Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt 2013-02-12 09:34:10
Comic Relief Have Fun with Other Clubs Where in the world is the Mechanicville-Stillwater lion? For several months, only the Town of Greenfield Lions knew. These two New York clubs have enjoyed each other’s company over many friendly visitations, some of which end with an object that goes “missing.” This time, the victim was the diminutive Mechanicville-Stillwater lion statue. While waiting for the Mechanicville Lions to reclaim it, the Greenfield Lions decided to have a little extra fun by taking pictures of the kidnapped lion on various adventures. “The lion attended the wedding of one of our members, cooked up some hot dogs, went to college and even got into a tussle with a cowboy and ended up in handcuffs,” says Greenfield Lion Katrina Plummer. Why did they go to such lengths with the Mechanicville lion? “It’s entertaining, and it ensures that our clubs will visit again,” says Plummer. Visitations and fun pranks between clubs can create camaraderie, build community and even spur productive partnerships. Whether it’s an elaborate scheme like the Greenfield Lions concocted, a shared dinner or charter night or a social outing after a service project, connecting with other Lions clubs can go a long way. The Star Lions in Idaho recognize the value in reaching out to other clubs, as Kathy Donahue explains. “Visiting our neighboring clubs allows us to find out about their work, help each other with projects, make friends with people in other towns and go back and visit our friends. Also, you can learn about club organization and meetings, and how to make your own meetings better,” says Donahue. The Star Lions hold an annual charter night celebration and invite other clubs in the area to enjoy a comedian, murder mystery dinner or game show—a night that is just for fun, because they believe Lions should have fun together, Donahue stresses. Sharing good times with other Lions may mean more than meets the eye. “Having fun together can create a richer life and deeper connection to the community,” says Clive Charlwood, executive director of One Brick (www.onebrick.org), an organization that coordinates volunteer experiences in 12 cities around the United States. One Brick values social connection so much that every volunteer event includes time for volunteers to get to know one another, such as a gathering at a restaurant. “By having a social component, we’re sending a message loud and clear that we want to build a community where people connect to each other,” says Charlwood. Did the Mechanicville-Stillwater Lions ever get their beloved lion back? Plummer says, “Yes, they made a visitation to our club to retrieve the lion. They had to make a donation to a project we sponsor to get him back. But we did buy them dinner!”
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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