FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE When the USA/Canada Leadership Forum kicks off in September, the first 100 years of Lion service will be history. The centennial celebration will be over, and the parade will have passed. But like children on the day after a birthday or holiday, the question for Lions will remain: Now what? How can we help? Where will we go? Who will join us? And for each individual Lion—be it their second year of Lionism or the 52nd—it might also be: “How can I up my game?” Young or old, new or experienced, the USA/Canada Leadership Forum, Sept. 21 to 23 in Portland, Oregon, can help with that. Let there be “No Regrets.” The 41st Forum—Leadership with Imagination & Service with Creativity—offers a three-day opportunity for face-to-face meetings with friendly Lions from far and wide as well as face-to-face inspiration and training from speakers with valuable life lessons to share. A sea of flowers welcomes visitors to the “Rose City.” Photos courtesy of travelportland.com “There will be more than 90 seminars for your educational experience, a service project to help two schools for the homeless, Lions University activities and graduation, plus special seminars for young Lions and Leos,” says Past International Director Lowell Bonds, the Forum general chair and a member of the Birmingham Lions Club in Alabama since 1974. “You cannot miss the forum if you want a good foundation for our service in the next 100 years.” Four inspirational speakers will be there to boost members’ motivation and help hone leadership skills: Colonel Don Petit: The fourth most experienced spacefarer of all time, he has spent 370 days in space and 13 hours walking in space—more time than any other astronaut. Petit will speak of the future of NASA and the future of space travel. Jen Bricker: Born without legs, her amazing adoptive family taught her to never say “can’t” and she took it from there. Having overcome extreme difficulties to accomplish her goals in life, she will explain how attitude gives us altitude. Naresh Aggarwal: Our 2017- 2018 International President from India will share his story and the highlights of the international program. Willie Jolley: The highly-energized No. 1 speaker in America today (according to Zig Zigler), Jolley will expand on the premise that goals are just dreams with a deadline. He will challenge us to reach for the stars and dream for the future. For those who have already been at work on their Lion skills, Lions University will also hold a special graduation ceremony as our international president personally congratulates and recognizes the accomplishment of all those meeting graduation requirements. And to get you up from your chair and moving: Participants will join in leaving Portland better than they found it. Each attendee will be asked to bring a child’s stocking cap, gloves, scarf and socks to stuff into backpacks to be distributed to homeless school children as part of the Lions Backpacks for Kids program. The popular Strides Walk to raise funds and support diabetes awareness starts before noon on Thursday. More time to move about and enjoy the city? Forum attendees travel free on Portland’s high-tech public transportation. And pre- or post-convention tours are offered by the Portland host committee. Whether you travel far or not at all, take time to smell the roses in “The Rose City” where the climate is perfect for growing roses. Portland’s International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park draws thousands of visitors from around the world each year. It would be sweet if you were one of them. What to See and Do Maybe it will be the view of the mountains. Or the sight of the bridges spanning the Willamette River. Or the tree huggers and bicyclists on the streets enjoying warm days and cool nights. Portland’s temperatures average in the 70s during September, and the city is so green there is no getting around it. You will want to go through it. This nature-inspired city is surrounded by Mount Hood to the east-southeast, the Coastal Range and the Pacific Ocean to the west, rich farmland to the south, and the Columbia River Gorge with the spectacular 620-foot-tall Multnomah Falls to the northeast. At some point nature is going to successfully beg you to come out and play. Check out some of those sights on your visit, but also make certain to see the city. Among the many attributes Portland offers (besides highly-acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants) you may enjoy: The Portland Saturday Market: Acclaimed as the nation’s largest weekly open-air arts and crafts market, the creations are sold by the people who make them, and there’s live music and international snacks to boot. Powell’s City of Books: A Portland landmark, Powell’s contains more than one million books in nine color-coded rooms, and is known as the largest independent used and new bookstore on earth. Washington Park: Five to 10 minutes from downtown, the park is home to numerous tourist attractions including the Oregon Zoo and the International Rose Test Garden. Voodoo Doughnut: While this one fits in best with Portland’s vow to be different, there are multiple shops that make exotic doughnuts here, topping them with everything from bacon to Oreos. Locals rave about them, but be prepared to stand in line. Forest Park: On the north edge of West Hill, this urban forest will let you pretend you’re out in the wilderness, but there’s coffee around the corner. Movie brewpubs: In Portland you don’t go to the movie and then out for a beer. You enjoy a beer at the movies. The area boasts many fine wineries, but Portland is very much about local breweries and beer.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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