As Carol and I have been visiting clubs for the past several months now, I have seen and heard from most of the clubs that we are having trouble doing our projects because everyone is getting older or they are too busy to do it anymore.
One club has even given up their signature project because the club has become aged with no younger members to carry on their mission. Overall Lions Clubs in the US are having this problem. A majority of our clubs are getting older, smaller and the energy and vitality that each club has had, is gone.
What do we do? How do we revitalize clubs? By new projects more tailored to the age and abilities of the current club, recruiting of younger members and women, and by creating new clubs and branch clubs.
The only way we are going to grow our District is to bring in new members, and even more important than new members is keeping our current members. They are dropping out of our clubs in larger numbers than we are bringing them in. We have great programs in Lionism to help with retention; our awards.
The Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) is the highest recognition a club can give a fellow Lion. It is given to those who have devoted their lives to Lionism. Over the years we forget what people have done in our clubs. The many projects they either have run or been a part of, or the fund raisers and offices they may have held in the club. We use the MJF to recognize them for their endeavors. There are many clubs in the district that have monies built up at Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) that can be used to name a Melvin Jones Fellow. One club in the district currently has over $5000 in the fund, and could use it to name as many as 5 MJFs.
The President’s medal is a great award to give to those in the club that have performed outstandingly for one or more projects during a current year. We don’t utilize our awards well and it may be just the thing to keep members happy while serving the community.
Thanks for the great comments you all are providing when I make my visits and remember that the District is here to serve you the Club and club members, please use us.
Check out our new web site and let PDG Wendy Cain know how much you like it: http://tnlions.org/
DG Bill McDonald