Saturday, August 25, 2012

The family of Lions

Today Marge Miller was laid to rest.  I had, of course, met Marge, talking with her on several occasions.  But her funeral service revealed so much more to me about this woman, wife of Past International Director Floyd Miller, than I had been aware of.  Of course, those who knew her best already knew of her caring nature, quick wit, and strong faith.  Hearing the stories of Marge's life, so intertwined with Floyd's, made we wish I had known her better.

But today's blog post is not about Marge or Floyd, or their passion about serving others.  I'll leave that to those more qualified to eulogize.  This is about Lions as family.

Last year's International President Tam often spoke and wrote about how we should treat our Lions members as family.  This is something the Lions in Idaho have taken to heart, long before hearing Tam's message. 

The funeral chapel was filled to overflowing; not just with Marge's family and closest friends, but with Lions.  Many of them in yellow vests, they had come from across the state to Twin Falls, to honor Marge as a Lion and humanitarian to to lend support to Floyd.  This was not about a club losing a member, but about a family mourning-and celebrating the life of-one of its own.

It's something I felt almost immediately after joining Lions-I am part of a large family.  Our belief in serving our fellow man and improving lives binds us.  I just know that wherever I may go, whether in my home district of Idaho, or somewhere else in this country or another-I will be treated as family. 

It's a family of which I'm proud to be a member.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Who are you?

On Wednesday my alarm clock went off at 5:00 so that I could attend a 6:00 o'clock meeting - except that the meeting was at 7:00 a.m. You can't trust these smart cell phone alarm clocks. I presented a familiar theme, the District Governor's Contest and during question an answer I explained how to count hours and funds from making and raffling a quilt. Lion Laura Walls can get some serious hours from her quilting efforts.

At Wednesday noon my smart phone did not disappoint as the Meridian Noon Club meeting started on time with me in attendance. Their bowling tournament was successful and Lion Del and Sandy Oswald showed again the dedication of Lions as they explained the sales efforts that go into getting the public and other Lions to the event. Another club and another discussion of my District Governor's contest with one very important suggestion by Lion Cheryl Corolewski, their Leo Coordinator. Lion Cheryl suggested that the Leos would embrace my DG Contest and asked to discuss it and how to implement it with her group. The value I get from visiting clubs and the feedback is priceless. More on a contest for Leos later.

Another early morning departure on Friday to visit the Burley Lions Club and to spend the night with Lion Scott Bloxham as they allowed me to assist with the Spud Man Triathlon. The biggest fund raiser by a 39-W Lions club, the Spud Man has been going on since 1986. If anyone ever needs insight in how Lions can work together, in good spirit, selflessness and dedication, then attend or volunteer for the Spud Man. No one complained, everyone worked, and Lions and contestants enjoyed a successful event. Lion Cade Richman was in his first year as coordinator for the event and I heard him comment, "I didn't know there were so many little things to keep track of." Lion Cade identified the little things and took care of them. Great event, Burley Lions.

Visitations help me become familiar with Lions and their activities and fund raisers. It also helps Lions who may not know me to put a face to a name. As I sat next to one Lion this week I was asked, "Who are you?"

I replied "Lion Ashley from the Boise Vista Club! And you are Lion ...?"

DG Ashley

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lions on the hunt

TEAMWORK is how Lions in the wild work together, in prides, to hunt and survive.  My goal this year encourages Lion membership growth, service through project activities and donations, and club social activities, through a series of fun activities to complete the objectives.  For details of the DG contest you can visit the DG Contest on the website.
Form “Prides” of three lions to go on the “Hunt” for guests, new members, worthwhile activities and enjoyable club activities.  Prides will work together, to encourage each other and share ideas to help make Lionism fun and successful.   
 What a fun time to be a Lion.  I look forward to meeting all of you this year.

DG Ashley

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In a world of service

International President Wayne Madden set as his theme for 2012-13  “In a World of Service”.
He writes:
In a world of need, there is someone to help.  In a world of suffering, there is someone who cares.  In a world of destruction, there is someone to provide relief.  In a world of illiteracy, there is someone to teach.  And in a world of service, there is one name that stands out among others – Lions Clubs International.  That’s what we do.  That’s what we have always done.  It is our motto, and the reason we exist.

President Madden wants to stress that fact that in the world there are too many people who are illiterate or semi-literate.  He offers some suggestions.  Get involved in the RAP, Reading Action Program.
Some possible project ideas for Lions clubs:
Help an after school reading program
Read to children at local libraries or schools
Work with local literacy experts and agencies to promote reading
Read or record books on tape for the blind and visually impaired
Provide Internet connection for a school or library
What will your club do this year to promote reading? 

DG Ashley

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Korean people: pride,family, service

We often hear that is best to “get away” from our daily life and get a new perspective.  The 95th Lions International Convention was held is Busan, Korea.  Getting away to a foreign country certainly provides an opportunity to gain a look at the contrast between two dynamic countries and people.   What is sometimes perceived as contrast is just a different perspective of similar values.  Devotion to pride, family, service is the image one takes away from contact with the wonderful Korean people.
The U.S. formed a bond with the people when we came to their aid on June 25, 1950, to turn back the invasion from the north by the Communist North Korean forces.  A trip by Connie and me to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea was met by two individuals who sought us to say that they will always appreciate the fact that the Americans were the first to come to their aid.  Moving! 
Pride is everywhere-evident from the cleanliness of the city, the neat attire and personal appearance of the people and the observation that 90% of the vehicles are Hyundai or Kias all under ten years old.  
Many seem to work at lower wage jobs, but get along because they live with their parents until they are able to save for their own accommodations.  In a city short on land, the Korean people live in high rise condos/apartment buildings, many rising 35 stories with a stand of beautiful new structures that reach over 60 stories.  
Service:  From the minute you disembark your flight, you are greeted by smiling and courteous members of local Korean Lions clubs and local government representatives.  Korea has a vibrant Lions District that provided much financial and volunteer support of the convention and Lions looking to tour the city. 
I’m sure the great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra may have offered the same observation as I came away with, “They’re the same as us, only different."
 DG Ashley

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Calling all club secretaries!

