INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT’S AWARDS
The highest awards presented by the association to its members are given at the discretion of the international president.
The most important and prestigious award is the Ambassador of Good Will Award. This is followed by the International President’s Award, the Leadership Award and the International President’s Certificate of Appreciation.
While each international president may have slightly different criteria for these awards, the awards are generally presented to Lions who have distinguished themselves by particularly noteworthy service. If you know of a Lion who may be deserving of a special recognition, you should communicate detailed information on the candidate and his or her accomplishments to your council chairman (or your district governor if you are in a single district). These Lions, along with present and past officers, will make recommendations to the international president.
Awards should be presented in public and with due ceremony. Imagine the difference between a club president handing a longevity award to a member while he or she is eating and a club president presenting the award from a podium after saying, “Fellow Lions, I am pleased today to honor our fellow member who has given many years of dedicated service to our club.” An item called “Awards Presentations” should be part of your regular meeting agenda. If you do not have a specific award to present, find a way to recognize one or more members for their hard work. Simply thanking a Lion for his or her contributions goes a long way toward keeping morale and achievement at a high level. It is also important to recognize newer members. If the club immediately involves them in committees and activities, as it should, then there should be many opportunities to recognize them. Awards should never be mailed to recipients.
PROPER DISPLAY OF AWARDS
In most countries, military officers only wear medals with full-dress uniforms. When wearing service uniforms, they may wear ribbons representing the medals. The same policy is generally true for medals presented by the international president. The medals should generally be displayed with formal wear only, unless other instructions are specifically given prior to the event. Medals should never be worn with casual dress, which includes the vests, jackets and other uniform-like apparel often worn by Lions. Nor should they be removed from the ribbon or ribbons provided, as these are integral to the award.
The Ambassador of Good Will Award medal is presented with both a neck and chest ribbon. Because it is the highest award a member can receive, most Lions use the neck ribbon to make it stand apart from other medals worn. The award also comes with a miniature lapel pin, which can be worn with business attire.
Recipients of the current president’s International President’s Award should wear the award on formal occasions during that president’s year in office and not others that they may have received in past years. If a past international president from whom an International President’s Award was received is present, then it is permissible to wear his medal also. However, Lions should avoid wearing multiple medals. Medals should be worn on the left chest of the coat. If multiple medals are worn, the Ambassador of Good Will Award (if being worn with the chest ribbon and not the neck ribbon) should be first in line (from left to right when facing the wearer). This should be followed by the International President’s Award(s), beginning with the most recently serving international president in order to the most distant. The International Leadership Award (which may be worn on formal wear at any time) can then follow. If a Lion has received other medals from the club, district or multiple district, these awards must follow any international awards. Local custom may permit them to be worn with non-formal attire.
The International President’s Certificate of Appreciation is an important and unique award. The award comes in a folder, but those who present it often frame it prior to the presentation. This is the recommended policy to follow for all certificates, since it makes it easier for the recipient to display the award in his or her office or home. Most certificates presented at the club, district, multiple district and international levels are of standard sizes and suitable frames are easily available at relatively low cost from Club Supplies.
Like certificates, plaques are particularly suitable for individual member awards and non-Lion dignitaries. Displayed at work or at home, they not only illustrate achievement, but also proclaim to all who see them that the recipient is a proud and recognized member or has been otherwise recognized by Lions Clubs International. Club Supplies (or licensed suppliers in some parts of the world) has an extensive selection of plaques for both specific and general purposes.
Because most Lions clubs do not have their own meeting facility, they are generally unable to display plaques or framed certificates. For this reason, the association often provides recognition in the form of a patch that can be affixed to the club’s banner. Active and successful clubs have often received numerous patches and have purchased a separate “Lions Clubs Awards” banner from Club Supplies. Patches should always be neatly sewn or otherwise affixed to the banner.