June District Governors Message

Thank You!

This is my last message as District Governor. Our year has been successful because of the hard work of all the clubs and Lions in our District. I’ve enjoyed my three years working for the District. The best part was visiting every club at least once, and many a number of times. I’ve met many steadfast Lions who care about their community and helping Lions to grow through service.

We lost a number of good friends. Forty Lions past away this year, double the number of any other District in the state. These included PDG’s, wives of PDG’s, and Charter Members. All dedicated Lions that made our organization what it is today. However, we are still have a positive membership growth. It shows what a commitment to hands-on, public service will do. If we remain on that course, we will continue to expand our membership and service.

Our service projects continue to grow. We screened over 14,500 people with the SPOT devices, including almost 6,900 for the KidSight USA Program. That’s almost double from the figures reported last year. We referred over 2,000 people for issues and further testing. Our partnership with the local Special Olympics committees are just starting to and we don’t know where it will lead yet. We started a new partnership with MyEyeDoctor to provide inexpensive screening and glasses for the clubs. In our first year of the cleanup of Bull Run, we picked up approximately 1,600 pounds of trash. The Women’s Symposium provided excellent information and added four new members to our organization. And the Worldwide Induction Day demonstrates that our members are getting younger and growing.

Lions Clubs International has been about change throughout our 98 year history. There is a lot we can be proud of. We were the first service organization to allow women to join, we were the first to be International, we are the first and only organization allowed in Mainland China, and we are rated one of the best non-profit in the world. These actions occurred because individual Lions and clubs just like yours initiated changes and made these possible. I can’t stress enough that we need to embrace change. We cannot be afraid to make small or large changes to keep improving our club operations, our service and organization. We cannot be afraid for the changes to fail. They are opportunities to learn and improve. We have to keep an open mind to new ideas and new members. There are no “sacred cows” and never accept “we’ve always done it this way” as an excuse not to change.

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May District Governors Message

Our First Annual Bull Run Environmental Project was a huge success, we picked up over 1,600 pounds of garbage that was marring one of our most precious National Monuments. Thanks to all the Lions, Leos and family members who came out to help. District Environmental Chair, Don Leas, did a terrific job of organizing and making sure the Event ran smoothly.

The State Convention is May 14-17, 2015. There is an important change to the State Constitution that will be voted on Saturday afternoon. The vote will be to approve the separation of duties between a State Secretary and a State Treasurer. I whole-heartedly support this important change and encourage all Clubs to file their delegate paperwork timely and be at the convention to make your voices heard.  It is important that all clubs register for the convention and send delegates to direct the future of our Multiple District.

A huge 24-A Lions roar for Shirley Wilson who once again put on a fantastic Worldwide Induction Day on April 26. This event has become one of the highlight on many District 24-A Lions “Lions Calendar”. But let’s not rest on our laurels, this is a good time to take stock of your existing Club membership health. Membership satisfaction is the role of every Lion, not just the membership Chair. Address any members who are in arrears in their dues and encourage them to get caught up before the end of the year. Take the time to find out if there are any issues that can be corrected or things that need to be addressed by your Club’s Board of Directors.  This is part of the Club Excellence Process (CEP) and gets your club prepared for the next set of officers.

As we near the end of the Lion year, be sure to recognize the accomplishments of individual Lions and your Lions Club. Start working on your award applications, finalize your donations to LCIF for any planned Melvin Jones Awards, LOVF, and Hearing Foundation to name a few. Take a look at the award application forms for Club Excellence, 100% Secretary and 100% Treasurer.  Find out what you need to finish up in order to achieve these prestigious awards and finish the year strong.

Remember to firm up your Officers for the next Lions year and report them on the Lions website.  It is very important to get those done as early as possible.  The new officers will start to get information from LCI and DGE as soon as the state convention is done.  The DGE uses this information to build the District Directory.  Getting it done early, helps the future Cabinet Secretary finish it with little corrections.

Finally, LCIF needs your help.  The earthquake in Nepal caused extensive destruction and death.  This is exactly why Lions Clubs is an international organization.  District 24A has many connections to Nepal.  According to the 2010 Census, Arlington has the 7th largest concentration of Nepalese in the United States. Tyson’s Corner has a club twinning relationship with a club in Katmandu, and the Herndon Community Leo has a majority of students that were born in Nepal.  Please dig deep, create a new fundraiser, or send some of your club’s unallocated funds to LCIF for Nepal ‘s disaster relief.  Thank you for considering this request!

