Montana Fall Forum Coming Soon: October 8, 2016, in Billings

Click for the Montana Forum registration form.

Click Montana Fall Forum in banner menu of this page for additional details.

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UPDATED: 2016-17 District 37 Cabinet Directory Available

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Sun River Lion’s Fun Days in Pictures

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Lewistown to be Returning to the Lions of Montana Map

Lions on the move logo of four colored arrows forming a square.NEWS FLASH – The Lewistown Lions Club will be starting up again as a branch club of the Denton Lions Club. The club members are busy with organizational issues and getting the proper format in place so they can make application to Lions Clubs International to approve their club.

In the interim we have set up a Lewistown MT Lions facebook page and will updating this with current news items and events they are planning to serve the community and to grow their club. Anyone having ideas for good kickstarter projects could leave them a note on the site.

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A Month to USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum, Omaha, Neb.

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Lions International Requests **Your** Help for VOPA Passage

VOPA Update

Lions serve in a variety of ways. With any service to the public, safety is of the utmost importance. In the case of an accident or any unfortunate event, a club may be held legally responsible. Originally adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1997, the Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) provides liability protection from claims that might be filed against a nonprofit organization’s individual volunteers. In the Act’s current form, however, protection from liability does not extend to the organization itself, including Lions clubs.

Currently before Congress is another bill called the Volunteer Organization Protection Act or VOPA. This Act would amend the VPA to extend liability protection that’s already given to individual volunteers to organizations as well.

Lions International needs your help in moving VOPA forward; contact your representative in support of VOPA!

Use one (or more) of these ways to contact your representative:

  • Call – You can read directly from a phone script;
  • Write – Send a letter by email, fax or mail; feel free to use this sample letter. We also give step-by-step instructions on how to contact your representative;
  • Visit – Request and plan a meeting; here’s a general calendar of when representatives might be in their local offices;
  • Resources – Visit us online for more information.

You can learn more about VOPA and how important this bill is on our blog.

We would love to see photos of Lions making calls, visiting representatives and sending letters. Email photos (selfies count) to Don’t forget to include your club’s name.

Protect your club today; thank you for getting the word out about the importance of VOPA!

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International President Corlew’s Centennial Message

Dear Lions,
As we approach our Centennial in 2017, we have so much to celebrate. This once-in-a-lifetime event commemorates not just our association, but every Lion and club who has made a difference in the world. No matter where you are, there’s an opportunity for each and every Lion to join the celebration.
I encourage you to join the Celebration by supporting our three signature programs:
  • Lead through service by hosting youth, vision, hunger and environmental projects to help us reach our Centennial Service Challenge goal of helping 100+ million people. Set a goal of hosting at least 1 service project for each.
  • Invite for impact by asking family, friends and neighbors to serve with you as Lions, and you’ll earn recognition in the Centennial Celebration Membership Awards. Set a goal of adding 3 new members.
  • Connect with community by planning a Legacy Project that commemorates the Centennial and provides a lasting gift to your community.
Let’s work together to show the world that where there’s a need, there’s a Lion!
Very truly yours,
Chancellor Bob Corlew
Your International President
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UPDATE: Donations for Fort McMurray Fire Relief

Fire sparks framing text for clubs participating in Fort McMurray Fire Aid.

Checks totalling $13,740.00 have been sent by our Treasurer. Continue reading

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Montana Fall forum Registration Available

The Forum registration form is now available.

It can be filled out in your browser and printed for postal mail or saved to your computer and attached to an email to send in. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to fill the form online (not all browsers support PDF forms).

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Winnett 25th Celebration Scheduled for August 6 – RSVP

25th Anniversary Celebration of WINNETT LIONS

Chartered in June 1991 – sponsored by the Round-up Lions Club  

A Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2016 at the Continue reading

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July Message From Designated District Governor

The 2016-2017 President's theme New Mountains to Climb.Happy New Year Lions of Montana! Yes it is that time of the year for us to look to a new year of Lionism. And, just like people make their new year’s resolutions on January 1st, we Lions will have made, or should have made our new year’s resolutions as to what we want to accomplish this coming year.

