Welcome Message for 2022-2023

Allen Swaim
District Governor Allen Swaim

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” This is a quote credited to Helen Keller, among several others throughout history. It makes no difference who first said it; it only makes a difference if you believe it, I believe it, and we all as a group believe it.

This year has the wonderful opportunity to turn our district into a community service superpower. We each have a role to play, just like the protagonistic robot leader on the kids movie, “find a need, fill a need!” We are so very blessed to be here, in the Lions Clubs, at this particular period of time. We can, and will, make a huge movement for the good of our local, district, and state communities this year, and for many years to come.

It was just over two years ago when I became District Governor for the first time. Now, due to circumstances as they are, I am returning for the last time that I, and anyone else, will be able to become a DG more than once. It seemed that the world ended up like the boat we were on when it capsized during the storm; confusing, scary, and a lot of chaos. I changed my direction and goals at the last moment and started asking clubs to “just do something” to stay relevant. You responded, many of you responded like the true heroes you are. You delivered food and supplies to shut-ins that were too sacred or worried to leave their home; you ran fundraisers with multiple stages that raised money but kept safe separation between others, and you retained your Lions’ Spirit through it all.

Today, I thank PDG Randy Oxendine for his leadership over the last year as we have come out of the Covid Chaos, and I look forward with exuberance at the possibilities of the next year. I have set several goals that will challenge the best among you, but they are reachable and will make us into a powerhouse of a district. First, we have announced a contest for membership driven Lions. If any Lion sponsors three new members during my term as DG, I will invite you and your spouse to a dinner at the Angus Barn (if a small group), or (better yet) a night of celebration at our house (with a chef and bartender coming in to cook in front of everyone.) We need to get above 1250 member to be able to sponsor another International Director, and we have some great member in our district that deserve the chance to run that race.

Second, I have set the goal of one hundred twenty dollars for Brighter Visions for each member of our district. Brighter Visions has suffered under Covid and we need to replenish it. I have also asked each club to hold an individual fundraiser just to benefit Brighter Visions on top of your individual goal. Here in Wendell, we are holding a benefit concert just for Brighter Visions and we are setting our goal high because the money is sorely needed.

Third, I returned just recently from a tour of Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute with Gwen, Rhett, and several big wigs from the greater DC area district. There are things being worked on in their labs that are incredible and too much to write here. The director there says he needs money to develop the technology that will virtually eliminate blindness. I spoke to the VDGs of N and S, and we have come up with a goal to raise one million one dollar bills for clinical eye research. If we can cure blindness, let’s do it sooner rather than later. You will be asked to set out jars and buckets to collect changes and single dollars that we will pile up and keep current with a picture online. I read where a Lions Club raised one million pennies for library books a few years back. I believe we can raise one million dollars for clinical eye research if we set our hearts and minds to it.

Lastly, let’s have fun and be happy. People are drawn to a group if they are happy and having fun. Fun comes from activities that bring you joy. Happiness is a state of mind. Make your goals to benefit those in need in and around our community, and let others know the happiness you receive from doing them. Ask for help in your activities, it is really easy, and everyone loves helping the community if they know it is something that you are doing. Let’s get started on a fantastic year!

2022 District N & S PDG Golf Tournament

Past District Governors’ Golf Tournament

Mark your calendars: Monday October 3 for the Annual District 31-N & S PDG Golf Tournament benefitting the Visually Impaired Persons Fishing Tournament. The event will be held at Lane Tree Country Club in Goldsboro. Shotgun start will be 11:00 a.m. the format is a modified super-ball tournament. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place, as well as closest to the pin on all par threes, and the longest drive on a designated hole.

We need players; $75.00 for individual, $300.00 for a team. We also need hole sponsors at $100.00 each.

For additional information contact PDG Jana Peedin at jduobox@aol.com or PDG Gene English at ggenglish@n.rr.com or any PDG in your District.

GOLFERS WANTED!!!

GOLFERS WANTED!!! The PDG’S of District 31 N&S invite you to play in our upcoming golf event to raise funds for the VIP Fishing Tournament. Monday Oct4th in Goldsboro. Come Join Us You Still have time to register. Any questions feel free to call PDG Wayne Faber 919-780-8819.

North Carolina Laws for the protection of people who are Blind, their use of White Canes, and Service Animals

As Lions, one of the most important things we can do is to be informed of the North Carolina Laws that protect people who are blind or have low vision, their use of white canes and their service animals.
 
While it is very important that we raise money to help people with their visions White Canes and Leader Dogs, it is also important that we know, and share, information on the rights and protection of people who are blind or have low vision.
 
North Carolina has many laws that give rights and protection to people who are blind or have low vision.  A list of these laws can be found at HERE.  These laws cover assaulting a service animal, Rights of people who are Blind, Right-of-Way for White Canes, & Guide Dogs, among other items.
 
The NC DHHS publishes a document on “Welcoming Your Customers who use Service Animals”.  This is a good summary of wha businesses should do and how they can recognize what animals qualify as a service animal and which do not.  This document can be found at HERE.
 
Submitted by Lion Bill Graham

A Few Memories from 70 Years of Fun, Frivolity and Lions’ Service

In preparation for the North Carolina Lions 2020 State Convention, PID Lacy Presnell made his book, “A Few Memories from 70 Years of Fun, Frivolity and Lions’ Service” available.  He has stated “I simply want every VIP and every Lion who wants one to have a copy of my book.”  Unfortunately, due to the CoVid 19 Pandemic, PID Lacy’s book got very little exposure.
 
