With the approach of Hurricane Irma, Glynn County, including Jekyll Island, was placed under a mandatory evacuation order effective 8:00 am on Friday, 8 September. All of the Lions and most of the residents left. By the time Irma reached the island, she had been downgraded to a tropical storm, but she was still destructive, flooding streets, blowing down trees, and knocking out power and water. Jekyll Island was only opened to returning evacuees on Thursday, 14 September after the storm had passed and the authorities had cleared the roads. Upon returning, a current Lion and a “retired” Lion found trees on their homes.
In light of the need to clean up property and otherwise deal with the effects of Tropical Storm Irma, the Jekyll Island Lions Club decided to cancel its dinner meeting scheduled for 19 September. Guest speakers Glynn County Commissioner Bill Brunson and County Executive Alan Ours will be rescheduled for a later date.
Meanwhile, the deadline for submitting changes to the residential listing in the telephone directory published by the Jekyll Island Lions Club was 15 September. Lion Cathy arrived back on the island and electricity was restored just in time for her to add the last changes before sending it to Lion C. J., who will deliver it to the layout company along with the commercial advertisements.
Lions Cathy and Peter will be attending the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in Portland, Oregon this week. A complete report will be included in the next blog.
This blog entry is being written while Hurricane Irma crawls north. Jekyll Island started a mandatory evacuation at 8:00 am on Friday, 8 September and no one knows to what damage everyone will return. The Lions will consider how to help when they come back home. For safety, the 13 September Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation eye clinic at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) in Brunswick was canceled.
President C. J.
Zone Chair Charles Garthwaite
Past President Mike
The Jekyll Island Lions Club held its first meeting after summer break on 5 September. President C. J. opened the meeting and Zone Chair Charles Garthwaite, Kingsland Lions Club, was the guest speaker. Past President Mike received the past president plaque during the meeting. Member turnout for the first meeting was light.
The Jekyll Island Lions Club again flew American flags on Labor Day. Lion Jim coordinated the flag displays in the Historic District and the Beach Village.
Lion Cathy, the new Secretary of the Jekyll Island Lions Club, attended Secretary/Treasurer training on 19 August at the Kingsland Lions Club clubhouse. During the training, she learned that the club structure had changed on 1 July. Two new positions added to the club leadership structure were Club Service Chair and Club Marketing Communications Chair. In addition, the number of Directors has been increased. Lion Cathy volunteered to be the new Service Chair and Lion Pete volunteered to be the Marketing Communications Chair pending next year’s nomination and election process.
In other activity, Lion Harry has taken over dinner meeting coordination with McCormick’s Grill. Club President C.J. and Lion Tamer Harry met with the manager of McCormick’s Grill to work out the menu for the coming year. Dinner is served buffet-style but only enough food is cooked for the number of attendees so dinner reservations must be made in advance. From September through May, the Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month. One of the monthly meetings focuses on Club activities and the other meeting has a guest speaker. The first speaker this season will be Mr. Bruce Piatek, Jekyll Island Authority Director of Historic Resources, who will give a presentation on 19 September. Doors open at 6:00 pm with an open cash bar and the meeting begins at 6:30 pm. The Club is fortunate to have McCormick’s Grill all to itself for these meetings.
During the summer, Lions Gaye and Kay resigned in good standing. Two other Lions had their memberships revoked for non-payment of dues and non-attendance at meetings after they did not respond to queries about their situation. There are currently 21 active members of the Jekyll Island Lions Club.
If anything, Jekyll Lions will always figure out a way to help. Last month, a member of the community contacted the Jekyll Island Lions Club via the Club’s Facebook page asking if the club could sponsor a hole at the golf tournament she was organizing. The proceeds from the tournament would help fund her daughter’s 9-month mission trip to several third world countries. During the board of directors email discussion about the request, Lion Mike suggested that individual Lions could donate and pool their money to cover the $100 hole sponsorship fee in the name of the Club. And that’s exactly what happened. The Lions had a placard placed at one of the holes due to the generosity of some of the Club’s members.
In other news, Lion Ginger explained that outside time constraints were making it difficult for her to remain Club Secretary. Lion Cathy volunteered to fill the position and resigned her position as Third Vice President. She plans to take Secretary training at a course to be held in Kingsland, Georgia on 19 August.
Also during the past week, The Brunswick News published a picture in the newspaper’s Community Section of the award winning Jekyll Island Lions Club golf cart float in the 4th of July parade.