I hope that each club has had held their election of officers and reported the results to Lions Clubs International. It is of the utmost importance that this be done in a timely manner as it allows the free flow of necessary and informative correspondence to your club from not only Lions Clubs International, but also Montana District 37.  If your club has not done so, please submit that information as soon as possible.

Huntley Lions are once again sponsoring Homesteader Days at Homesteader Hall between Huntley and Worden this weekend. Friday July 8th.  Erin Tippin and Blackhawk will be performing. There will be activities for kids and adults alike. If you are looking for something to do come on over!

Let me know of any activities you are sponsoring in the coming months. Also do not forget the Sight and Hearing Foundation meeting in Ennis Sat. July 24th and the Cabinet Meeting in Bozeman the 25th.

Designated District Governor, Lary Garrison

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July 2016 Cabinet Meeting Update – Location Changed

The meeting will be held at the Gallatin County Detention Center, 605 S. 16th St., Bozeman, Montana on Sunday July 24th, 2016, at 10am. Luncheon will be served. Please let me know by the 20th if you will be attending. This is a change from having it at PID Dave Hanjy’s house. I hope this location will be more advantageous to those that may have mobility issues.

Yours in Lionism, PDG Lary Garrison, Designated District Governor

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Message From DG Richard Gessling

Cow branded with 37 and the text Montana 2015-2016 in the grass below as a pin.I want to thank my cabinet and all the Lions of Montana for making my year as the District Governor very enjoyable and I hope you feel it was a success. It was an amazing experience for me to get around the state and meet all of the fantastic and wonderful Lions and your clubs. You are all to be commended for the service you all give to your communities.

I wish you the best going forward and ask you all to continue to support the members who donate their time and money to help your clubs be the best they can be. My hope is that you consider becoming more connected to the District and what we are trying to accomplish in order to to make you and your clubs the best you can be.

With service to your community you heap unknown rewards on yourselves, your clubs and your communities. I hope to see you again this year as we go forward and I encourage you to support the members who follow me in service to Lion members and clubs in Montana.

Thank you for all you are doing for Lions and your communities and may you be blessed in all you do.

DG Richard Gessling

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First Meetings for New Lionistic Year Scheduled

Montana Sight & Hearing Foundation Meeting and 1st Governor’s Cabinet Meeting of 2016-17

There will be two meetings in Ennis on the weekend of July 23rd-24th at PID Dave and Marie’s house. It is located off of Hwy 287 outside of Ennis toward Virginia City. We will have balloons and a sign at the turnoff and balloons at the driveway for those that have not been there before. Continue reading

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District 37 Administration – An Open Letter

centennial_smAn Open Letter To The Lions of Montana

As of July 1, 2016 Montana District 37 will not have an elected District Governor. The reason for this is the unfortunate circumstance of Lion Jayne Pfeifer’s medical situation causing her need to resign from the 1st VDG position and relocate to Nevada.

District leaders gathered to determine how to meet this challenge. District Governor Gessling contacted Lions Clubs International to get feedback from them. It was determined to have DG Gessling serve again in 2016-17 as District Governor, PDG Lary Garrison to serve as incoming 1st Vice District Governor and Lion Dennis Kopitzke to serve as the incoming 2nd Vice District Governor.

Immediate Past District Governor Jim Johnke called for a special meeting to appoint an Incoming District Governor and a meeting to appoint an incoming 1st and 2nd Vice District Governor per Lions Clubs International Constitution and By-Laws. This was done in Helena in May and the results were sent to Lions Clubs International, where-upon we received an email telling us District Governors are not allowed to succeed themselves. Several emails later a statement was given saying that when there is no elected or appointed District Governor as of July 1st of the Lionistic year the 1st Vice District Governor automatically assumes the “authority and responsibility” and then is designated  District  Governor and can then be elected and serve as the District Governor the following year.

As of July 1, 2016 I will be the designated District Governor, and Lion Dennis Kopitzke will be the 2nd Vice District Governor.

