On the weekend, Lions from Emo, Fort Frances, and all over Northwestern Ontario and eastern Minnesota met in Dryden for the 5M10 District's annual Mid-winter Convention.
During the convention, more than $70,000 was donated to Special Olympics (Canada), the CNIB, Diabetes Canada, and many other charities both in Canada and the U.S.
International Director Nicolin Moore, the guest speak for Saturday's banquet, challenged the Lions on hand to engage the youth of their communities by asking them to serve others in need.
She pointed out if young people have a passion and want to help others, they need not attend monthly meetings but simply put all of their energy into a project of their choosing.
This group of just five people would belong to a Lions club, but meet on their own to plan and carry out a special fundraiser or project in their community.
It's also possible to start a branch club, if you only have a small group of people who want to join. A club branch enables a small group of people to form a Lions club and start making a difference in their community sooner.
Branch members are part of an existing “parent” club, but hold independent meetings and select their own projects and activities.
Forming a branch creates an opportunity for Lions' clubs to expand in communities where it is difficult to reach the 20-member minimum necessary to charter a new club.
Another opportunity open to interested youth is the Leo Club program, which encourage young people to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities.
They are dependent on a Lions' club to sponsor and initiate a Leo club.
Members, who are addressed as “Leos,” conduct various projects in the fields of health care, elders, children, literacy and education, and self-development.
“Leos” also can raise funds by conducting fundraising projects, as well as conduct projects with another Leo Club, the sponsoring Lions' club, or with an outside organization.
Leo clubs are sponsored by Lions clubs and comprise an official program of Lions Clubs International. The Leo Club is the largest volunteer youth group in the world, present in 140 countries with more than 160,000 members.
Lions Club International is the biggest volunteer organization in the world with 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries around the world.
If you want to become a regular member or create a special interest group, a branch club, or a Leo Club, contact a Lions' member or club in your area.
Together, Lions make their communities better places to live and improve the lives of people all over the world.