Lions Clubs International: “We Serve”
by Joe Olvera ©, 2011
The motto of the Lions Club International “We Serve,” doesn’t do justice to what the international group is truly all about. It also considers itself a Beacon of Hope throughout the world. With 900 Governors around the world and 1.4 million members in 205 nations, Lions Club members have, for decades put their best foot forward to help communities in need.
This weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, more than 200 members will descend on El Paso to celebrate District 2T3’s reputation as only the second club created in the world, and to elect new officers for the coming year. The Lions Club is open to people of all nationalities, ages 18 and over. 64 is the average age. However, membership is by invitation only.
In El Paso the first club to feature Spanish-speakers exclusively has been formed, and is comprised 100 percent of business and professional people who have migrated from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso. This is undoubtedly the first such group in Lion’s Club history.
Friday’s meeting will consist of registration and getting to know one another. The Saturday meeting will consist of the procession of special guests and special introductions. Immediate Past District Governor Garland Tiner will receive the Cullen Akin Award. This will be followed by Past District Governor Frances Cherry giving the Elections Committee Report; District Governor Elect Sam Calderon will offer comments; and District Governor Orlando Rodriguez will introduce the speaker.
The featured speaker will be Past International Director Scott A. Rennels, of Jonesboro, Ark. Rennels is president of Shelby Skipwith Inc. and is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Four Seasons HVAC Distributors, Inc. He has held many offices within the association, including club president, zone chairman, district governor and council chairman. In recognition of his service to the association, Rennels has received numerous awards, including two Lion of the Year Awards, a Guiding Lion Award, an Extension Award, three International Presidents Medals, several International Presidents Certificates of Appreciation, and the Ambassador of Good Will Award – the highest honor the association bestows upon its members. In addition, he is past president of the Lions World Services for the Blind. Rennels and his sife, Deborah, have three children and two grandchildren.
Besides its motto of “We Serve,” Lions Club International truly is ready to help worldwide. The belief is that whenever a Lions club gets together, problems become smaller, and communities get better. Lions are there wherever help is needed. Some examples of what Lions do include:
* Provided assistance such as food, clothing and medicines to 20 families who lost their homes to the WILD FIRES this week in Fort Davis, Texas.
*Brought 3,000 volunteers together to build a playground for children of all abilities in California;
*Sent a team of eye surgeons to Honduras to treat more than 100 adults and children.