New Lions Club president emphasizes lending a helping hand
By Gary Heaton for The Mandan News
As Lions 5NW newly elected District Governor Pat Vanett made an official visit to her home club, the Mandan Dacotah Lions, at their annual awards picnic Aug. 28, she emphasized that the Lions International slogan “We Serve” is not simply words on paper but a mandate of how we are to live.
Vanett brought greetings from Lion’s International President Wing Kun Tam and spoke with enthusiasm and passion as she shared her goals for the Lions clubs of district 5NW for the coming year. Her tone was earnest as she talked about service to others and how at an early age she learned from her parents the significance of lending a helping hand when her family took in and raised 10 cousins whose mother died during childbirth. Vanett says she began volunteering, singing and playing organ in church in the sixth grade, and has been volunteering ever since. “I have been involved with several organizations in my life. Lion’s is different in this way – ‘we serve’ is the motto by which we conduct all of our business.”
Over the course of her 12-month term of office, Vanett will make official visits to 55 Lions clubs located in communities throughout western North Dakota. Although the district governor’s job encompasses a wide variety of administrative tasks, Vanett’s primary emphasis will be to encourage, motivate and inspire local Lion clubs to greater service in their communities. “Through our service we have the opportunity to not only give back but to show how giving without any return expected can be very exciting and very contagious,” she stated.
Vanettt reported that during the fiscal year ending June 30 with 30 of 55 clubs reporting, Lions clubs of district 5NW collected 3,134 pairs of eyeglasses, volunteered 14,063 hours and raised over $175,000 for local charities. Vanett also installed new officers and welcomed seven new members to the Mandan Dacotah Lions Club.
The highlight of the evening occurred when Dacotah Lion’s Club President Steve Moore presented Josh Ressler, Minot Lions club flood disaster committee member, a check for $2,179 to assist with flood relief efforts in Minot.
The Lions clubs of district 5NW are members of Lions International, which has clubs in over 206 countries and 1.35 million members worldwide. For more information, visit the website lionsclubs.org.
Anyone interested in learning more or getting involved with a local Lions club is welcome to attend any Lions meeting. There are three Lions clubs in Mandan: The Mandan Lions meet every Monday at 12 p.m. noon at the Mandan Moose Lodge; the Dacotah Lions meet the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Mandan Moose Lodge; and the West River Lions meet the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Ridge Motel. The three local Lions clubs also sponsor the Mandan Leos club, the youth service branch of Lions, which meets at Mandan High School.