“Lions focus this year has been on service. The intent of this conference was to reignite the flame of service in our members and for them to bring this spark back to their clubs and start a fire of service in their own communities.” Said DG Dennis
Fredericksburg/Stafford, VA (PRWEB) March 17, 2012
When Virginia Lions District 24A Governor Dennis Kelly first pitched the idea of foregoing the traditional Winter Conference for a “Giant Service Project”, it was met with the usual resistance to change the status quo. Advisors were afraid that asking Lions to get up early on a Saturday morning and go out in the community en masse to perform services would be a bit much, and would not be well received. However; Governor Dennis Kelly insisted that instead of the usual Conference with classes, seminars and sessions designed to promote better service to the communities, the Lions should go out and effectively demonstrate our motto of “We Serve” in the flesh, and in real time.
After the prior evening of Karaoke, camaraderie and updates on current District activities, the Lions arrived early Saturday morning, February 25, 2012 ready for a day of service. Over 200 Lions donned yellow shirts and beaming smiles, and dispersed throughout the area.
Lions yellow shirts were visible at SPCA, Micah’s shelter, Heartfields Assisted Living, Health South Rehab Hospital, RCDV, Stafford Head Start, Volunteers for the Blind, Hospice Support, Salvation Army, Stafford Junction’s health fair, Senior Visitor Program, and the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. Some Lions spent the morning at the Hospitality House and Conference Center crocheting small blankets for Loss of Loved Ones to Sudden Tragedy, knotting fleece lap blankets for nursing home patients, sorting thousands of stamps for therapy for our wounded warriors, and recycling used eyeglasses to give the gift of sight to people in need throughout the world.
Usually Lions serve within their clubs and have small groups go out to help others. This year, with a “Let’s do something different at this winter conference attitude”, a very large number of Lions went out for an entire morning to help make a difference in one area.
Lions returned to the conference at noon smiling and happy to have helped. There has been only positive feedback from the contacts at each organization the Lions assisted.
Past Council Chair Bill Bartlett, one of our staunch traditionalist had this to say. “ When I received the Winter Conference Registration package, and read that we were going to dispense with the usual classes, and instead go out into somebody else’s community and do service projects, I said to my wife, ‘What idiot came up with this dumb idea.’ Now that I have spent four hours working in a food bank, my feet hurt, my back hurts and I’m starving, but I had a great time and think it was sheer genius on the part of the District Governor to think outside the box and come up with this idea! It was a wonderful experience and should be repeated.”
District Governor Dennis Kelly had this to say, “Lions focus this year has been on service. The intent of this conference was to reignite the flame of service in our members and for them to bring this spark back to their clubs and start a fire of service in their own communities.”
“The local Lions clubs from the Stafford and Fredericksburg areas will continue to serve as always, but the idea of sending out hundreds of Lions at once is something we’ll all look forward to doing again and again,” said Wilma Murphy of the Greater Falls Run Lions Club.
Thank you, Fredericksburg/Stafford, for the opportunity to again live up to our motto: WE SERVE. It was truly our pleasure.
District 24-A is located in the Northern section of the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves the counties of Arlington, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland. Also We Serve the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Fredericksburg as well as the towns of Clifton, Colonial Beach, Culpeper, Dumfries, Hamilton, Haymarket, Herndon, Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Montross, Occoquan, Purceville, Quantico, Remington, Round Hill, The Plains, Vienna and Warrenton. Visit our website at http://www.valions.org
Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at http://www.lionsclubs.org.