Group's president makes visit to encourage members
February 28, 2007
By DAYNA WORCHEL
Lions Club International President Jimmy M. Ross likes to lead his Lions by example.
He spends about 11 months of the year traveling to Lions Clubs all over the world and said it is his mission to encourage them and lift them up.
"To be truly successful, you must give back because it empowers and strengthens you," he said.
Ross, who visited the Judson Lions Club at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening, helped organize a new club in Tyler. He also helped start a Lions Club for Hispanics in the same area, as well as new chapters in Waskom and Lindale.
"Some Hispanics approached us about starting a club because they were excited about doing things in the community," Ross said.
The club will be for Spanish speakers as well as Hispanics.
"We have no desire to separate them, or tell them they have to form their own club," Ross said.
He explained that he has in the past started special Lions Clubs for law enforcement officers.
Ross said since the announcement of the formation of the Hispanic Lion's Club, several black people from the area have come forward wanting information on starting their own club in the area.
"It's important for us to communicate at the grass-roots level," he said.
Becky Whitenack, a district governor for the Lions Club, said the Lions have raised $200,000 in the past five years to give to Asbury House, Interfaith Hospitality and the Boys and Girls Clubs in the area.
She said the biggest goal is to make the community more aware of the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville for children with special needs.
"We need to make kids and the community aware of our the Lions' services," Whitenack said.
Lions Club members number 1.3 million men and women in 200 countries. They conduct vision and health screenings, build parks, support eye hospitals, award scholarships, assist youth, provide help in time of disaster and much more, Ross said.
The goal of the Lions Clubs worldwide has been to find a cure for preventable causes of blindness, such as Type I diabetes, by getting medical care to those who need it.
Source: Longview News-Journal