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Feb 01 2016

District Governor’s Message

Lion Larry Hopkins District Governor Lion Carol Hopkins Partner in Service

Lion Larry Hopkins
District Governor
Lion Carol Hopkins
Partner in Service

Hello Fellow Lions,

The month of January bites the dust and we are down to five months to attain the goals that were set seven months ago. Hopefully, your club has assessed where you are in reaching those goals and adjusted their plan to attain them.

This month you should be getting your nominating committee together to come up with the candidates for next year’s club officers. Remember that clubs need to take every effort to rotate officers each year so that you develop as a club and don’t become stagnate. This is especially true for the secretary and treasurer positions. These two positions are the backbone of the club and the positions that both members and leadership (at all levels) rely on.

That said, the individuals that step up to the plate and fill these roles are to be appreciated by all. I ask that you take a moment and say “Thank You” to these individuals. On the flip side of this, these are the two positions that can (and sometimes do) cause tension in a club. And, sometimes, these tensions are escalated to the District, myself as District Governor, and to Lions International. Today, there are some issues that have been escalated. To help prevent other clubs from having these issues, and those clubs resolve their issues with the support of the District, I want to take a moment and provide a basic outline of the roles and responsibilities.

  • All funds received by the club are to go to the Secretary first. The Secretary is to maintain a “log” or “accounting of” the funds.
  • The Secretary ensures the Treasurer receives the funds.
  • The Treasurer is responsible for depositing the funds and ensuring there is an “accounting of” the funds.
  • At each meeting there is to be a full accounting of the financial status of the club that is presented by the Treasurer.
  • At least once a year, (typically the June time frame) the Secretary and Treasurer are to meet and reconcile their records resulting in full disclosure and accountability of all funds for the club.
  • NOTE: This is the “self-auditing” system Lions International has instilled in how our Clubs are structured.
  • NOTE: This is extremely important for all clubs with a level of urgency placed on those that are 501(c)(3) charity or foundation. As a 501(c)(3) you are subject to being audited with little to no notice. Your records must be detailed and in order at all times.
  • NOTE: If a detailed report of the finances is requested, one is to be provided. It’s as simple as that.
  • NOTE: The tension created by not providing this information casts a shadow upon the Club and in turn Lions – not acceptable in my book.
  • NOTE: This tension, furthermore, has and will cause Lions Clubs to lose members who will not, do not, speak well of Lions.
  • DON’T let this happen to your club. Training is available, facilitators are available, skilled accountants will help get records in order in the event they are not (we are, understandably, volunteers and sometimes learn by On the Job Training).
  • DO Raise your hand if you need assistance.

The above is an outline and not all encompassing. Please see the Constitution and By-Laws and other applicable information for more information.

On a much brighter note, the Lynn Haven Lions Club hosted our District Meeting on January 23rd and did an awesome job. Thank you to all who made that meeting such a success. There were two really good presentations from the KidSight Foundation and the Florida Lions Diabetes Foundation/Diabetic Retinopathy Foundation. Thank you to Lion Ken Parrish, Suzanne Atyeo and Lion Dr. Norma Callahan, PDG for your great work with these two organizations. I also want to thank Lions Tony Stefanowicz, PDG and Pat Hall, PDG for their informative classes. Fellow Lions, let’s take this great training and put it to work for the good of the individuals “We Serve” and the Lions Mission. On a personal note, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for being a Lion; Thank You.

During the District Meeting there was also discussion about communications and the number of individuals that subscribe to our website. Although the numbers are not the greatest on the site, remember that the site is linked into Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. In addition, a newsletter is sent out to everyone using the contact information as provided to Lions International. Club Presidents – Call to Action! Please check out your clubs information on LCI and ensure any updates required are made. If you need assistance, please contact me or Lion Tony Stefanowichz (he’s a guru) for guidance. I also ask that you encourage your members to subscribe to our website (lionsof35L.com) or to our Facebook page (Lions of 35L). Our web master, Lion Joel Arthur, has been doing an outstanding job volunteering his time and maintaining all or our modes of communication.

Now FUN STUFF:
District 35L Mini-Convention will be held April 9th, 2016 at the Best Western in Gainesville, FL (4200 NW 97th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606). Plan to attend! Additional information will be coming out very soon. We will be having International Director Richard Liebno from Maryland at our Mini-Convention. Plan on attending and let’s make this a GREAT MINI-CONVENTION!

Multiple District 35 Annual Convention will be held in Jacksonville, April 29-May 1st at the Lexington Hotel and Convention Center. Great fun, great training, and our Lions Clubs International 2nd Vice President Naresh Aggarwal will be our International Guest coming all the way from India. Let’s stand tall, stand proud, and be well represented, show our respect and enjoy the fellowship the Annual Convention provides. Details are in the MD Magazine that you recently received. Sign up now! I look forward to seeing each and every one of the Lions of 35L being there!

Make the Most of What You Have!
Lion Larry Hopkins
District Governor 35-L
Cell: (904) 303-2075
Email: gcslions4u@yahoo.com