Fortunately, PID Lacy’s Excellent book on being a Lion can be found on the District 31S website, HERE.
 
This is a must read book for Lions & VIPs.  If you have ever heard PID Lacy speak, you Will recognize his wit, wisdom, and good humor in this book. We recommend you read PID Lacy’s book, and share it with others.  The pdf on the website is screen reader friendly, so you can also share it with any people who are blind or have low vision.
 
Pictured are Esther & PID Lacy Presnell
 
Together we can do so much more!
 
Lion Bill Graham
31S District Leader Dog Chair

Together We Can – Together We Will

District Governor Randy Oxendine

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in District 31-S for selecting me to this prestigious position. It is an honor that I will always remember.

My vision is to unlock the possibility for achievement and give our Lions hope for the future. The first step in this process is to reflect on what we really want. The second step is to make a journal or plan that will FOCUS on the following questions: 1. Who am I? 2. What am I doing? 3. What do I want? The third step is for each Lion to find a quiet space, get a stack of magazines, and cut out pictures and words that speak to you. Relax and begin to dream. The fourth step is that I want all Lions to look through all of the pictures and words you chose. Please keep those that speak to question 3 in step 2, “What do I want”? Now commit those questions to paper. Step five, place your pictures, words and a photo of yourself on your paper. You now have your Vision Map. Put it in a place where you can look at it every day. Speak positive words of affirmation and articulate your vision to others. This Vision Mapping Process will help us as Lions Serve!

There are three things all Lions need: A Clear Mission, Leaders, and Commitment. I feel we can all motivate each other as we do our VIP’s. As we always say, “Together Everyone Achieves More”. Can you tell me what WIIFM stands for? It stands for “What’s in It for Me”? We say this a lot in sports! Can you tell me what WIBF stands for? This stands for “Will It Be Fun”? We say this a lot in life!

Sustainability is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level. Lions have the ability to clearly imagine, and see and feel what it would be to reach your goal.

With all of this said, Let’s Follow the Yellow Brick Road like Dorothy did in the “Wizard of Oz”, and have the ride of our life with memories we will never forget!

Most importantly, have a great year, work hard, have a great attitude, be careful, and HAVE FUN!

Virtual Mid-Winter Convention

This year we had our first ever Virtual Mid-Winter Convention.  This was accomplished by creating a pre-recorded video covering certain parts of the convention, voting by email and concluded with a Zoom meeting for the Cabinet meeting and address from the International Director. 

If you were unable to attend the event this past weekend do not fret!  We recorded the Zoom meeting as well and have made all of the materials available to you here.

Pre-Recorded video – Approximately 34 minutes

Zoom Meeting Passcode: *RiJL7?g –  Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.   

Welcome From DG Allen Swaim

Allen Swaim
District Governor Allen Swaim

Thank you for the opportunity to serve this year.
The goal of the District this year is to “Focus on Vision.” Both meanings of “Vision” are considered in this goal. We are known around the world for our 1.4 million members who fight everyday to treat and cure blindness. However, we are also known for our leadership and community service that takes our sights to the future and what we can accomplish. I encourage all Lions, and Lions to be to embrace both meanings of “Vision” for the next year.
Speaking of the next year, we are in uncharted waters Lions. We have never faced this level of adversity from a pandemic. Many clubs are unable to meet, but all are still able to serve. I ask you to come together to serve in the coming year for the good of our communities, state, and countries. The world is a strange and scary place right now. Lions can help bring peace and hope to those in need. Remember, (in the deep baritone of Lion Sherman Leathers), “We are Loving Individuals Offering Needed Service.”
I try every week to listen to the greatest coach ever (Okay I may be a little biased) Jimmy V. He would preach at every practice, game, and brickyard walk, “Put yourself in a position to win.” That is what we can do even in this current climate, put ourselves into a position to win. Take the time to work on your club communications, websites, social media, service opportunities, and fundraising plans. May we look back at this time as our greatest hour when we did what must be done.
Many of you have expressed to me that you are scared about the pandemic and the current state of affairs of the world. Two days ago, Amy and I, with our two youngest boys 9 and 11, decided to take half a day and go sailing. We had a great time for four hours or so; however, about a mile from the dock a thunderstorm hit from out of nowhere. A huge gust of air flipped our boat. In less than a second, we went from sailing peacefully to capsized. Never did any of us expect to be in such danger on a pretty day.
I climbed on the keel until the boat flipped back over. With the sails still up it immediately took off with the four of us hanging onto as best we could. I threw little Teddy into the boat and we told him to drop the sails. He later told me, “Daddy, I was scared, but I knew I had to get the job done to save everyone.” We explained that “bravery” is doing what you must when you are scared.
Together Lions, we must be brave in this current environment. We must do what we know we must even though we may be scared. We must continue to serve. We must continue to work for good. We must continue to be Lions, even when this storm tears at the sails and flips the boat. I predict many civic and community service organizations will disappear this year; however, we will not be one of them. We will work hard, we will serve where we can, and we will prevail.
Visions, service, and energy will drive everything else. Take time to tell others about your service. People want to help, they just need to know what you are doing in the community and how they can assist. Look first for opportunities to serve; funds and members will follow.
I look forward to working with you this year