Why be a Lion?

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Truro & District Lions Club, By Joyce Gero

Members reap rewards of service

One of the very special guests at this year’s annual Lion’s convention was 18-month-old Georgia Langille, who is deaf, blind and suffers from seizures. Lion David Galloway, with 80 per cent of his vision blocked, walked from Springhill to Truro as a fundraiser for Georgia.

People join service organizations for many reasons. Some have been “voluntold” by employers requiring commitment to community service as a condition of employment. Others have empty hours they need to fill in some way. Many hope to use connections made through networking for personal gain in career or society. A few may actually join because they want to help others in their communities. 

People who stay in service organizations do so with the knowledge they’ve played a role, either large or small, in improving lives of others in their communities.

“When did you become a Lion?”

This question, often heard at Lions functions, isn’t referring to the date someone joined a Lions club. Its meaning is much more profound and most true Lions understand that. Ask 100 Lions; you’ll probably get 100 different answers.

It could be the day a Lion saw a child’s joy when presented with her very first brand new book. It might come from reading a thank you letter from a teen who has received a bursary or a senior whose new hearing aid allows him to enjoy music once again. For most, it’s an “A-ha!” moment, a time for thinking, “Yes, this is what it’s all about!”

The Nova Scotia Lions annual convention held in Truro one weekend last month was filled with potential “A-ha!” moments.

Special guests at convention kick-off were 18-month-old Georgia Langille, mom Kristen, dad Fraser and big sister Abbie. Georgia, who is deaf, blind and suffers from seizures, touched many hearts that evening.

The following day, when Lion David Galloway spoke to the gathering after walking, with 80 per cent of his vision blocked, from Springhill to Truro as a fundraiser for Georgia, there were few dry eyes in the room.

More hearts were touched on Saturday when another special family from Truro visited the convention. While young Landon and Earl, his autism assistance dog, romped on the floor, Mom and Dad spoke about the effect autism has on a family and how Earl, purchased by the Musquodoboit Valley Lions Club, has made a positive difference in their lives.

Lions contributed almost half of the $15,000 raised for Georgia that weekend. In the wake of Landon and Earl’s visit, clubs in the district presented more than $34,000 to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide program. In addition, district club donations of $32,252 accumulated during the year were presented to APSEA’s Dr. Tulk for school playground reconstruction at the School for the Blind in Halifax.

But it wasn’t all about money. A highlight of the convention was the teen public speaking competition, when 11 young people addressed issues such as child soldiers, negative effects of technology, eating disorders and bullying. Cape Breton’s Elzbietta Waver won a place at the multiple district convention at the end of May with her speech on decisions and consequences.

Socially conscious topics presented by the youth of today, the adults of tomorrow. A-ha!

To learn about Lions’ projects in the community or how you can become involved in the organization, visit http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/trurons/ or join the Truro & District Lions Club on Facebook.

Joyce Gero, or Lion Joyce, is 2013-14 public relations chair with the Truro and District Lions Club. She is a resident of Lower Truro.

 

Organizations: Nova Scotia Lions, Musquodoboit Valley Lions Club, Truro District Lions Club on Facebook Lions Foundation School for the Blind

Geographic location: Georgia, Halifax, Cape Breton Lower Truro

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