Should Lions Get More Visible? All Signs Point to Yes Gary De Fayette had an epiphany in a parking lot. The Wilmington Lion and District 13 J public relations chair arrived at his Ohio district’s winter retreat and looked around. “I noticed several vehicles with Lions decals. Lions were expressing their pride in tangible ways. The more vehicles I saw, the more I realized what an impact this could have if it was multiplied by thousands,” De Fayette says. How many new members would join if every Lion had a car decal displaying the Lions logo? It is hard to say, but one thing is for sure: awareness of Lions would rise. “Signage is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to get Lions noticed. Signs alone might not invite someone to join, but they can open a conversation to spark interest in becoming a Lion,” points out De Fayette. Lions everywhere can get the word out by building visibility in inventive yet easy ways. Visibility lets the community know who Lions are and the great work you are doing. “Lions struggle to get recognition in their own communities. Adding one visibility component to your already planned service project could make all the difference,” says MD 27 Past Council Chair Karla Harris. “Set up a portable Lions sign outside the school as you do vision screenings. Put Lions logo magnets on the side of your car as you distribute mints,” suggests Harris, a South Milwaukee Lion in Wisconsin. Harris also recommends being creative and having fun in attracting the attention of your community. The Oak Creek Leos are doing just that—with multitudes of pink flamingos. Over the past four years, hundreds of residents in their Wisconsin community have woken in the morning, probably thinking they were still dreaming, to front yards full of plastic pink flamingos—along with a colorful Leo sign that includes contact information. Called “flocking,” this fundraising prank has snowballed in popularity in the community and fostered a reputation of fun and service for the Leos. “The flockings have created more recognition in the city for us, and new Leos have joined because of the fun we have,” says Dawn Eberhardt. A couple hundred miles away, the Trempealeau Lions are busy for months preparing for their signature event, Catfish Days. With 15,000 people attending the three-day event that includes music, a bicycle tour, a fishing tournament, a parade and much more, the Lions have the perfect venue to make themselves known. They took a chance on a new strategy that has paid off in many turned heads and waves: wrapping an entire Suburban SUV with vinyl advertisements for the event. The truck became an eye-catching mobile billboard, complete with prominently-placed Lions logos. “We’ve had a hugely positive response everywhere we’ve taken the Suburban,” says Lion Larry Kopp. (Find photos of the vehicle on the Trempealeau Lion’s Facebook page.) It doesn’t matter whether it’s flamingos or SUVs; the key is to add Lions identification to everyday events and service. Harris adds, “More visibility will bring more members, and more members will result in more service for those in need. Lions, let’s get visible!” –Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt Find a selection of removable and permanent Lions decals, signs, vehicle accessories and more at the LCI store at www.lionsclubs.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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