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April District Governor Message

Many of you may remember the Kevin Costner film, “Field of Dreams” and the line “if you build it, they will come”. Well I feel the same way about the link between Lions service projects and membership If we plan it, they will come…when they come they will become members!   . And what I mean by become a member, is the moment a Lion truly “gets” what it means to be a Lion. When he or she has their heart touched by the impact they make on another person’s life; whether it be providing a child with a pair of glasses, saving someone in a distant land from the ravages of measles by donating to LCIF or providing food to those who go to bed hungry in their community, right here in Virginia.

We have two District Events in April that are critical to our mission of “We Serve” and supporting Service and Membership. The new District 24-A environmental project to clean up Bull Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 18. Many non-Lions will be participating in this project. It is a great project for families, Leo Clubs, and scout troops. Do your part by advertising the event on your Club web pages, Facebook pages, etc.

The second is Worldwide Induction Day on April 26. This event is a perfect way to get new members of on the right foot, to see how they are connected to a tremendous worldwide organization with myriad projects and ways to make a difference. The Event will be held at Park West Lions Club Building from 2 -4 PM. A deli lunch will be served at no cost. If you have new member and receive a letter please make every effort to attend. PCC Lion Shirley Wilson has already sent an informational email to Club Presidents and Secretaries. If you need additional information contact her at shirlw@comcast.net, or call (703-743-1649) by APRIL 14, 2015

In the next few months our Second Vice District Governor, Karen Parker, may approach you to serve in a District 24-A position. I encourage you to say “yes”. But I would ask that in addition to saying yes, you dedicate yourself to looking at all facets of the position and dedicate yourself to making any changes that are needed to make our District work for its members even if that means changing long held practices. Karen and Jay will be there to support you, help you and provide guidance as we do what’s best for our District and members; those we have now and those who will join in the future.

It is time to have your election of club officers. A sign of a strong club is not repeating the same officers for years and years. I encourage those of you who have not been officers to step up to this challenge, and those of you who have been officers to encourage and mentor your new members. Remember to report them on the Lions website or a paper PU-101. Please verify that all the information is correct, including an e-mail and phone numbers. This information makes up the district directory every year.

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March District Governor’s Message

There are so many terrific District 24-A projects upcoming, I hardly know where to begin!

Service is who we are and service is what we will do! There is still time to register for the District 24-A Winter Conference on March 14. We will perform service projects and talk about the near future of our District and Multiple District. Don’t miss out…any registrations emailed to lionjmr24a@gmail.com or postmarked by March 1st will still be accepted. Don’t forget about your LEOs, they get $5.00 off both egistration and lunch.

Excitement is building in anticipation of the District 24-A’s Women’s Symposium to be held at the Park West Lions Club House in Manassas March 21 from 11-3. Past Council Chair Shirley Wilson has done an outstanding job creating a forum to showcase Lions leadership, projects and promote participation by women in our Clubs. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and creativity to create an event of this type. Please promote the Symposium and attend yourselves to support this vital membership initiative. We’ve all got a sister, niece, mother, grandmother, wife, girlfriend (hopefully not both at the same time!), friend, aunt or co-worker that would make a great Lion.- here’s you opportunity to ASK ONE. It’s fun and its free thanks to an LCI grant.

The new District 24-A environmental project to clean up Bull Run is in its final planning stages; the Date is Saturday, April 18. Already we have had interest from non-Lions in joining Lions specifically because of this project. If we plan it, they will come…when they come, they will join! More information is available from our Environmental Chair, Don Leas (703) 864-6093.

Lions Worldwide Induction Day is April 26 and District 24-A will hold the ceremony this year at Park West Lions Club Building from 2 -4 PM. A deli lunch will be served at no cost. If you have new member and receive a letter please make every effort to attend. I have heard so much positive feedback about the event held last year. It is a great way to celebrate your new members and give them perspective on the organization they are now privileged to be a part of. PCC Lion Shirley Wilson has already sent an informational email to Club Presidents and Secretaries. If you need additional information contact her at shirlw@comcast.net, or call (703-743-1649) by APRIL 14, 2015

Remember April 24-30: is World Immunization Week. Lion. The sad fact is that 335 children die worldwide from measles every day. For less than $1.00 a child can be immunized through the Lions “One Shot. One Life Measles Initiative” Funds are matched dollar for dollar by GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. One enterprising District Leo Club sold heart shaped chocolates at Valentine’s Day to support this initiative. Chocolate Easter bunnies anyone?

With all the projects going on it’s easy to forget to firm up your Officers for the next Lions year and report them on the Lions website.

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February District Governors Message

Lions of District 24-A have been saddened recently by the passing of many great Lions. We came together to honor their great legacy of selfless service to their communities.   Their example will forever strengthen the pride of our own dedication to the work of Lions service.

February leads us into spring, where we can spring into action, and March, where we march forward.  March Madness is not just a time for Basketball it is also a very busy time in the Lions Calendar.   It’s not too early to start planning.

