“When the raging storms of life rush in, bringing darkness When the dream fades and despair takes its place Then like a faithful lighthouse on the distant shore A Lion stands as a ray of light to show the way.”
From the song “Beacon of Hope”
n the Outer Banks of my home state of North Carolina, stands the world’s tallest brick lighthouse. The Cape Hatteras lighthouse, built in 1807, has stood as a symbol of hope for mariners for over two centuries. Atlantic currents in this area made for excellent travel for ships, except in the area just offshore at Cape Hatteras. Nearby, the warm Gulf Stream ocean current collides with the colder Labrador Current, creating ideal conditions for powerful ocean storms and sea swells. The beacon at Cape Hatteras has been credited with guiding ships to safe harbor pointing the way for thousands who thought all hope was lost.
In spite of modern navigational aids and onboard satellite systems, lighthouses still dot the shores of oceans around the world. They have stood the test of time, and remain symbols of hope for those who have lost their way or are in need of assistance. The lighthouse keeper who used to manually light a lamp at the top of the lighthouse has long been replaced, but the light is still relevant.
Helen Keller asked the Lions to help her bring light to others. We answered that call as no other organization could, and our light of service is more relevant today than ever before. Yes – technology has added convenience to our lives, and we are all thankful for medical advances that have improved quality of life, and in many cases have made it possible to eradicate diseases that have plagued humankind. But in spite of advances far too numerous to mention, that have made our lives better, nothing has replaced the need for human interaction. There is no substitute for an outstretched hand offered in service.
Built on a solid foundation of volunteer service, Lions Clubs International has been providing hope to those in need since 1917. Throughout our history, Lions have been shining a light, highlighting health and happiness for millions
of people living in darkness and despair.
There is a light that emanates from each
and every Lion member. You can see it in their eyes, you can see it in their smile, and you can see it in their actions.
“a ray of light from another soul touched the darkness of my mind and I found myself…and broke through the dark, silent imprisonment which held me.”
As we navigate our way through this year, there may be unforeseen obstacles along the way, rugged shorelines, storms and rough seas. But there are over 1.3 million lighthouses in 205 countries – Lions members who will continue to light the way, and continue to serve as beacons of hope.
As your president, I ask of you to let the light of service shine brightly. Together, let us continue to be a symbol of light and hope for those who are in need, and for those who are searching for a safe harbor and a better tomorrow.
Sid L. Scruggs, III International President
“I want Lions to realize they are the ones that people look to for a promise of a better tomorrow. They are the Beacon of Hope.”
Sid L. Scruggs, III
Lions’ use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace has grown tremendously this year. More Lions are linking up with each other, and using social media to promote their events and projects. Something new this year will be the International President’s blog.
a firsthand account of what Lions are doing around the world. During my official visits, I am asking Lions to hold a service project in connection with my visit. I’m going to be your “in the field” reporter, connecting you and your projects to other Lions around the world and
We’ve all heard a Lion say at one time or
image will encourage prospective members another “we’re the best kept secret.” That’s a
and supporters to think well of your club, only selffulfilling prophecy, and simply isn’t true.
a vigorous and successful local public relations I’m asking Lions to erase that phrase from their
program will move them to donate time and vocabulary.
money, and accept an invitation to membership.
Why is it important for us to share our story with others? Because needs continue to escalate around the world. In order to continue to meet those needs, it is important that we grow our membership. To do that, we must increase public awareness of the Lions Clubs International brand – who we are, what we do, and what we stand for.
Lions Clubs International has the most extensive and successful public relations program of any service club organization. Last year alone, there were over 8,000 newspaper articles around the world reporting Lions activities, and over 700 television news features. Countless numbers of clubs are now getting onboard with active PR programs with innovative TV and radio public service announcements, billboard advertising, and use of social media to project their message. But an extremely successful global program can only define part of the association’s overall image.
People do not join “The International Association of Lions Clubs.” They join a Lions club – YOUR Lions club. While a positive To assist clubs and districts, we have created a new electronic library of PR tools – a “one stop shopping” section of the web site that has everything needed to run a successful public relations program.
With the number of visitors growing each month, the redesigned Lions Clubs International Web site is now the fastest way to find information and connect with others. Browse the Web site. Become familiar with it. Use the search engine to find what you are looking for expeditiously.
For more information about how you can create a successful public relations program, go to www.lionsclubs.org.
Service projects and public relations go hand in hand. Engage your local media by inviting them to one of your signature service projects, and engage your local community by promoting projects via social networking sites and on YouTube.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams
Through service projects, members develop skills they can put into practice. While improving the lives of many, each project provides an opportunity for our members to practice and develop their leadership skills. We have been extremely successful developing new leaders, and we will continue to focus on opportunities for leadership training. We must ensure our association’s future vitality by taking responsibility for the development of our next generation of leaders.
Keys To Successful Leadership Development
You may be a new Lion, or a Lion who has already served in a leadership position. In either case, I urge you to participate in and promote our leadership development programs. Volunteer to attend zone and regional meetings as well as club officer schools. Attend district and multiple district conventions and Area Forums. Signal your willingness to assume leadership positions. If you are
already a club or district officer,
encourage other Lions to do the
same. And encourage participation
in Lions Leadership Institutes and Faculty Development Institutes. Put more emphasis on online development opportunities. The Lions Learning Center offers an array of interactive online courses, and is a great way to build your knowledge while building your Lion resume’.
Seek out new opportunities to lead, and let your leadership qualities shine through!
Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders. We must do a better job of communicating with teenagers and young adults. No light shines more brightly than the one lighting the way toward the future. Our future.
