Every fall, the Lions of North Dakota gather for a state convention. This year, Lion Kathy and I were able to combine our regular check on my mother’s health back in Moorhead, MN, with the ND State Lions Convention held in Rugby, ND. After flying into Fargo for an short visit with Mom, we drove to Rugby, the geographic center of North America–or in new local terms, “the heart of North America.”
This year marks the first time a state Lions convention has been held in Rugby, and the local Lions Clubs and community residents went all out to provide a great opportunity for the Lions of North Dakota to gain leadership skills, learn about humanitarian projects, and enjoy each other’s company.
One of my roles at the convention was to explain my position as as a Trustee for Lions Clubs International Foundation. In addition to meeting with Past International Director Bruce Schwartz and the District LCIF Coordinators, I am pleased to report that we raised $570 to support the Measles Initiative. That means, the Lions of ND saved the lives of 1,140 children (with the matching funds from GAVI Foundation). Thank you to all who contributed!
The International Director who represented LCI as at the convention was Jerome Thompson of Moulton, Alabama. A polished speaker and effective communicator, ID Jerome was well-received by the ND Lions. His roots in AL are in rural communities and he related well to the impact Lions have at the local level. He also understood the challenges Lions face in rural areas. ID Jerome is passionate about growing the membership of Lions in North America.
The endorsement of Past District Governor Pat Vannett by District 5NW brought excitement to the convention and PDG Pat and her team plan to seek the Multiple District endorsement in May.
One of the highlights of every State convention is the induction of the newest ND Lions Hall of Fame member. This year, Lion Loris Freier of the Bismarck Prairie Rose Lions Club was inducted. Lion Loris was a charter member of the club over 30 years ago and she has remained active in promoting diabetes education and general health.
Many members of her club were present and
they gave her a lovely bouquet to honor her induction.
We were especially proud of the NDSU Campus Club members who attended. Five members were on hand and they were recognized several times: Lion Skylar Wehri received a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation; the club received a four-diamond rating for its service to promote vision, youth activities, hunger relief, and environmental protection. Other individuals received awards for membership development. I can’t tell you how proud I am of these young people and the club. They will be welcomed into many local clubs in the future as they leave NDSU to pursue their careers.
Coming to ND was also good for the soul. We have very good friends from Multiple District 5 and reconnecting with them to share stories of family, work, and service always recharges our spirit. From Saskatchewan to South Dakota, Lions came to Rugby to gather. It was a great way to end October!
When the convention ended, it was back to Fargo-Moorhead and a day with Mom. It was good to be with her and she was happy to see us. We are grateful to the staff at Eventide and to Hospice of the Red River Valley for caring for Mom.
Best wishes to all who serve!
–PID Robert and Lion Kathy Littlefield