New Lions Club forming in WC
A public meeting will be held Wednesday, June 19, at West Concord City Hall to present information to the community about a proposal to form a new Lions Club in West Concord. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and last about an hour.
District Governor-Elect Dale Lipke of Byron, Minn., and other Lions will be on hand to explain who Lions are and how they can serve the community.
DGE Lipke has made the formation of new clubs a priority for his upcoming year as District Governor. He chose West Concord, knowing that it had a Lions Club years ago and still has a Lions Park.
“West Concord is under-served in terms of having a Lions Club to support the local community,” DGE Lipke said. Lions International is the world’s largest service organization with clubs in more than 200 countries around the world.
District 5M1, which encompasses eight counties in Southeastern Minnesota, has 51 clubs, including one that was revived in Zumbrota a year ago. “But there’s not one in West Concord,” DGE Lipke said, so he recently approached the West Concord City Council and found strong support for a club.
City officials were “very excited,” he said, and offered the use of City Hall for the June 19 gathering.
“The main focus of a Lions Club is to serve the local community and people in need,” DGE Lipke stressed. Clubs also are part of the worldwide organization that is known for its commitment to vision and hearing, the environment, and has in recent years also tackled diabetes, measles, childhood cancer and other needs.
Locally, many clubs take on projects such as providing vision screening for preschoolers, purchasing eyeglasses for children whose families cannot afford them, volunteering for Special Olympics, funding accessible playgrounds, providing services to veterans, supporting Leader Dogs and other assist dogs, helping families who been hit by fire and other disasters, and many more projects
On the state level, Lions of Southeastern Minnesota were leaders in the establishment of the first Lions Eye Bank in the world in the 1960s. We continue that partnership through the University of Minnesota, which is a leader in research on vision, hearing, diabetes and other concerns.
“I’m looking for 25 to 30 service-minded men and women to start a Lions Club in West Concord,” DGE Lipke said. With a population of 700-plus, it is large enough to support an active group. Some of the largest clubs in the district are in smaller communities, he added, including Goodhue, Eitzen, and Pine Island.
West Concord residents who are interested will be the ones to make decisions about matters such as how often, when and where they will meet. Lions recommend at least one monthly membership meeting and one board meeting for club leadership.
“One of the unique things about Lions is that there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ format,” DGE Lipke said. “Each club decides how it wants to serve their community.”
Members will elect their own officers, determine local dues (they also help support the district and international organizations), and decide what fundraisers and service projects they want to do.
“That’s what I enjoy most about Lionism,” DGE Lipke said – “Doing the service. I enjoy helping people in need.”
For more information, contact DGE Lipke at 507-272-1154.