Joe Preston 2015-05-14 07:10:05
It’s a Lions World—And We’re Glad for That It was a privilege to serve as your international president in 2014-15. I mean that sincerely and literally. It was a privilege to visit a school in India run by Delhi Lions for 52 years, a privilege to be at a Lions-sponsored facility in France that conducts important research on gene therapy for rare diseases and a privilege to observe classes for children who are deaf and blind in Turkey. Traveling the world allowed Joni and me to see firsthand how Lions worldwide improve their communities and embrace the spirit of service. For 98 years Lions have grown stronger, and this year was no exception. In 2014-15 Lions showed that Melvin Jones’ vision of like-minded people joining together to help their neighbors continues to resonate across borders and in our contemporary, fast-paced modern culture. My theme was Strengthen the Pride. My pride in Lions especially was strengthened this year. Thanks to the leadership of club presidents and district governors and the individual efforts of members, we saw solid gains in membership, a very successful start to our Centennial Service Challenge, strong participation in new initiatives such as the Worldwide Week of Service for Children and continued support for established projects such as the measles campaign. Joni and I wish to thank all the Lions who were so hospitable to us this year, and we also thank all Lions for their magnificent service. Before becoming president, I thought I had a good grasp of Lions’ commitment to service. But the depth and range of our activity are astounding. I look forward to meeting many of you at conventions and other Lions’ events and eagerly anticipate our huge centennial celebration in 2017 in Chicago.
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