Jay Copp 2015-12-09 12:22:14
OK, so you’re a Lion. But are you a king of the jungle? Do you bleed Lions’ yellow? Do your neighbors, dentist and mail carrier know you’re a Lion? Maybe the giveaway is your Lions license plate, your Lions umbrella or Lions stationery and pen. There are Lions, and then there are Lions—folks who not only attend meetings and serve in the community but also are steeped in the lore, traditions and practices of the association. Just for fun, here is our first-ever Lion quiz. Will you score as a newbie or a Monarch? Give yourself a point if you can check off a box by correctly answering the question. The answers—and your rating as a Lion—are on page 54. 1. What is the Lions motto? 2. I wear my pin regularly. 3. I maintain perfect attendance. Lions actually don’t have to be perfect when it comes to perfect attendance. If you miss a meeting, you can make it up by attending a club board meeting, a club committee meeting, a region or zone meeting or the meeting of another club. This just goes to show Lions are practical and flexible in terms of membership. 4. I wear a Lions vest. Ah, the yellow vest. Some wear it; some don’t. However a Lion may feel about the vest, it’s iconic. Lions Clubs International sells about 10,000 annually. It was introduced with no fanfare as a new apparel item in the 1951 club supplies catalogue, and the wool gabardine vest that initially sold for $1.75 quickly became de rigueur for Lions. The original vest was a short-waisted, bolero-style garment designed to be worn with a dress shirt and necktie. In 1960, satin replaced wool as the fabric. The standard vest was redesigned in 1973 to extend below the beltline, and two handy coin pockets were added. A specially-tailored women’s vest debuted in 1997. Added in 2011 was a line of emergency vests in bright yellow or orange, some with reflective stripes—ideal for disaster relief efforts and potentially hazardous projects such as cleaning up roadsides. 5. I’ve attended an international convention. 6. I’ve visited international headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. They come by car. They come by bus. Lions from the U.S. and abroad are frequent visitors at headquarters. Staff escort them on tours that include the international president’s office (he’s usually traveling) and a re-creation of Melvin Jones’ office. The latter contains dozens of historical items such as his passport, his leather briefcase, an agenda from one of his club meetings and an all-too-realistic lion rug that was a gift from Winston Churchill. Visitors snap selfies at the regal stone lions or flags of member nations in front of the building. Most also make their way to Club Supplies and go home with a bag of purchased Lions paraphernalia. 7. I’ve visited a Lions club while on vacation. Membership has its privileges: Lions gain access to people and places closed to ordinary travelers. Lions who travel often attend a local Lions meeting. 8. I’m able to deliver a brief “elevator speech” to pitch someone on the value of membership. Don’t have an elevator speech? Tip: don’t make it sound like a speech. Be informal, friendly and modest—as Lions are. You’ll be able to get this out in the time it takes to ride from one floor to another: “Well, Lions are men and women kind of like me—people who want to make a difference in their community. Clubs pick and plan their own projects. Some help the blind. Others help youth. We plant trees, help kids to stay away from drugs and protect them from bullying, keep children from dying from measles. There are a lot of us: about 1.4 million Lions in 210 nations.” 9. Who was our founder? 10. What famous woman challenged Lions to be Knights of the Blind? 11. What does L-I-O-N-S stand for? 12. You know what a Leo is. But what does L-E-O represent? 13. Years ago, Lions knew their place in town. Do you? Correctly fill in the blanks using “Lions,” “Kiwanians” and “Rotarians”: We Lions say that the ____ own the town, the _____ run the town and the ____ make it work. 14. Identify the correct logo: 15. I’m a Melvin Jones Fellow. If you are, you are in good company. There are 385,052 Melvin Jones Fellow recipients and 75,544 Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow recipients. The Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) recognizes donations of $1,000 to LCIF. MJF’s provide 75 percent of the foundation's revenue. As recognition of humanitarian work, an MJF is given to those who donate $1,000 to LCIF or to someone for whom a donation was made by others. Contributions can be made by individuals (including non-Lions), clubs or districts. Melvin Jones Fellows receive an attractive lapel pin, a plaque and a congratulatory letter. 16. I can sing “Roar, Lions, Roar.” The hallmark of Lions is service, but singing is our trademark. Singing has been part of club meetings since the earliest days. The Lions Clubs Magazine weighed in on the matter in 1921: “Singing should be part of every meeting. Nothing can stimulate life in a club, temporarily at least, like good, healthy, enthusiastic singing.” Melvin Jones had this to say six years later: “Sometimes I think we all underestimate the good that is wrought in the lives of men through the songs they sing around the luncheon table and in their evening meetings. Music, both vocal and instrumental, has a wonderful effect for good. If there is harmony, and whether we realize it or not, harmony winds itself into our very soul. You cannot have discord in souls filled with harmony.” Not that long ago various Lions songbooks circulated widely (some are still around, of course), and a special edition of the LION in 2008 that published three dozen Lions songs including “Roar, Lions, Roar,” “Don’t You Hear Those Lions Roar” and “The Fighting Lion” was one of the most popular issues. 