They serve

Young Lions help­ing keep their clubs alive

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY DIANE CROCKER THE WEST­ERN STAR

For 15 years Penny Pike had been the baby of club.

But that’s changed as the Cor­ner Brook Lions Club has added some new, younger mem­bers to the group.

“Now I’m an old fart,” said Pike with a laugh as she and one of the club’s new mem­bers, Stephanie Spencer, en­joyed a cof­fee at a lo­cal cof­fee shop re­cently.

When Pike joined the club at the ten­der age of 22 most of the mem­bers were very much her se­nior. That was pretty much the case un­til this past few months when the club added four new mem­bers, all in their 20s.

“We all know what hap­pens with ag­ing pop­u­la­tions, then we see or­ga­ni­za­tions die,” said Pike. “You need to re­cruit younger mem­bers to keep the or­ga­ni­za­tion and the things they do for the com­mu­nity alive.

“The com­mu­nity de­pends on Lions and I don’t think they re­al­ize how much they do de­pend of Lions.” Sadly, she said, that re­al­iza­tion of­ten comes when an or­ga­ni­za­tion is no longer around.

Pike got in­volved with the club be­cause of a prom­ise she made to her aunt, Jackie Spencer, be­fore she died. Mrs. Spencer had been ac­tive with the club and her hus­band Mark Spencer was Pike’s spon­sor.

While that prom­ise plays a role, what keeps her there goes be­yond it.

“It’s see­ing the smiles on peo­ple’s faces for the project which you com­pleted and they ap­pre­ci­ated. That says more than any­thing.”

It’s that ap­pre­ci­a­tion that’s given her more than one “Lion mo­ment.”

Like re­turn­ing from a walk at the Lion Max Simms Memo­rial Camp with an autis­tic child to find a mother cry­ing be­cause it was the first time in 15 years she had an hour to her­self, and didn’t know what to do. Or hear­ing an­other mother say she slept in her own bed for the first time in 10 years be­cause now they had a Lions autism dog to watch over her son.

Over the year’s Pike has held many roles within the club and the broader or­ga­ni­za­tion. She’s been in­volved in lead­er­ship train­ing for the dis­trict, is cur­rently coun­cil chair for Mul­ti­ple Dis­trict N, the high­est rank a Lion can hold in At­lantic Canada, and come Oc­to­ber will be­come the pro­vin­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the board of the Lions Foun­da­tion of Canada.

So now that the club has some new mem­bers she’s plan­ning on tak­ing a step back, a lit­tle break sort of, but that doesn’t mean her in­volve­ment will end. She’ll just have more time to de­vote to projects that mean a lot to her.

She’s also con­tent to men­tor some of those new mem­bers and said she’s al­ready seen a new spunk in the club. “I ex­pect some good ac­tiv­ity in the club for years to come.”

And her fu­ture in­volves more Lion­ism as she has her eye set on a di­rec­tor po­si­tion with Lions In­ter­na­tional, but that po­si­tion won’t come around for an­other 14 years.

As for now be­ing con­sid­ered one of the old vet­er­ans in the club, Pike said: “I love it.”

Stephanie Spencer

Lis­ten­ing to Pike talk about her ex­pe­ri­ences is what Spencer said made her want to get in­volved with the club.

The two are cousins and Spencer said the Lions have been a big part of her fam­ily.

Be­fore she was old enough to be­come a mem­ber she re­mem­bers help­ing to bag candy for the Christ­mas pa­rade.

Af­ter be­ing away from Cor­ner Brook for six years, Spencer moved back a lit­tle over a year ago. A for­mer mem­ber of the Girl Guides and cadets, the 26-year-old looked at vol­un­teer­ing as a way to get in­volved in the com­mu­nity again. “And ac­tu­ally feel a part of the com­mu­nity.”

With the fam­ily con­nec­tion, join­ing the Lions just made sense and so Pike be­came her spon­sor.

With a mem­ber­ship that’s still pri­mar­ily much older than her, she’s not wor­ried about fit­ting in.

She rec­og­nizes that ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent opin­ions and said

if you can show oth­ers why they should try some­thing new or change some­thing a bit and can back it up, then they’ll come on board.

The club has a goal to get more peo­ple her age to join and she’ll play a role in mak­ing it hap­pen as the new mem­ber­ship chair.

Her first project will be a mem­ber­ship drive in Septem­ber.

She plans to use so­cial me­dia to make con­nec­tions with peo­ple and to reach out to the peo­ple she con­nected with through Girl Guides and cadets to see if they’d like to get in­volved.

“So that the club will con­tinue to go for an­other 69 years.”

And like Pike did be­fore her, Spencer would like to move up the ranks in the club.

“My goal is set now,” she said with a smile. The first step is to be­come club pres­i­dent and Pike thinks she’s got the drive and lead­er­ship to do it.

Terry Ran­dell

At the Pasadena Lions Club be­ing the youngest in the club is a ti­tle that Terry Ran­dell has held for the past two years.

He joined the club at the age of 30 af­ter a mem­ber ap­proached him and told him about all the cool things they were do­ing.

That was enough to hook him, but re­ally it was no sur­prise he’d be in­ter­ested as Ran­dell has been an ac­tive vol­un­teer in the com­mu­nity for quite some time.

Un­like some club’s, the Pasadena one is quite strong with around 41 mem­bers. About eight of which joined in the past year.

And there’s a good range of ages, said Ran­dell, from peo­ple in their 90s right on down to those in their 30s.

Join­ing a club where most of the mem­bers were older than him was never a con­cern as a lot of them are peo­ple he’s al­ways known and has worked with on other com­mit­tees.

“Once you get in among the crowd and start talk­ing you find com­mon­al­i­ties and you form kin­ships.”

Ran­dell said they all want to help make pos­i­tive things hap­pen in the com­mu­nity.

Be­ing in a small com­mu­nity, where things are lit­tle closer knit, can be a bonus when it comes to at­tract­ing peo­ple to ser­vice clubs.

“There are lots of peo­ple will­ing to vol­un­teer if you ap­proach them and talk to them.”

Ran­dell said peo­ple mov­ing into the com­mu­nity like com­ing to ser­vice clubs be­cause they see it as a way to get in­volved and make con­nec­tions.

Hold­ing events like Chase the Ace has made the club very vis­i­ble and the buzz around it has as­sisted in re­cruit­ing mem­bers.

“When you get more peo­ple in­volved that’s the more cool things you can do,” he said. “And clubs are lov­ing it.”

Re­cently Ran­dell and an­other mem­ber started a youth group that has spun into a Leo Club that now has 21 mem­bers.

Ran­dell just fin­ished up as the club’s mem­ber­ship chair and is now tak­ing over the sec­re­tary po­si­tion.

“Just try­ing out dif­fer­ent things,” he said when asked if he has a goal for what he’d like to do. “I’ll do what needs to be done.”

DIANE CROCKER/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Be­ing a part of the Cor­ner Brook Lions Club is a fam­ily af­fair for cousins Penny Pike, left, and Stephanie Spencer. Pike held the ti­tle of youngest mem­ber in the club for 15 years un­til four new mem­bers in their 20s, in­clud­ing Spencer, joined this year.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Terry Ran­dell has been a mem­ber of the Pasadena Lions Club for two years. At 30, he’s the youngest in the club.

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