Lions of “The Big O”
The word ‘final’ means a lot of different things to a lot of people. To me, at this time, it means finality in my role as District Governor. And that is profound. Suffice it to say it has been an extreme honor to have served our District as your Governor. I have met and interacted with so many wonderful Lions and their families in the short time allowed to me. We started the year in the middle of a momentous challenge regarding our Foundation. We bore down and dug in to meet that challenge in a way that only dedicated Lions can make happen. Membership in our Organization has been, is, and always will be in the fore-front of our everyday business of the District as well as our fellow Lions around the state. Many clubs have shown real success in gaining membership and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
As most of you are aware, we faced another extraordinary event in Greensboro when the tornado hit on April 15. The devastation that occurred was mind boggling. But again, with the assistance of LCIF in the form of a $10,000 grant, we met and overcame the challenge by providing much-needed supplies to the residents affected including food and water, blankets, cleaning supplies, and so much more. We stood shoulder to shoulder with distribution centers in the communities to help get what was needed to those who needed it. Our humble thanks go to ALL the Lions around the state who provided additional monies and supplies to assist in the effort. It has been 2 months now and the work continues to get people back in their homes. Remember – “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion!”
We should also be proud of our work in support of the Brighter Visions Campaign. Lion John Owens’ message of June 15 told us that our district has achieved 81% of the its goal for contributions in 2017-2018. We still have a week left to pull the lint out of our wallets and pockets, find some money, and do some more to continue the magnificent work the Foundation does in our state. I also want to address some specific items regarding NCLI. We lost our Executive Director, Hillary Brodofsky, and our Development Director, Hannah Earnhart due to other opportunities in business. They will be missed. Meanwhile the ‘man of many coats’ Carlton Metts is standing in temporarily as Executive Director while the search for Hillary’s replacement continues. Please lend him all the support we can in the transitional period ahead. At this time the Development Director position is vacant and may be so for some time. On a happy note, we will be funding the Matching Funds program at $65,000 for the coming fiscal year 2018-2019.
I would be remiss if I did not say that some situations came up that were not best handled by me, particularly the newsletter. As your Governor, the fault is mine alone. My sincere apologies to all for this failure. To live and learn is a most valuable experience and I will carry it with me should I go forward in Lionism.
And finally, as Lions, be strong and diligent in your work. Always strive to achieve all that you can, the best that you can, when you can. To the incoming Council, do not forget that we Lions are all volunteers even as you are. Work together and achieve together as a Team, individually saying “I will, so that we can!” My gratitude to all the really great Lions who have provided guidance and support in my service to the District including PIP Lion Sid, PID Lion Harvey, ID Gwen, PDG John, PDG Sandy, PDG Randal, PCC Ron, PDG Lee, my fellow Council DG’s George, Steve, Curtiss, and Don along with CC Gary, VDG’s Susie and Paul, a multitude of other Lions around the state and elsewhere, and especially my wife, Barbara. THANKS!!
To all Lions of the ‘Big O’ and your families,
May God bless you and keep you; may His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may He lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace, now and for all time.
“The Harvest is Plentiful”
In the March message I spoke of winding down and being the current DG I guess that idea is a legitimate subject of discussion. HOWEVER, there is a new year ‘a coming with new leadership, new opportunities to grow as Lions, new members to find, and new challenges to be faced and overcome. Said simply, the work ain’t done. DGE Susie will be taking the reins in July when she is inducted at the International Convention in Las Vegas. She will be ably assisted by 1VDGE Paul Silverman and 2VDGE Paul Marth. As with every other District Governor before her, she will need all the support that the Lions of District O can provide to achieve success during her year as your 2018-2019 District Governor. Let’s get behind her and make it happen. Again, always remember – “ I will, so that we can!”
On membership, as of 1 May 2018 we are at 1249 members, 1 up over the last report. OUTSTANDING!! Let’s keep rolling. For Brighter Visions we have hit 66% of our goal as announced by Lion John Owens at the State Convention this past weekend so we are continuing to make good progress along the highway to Murphy. We still have time to make it work if we are willing. We must never forget why it is so important to continue down the road at a rapid pace. Camp Dogwood is at the brink still and we, the Lions of North Carolina, are the only ones who can bring it back. Once more – “I will, so that we can!”
Our ‘REEELY BIG SHEW’ was presented April 27-29 at the Greensboro Airport Marriott with the best attendance in several years. PIP and LCIF Chairperson Bob Corlew was our guest speaker for this year’s event and his message was one of inspiration for all Lions attending. I believe that all Lions who were there thoroughly enjoyed the activities during the weekend. Very large kudos go to the Convention Committee led by Lions Barbara Thompson and PDG Terry Grooms for the fantastic work in bring it all together to everyone’s satisfaction. Put this date on your calendar – April 26-28, 2019 – for next year’s Convention. Should be another great one. Y’all come on down!
At this time, I want to turn to a more somber thought. Most of you are probably aware of the devastation that has occurred in Greensboro due to the tornado that struck the east side on April 15. It is overwhelming to witness. So many homes, businesses, schools, and churches were hit and a large amount of those were destroyed. Restoration of power in the area is still a work in progress. Hundreds are homeless. District O has been on the front lines providing needed supplies to those in need. We have received an emergency disaster relief funds grant from LCI in the amount of $10,000 to aid in our efforts. Lions and Lions Clubs around the State are also contributing and in a way that is simply staggering, shouting out to all that can hear – “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion!” I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
DGE Susie has been on the point with District Leadership Team Members 1VDGE Paul Silverman, 2VDGE Paul Marth, and District Secretary/Treasurer Ron Kelly backing her up. Great work is being done by everyone involved. Please know that the challenge is great and the work will continue for quite some time. If you are willing and able to assist in this effort in any way please let us know.
Finally, say a prayer for all those afflicted by this sad tragedy, those that were injured, and for the one soul that was lost. Together, with the strength of God in us and around us, we shall overcome this.