District Lions Club signs charter

Duane Hicks

At a time when new volunteers seem harder to find, and some service club memberships are dwindling, an enthusiastic core of individuals have come together in the form of the Emo and District Lions Club.
The new club held its charter night Friday at the Emo Legion, and is off to a roaring start with 27 charter members and ideas for community projects.
“There’s a desire to do a lot of good work in Emo and the surrounding area,” said secretary Dave Ogilvie, noting the club has a couple of members who hail from outside of Emo and eventually aims to spread further west to Rainy River and even Baudette, Mn.
Ogilvie and president Jason Lilley explained the club is looking at raising funds for vision-assistance equipment for the Emo Public Library, as well as building a walking/biking/cross-country ski trail north of town and getting an X-ray machine for the Emo Health Centre.
Members signed the club charter Friday night and were inducted into the organization, taking their pledge of membership and receiving pins and certificates.
The club also received its banner.
The induction was led by Dr. Patti Hill, past international director and current Global Membership Team chair for Canada for Lions Clubs International, who was visiting from Edmonton, as well as current District Governor for District 5M10, Ivan Pollock, of the Vermilion Bay Lions Club.
Dr. Hill noted the new Lions will be joining nearly 1.3 million members in 46,000 clubs in more than 205 countries and geographical areas of the world.
And “they, like you, are committed to service; doing things together that cannot be done by one person alone.”
“The motto of Lions International is ‘We serve,’” Dr. Hill noted. “As you grow as Lions, you will see how this is applied in every focus of the organization and you will experience the great satisfaction that comes with knowing that your efforts will make a difference.
“The light of Lions shines wherever there is need.”
The Emo and District Lions Club officers also include treasurer Paul Kyro, Tail Twister Kent Ogden, Lion Tamer Dawn-Marie Danylchuk, membership chair Larry Stahn, and director Allan Kellar.
Other charter members include Aaron Bisson, Mavis Brown, Jackie Champagne, Percy Champagne, Aime Desaulniers, Deborah Firth, Stewart Firth, Dave Goodman, Mary Goodman, Ted Kaemingh, Jill Kellar, Rachel Korchak, Bill Low, Cheryl Low, Diane McDonald, Joanne Ogden, Vicki Ogilvie, Geoff Pearce, Dove Stahn, and Mark Van Heyst.
The new club was sponsored by the Voyageur Lions Club of Fort Frances, and many of those members were on hand for Friday night’s dinner, including Voyageur Lions Club president Jim Martindale and Val Martindale, who is District Governor Elect for District 5M10.
“I think the people of Emo are really ready for this,” Jim Martindale said. “I feel as though we’ve had such enthusiasm from the people that have joined.
“They’re really keen,” he added. “I think it’s going to be great.”
Val Martindale recalled they held a workshop in Emo at the end of January to gauge interest and provide information on starting a club. And by the beginning of March, it was clear they had recruited enough members to start a new club.
They then had to wait a short while to get all the paperwork finalized with Lions Clubs International.
“It is pretty exciting to have a new club,” she remarked, adding the Emo and District Lions is the first new club District 5M10, which covers northern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario, has seen in the past five years.
The charter night also was attended by members of the Fort Frances Lions Club and other Lions clubs in District 5M10.