Both Lion Dennis and myself will appreciate your assistance this coming year as we both will be taking on added responsibilities and duties.

Yours in Lionism, PDG Lary Garrison

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Fall Forum Update

A text bubble saying ask one.

Fall Forum News Update

October 8, 2016 at Big Horn Resort and Waterpark

1801 Majestic Lane  406-839-9300

Room rate is $89 + tax for King or 2 Queen Beds

Includes free breakfast and entrance to Waterpark

This is a great opportunity for a family weekend!!!

Other details:

  • Forum and luncheon cost is $70.
  • Sessions start at 8:30am and end at approximately 4pm
  • With special sessions for Leo’s
  • There will be an optional Montana Lions Sight and Hearing Fundraiser Friday Evening with a Beach Party Theme and a Taco Bar for $16
  • There will be an optional Saturday night dinner for $20
  • With some special International Guests
  • Ask 1 to come with you, it will benefit you and your club!
  • The Second Governor’s Cabinet Sunday morning at 8am
  • More Information Will Follow
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New Newswire Available (click banner below)


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June MT Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation Newsletter Available

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Become a Digital Lion: Our Magazine Moves Online!

The all new digital LION Magazine is now available at Read the June issue now!
Read it now: LionMagazine.orgphone5.jpg
The digital LION is optimized for phones and tablets, so you can read your favorite magazine on the go. Plus, you’ll receive special content and features unavailable in print:
  • Get special access to extra videos and stories
  • Share content instantly through email and social media
  • Read the magazine before your print copy arrives in the mail
Bookmark today so you can always enjoy the latest issue of LION Magazine!


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USA/Canada Forum – Omaha, Sept 15-17 – Early Bird Deadline

The USA/Canada Forum logo.Early Bird Deadline is Fast Approaching!

Register Today for the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum. Early Bird Registration Savings end May 31st.

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Message from our Past International Director Dave Hajny

Greetings Lions:

I would hope that all of you will seriously consider the letter from District Governor Gessling regarding the Fires around . The immediate need caused from the fires, beckons to us as Lions, to assist them in these trying times. The long term challenges they will be Fire sparks graphic with District 37 map of Montana.confronted with are difficult to comprehend. Many, who have not lost their home, had their place of work destroyed. Power is out, the water resources are inoperable, children scared because they don’t know what to expect next. Now the officials feel it may burn in the area for up to 3 months.

Coming together as Lions will now be a question each of us and our Clubs should face. How much can we do to give these people help? I hope you will consider an amount that exemplifies what we all stand for. Giving from our hearts is one of the main reasons we all are Lions. Please, please, think about them as we would want them to think how they would help us if the situation was reversed.

We are just a major Fire, a huge Flood, or any devastating disaster away from being the people next need.

Caring for others,
Lion Dave Hajny.

Webmasters Note: This message was received on official stationary but was copied to this format for readability. See previous post by DG Richard Gessling for more details.
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Aid Requested for Fort McMurray Fires (Part of our old District)

As we all have been seeing in the news the past several days, there are unbelievable devastating fires overwhelming our northern neighbors. The loss there has already reached a historical level of tragedy, with no end in sight. The local people, over 100,000 of them are fleeing for their lives. Most of them with no time to collect the valuables that they have worked all their lives for, are now evacuating with nothing.

lion_bwFor almost a century, Lions of Alberta and the Lions of Montana have been partners in Lionism working side by side. Now our former brothers and sisters who worked tirelessly together with us, raising funds and serving as the best we all could for the betterment of our communities and Lionism, need help. Their families, friends and neighbors are suffering right now beyond what most of us can even imagine.

We, who are fortunate to be far enough away from this horror, need to consider offering what we can. Every Lions Club in Montana should consider a monetary donation, to show them we are thinking of them, and we share in their pain. Let us dig deep financially, both as Lions Clubs and as individuals, to show our true Lions spirit, that we assist those most in need.

The Montana Lions Friendship Committee is starting the drive with a $2,000.00 donation to challenge the Lions of Montana District 37, to demonstrate the Lions Motto, “We Serve” and unite together to help those in need.