17. I regularly read the LION Magazine. On average, Lions spend an hour reading the magazine, according to our last survey. 18. I save the LION Magazine. About one in seven Lions saves their issues, according to our latest survey. The first LION was published in November 1918. “Who is a Lion?” was the 32-page magazine’s very first story: “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much. … who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he has; whose life was an inspiration, whose memory was a benediction.” Today, 33 editions of the magazine are printed in 20 languages. All editions have a local focus, but each contains the president’s column, the LCIF story and certain major stories from the headquarters edition. The headquarters edition (the one you are reading) has the largest circulation—360,000. It’s circulated in the United States, Canada and other nations where English is understood but lack enough Lions for their own edition. The LION is printed 11 times a year with a combined July/August issue. December is a special edition, typically photo-heavy. The December 2011 issue was a comic book titled “It’s a Wonderful Lion’s Life,” a parody of the classic holiday movie with Jimmy Stewart. It’s available online along with other issues (lionmagazine.org). 19. I’ve volunteered at an eye screening. 20. I’ve served on a Lions’ mission. 21. I’m a pin trader. For many, being a Lion is more than just showing up for meetings or service. It’s identifying with other Lions from far and wide and engaging with them—as pin traders do. Swapping pins is surely about the pins. But don’t call them collectors. They are traders. The fun comes from meeting other Lions and in negotiating fair and friendly trades. Pin traders are especially active at periodic swaps and at conventions. The Lions International Trading Pin Club counts about 850 members, but many more Lions trade pins. The first pins were “friendship pins” that emerged in the late 1940s as trinkets to be tossed from floats. Within a decade, pins had become more permanent, sophisticated and even artistic, and by 1970 most every state and multiple district in the United States and Canada issued annual pins in anticipation of the international convention. Other nations followed suit. 22. I’ve flipped or served a pancake. There was a time when Lions and pancakes were a novelty. That time lasted five years. In 1922, just five years after Lions Clubs began, the Ames Lions in Iowa held a festive “flapjack supper.” They told LION Magazine that they “took our wives and Rotarians out into the woods by a circuitous route, where they found we had prepared to serve them flapjacks cooked on the open fire.” Since then, from Connecticut to California, pancake breakfasts have been reliable fundraisers for clubs, boosting club coffers, raising the visibility of Lions and enhancing camaraderie among members. But what’s in it for patrons? Pancake breakfasts tighten community bonds. Lions who flip pancakes are more than cooks; they’re whipping up bonds of friendship. 23. What former U.S. president is a Lion? 24. Identify at least eight of these 10 acronyms: DG, DGE, ID, IP, LCI, LCIF, MD, PDG, LEHP, LQ. 25. What happened on July 4, 1987, at the international convention in Taipei? President Sten Akestam of Sweden did present the Humanitarian Award to two scientists for their research on AIDS. But something else monumental for Lions occurred on that day. 26. What happened on June 30, 1925, at the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio? An amusement park now stands on the site of the 1925 convention, which sent Lions on a roller coaster ride for the ages. 27. This former baseball player and U.S. Senator also served as a Lion: a.) Dave Kingman b.) Ralph Kiner c.) Tom Seaver d.) Jim Bunning 28. U.S. Navy Corpsman John Bradley, a longtime Lion from Appleton, Wisconsin, earned fame in 1945 for a.) Giving a fiery convention speech that was noted by the New York Times b.) Throwing out the first ball at the World Series c.) Raising the American flag at Iwo Jima d.) Attending the inauguration of Harry Truman 29. I’ve recruited a new member. 30. I’ve earned a Key Award. Membership Key Awards recognize Lions who invite new members. Inviting two new members earns a Lion the first membership key; 17 can be earned. Key Award recipients are listed in the digital LION. The reigning Key kingpin is Annapareddy Kotireddy of Bezwada, India. He gained a Supreme Key for inviting 500 new Lions. 31. I’ve visited Leader Dogs in Rochester, Michigan. 32. I’ve stood on a street corner and sold Lions mints. The Lion mint is the No. 1 candy product used by clubs worldwide. Clubs often can purchase a roll for about a quarter, but the average Candy Day donation is $2. That’s a sweet deal for Lions. 33. I can tell a story about the “day I became a Lion.” Many Lions eventually realize the day they are inducted is not the same day they genuinely understand or appreciate what it means to be a Lion. For some, it’s the first time they are thanked or the smile on a child’s face when he or she puts on a pair of new glasses. The poet T.S. Eliot once lamented that “we had the experience but missed the meaning.” Lions grasp that service changes them as surely as it changes the lives of others. 