The Jekyll Island Lions Club displays American flags on federal holidays in the island’s Historic District and in the Beach Village as a public service. The newer flags are made of nylon while the older flags are made of cotton. About once a year, the flags are evaluated to see if any of the older flags need to be repaired or replaced. This year, Lions Jim and Pete took on the task. Both Lions took home four cotton flags each, removed them from their metal display poles, and washed them. After washing, the flags looked serviceable and will be used for another year.
Flags in the Washer
Clean flags out of the dryer
Earlier in the year, the Jekyll Island Lions Club flag signs were updated to include the Jekyll Business Association as the sponsor. The new signs, however, did not have the Lions Clubs International (LCI) logo on them. Lion Pete ordered six from the LCI online supplies store. Then Lions Pete and Jim attached them to the signs as part of the annual maintenance project. The larger metal sign received decals on both sides since it is usually placed in the Historic District and passers-by can see both sides. The smaller sign usually is placed so that passers-by can only see one side, so it received two decals.
In other activity, Lions Cathy and Pete have been working on the residential portion of the Jekyll Island 2018-2019 telephone book project. Their effort has focused on adding new island residents, removing those no longer living on the island, and making corrections or other changes. The deadline for telephone book input is 15 September 2017. As part of the quality control process, the two realty companies on the island are reviewing the listing and identifying any changes. The commercial advertisements sales team has made significant progress selling space in the telephone book as well. This year, the Club decided to try a mailing campaign rather than going door-to-door as in the past. While a number of businesses have responded to the mailings, others appear to require a personal touch. The telephone book project is one of the Club’s major fundraisers.
The 2016-2017 Telephone Directory
Jekyll Island Lions helped with an American Red Cross blood drive on the island, 27 July 2017. Lion Howard is the local Red Cross blood drive coordinator and he helped to set up this drive at the Presbyterian Community Church. Lions Cathy and Peter volunteered during the event. Lion Cathy ran the registration desk for two and a half hours while Lion Peter served as a donor escort and beverage/snacks monitor.
In the meantime, Lion Pete tried his hand at putting together a newsletter for the Club. Lion Howard had mentioned to him that at one time, the Club had a newsletter and it sounded like a good idea to revive it. The first one Lion Pete drafted just covered the month of July, which actually was quite busy considering that the Club was technically on summer break. He sent the newsletter to the Club members via email along with a separate leadership training survey from MD 18-N. The first page of the newsletter is below.
Communications technology is changing faster and faster, which makes it challenging for a club to communicate with its members and the public. Who uses what technology depends on age, aptitude, and equipment. For any Lions Club, there might be members who only use the telephone and email while there are others who use the latest social media tools. Clubs try to cope with this technology disparity in various ways. The Jekyll Island Lions Club primarily uses email and the telephone for internal communication. However, it does have an active website and an active Facebook page. Some Jekyll Island Lions have also used Twitter on behalf of the Club, and newspaper articles plus pictures routinely appear in The Golden Islander and The Brunswick News. Then there is this weekly blog. In the past, there was also a monthly newsletter, which may be revived depending on how much time it takes to produce. Those are a lot of channels to keep active to reach the widest audience.
At the Lions Clubs International level, there is the Lions SMiLE initiative. This group of Lions helps local Lions Clubs understand and use social media applications and tools. They produce videos and presentations for download, a blog, and a social media directory. In order to attract and communicate with younger people, understanding social media is a must.
MyLion is a new app that is designed to facilitate communications between Lions. It was introduced at the Lions Clubs International convention in Chicago this year. Not many Jekyll Island Lions have downloaded it onto their cellphones or tablets yet so, at the Club level, there is almost no use. Indeed, not everyone who has downloaded it has gotten it to work. At least it has a support team working out the bugs!
Getting back to the Jekyll Island Lions Club, there is no formal team working all the communications outlets. One member usually writes articles for The Golden Islander. Another member runs the Club’s website and sends pictures to The Brunswick News. The members who have Facebook accounts can contribute to the Facebook page. One member writes this blog, and otherwise plays with social media tools like Twitter on behalf of the Club.
Lion Jim presents Lion Tom with an American flag.
Lions Howard and Jim take down the faded flag.
Lion Jim and Lion Tom raise the new American flag.
A few years ago, Jekyll Island Lion Tom resigned as an active member of the Club after decades of service to the community. He was in his mid-nineties by then and attending meetings or participating in activities was difficult. The Club gave him a rousing send off and presented him with an American flag to fly in front of his house. About a month ago, Tom’s daughter-in-law contacted the Club and noted that Tom’s 97th birthday was coming up. She commented that his flag had faded and she wondered if she could buy him a new one through the Club to replace it. Lion Jim is the Jekyll Island Lions Club American flag project chairman and he bought a replacement on her behalf. The day before Lion Tom’s birthday, Lions Jim, Howard and Pete showed up at Lion Tom’s house and surprised him with the gift. Then all three joined Lion Tom outside to lower the faded flag and raise the new one. Lion Tom kept the faded flag for its sentimental value.
