Lions team up for community service

New Lions Club of Grand Cayman President Albert Anderson called for unified action among Cayman’s service clubs so that they can collectively enhance their impact on the community.

Lions Club of Grand Cayman

The new executive of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman for 2006-07: (seated, from left) Ian Callow Secretary, newly installed President Albert Anderson; Immediate Past President Walton Gooding; (standing, from left) Ewan Jacques tail twister; Philip Hislop 2-year director; Tannya Mortimer 1-year director; Winston Hayle tamer; Deborah Ebanks 3rd vice president; Alfonso Wright 2-year director; Ronnie Rankin 1-year director; Julie Hutton assistant secretary; Anthony Ritch 2nd vice president and Robert Wood membership and attendance director; missing are Lee Ramoon first vice president and Rayle Roberts treasurer. Photo: Submitted

In the Marriott Ballroom that had been magically transformed into a sumptuous Arabian setting recently, Mr. Anderson accepted the presidency of one of the longest extant service clubs in the Islands.

Mr. Anderson upheld the values that the Lions are known for throughout the community. ‘I have chosen the theme ‘Teaming Up for Community Service’ as our motto in helping us to achieve our objectives for the year,’ he told a packed audience at the installation of the new executive of the LCGC for 2006-07.

He emphasized the vibrancy that teamwork brings to any organization and the entire community, shifting the accent as it does from individual to collective endeavor.

Guests from every service club in the Cayman Islands were on hand to watch as the new board pledged their commitment to teamwork. ‘Together we can achieve so much more,’ the new LCGC President said.

He pledged a year in which as a team, the LCGC would achieve its set objectives while having fun, and working towards specific goals in the community.

Building team spirit within would go hand in hand with the club’s Sight, Social Services and Youth Programmes for which the organisation is cherished in the community and indeed around the world.

‘Redevelopment of the Lions Centre, which sustained substantial damage during Hurricane Ivan, is another major priority during this coming year,’ he said.

A start would be made towards drawing up plans and securing funds that will lead to the construction of a bigger and better Lions Community Centre.

‘We will be building on the solid foundations that were laid by our founding members. The community of Grand Cayman deserves a top class facility for hosting concerts, conferences and sporting events and our founding members, after all their hard work and commitment deserves to see the Lions Community Centre taken to the next level.’

He underscored his commitment to rekindling some of the social programmes the club is associated with including repairing homes and maintaining traffic islands and adding new ones such as screening programmes for prostate cancer and diabetes.

Other programmes such as Lions Quest and Saturday morning story-telling for children would also continue with renewed vigour, he noted.

Mr. Anderson hinted at a new fundraising opportunity and promised to keep the public in the loop regarding usage of donations received.

He noted that the membership had two choices – to be involved or committed. ‘If you are unsure of the difference between the two, think of a plate of bacon and eggs. In that situation, the chicken was involved…but the pig was committed,’ he added.

Outgoing President Walton Gooding took the opportunity to wish the new President every success in all his endeavors in the year ahead. He briefly outlined the club’s achievements in the previous year including the refurbishment of the Lions Eye Clinic, sight screening of more than 1,000 school children, the annual Christmas gifts delivery throughout the community, the all-island Christmas party for children as well as completion of structural repairs to the Lions Centre damaged by Hurricane Ivan.

The club also made a major financial commitment when they sponsored Lions Quest training for 47 new teachers and four Trainers of Trainers. Lions Quest is a life-skills program for children from Kindergarten to Year 12 designed to give them the skills to deal with issues such as drugs, gangs and alcohol, he reported.

More than six million youths worldwide have taken part in a Lions-Quest programme. In Cayman, the Lions Club of Grand Cayman has sponsored this initiative for many years and is now renewing their commitment to driving the program forward in our schools.

The guest speaker for the evening was the dynamic Everton ‘Sarge’ Edwards who is the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Florida International University. Being a community activist, Mr. Edwards is a regular clinician at several inner-city programmes.

Emcees for the evening were Lions Alee Fa’amoe and Sue Tressider who kept the proceedings flowing smoothly and added humour to the evening. Guest Karen Edie opened the evening with a beautiful rendition of the National Song and Lion George Roberts entertained the audience with his sultry saxophone playing during dinner.

Lion President’s wife Esther had a special surprise for her husband when she got up and sang ‘Heal The World’ and towards the end had all the audience singing along with her.

The evening closed with the ever resourceful Lion Mike Simmons who, as the guest Tail Twister for the evening, proceeded to raise almost $2,000 which was earmarked to be donated to the Pines.

WHO THEY ARE

Lions International is the world’s largest service club organization, with nearly 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in 193 countries. Since 1917 Lions Clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, log on to www.lionsclubs.org.