to hold onto them. They bring a new perspective and ambition.”
Allon Cady, president of the Altoona Kiwanis Club, said about two dozen people attend the group’s Tuesday meetings, and recruiting is not targeted at young people. Cady, 65, has helped lead the Kiwanis Club’s work to install an all-inclusive playground at Clay Elementary.
He said young parents might be active in a school organization instead of the Kiwanis Club.

“Some of those folks would be good for our club, but they just don’t realize it,” Cady said. “Not everybody attends every meeting.”
Steve Halstead, secretary of the Bondurant Lions Club, said his club has dropped its pancake breakfast and moved into more athletic events for children, plus a cow pasture golf tournament for scholarships.
“We’re kind of lucky that we’ve got a pretty good mix of ages in our club,” said Halstead, 67.
About 20 people attend the meetings on the first and third Thursday of the month.
Perhaps the solution is for members of service organizations to be a bit more boastful about what their club has to offer.
“It’s all based on members inviting new people to come in,” Halstead said. “It just seems we’re able to do it. Each community finds its own direction and takes it.”

Welland Lionsin Ontario Canada Celebrate 85 Years of Service

Posted By Cathy Pelletier for the Tribune

Welland Lion Club president Jim Shanessy, left, and longtime club member Peter Comar, right, stand with the service club's banner at the River Road hall.The aged purple banner that proudly graces the Welland Lions Club Hall on River Road has just been replaced.

The reason? Because it’s completely covered with crests the club has earned for its long list of accomplishments during the past 85 years.

From its humble beginnings, when Harry Shearer became the club’s very first president in 1923, the Welland Lions have worked tirelessly in the community, donating their time and thousands of dollars to local and charitable causes.

Current President Jim Shanessy gave a recap of just some of the Lions’ vast community service.

“One of the main things we do is support the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and the Canadian Diabetes Association,” he said. “We are also big supporters of the Lions Camp Dorset in Dorset, Ontario, which is a dialysis camp. All Lions in Ontario contribute to this camp. We take a work crew there and help out as well as provide funds.”

Camp Dorset consists of 13 cottages, 21 motel units and a hospital onsite that runs the camp. “Our last two golf tournaments raised a total of $10,000 toward the dialysis machine,” said Shanessy, adding that the machines must be replaced on an ongoing basis.

A milestone in the club’s history came in 2003, when members presented a cheque for close to $100,000 to the Welland Hospital Foundation for the establishment of a new Eye Exam Room at the Leon Ambulatory Care Centre. With support from surrounding area Lions clubs and a grant from the Lions Club International Foundation, the centre has provided specialized eye care for patients across Niagara.

Through proceeds raised from hosting raffles to win a Harley Davidson, the Welland Lions Club contributed toward training a dog in the Canine Vision Leader Dog Program in Oakville. Each dog requires a cost of $6,000 from the time it’s a pup until it’s fully trained and ready to help a blind person.

The Lions played a major role in the founding of Welland Minor Hockey, and have support our youth by sponsoring teams every year. They also regularly donate to the Welland Soccer Club, the Crohn’s/Colitis Foundation, Kacey Lynn Foundation, Women’s Place, the Easter Egg Hunt, the City of Welland Christmas Lights and the City of Welland New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Open Arms Mission, the Help A Child Smile program, Elisha House for pregnant teens, the Welland Lions Home for the Deaf, and Kids’ Art Day, among countless others.