District 24-A is excited to have received a grant from Lions Clubs International to promote support of women membership in Lions and leadership support. On March 21, at the Park West Lions Club House, the District is hosting a Women’s Symposium to promote Women in Lions. There will be a variety of exciting speakers and informational tables set up on various topics ranging from teen driving safety to the SPOT eye screening equipment. Now is the time to sign up and bring this event to the attention on non-Lion women.  Stay tuned for more information from the event Chair, PDG Shirley Wilson.

March is also Lions “EYE DONOR AWARENESS MONTH” and provides a special opportunity for your Club to focus on the value of becoming and eye donor and the services provided by your local eye bank. Below are some suggestions of ways to serve:

Organize a donor awareness event

  • Invite PDG Emily Carnes, the Old Dominion Eye Foundation Representative for District 24-A, to speak at a Club Meeting
  • Tour an eye bank
  • Host or assist with an open house at an eye bank
  • Inform the public of the service provided by the Lions eye bank
  • Organize a fundraiser for your local eye bank

I’m happy to report the planning for the new District 24-A Environmental Project to clean up Bull Run planning is nearing completion.   Don’t miss out on the fun…If you have not heard about this initiative and need more information please be sure to contact our Environmental Chair, Lion Don Leas, for details on how you Club can help-out.  Volunteer now to help prepare and start inviting your family, friends and neighbors.

And finally, please consider attending out Winter Conference on March 14.  We will be performing service projects and talk about the near future of our District and Multiple District.  Again, this is the month to register for this exciting event.

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January 2015 District Governors Message

As Lions of District 24-A, we enter the New Year with a sense of optimism and renewed energy. We have accomplished so much so far this year and need a few new Service projects to help us work of those extra pounds we gained from our Club Holiday Parties!

I created a cabinet position this year to increase the participation of Lions in Special Olympic events across our district. Lions Wilma has risen to the challenge and done a great job coordinating activities. It’s sometime hard to get service activities of the ground in the cold months of January and February. Wilma has sent details of several Special Olympics games-Be sure to encourage members of your Clubs to participate. It’s as simple as showing up to cheer on the athletes or help out with Sight and Hearing Screenings.   Special Olympic Events are a great way to serve those less fortunate and get the word out that Lions Clubs are involved and active in the community. Don’t forget to bring membership pamphlets, etc.!

Many Lions Clubs participated in Food Drives over the Holiday Season. I applaud those efforts that are so desperately needed. “Almost 1 billion people across the globe will go to bed hungry tonight, 200 million of them children.” (USAID). Lions have an opportunity to show the strength of our worldwide network during a special service action campaign, “Relieving the Hunger”. I encourage Lions to continue these initiatives throughout the year in District 24-A and worldwide through your contributions to Lions Clubs International Foundation.

But too be sure, spring will be here before we know it. If you recall, District 24-A Lions are planning a new environmental project-to clean up Bull Run. Our historic waterway could use our attention, to keep it clean and clear for generations to come. If you have not heard about this initiative and need more information please be sure to contact our Environmental Chair, Don Leas, for details on how you Club can help-out.

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December District Governor’s Message

The Holiday season is upon us and we are busy with fruit sales, food drives and wreath laying. Because Lions don’t forget those less fortunate or those who serve no matter the time of year. We also remember our absent friends… Lions who have passed but are not forgotten. We honor your legacy of service by re-dedicating ourselves to helping others and building up Clubs and District 24-A for the future .

As we raise a glass at holiday gatherings to toast each other and our successful projects we may reflect on the following: we are better together, we lend each other strength and are indeed a PRIDE. A pride consisting of many generations each with strengths to contribute. Our more “mature” members to provide wisdom and guard our cherished traditions. Our younger members and Leo clubs will refresh our meetings and projects to keep us relevant as we move ever forward.

Speaking of new projects, we just completed the first ever Thanksgiving meal service at Quantico Marine Corps base.  MRIs are dismal fare for Marines on duty at Thanksgiving. Lions stepped up with our Home for the Holidays initiative. Starting a new project is always challenging but District Lions together made this project a reality. Who knows? Maybe other Lions near other military bases can do the same thing.  Remember to keep open minds when Members have new ideas for projects.

Another Lion was inspired to honor our fallen heroes with wreaths at Quantico National Cemetery. What inspires YOU?!!!

In our boots and scarves it is hard to imagine Spring will ever arrive but arrive it will. And District 24-A Lions will be out working on our Environmental project to clean up Bull Run which flows through our District.  Not to soon to start talking to you Club about how you will participate.

Remember to invite non-lions to all of you holiday gatherings, talk to them about who we are and what we do. Don’t forget to ASK them to join.

Anne and I and the rest of your leadership team wish you all a safe and HAPPY Holidays!

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