Less than a week later, Lion Frank contacted a few fellow Lions asking for help. His daughter was moving from Michigan to the Jekyll Island area. Until she found a place to live, she would be staying with her parents so all her belongings needed to be put in storage. Lion Frank arranged for the rental of two storage units in nearby Brunswick and he requested help unloading his daughter’s two trucks. Lions Howard, Rick, and Pete joined Lion Frank, his daughter, and one of his daughter’s friends unloading the trucks and stacking everything in the storage units. It was another example of Jekyll Lions helping each other.
One benefit of belonging to a service organization like Lions Clubs International is developing friendships and a mutual network of support. While individual Lions themselves cannot receive any of the charitable funds the Club collects, they certainly can help each other in other ways. We see it all the time on Jekyll Island.
Lions Club Thank You Notes
Eyeglasses Recycling Boxes
Collecting used eyeglasses is one of the consistent services the Jekyll Island Lions Club has conducted over the years. The Club currently has collection boxes on Jekyll Island at Ameris Bank, Judy Kay’s Salon, the Quality Inn in their housekeeping facility, and at the Jekyll Island Camp Ground in their community room. This summer, official Lions Clubs International (LCI) thank you cards were specifically purchased for the businesses hosting the Club’s boxes. In the card, it was pointed out how many glasses had been collected at each location and a packet of information about the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation with a drink cozie was included. It is important to thank the businesses that support the Club.
Meanwhile, Lion Jim has been very successful obtaining glasses on the mainland from various sources. So what does the Club do with all these glasses? Lions Jim, Cathy, and Pete take turns volunteering at the monthly Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation eye clinics held at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) in Brunswick. A van from the Foundation drives to Brunswick for the clinics and the Club gives them the glasses, which are then transported to their facility in Chamblee for cleaning. The majority of the refurbished glasses are given to overseas missions for distribution to those who can’t afford glasses.
For the Jekyll Island businesses, here are the collection totals from the date a box was dropped off to the end of June 2017.
Ameris Bank (August 2015 to June 2017) = 225
Judy Kay’s Salon (August 2015 to June 2017) = 73
Camp Ground (August 2015 to June 2017) = 10
Quality Inn (February 2016 to June 2017) = 139
Decorating the gold cart
Lion C. J., Cathy and C. J.’s wife Megan
Early progress on the front of the cart
The Club’s banner on the back of the cart
Lions C. J., Cathy and Pete
The 4th of July is a busy time for the Jekyll Island Lions Club because the Club displays American flags on the island and participates in the Independence Day Parade. Let’s discuss the parade first. Jekyll Island is a small community and the short parade consists of walkers, bicycle riders, and golf carts, all decorated in their most patriotic colors. The Club participates in the golf cart category. This year, Club President C. J. borrowed his mother-in-law’s yellow 4-seater for the event. In anticipation of the parade, Lion Pete had purchased two large Lions Clubs International “We Serve” logos at the Georgia Lions Clubs convention in May, and Lion Cathy had later purchased red, white and blue banners, pinwheels, and stars at a local hobby store. Lion C. J. had patriotic decorations from the previous year as well. The day before the parade, Lion C. J. drove the golf cart over to Lions Pete and Cathy’s house, where they applied the decorations and stored it over night in the garage in case of rain.
Lion Mike put a flag at the entrance to the Jekyll Island Club Resort
A flag with the Lions Club sign
Early in the morning on the 4th of July, Lions Mike, Norm, Jim, Howard and Pete picked up the American flags from the warehouse and installed them in their appropriate holders in the Historic District and the Beach Village. The parade goes through the Historic District along the route where many of the flags are displayed.
The Lions Club cart with ribbon
The third place ribbon
While Lion Pete was installing American flags. Lion Cathy drove the golf cart over to Lion C. J.’s house, where he added two banners noting the 100 years of service Lions Clubs International has provided to the world. Then Lion C. J. took the wheel and drove to the parade starting point at the Jekyll Island Museum on Stable Road. When Lion Pete was finished with the flags, he joined them where the parade participants were lining up. The plan was to have Lions C. J. and Cathy in the cart while Lion Pete walked along side handing out peppermints to the crowd. Well, the parade moved quite a bit faster than the peppermint distribution but everyone ended up in front of the judges’ stand in the end. The Jekyll Island Lions Club was both surprised and honored to win third place in the patriotic golf cart category!