By TREENA MIELKE
A combination of excellent speakers, informative sessions and great networking opportunities helped to make the second annual Northern Lions Leadership Rally a positive event that benefited not only the Rimbey Lions Club, but the town as well.
Chairman of the rally committee, Rimbey Lion Gwen Olsen, said 115 people attended the event, held Jan. 21 and 22 at the Rimbey Community Centre. Those in attendance represented 44 Lions Clubs from Alberta, Northwest Territories, Montana and British Columbia. During the rally visitors stayed in local accommodations and many ate dinner in Rimbey on Friday.
Olsen said the out-of-towners were impressed with the town itself, and pleased to see all the projects the Lions have been involved in.
She said the guest speaker, John J. Daum, sent her an email after the event with positive comments about the Rimbey Lions Club.
“He said he has never before been in a community where the Lions Club is so active. It was a nice compliment. He has been in lots of communities.”
Olsen said the rally served to motivate the local club, which has about 60 members, toward becoming even stronger.
“It helped recharge our batteries and helped to develop leadership skills within all the clubs in attendance”.
She said the session on mentoring sparked at least one Rimbey Lions member to realize the importance of educating all Lions members about the club on an international scale.
“It’s easy to sit in your own little club, but it is important to learn about Lions and what they do globally. They really do help a lot of people. Wherever there is a natural disaster we have a fund that everyone contributes to and that money goes directly to the people in need. It goes to the Lions Club within that community. One hundred per cent of the money goes to help the people.”
As much as Olsen praised the Lions Club on a global level, she said the local club deserves accolades, as well.
“It is a fantastic group of people. It is so wonderful to be with a group of people who are working toward something. It’s a great feeling, knowing what we are doing benefits so many people. It’s an honour to work with the Lions Club in Rimbey.
During his presentation, Daum, a past Lions Clubs International director, noted leaders are made, not born.
“Making good leaders within your club, that can be done,” he said.
“I have a feeling within this room that everyone here has the capability to be a leader.”
Daum said leaders see problems that need to be fixed and have the passion to make the changes necessary to fix the problem.
“If you can’t show someone you have passion, they aren’t going to listen to you.”
Leaders show integrity, are people persons, know how to communicate effectively and motivate by pushing the right buttons. They also are planners who don’t micromanage, lead by example, remain humble and look after others.
“People who take care of their people will be the ones who get results,” he said.
Daum, who is from Newcastle, Wy, is a past international director. He is a charter member of the Newcastle Lions Club and has been a Lion since 1972. His achievements within the Lions Club are many and include the 100 per cent District Governor Award, a Membership Advancement Key, an International President’s Leadership Award, an International President’s Certificate of Appreciation and an Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honour granted by the association to its members. He is also a Melvin Jones Fellow and has had perfect attendance for 11 years.
During his session entitled “Motivating members,” Dave Hajny, a candidate for international director of The International Association of Lions Clubs, said great service comes from the heart.
“We need to put our personal signature on our Lions Club, we need to show them what can be done. Motivation is huge. Why would a Lion want to attend a meeting? Are we motivating members? Is our club having fun?
A live auction held Friday night at the rally raised approximately $1,400 that will go to Heather Jager from Hanna who is riding in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride from Vancouver, B.C. to Halifax, N.S.