There has never been a generation of young people more involved in their community. In the United States alone, 15% of people aged 17 to 25 are volunteering their time – giving back to the community. In other areas of the world that percentage is even higher. How we communicate our message to them will help determine whether they choose to volunteer as Lions.
Contrary to popular belief, young people don’t speak a different language. But they DO use a different mode of communication. This is the generation of computers, iphones, texting, instant messaging, and every means of social networking. Let’s bring our message to THEM.
We’ve already started. Lions Clubs International now has Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, an iphone application, our own YouTube channel, LinkedIn, and Flicker. And don’t forget my new International President’s blog. Don’t know what those are? Find out! Have you ever watched a podcast? Did you know many of LCI’s videos are now podcast?
But our ability to interact with young people goes beyond communicating. We need to engage them with programs they can relate to, and encourage their input and participation.
Clubs have many ways to brighten young lives. One of the best is to team with local schools or
youth organizations. At a school, your club might organize a Leo club or join together with an established Leo club for a joint project. But let the students take the lead!!!!
You can also sponsor students in a Lions international youth camp, exchange program, or introduce a Lions Quest program. What about sponsoring a Peace Poster contest at your
nearest school? Last year over 360,000 children ages 1113 participated in the Peace Poster contest.
This year I’m introducing a new initiative – an essay contest for blind or visually impaired children ages 1113. It will be run similar to the Peace Poster contest. Students will have the opportunity write an essay, no more than 500 words, using the theme “The Power of Peace.” For more information about how your club can sponsor a student, go to www.lionsclubs.org.
I’m also putting increased emphasis this year on our Young Leaders In Service Award. The Young Leaders In Service Award program is part of the Lions Opportunities for Youth initiative. The mission of Lions Opportunities for Youth is:
To provide the young people of the world with opportunities for achievement, learning, contribution and service, individually and collectively, through sponsorship of activities identified as best practices in the field of youth development.
Again – for more information consult the LCI Web site.
“We cannot and must not stand still, for of necessity we must exercise our influence and exert our efforts to expand and grow, not particularly to maintain leadership as the largest organization of its kind in the world, for that is unimportant in itself, but to be the best – to be the best in service to mankind – the best in caliber – to add luster and prestige to the privilege of being a Lion.”
Past International President John L. Stickley, 1956 acceptance speech
The image of a
significant impact on someone. Lions are proud lighthouse is but a
of what they do. Give Lions a reason to stay symbol. But the light that
by making a difference in someone’s life. shines through each and every
Accomplish that, and they will be Lions for life. Lion member is real. Along with my family, being a Lion has brought a bright light to my
We have seen the positive impact that the life. The light it has shone not only helped me
Global Membership Team (GMT) has made to better understand my own community, but
over the past two years. A strong GMT, also has given me a greater perspective on my
extension workshops and retention will remain
nation and the world.
Our biggest challenge is to remain the world’s premiere service organization, and attract a new generation of serviceminded men and women. How? Through our mission of service. Expanded service equals expanded membership. It’s that easy. Lions members are never happier – their light shines the brightest – when they are serving others. Engage a Lion in conversation, and the one thing they want to talk about is the projects their club is doing, or a memorable moment when they made a central to the membership successes we have recently achieved, but with a slant toward service. This year, I will be emphasizing service and how clubs can attract new members and retain members by engaging in signature service projects. I’ll be appointing a special coordinator to GMT to promote service relative to membership.
The light of service shines brightly in all of us. Keep that light shining brightly, and share it with others. Like the Olympic torch, pass the light from one person to another.
A BEACON OF HOPE 20102011 Presidential Theme 9
“Unless you try to do something beyond what All new club applications must be completed and received by the LCI New Clubs and
you have already mastered, you will never
Program Marketing Department by the close
grow. Some people dream of success... while
of business on Thursday, September 30, 2010.
others wake up and work hard at it.”
To be considered as a qualifying new club, a
completed charter application, all documentation/ forms and fees must be received by LCI by close
The Bright Start Awards will recognize District of business on September 30, 2010.
Governors who achieve strong membership results in the first three months of their year. The Bright Start Awards will consist of two levels. District Governors will be eligible for only one of the awards. The qualifications for the awards are:
FIRST LIGHT AWARD: two new clubs OR positive membership on September 30, 2010
BRIGHT LIGHT AWARD: five new clubs AND positive membership on September 30, 2010
The Beacon Awards, to be given at the • Outstanding Service to the Blind or Visually International Convention in Seattle, will Impaired (by a club or district) recognize outstanding achievement by clubs
• Best Hunger Relief Program or Activity
and districts in the area of service. Only clubs (by a club or district)
and districts that participate in the Global Service Action Campaigns, and send their • Lion That Best Exemplifies The Spirit of respective report back to Lions Clubs Service International Public Relations Division, will be eligible for the Beacon Awards. Sending your For the last category, nominations must be report (a narrative of your activity, with photos sent to the Lions Clubs International Public if available), will automatically enter your club Relations Division no later than April 1st, or district. Categories include: 2011. Nominations can only be made by Executive Officers or International Directors.
What better way to make our light shine even brighter than by supporting our Lions Clubs International Foundation?
This year my goal is to increase understanding of LCIF’s programs and the importance of our impact on individual lives, and to increase the number of clubs and individuals donating to LCIF.
Lions and LCIF sprang into action to assist victims in Haiti and Chile, and we are still providing assistance to the victims of the 2004 tsunami. We have shown time and time again our ability to not only be involved in first response, but also to provide longterm solutions. This is what sets us apart.
Generous support by Lions has enabled LCIF to establish new programs, such as the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program and other programs that have transformed people’s lives.
A BEACON OF HOPE 20102011 Presidential Theme 11
Serving together, our light is shining brighter than ever.