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!
The 2016-2017 Telephone Directory
Business Advertising Solicitation Letter
Every other year, the Jekyll Island Lions Club produces a telephone directory for the island. It includes all the residents and businesses plus safety information such as hurricane evacuations and the like. The Lions Club raises money from this effort by offering for sale advertising space in the book to area businesses and organizations, and then selling the book itself to the residents. The Club is currently in the process of updating the residential listing and selling advertisements for the 2018-2019 directory. The goal is to have the book compiled and printed in time to sell it to the winter residents while they are still on the island.
Last Year’s Parade
Last Year’s Parade
Last Year’s Parade
In other activity, the Lions club is getting ready for the annual Independence Day parade on the 4th of July. The Lions will be busy getting the golf cart float ready the day before the event and then entering it in the parade. They also will be putting out American flags in the Historic District and Beach Village before the parade starts and then taking them back to the warehouse at day’s end.
Lion Pete with Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff member Allie King.
Jekyll Island Lion Pete joined the Georgia Sea Turtle Center‘s beach clean up on 17 June. The team began by downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app onto their smart phones and configuring it for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The goal was to pick up and log trash on the Jekyll Island beach from Great Dunes Park to The Westin Hotel. The team divided into groups of two with one person holding the trash bags and the other logging the type of trash into the tracker. Hard plastic items were put into one bag and all other trash was put in another. The clean up ended after two hours and the trash was hauled away. When the logged trash on the app was submitted online for research purposes, the team learned they had collected almost 1,000 pieces of garbage in a one mile stretch of the beach!
In sad news, the wife of former Lion Buck Edwardson passed away. Her funeral was held at the Jekyll Island Presbyterian Community Church on 17 June and one pew was reserved for Lions.
Once a month, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation hosts an eye clinic at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) in Brunswick, Georgia. Jekyll Island Lions usually volunteer at every clinic. For the June clinic, Lions Pete and Cathy helped out. Lion Cathy helped patients pick out eyeglass frames while Lion Pete filled out their paperwork.
Eyeglasses Recycling Boxes
Lion Pete also took the opportunity to give over 300 pairs of used eyeglasses to the Foundation. Lion Pete collects the glasses from donation boxes at four businesses on the island: Ameris Bank, Jekyll Island Campground, Judy Kay’s Salon, and The Quality Inn. Lion Jim goes off island and visits optometrist offices to collect frames, readers and used eyeglasses. The Foundation takes the donated glasses, cleans them, measures the prescriptions, and then sends most of them overseas with medical mission trips. Readers and sunglasses are also redistributed to the needy in the United States.