by Judge Howard L. Patterson Jr.
The International Association of Lions Clubs
Since our founding in 1917, Lions Clubs International has continued to enhance its reputation for exemplary community and humanitarian service. Each achievement has built upon those which preceded it, until today, 80 years later, we can look upon this past with a sense of unreserved pride. We must, however, temper our feelings for these eight decades with the recognition that the years to come will witness still greater accomplishments in giving substance to our "We Serve" philosophy. Indeed, Proud Past---Bright Future will be the scale upon which we will balance our debt to those who have made this association what it is today with a commitment to a more glorious tomorrow.
To realize this, we need to strengthen our membership, and I have, consequently, designated net membership growth as one of the primary objectives of this year's International Program. Its focal point is the Five-Star Club Program. Each Lions club reaching the program's five goals at the end of the year will receive special recognition: a distinctive patch for its banner.
Essentially, a club will be required to record a net membership growth of 10 percent, use the association's official ceremony when inducting new members, organize a minimum of three hour-long orientation sessions for those new members, maintain a "zero drop" policy during the year and place at least five articles about the club's service activities in the local press.
Our October Membership Growth Program is also crucial to the overall success of Lions clubs in fortifying their base as the community's leading service club. The awards Lions receive will again demonstrate their pride in membership and profound wish to share their experiences with other individuals. The Legacy of Lions Program, conducted during February, March and April, offers our members further reason to show how proud they are of our organization's traditions and history of service by strengthening their club's capacity to apply this legacy to future endeavors as we gird ourselves for the demands of the 21st Century.
Lions, I ask that you build pride in membership. Our predecessors gave so very generously of themselves in enabling ours to be not only the largest, but the most active service club organization. There again, you have the balanced scales---one making the other possible: membership strength and service activities. We must now carry on in the same manner if we are to honor fully their memory and sacrifices.
Proud Past---Bright Future: Permit this to be our guiding beacon
for the year. Demonstrate your commitment to building our membership strength,
fellow Lions, by reaching for the stars!
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