David Somerville 2016-04-14 01:44:52
The Secret to Growing Your Club I travel around the country and the world as an educational curriculum adviser and instead of spending lonely nights in taverns and bars I seek out local Lions. Well, I try to reach out. Not long ago I found a sharp-looking website for the club of the town I was in. The site listed all the officers with their phone numbers. I called the Lion Tamer to introduce myself and check on the meeting time. The number had been disconnected. My call to the membership chairman was not answered or returned. Lastly, I called the number of the president. His wife told me he had passed away two years ago. You may think you know where I am going with this. Keep your websites updated, right? But I’ve found a problem with clubs wider than that. Many clubs do a poor job of letting their communities know they even exist. During my workshop at the school in that town I casually asked participants about their local Lions club. Nobody knew they had one. Few even knew who Lions were. One teacher said a Lion had once sold her father a broom. “They still sell brooms, don’t they?” the teacher asked me. Don’t get me wrong. When I do visit a club, without exception, Lions welcome me warmly. But why are clubs so hidden in our communities? The folks at headquarters in Illinois have plenty of signs, posters and stickers to alert the community. I’ve been to towns where clubs make themselves known. There are signs all over town. Other clubs participate in parades to make themselves known. Outside the United States, I’ve come across clubs that are particularly visible. Clubs in Asia are gathering places for successful businessmen who proudly display their affiliation on their business cards, desks and jackets. When I was in Euroton, Jamaica, the owner of a snack shop, located near where the club met, knew all about the club and was proud to have Lions in town. The common characteristic of all the successful clubs I’ve visited has been the club’s ability to communicate its activities to its community. Their signs are in airports, train and bus stations and on the highway. Membership plaques hang on the walls of classrooms, dentist offices and stores. A church in a town I visited even had a “Lions Sunday,” and the congregation was peppered with yellow Lions vests. Some popped up in the church choir. I know there are many public service-minded people living “just down the block” from where clubs meet. They would love to be part of the club. How can we tell prospective members about us? It’s easy. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Somerville is a member of the Prescott Evening Lions Club in Arizona. Digital LION Highway signs are championed as a way to make Lions clubs visible. Read the story from the April 1975 LION at lionmagazine.org.
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This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/My+Roar/2455474/298107/article.html.