34. My home is a Lions den. Some Lions are content to wear a vest or polo shirt; others display their pride more vigorously. Club Supplies sells a wide range of Lions items: hats, coats, ties, scarves, jewelry, wallets, stationery, pens, mugs, water bottles, coffee cups, clocks, watches, thumb drives, bags, satchels, totes, aprons, oven mitts, cutlery, napkins, table covers, picnic blankets, golf balls and much more. 35. I belong to the Lions stamp club. Lions stamp collectors may not be as conspicuous as pin traders, but they are similarly passionate about their hobby. The Lions International Stamp Club (LISC) dates back to 1951. “Because of the stamp club, I have friends all over the world. It allows you to really see Lions as international,” Douglas Schembs Jr. of the Westfield Lions Club in New Jersey told the LION in 2013. The LISC has 14 chapters around the world and more than 600 members. Its booth at the international convention is crowded with collectors and the curious. The LISC wants member nations to issue commemorative stamps for the Lions’ centennial; more than 130 countries have been approached so far. 36. I post on the Lions Facebook page. 37. I’ve staffed a food booth or ticket booth at a community festival. 38. I’ve attended Lions UN Day in New York. 39. I’ve given old eyeglasses to Lions. 40. I’ve met an international president. There is a decent chance you have as our presidents circle the globe to be part of Lions’ conventions, club meetings and service projects. 41. I plan to attend the 100th anniversary convention in Chicago. 42. True or false: a Lion is free to further his business interests at club meetings. 43. Name our international president in 2017-18. 44. My club has ordered a Peace Poster Contest kit. More than 400,000 students worldwide, ages 11 to 13, submitted posters for the 27th Annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest in 2014-15. But before each child drew a poster a local club ordered a kit from Lions Clubs International. (Find out how to order a kit for the 29th annual contest on page 48.) 45. The centennial slogan is: “Where there’s a need, there’s a _____.” 46. What is the centennial service goal? 47. I’ve earned a centennial membership pin. A Lion who sponsors a new member before June 30, 2018, receives a special pin and certificate as a centennial sponsor. A Lion who assists in chartering a new club also will receive a pin and certificate. The awards program includes progressive recognition. 48. I’m a Contributing Member. Nearly 46,000 Lions each year become Contributing Members by donating at least $20 to LCIF. The Contributing Membership program recognizes three levels of support: $20, $50 and $100. 49. I’ve attended a state convention. 50. Name the host city for the next international convention. 51. I’ve been recognized as “Lion of the Year.” 52. I’ve seen “The Lion King.” You saw it—at least snippets of it—if you were at the first plenary session at last year’s international convention in Honolulu. Entertainment at conventions often has a Lions slant. “The Lion King” segment at convention was tweaked for the audience. The young Simba sang, “I’m gonna be a mighty king, so everyone beware!” A cast member reminded Lions why it’s good to be king, Lions-style. “We want to be the king at what we do, and there is no better feeling in the world than the pride that comes from serving others.” 53. What Lions program teaches life skills to schoolchildren? 54. Was it sugar cane or the white cane for the visually impaired that a Lion developed in the 1930s? 55. I became a Lion in … . Editor’s note: the Lions’ items shown in the photos are available for purchase from Club Supplies at international headquarters. Go to lcistore.org. Thanks to Chris and Meghen Williams of the Naperville Noon Lions Club in Illinois, the Lions married couple in our photos. Digital LION Lions leaders through the years have come up with their own twist on what it means to be Lionistic. • 1926-27 International President Benjamin Jones of New Jersey explains the “purpose of Lionism” at lionmagazine.org (January 1926 LION). • 1957-58 International President Edward Barry of Arkansas urges members to devote themselves to “the four services” (July-August 1957 LION). • 1984-85 International President Bert Mason of Northern Ireland emphasizes that Lions “serve the family of mankind” (May 1985 LION). • What do you know about Lionism? The LION asked this question in 1937 in a story with 10 multiplechoice questions (April 1937 LION). Digital LION Watch a short, clever public service announcement that wryly captures what it means to be a Lion at lionmagazine.org. 1.) WE SERVE 9.) Melvin Jones 10.) Helen Keller 11.) Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety 12.) Leadership, Experience, Opportunity 13.) We Lions say that the Rotarians own the town, the Kiwanians run the town and the Lions make it work. 14.) It’s the one on the right. 23.) Jimmy Carter 24.) district governor, district governor-elect, international director, international president, Lions Clubs International, Lions Clubs International Foundation, multiple district, past district governor, Lions Eye Health Program, Lions Quarterly (LCI’s videos) 25.) Lions approved an amendment at the 70th international convention to allow women as members 26.) Helen Keller challenged Lions to be Knights of the Blind 27.) d (Jim Bunning) 28.) c (raised the flag at Iwo Jima) 42.) False 43.) Naresh Aggarwal of India 45.) Lion 46.) Serve 100 million people 50.) Fukuoka, Japan 53.) Lions Quest 54.) White cane So how Lionistic are you? 51-55: Are you sure your name isn’t Melvin Jones? 46-50: Ever consider running for international president? 40-45: We already know the first line of your obituary: “He was known as ‘Mr. Lion.’” 35-39: Interested in serving as club president? Show members your score. 26-34: When the job opens up (we trust it won’t be for a while), feel free to apply to be the editor of the LION. 21-25: Your roar is average. 16-20: Did you miss the Lions orientation? 10-15: Are you the one who is always falling asleep in the back row at meetings? 0-9: We heard the Rotarians across town need members.
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