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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November District Governor’s Message

Thank You!

Thanks to all Lions, Leos and guests that attended our Fall Conference last month.  Your participation made it a great success.  I hope everyone had fun and learned something new that you can bring back to your clubs to make them and our District more informed.  We want to know what you liked and disliked about the conference.  And we want to know from the Lions who did not attend, what can we do so you attend in the future.  Please complete the survey on the District web site and return it Lion Jane Stoll.

I want to thank Lion Jane Stoll and her committee from Aquia Evening, Aquia Harbour Host, Greater Falls Run, and Stafford County Lions Clubs.  They did a tremendous job setting up the conference, the speakers, the meals, the decorations, and I could go on.  Suffice to say they ran everything with efficiency and creativity.

I want to congratulate Lion Jim Chesley from the Clifton Lions Club and Lion Randy Mills from the Springfield-Franconia Host Lions Club for receiving the Presidential Certificate of Appreciation.  This is the 4th highest award that someone can receive from Lions Clubs International.  They are both well deserving of the award for all the hard work they perform for their clubs and community.  I also want to congratulate Lion Tom Kenavan for receiving a Leadership Medal.  It is the 3rd highest award from LCI.  He received it because of his work last year as Zone Chair and the positive net growth in membership in the Zone.

One third of the Lions year is over.  The clubs and individual Lions have accomplished much.  We have completed almost 1,000 events, screened the vision of almost 4,000 people, collected over 15,000 eyeglasses, and donated over $51,000.  We will have many more events and projects to complete.  I hope you keep up on the list of events, here in the Lion Reporter and on the Facebook pages, to see just some of them.

Just to name a few events coming up…

On Saturday, December 6th, we will be helping the Sergeant Mac Foundation placing  wreaths on over 9,000 graves at Quantico National Cemetery.  In January, February and March, there are Special Olympic events scheduled throughout the district.  And finally – Home for the Holidays where we will host and serve meals to active duty Marines at the Quantico Marine Corp Base.  Please consider supporting these district events.

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October DG Message

Most Lions enjoy receiving and trading Lions pins. Why? Because it encapsulates what it means to be a Lion: pride in our Service, pride in our Clubs and pride in what we give back to our communities. I am no different and was thrilled with the prospect of designing my Governor pins this year. The pin I designed for the 24-A Fall Conference shows a Lion going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. A comical nod to my Western New York origins and the challenge of being a Lions District Governor, sure. But I meant so much more by the design of this pin. I am a great believer in the POWER of service. It compels you to move forward through obstacles and make those often challenging leaps of faith that can lead to great things. Whether it be a new service project or an individual decision to take on a new leadership position, the 24-A leadership team is here to support you.

Fall Pin

District 24-A has several new initiative this year that your leadership team is asking each and every Lion in District 24-A to support. The first is the “Home for the Holidays” project. Lions will welcome service men and women into their homes for the Holidays when they don’t have the time or resources to travel back home. Or if a service member has duty on Thanksgiving we would like to provide a real Thanksgiving meal rather than “meals ready to eat”. Lion Lorraine Land has done an outstanding job of spearheading this initiative and pushing hard to get the proper approval needed to start this Thanksgiving. We also want to acknowledge the Lions in the Ft Belvoir Mt Vernon Club who came up with the idea and the many Lions who have pledged their support for the project. An idea plus leadership and hard work is paying off and we could not be prouder to represent such fine Lions.

“What can I do to Help, Governor Jim?” you may be asking yourself. Come to the 24-A Fall Conference October 17-18. Learn more about the Home for the Holidays, Sargent Mac Foundation Partnership, and the Bull Run Clean-up Projects. Other break-out sessions will have dynamic facilitators who will help explore how our Lions Clubs can have an impact on the most important challenges of our day from cutting edge eye and hearing research to climate change and hunger alleviation initiatives. The Fall Conference will be held at Sheraton Reston Hotel 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston VA 20191. Please note registration information and checks need to be sent in NO LATER than October 10.

Our key note speaker will be Past International Director, Barry Palmer. An inspirational Lion Leader, Aussie Barry Palmer is a dynamic speaker and I guarantee you will be inspired. PID Palmer will be inducting new members so be sure not to miss out.

Speaking of inducting members, I want to encourage District 24-A to embrace the Lions International campaign to “Just Ask”. Ask a potential member to your meeting, to attend the Fall Conference, or to participate in your next service activity or fundraiser. Remember, someone asked all of us to join, let’s give that next person the opportunity to find out what we already know….being a Lion is Grrrrreat!

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