We may be doing that-literally! 

Club secretaries-we need your new officers!  They will begin their term in just 2 short weeks.  It takes some time to update the website, the email lists, the e-bulletin list, and the directory with all the changes.  (Even if you don't make a change in officers, you still need to go to the LCI website and enter the officers names-they don't carry over.)

Please!  OK, we won't beg.

Club secretaries can take advantage of a recorded webinar from LCI to learn about the online membership and activity reports.  Treasurers can do the same with the recorded treasurers' webinar.  Included are the FAQs from the live session.  (Secretary FAQs; Treasurer FAQs)

Oh, and if you've had your name added as a secretary or treasurer for 2012-13, starting tomorrow, June 15, you can log in and look around. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kuna celebrates 45

Kuna Lions Club's 45th Charter Party was held Saturday evening with a western theme and prizes for everyone!  Lions and guests were decked out in boots and hats, served a hearty meal, and treated to a game of "horse" (bingo) in which everyone was a winner.  New officers were introduced, awards were handed out, Council Chair Laura Wells represented the Multiple District, and everyone went home happy.  What could be better?  Photos, of course!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Strides: Lions Walk

Strides: Lions Walk for Diabetes Awareness was held today for the first time in the Treasure Valley (last year the Lions held the walk in Sun Valley). The 3K walk along the green belt in Eagle started at a chilly 9:00 am with about 35 Lions, Leos, and community members briskly walking or jogging along the river.  Lions District 39W was the sponsor and proceeds benefited Camp HodiaWalk with Walgreens and the Eagle Walgreens provided literature and pedometers, Treasure Valley Hearing and Balance brought goodie bags, Idaho Independent Bank, Star Branch, provided snacks. 

The Strides Walk takes place in hundreds of cities around the world to raise awareness of diabetes prevention and the healthful benefits of walking. Hopefully this walk will grow in the Treasure Valley (and expand to the Magic Valley) in the coming years.  Robin Jara and her committee did a great job organizing the event.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free webinars for club officers

It's election time for Lions club.  New officers should be reported to LCI no later than May 15. 

Many Lions don't want to step up to leadership roles in their clubs, thinking it takes too much time or they don't know what to do.  Lions International is helping out with webinars this spring that will prepare Lions for their roles as club officers.

Secretaries can learn how to input membership and activity reports.  Treasurers can learn how to pay bills online and learn the responsibilities of being the club treasurer.  In another webinar, officers can learn about working together as a team. 

The secretary webinar is scheduled for April 24, April 27, and May 2.  The treasurer session is set for May 9, May 15 and May 18.  Officers can learn team work June 6, 12, or 15, just in time for the new Lions' year.  Check for times and more information at this link.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When two clubs get together

Boise Riverside Lions and Boise Capital Lions got together St. Patrick's Day for a combined charter party.. What a great idea!

In our District, it's tradition to have a charter party every year.  That makes 47 parties for the district governors to attend.  And, of course, we want other clubs to attend our parties, too, yet there are just so many, how does one decide?

One reason the two clubs combined this year was that they are both small clubs.  By having their parties together, they had a much bigger turnout, the DG attended one party instead of two, and Lions got to mingle with members of other clubs.  (Also represented were Meridian, Star, Parma, and Boise Bench.)

Is this a good idea?  Do you think your club might be open to partnering with another club for a charter party?  Comments encouraged!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Making vision screening easier

Last night was the Kuna Lions fundraising Chili Feed and Casino Night. The Kuna Community Hall was lively with Lions and community members playing blackjack and craps, vying for silent auction items, bidding on prizes, and generally just having a good time, all in the name of charity. 

The Kuna Lions are raising money to purchase a Pediavision eye screener which will be such a big help to them as they screen hundreds of school children each year.  This device will allow them to cut the time spent on each child from minutes to seconds.  It's a great investment in the children of Kuna and Kuna is fortunate to have Lions that do so much.

Spotted at the event:  DG Elect Ashley and Star members Joe, Steve, and Kathy.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Today was a busy day

It was a busy day for Lions, busy for this Lion anyway.  This morning I headed over to Expo Idaho for the Boise Kids Fair.  DG Doug along with 2nd VDG elect Stevie, Lion Nancy, and Meridian Lions Rodeo Queen Kathy and I took the first shift at the Lions 39W booth.  We were located between the pony rides (yes, we were indoors, if you can imagine) and the clowns making balloon animals.  Somehow our corn toss booth wasn't quite the draw, although the kids that played seemed to have a lot of fun.  Our goals were to 1) be seen, 2) talk about Lions, and 3) recruit some new members. 

Later in the day, several Lions and friends tested their skills at Bowling at the Meridian Noon Lions fundraiser.  No pins were damaged as lots of money was raised for the Sight and Hearing Foundation.