DG Chuck and Lion Paulette Bailey

I am honored and humbled to have your trust to serve you as District Governor and I look forward to working with all of you in representing our motto, “We Serve.”  In writing this message prior to officially becoming District Governor, I’m hoping to ensure a timely message in the first News & Views of the new Lions year 2011-2012.

Our International Association requires me to establish District Goals and to periodically report our progress toward achieving them.  I want to share those goals with you because I cannot achieve them without your help.  I also want to share with you why I selected them.

Goals:

  1. Charter three new clubs,
  2. Increase District 12-N membership by a net 60, and
  3. Leave in place a Leadership team who can continue revitalization of our district.

District membership has been declining for several years. Currently, at 1140 numbers, we are smaller than a bona fide 1250 member district, but more importantly, given our reduced membership, we are no longer able to accomplish services to our 12-N communities like we used to.  For example, giving to our White Cane Charities through our 12-N Charities is approximately half of what it has been historically.  While there are a variety of reasons for this decline, reduced District membership is a primary factor. Aging of our membership is in large part responsible for several clubs having to abolish signature events; they are no longer capable to handle the burdens.  The passing on of long time Lions with many years of dedicated service to their communities is also a significant factor in the downward direction of our District membership numbers.

Clearly, a change in strategy regarding membership is essential if we are to revitalize our District.  A planning committee met in early May of this year to work out the details for a strategy to meet the Goals. Four communities have been established as targets for new clubs.  Establishment of Lions Clubs in Alcoa and Jonesborough will be under the leadership of Vice District Governor Dianne Wilkerson. Likewise, establishment of Lions Clubs in Jellico and Oliver Springs will be under the leadership of Vive District Governor Mike McDonough. Through extensive letter writing campaigns to community leaders, the VDG’s are seeking a list of community needs and names in their respective communities of people who are advocates for their needs. Hopefully, they will be younger people with the energy and stamina necessary to serve their communities

With the help of the Global Membership Team (GMT) coordinator, Clare Crawford, the identified advocates will be recruited as Lions members and with the assistance of Global Leadership Team (GLT) coordinator, Nancy Hall; training of recruiters, Guiding Lions and potential members will be accomplished. Zone Chairs in the target regions will play a pivotal role in the success of the new clubs as will the Guiding Lions assigned to them.

By targeting four communities, it is hoped we will be able to charter at least three during the 2011-2012 year. With a minimum of 20 members per club, 60 new Lions will be added to our rolls in the District.  But, this is where I need your help. In order for our district to grow by 60 new Lions in 3 new clubs, I need the rest of the clubs in the District to, as a minimum, not lose any members. Retention and replacement of lost members is the responsibility of all of us if we are to be successful.

With the VDGs accepting these important tasks involving extension and retention throughout the year and the experience that goes with it, I’m certain they will represent you well in their respective years as future District Governors. They will need your help as well. While your primary responsibility as Lions is serving your own community’s needs, if called upon, I hope you can find the time to help the larger community of your District.

In Lionism,

DG Chuck Bailey

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