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Friday, June 24, 2011

Devon Lions and Lionettes

Devon Lions and Lionettes, a group of people who make a difference.  It's not just about the amazing facilities we enjoy due to the Lions and Lionettes, and I cite a million dollar chalet facility that enhances our Lions Camp Ground, it's about the way they treat each other.  It's about the respect, the honor, and the dignity.

After we had a barbeque with wonderful side dishes and drinks galore by a roaring fire in the Devon Lions Campground, the Lionettes treated us to something very special.  We were led by a bagpipe playing Scottish Lion to a lovely part of the field where two trees were planted in honor and loving memory of Lionettes who passed away during the previous year.  Words of love and honor were read, tears dropped along with the gentle sprinkles from Heaven, and two magnificent trees now stand beside a bench inscribed with the names of these two wonderful ladies and the others who have preceded them.

It tells us a story about community and compassion, about caring and doing.  And in the end, it's also a story about love, dignity, and fellowship.  These people represent something very special and it's something that's been built upon generations of those who have come before to perform selfless community service so that our society and our World can be a more compassionate and move loving place.

Today there were about 50 of us sharing a wonderful evening together just celebrating each other and our friendship.  Overall, there are about 45,000 Lions Clubs that have 1.35 million members in 206 countries and geographic areas that span the globe.  Consistently one of the top ranked NGO's, the Lions Club does not extract even one cent of capital donated to relief efforts.  Of course, we do fight blindness, we work with children, and we donate hundreds of millions of dollars to worthy causes, but it's the work we do right in your own backyard that perhaps you don't know about.

When Maddox Flynn needed specialized surgery, the Devon Lions Club was there to help.  When a Devon RCMP officer needed funding to get a CCSVI treatment done in Mexico, the Lions Club where there to help.  Just as the Lions are there to help out the community, the Lionettes are always there to help the both the community and the Lions.  They also represent the Lions Club and their work is for the benefit of our community.  We provide motorized wheelchairs to those who can't afford them, we contribute to the rehabilitation of our veterans, and we roll up our sleeves and work on our community to make it a better place to live.  For every event you attend, like Christmas in the Park where the Lions are serving food and hot chocolate, there are a dozen events and activities you probably don't hear about.  Whether it is cleaning up the ditches or fixing park benchs, our people are there.  We fund people to elevate care for orphans in Sub Saharan Africa where the epidemic of AIDS has left hundreds of thousands of children homeless.  Our reach isn't just here in Devon, it spans continents, and we're just one small club.

The point is this.... we make a difference here and we make a difference on the global stage.  But we make a difference in ways that people might not understand or be aware of.  We are not subsidizing executive staffers to fly first class, stay in 5-star hotels, meet with and hobnob with the rich and famous, and eat in gourmet restaurants.  As you know, many so called "charitable" organizations do precisely that, some taking as much as 85 to 90% of your donated dollars for their so called "overhead" expenses. 

The Lions and Lionettes take precisely 0% of any donated monies.  We are able to operate in that manner because we have been financially responsible and we have a foundation that pays for the administrative costs of the International Organization.  Thus, as disaster strikes and you send in your money to help out, that money... each and every dollar, goes directly to the Lions Club on the ground in the affected country.
For example, in Japan, the Lions have mobilized over 16 million dollars and have now shifted to mid term to long term relief efforts coordinating with other NGO's such as the Red Cross for blood drives.  What's the difference between the Lions Club and so many other relief organizations...

  • Lions have over 40 years of experience with disaster relief
  • Lions exist in over 206 countries and geographic areas - they're staying
  • Lions have provided over 50 million dollars in disaster relief in the last 10 years
  • Lions have been named the #1 NGO by a Financial Times Study
  • Lions are helping out in your area whether you are in Slave Lake or in Tuscaloosa

There is so much more to the Lions Club and the Lionettes of Devon.  We are a proud group that helps quietly, but we do more than you could ever imagine.  The lives we touch are as enriched by our assistance as we are by the experience of knowing we've helped them.  This is what it means to be a Lion.

Take a look at some of the things Lions do...
If you're not amazed with what you find after clicking on a few of these links, then I don't know what it'll take to impress you!

If you'd like to become part of an organization like this, give us a call at 780-499-1062.  We'll be happy to invite you to a meeting where you can check us out and see the camaraderie we share.  Find out what it means to be a Lion or a Lionette today... it's a big step towards making the World a better place.

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