District Governor Ken's Newsletter:
Lions Make a of Difference!
Fellow Lions of District 23C: "Today is a great day to be a Lion!"
I am writing to you with a great deal of mixed emotions. I am reflective and nostalgic of the past year. I cannot explain to you in words how appreciative I am that you have given me the opportunity to serve as District Governor of District 23C. I am somewhat saddened that my time is short and have less than two months to serve. I am also excited knowing that we will soon have a new District Governor. 1st Vice District Governor Jan Miller has spent this whole year watching, learning, and especially planning his goals and objectives for the clubs in our district to help them better serve those within our communities who need our help.
I am so proud of our Lions. We have accomplished more than I could have ever imagined. Everywhere I have been throughout our district, the one thing that resonates is that our Lions want to serve. The love of Lionism and the passion to serve those less fortunate has been demonstrated to me time and time again. At every turn, I walked away energized and revitalized knowing that good things were being done all over our district. To date, the Lions of our district have reported participating in almost 800 different events, working over 35,000 Lions hours and have raised over a quarter of a million dollars in their endeavors and I am a very proud Governor.
This year was an amazing ride. There were so many events and I attended as many as I could. My first priority was the club visits and I have completed all 55 of them. Every District Governor before me has said to me that these visits are the best part of the year and I can testify to you that they were correct. Enthusiasm, passion, commitment, love of Lionism, and dedication are just a few words to describe these visits. Hearing all about all of the service projects and fundraisers, the amazing works that you do was so special. Our district is in great shape.
After returning from Seattle and the International Convention, the year started off with a visit to Camp Rising Sun, a camp for kids with cancer that our district supports. What an experience. We participated in the Veterans Stand Down, the USA/Canada Forum in Anchorage, the Connecticut Health & Wellness Festival, held a district rally with our Leos that we named the “Amazing Race” after the television show and observed White Cane Safety Day in October. We held a two day Lions Quest workshop and in January held our district’s signature project, our Humanitarian Banquet and we named a non-Lion Humanitarian of the Year with many clubs provided donations to LCIF. We had a tremendous time at our mid-winter conference with ID Doug Alexander, attended UN day, recognized our club leaders at the Governor’s Award Night, participated in Sight Saver Day, was honored to have ID Brian Sheehan at our State Convention in Vermont, walked in our Journey For Sight and distributed and planted trees.
Our district has started many brand new projects that are being embraced this year. Lions Quest, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Scouting, Recycling of Hearing Aids, our Tree Planting Campaign, creating a cable television public access Lions program, and recycling eyeglasses district wide are all new projects.
Our district embraced Dr. Tam’s tree planting campaign and set our initial goal to plant 500 trees this year. We raised our goal twice throughout the year and settled for a goal of planting 2,000 trees. We now know that we have almost doubled these projections and at last count we were at approximately 3,800 trees. What an exciting project. On May 6th, we processed and sent out of our district an incredible number of eyeglasses that we had stored in the trunks of our cars or the shelves in our homes. They were delivered to an eyeglass redemption center to be placed on the faces of those who need them most. We still have two months to go and almost every weekend we have something planned. You, Lions, are incredible.
We did not complete everything we had hoped. Our membership this year started at 1944 members and we are down a little. We have not been able to charter any new clubs, but we have chartered two new Leo Clubs. The Global Membership Teams and Global Leadership Teams started extremely slow and it wasn’t until the fall before we were able to get momentum started. We now have conducted training to recertify our Guiding Lions and provide a Club Excellence Program training course. This training will allow us to be prepared to assist clubs in our district to become stronger and more effective in our communities.
Our leadership for next year is outstanding. We will be led by Lions Jan Miller, Steve Novic and Nanette Burdick, three very capable Lions. I am looking forward to serving you. I would be remiss in thanking Cabinet Secretary Linda Bradshaw and Cabinet Treasurer Tom Weaver for the wonderful work they have done to support our district. Our Vice District Governors, Region Chairpersons, Zone Chairpersons, and Cabinet Chairpersons have done exemplary work and I am thankful and proud of all of you. Special thanks is offered to our Past District Governors who have given me counsel and guidance. Most of all, I could not have accomplished this journey without the love, support and understanding of my best friend and the love of my wife, Nancy. I am eternally grateful and I owe you!
There are ten plus months gone, but we still have almost two months left and I am not going anywhere. There still is much work to be done and the Lions of District 23C are daily changing lives, one person at a time. I am proud to be called your District Governor and I am proud to be serving you.
Yours in Lionism,