As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we need to step back and focus on the many blessings that we have received over the past year and to extend a hand to those that are less fortunate. I would like to share a few items with you.
1. A reminder about Zone Chair Janice Boone’s membership challenge for the District. Bring a new member into your club to provide an additional pair of help those that are in need. Remember that you get one point for every member you bring into the club and an additional point if the member is female. Presently District 31 F has 1074 members of which 27.3% are females which is up from 26.4 % in July of this year. As an incentive to have you recruit new members, the District will be making a $100 donation to the club with the greatest percentage of increase in their membership. In addition each new member will be entered into a drawing and two of the new members will be invited to the District 31F mid-winter convention on Feb. 1 in Aberdeen at no cost. As of now the Hamlet club is in first place but several other clubs are close behind. Contest ends Dec. 31 so Just Ask your friends and neighbors to join the best service club around.
2. During my visits to club I do not talk about the Governor’s goals as I leave that up to the club as to what they want to support. But I want to highlight two areas that are especially dear to me. The first is the Camp Dogwood ticket sales. The proceeds from the ticket sales goes to support the maintenance of the Camp. The NC Lions owns a fantastic piece of property on Lake Norman which is the home of the NC Lions Camp Dogwood, the camp for the blind and visually impaired. Each year this is a vacation time for about 80 campers each week. This past year we had over 740 campers during the summer sessions. Right now several improvements are being made to the camp to preserve our investment and to make the camp a better palce for the campers. Please try to sell a minimum of 3 books of tickets per member to support the camp.
3. The second area is the Brighter Vision Annual Fund Drive (foremerly know as the White Cane Drive). The name was changed to make it more meaningful to all of the Lions and for businesses and individuals that are inclined to support the program. You may ask, why should I suupport this as it does not benefit my community. But it does support your community, if you have a camper from your community that goes to Camp Dogwood your community does benefit as it cost the Lions an additional $600 to support that camper for the week. This $600 comes from the Brighte Visions program. In addition, if you provide an eye exam and glasses for someone in your community and participate in the Matching Fund program, your club with get back 50% of the cost of the exam and glasseswhich comes from the Brighter Visons program. Also the Brighter Visions program makes a $15,000 donation to the VIP Fishing tournment that is held every year for the blind and visually impaired in October on the Outer Banks. These are several reasons why it is important for each club to support the Brighter Visions Program to the degree that you can.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of the members of your club and thanks for what you do to make yur community, the State and thw world a better place to vie.
DG Vince Schimmoller.