Jekyll Island Lions Cathy and Pete attended the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in Portland, Oregon this year. The Forum consists of a series of seminars related to Lions activities punctuated by luncheons and dinners featuring guest speakers. The Forum was held in the Oregon Convention Center, which also hosted the Forum Store (LCI logo items) and the Exhibitors Hall.
This year, the special guest speakers were former astronaut Dr. LeRoy Chiao, gymnast Jen Bricker, LCI President Naresh Aggarwal, and motivational speaker Dr. Willie Jolley. All of them were engaging and interesting. Dr. Jolley accepted an invitation to become a Lion at the end of his presentation!
The Forum hosted 88 different seminars throughout the three days. Lions Cathy and Peter participated in the following ones:
- It’s More Than “Just Ask:” – Make a great first impression, share your story and welcome new Lions to your group.
- We Want You! We Need You!: – Engage younger people to serve. Keep your clubs vital with young energy and enthusiasm.
- Hands-On: Serving the Citizens of Portland: – See below!
- Social Media – Making It Work for Service: – Do you know how to build your network, enhance your social media presence and connect platforms? Join us to learn.
Hands-On: Serving the Citizens of Portland was an actual service project. Portland has many homeless people; they are visible in the parks and under the bridges. Most live in small tents or have no shelter at all. The goal of this service project was to make personal hygiene kits for them. The Lions implementing this project saved the used eye glass cases that they found in their recycle eye glasses donation boxes. Each case was disinfected prior to the Forum. The seminar participants jobs were to insert into each case 3 band aids, 3 wet wipes, deodorant gel, body lotion, shampoo, tooth brush, tooth paste, emery board, comb, and ink pen. A Lions Club label was then pasted on top and the hygiene kit was put into a plastic bag. Teams of 13 Lions lined tables with boxes of the items and in an assembly-line fashion, they put together 2,000 kits in 90 minutes.
Lions Cathy and Pete picked up a few LCI logo items in the Forum shop. The shop offered dozens of logo shirts in addition to all sorts of pens, decals, signs, cups, etc. Most of the items are not available through the online LCI store. The neighboring exhibition hall included booths for Leader Dogs for the Blind, Zenni Optical, Paws with a Cause, Diabetes Education & Camping Association, Global Initiative for Health & Wellness, Plusoptix, Eversight, Welch Allyn, the LCI Rose Parade Float group, MyLion App, and many others.
The Lions University Graduation was the final activity in the seminar spaces. Lions Cathy and Pete were in the group who received their Bachelor’s degrees. Others received their Master’s or Doctorate’s. Some even obtained multiple diplomas. LCI President Naresh Aggarwal shook each graduate’s hand while they were being photographed. Afterwards, graduates could take their own pictures in front of the Forum back drop (see below).
On a side note, Lions Cathy and Pete stayed at the nearby DoubleTree Hotel. They discovered a nice restaurant for breakfast called the Village Inn. As it turned out, that’s where the local Lions hold their meetings. The restaurant even lets them sell Lions mints to raise funds.
The next USA/Canada Leadership Forum will be held in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Team was very enthusiastic and closed the Forum with a pep rally and slide show.