I have been visiting Lions Clubs in District 36R, both on the coast and up and down the valley. The reception I have received has been very gratifying and I have enjoyed every visit I have made. I look forward to visiting all of the clubs in the District and meeting as many Lions as I can.
On September 3, I had a unique opportunity to see a Lions program in action. PDG Betty Levenhagen invited me to welcome participants to a Lions Quest workshop held at the Oregon School for the Deaf in Salem. After I welcomed the participants, I stayed on to observe the process. I met the facilitator, a Certified Lions Quest trainer named Frances Portillo. And I met many of the participants who were teachers and dorm councilors from the School for the Deaf, teachers and administrators from the Central and Salem-Keizer School Districts and a participant from the Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver.
Many of the participants were unable to speak, so they communicated in sign language. There were two interpreters who facilitated communication between those who could hear and those who could not. I found it especially interesting how the exercises using Lions Quest seemed to open new ways for these veteran teachers and counselors to be able to reach the students they teach. I thought, once again, what a great organization we belong to that we can make something this valuable available to people who work with youth.
District R is in the process of establishing a Lions Club at Western Oregon University and we hope to follow that Club with one at Willamette University. By the time you read this letter, we will have completed Campus Club Guiding Lion Training and conducted tabling and recruiting at both universities. This will give us two young and active Clubs able to serve their own campus communities and to work with other Lions Clubs in the area.
Finally, I want to note the passing of PDG George DeHart. George was one of the finest Lions I have ever met. He loved the Lions and he believed strongly in what we stand for. Until the day he passed on, he was giving advice and council to Lions who knew and loved him. Rest in peace, George. You are already greatly missed.