Please make your generous contribution checks to: District 37 and mail it to, District 37, PO Box 251, Worden, MT. 59088. Please do not delay your response as time is of the essence.

District Governor 37 Richard Gessling

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Lions University Improves and begins Doctorate

lions_uni_logoThe USA/Canada Forum logo.Lions University is a free leadership development program funded by the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum and totally volunteer-run.  The program is switching over to a new Learning Management System that will make logging in and taking courses much more user friendly. This professional system will also provide support instead of relying on “we few” volunteers to reply. In the coming weeks this new Learning Management tool will be in place.

At the same time, Lions University will finally be rolling out the Doctorate Program. Please understand that this very involved program is different from the other degrees. It involves coaching and hands on projects for those seeking International level leadership positions.

For more about Lions University see the link under resources in the banner for this page or go to the Lions University website.

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The Spring Forum in Bozeman exceeded most attendees expectations. Everyone came away having learned something their club could use.

There were four one hour sessions with attendees choosing from the following topics:

  • “The Challenge of Creativity”,
  • “Hi, I’m Your New Member, Bye, I’m Leaving”,
  • “What Makes A Lion’s Club Successful?”,
  • “Membership: An International Mission, Not An Accident Waiting To Happen”,
  • “Positive Club Growth Through Leadership”,
  • “Lions Centennial Celebration-We’re 100 Years Young!”,
  • “Getting New Lions For Your Club”,
  • “When You’re Through Changing, You’re Through!”,
  • “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Oh My! Can Social Media Help Our Club”,
  • “So You Hate Speaking In Front Of An Audience?”,
  • “Average or Excellence”,”Recruiting Younger Members”,
  • “Do You Have The Personality Of A Lion?”

Attendee comments were: More attendees needed to get this information back to the clubs, More handouts with larger print to use for referral at the club, Too many good topics to pick from, Very informative.

Gary and his team are working on improvements for the Fall Forum in Billings to make the Fall Forum even more informative. There will be new subjects including sessions for Leos, to help clubs meet their challenges. We will be getting information about the topics to be covered to you as soon as they are available. Ideally each club will send at least 2 members as they can attend more sessions than only 1 could attend in order to help their club’s objectives.

It is too time consuming as well as expensive for the District or International to have a team visit each club to present this valuable information. Also, I personally have found in my many years of management, that some of the most useful information came from other attendees at conferences we attended by helping with ways to understand how to better use ideas presented. Their experiences will only be shared at club visitations, forums and conventions.

The Fall Forum will be October 8th at the Big Horn Resort and Waterpark close to Montana Zoo in Billings. Mark the date on your calendars. We look forward to seeing you there!


Lary Garrison
Co-Chair Fall Forum

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“Got a Little Lion in You ?” Public Service Announcement

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First Montana Lions Forum In Progress

Montana Forum logo with laurel weath around the Lions emblem.69 Lions are meeting today, Saturday April 30, in Bozeman to celebrate Lion’s successes and to learn how we can improve service to our communities.

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Montana Lions Forum Offer From District 37

Be the first to register on site for the forum and receive free registration – a $60 offer !!! Believe it! IT IS TRUE! Take this opportunity to attend the Lions Montana Forum starting with on-site registration at 7:30am Saturday, April 30th at the Bozeman Holiday Inn.

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World Immunization Week LCIF Message

Dear Lions,Chairperson Preston with Lions and children on a playground in China

World Immunization Week began yesterday. Alongside Gavi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other Lions partners, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is working to close the immunization gap.

Closing the gap means families know where and when to go for immunization, there are enoughhealth workers, local leaders support health workers, and political leaders provide enough funding and support needed to pay for vaccines, health worker salaries and transportation.

It breaks my heart to know that 400 people still die every day from this disease. Measles is highly contagious and can cause blindness, deafness and other complications. We can prevent this with a simple, cost-effective vaccine.

World Immunization Week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of measles and the importance of vaccinations. Lions around the world are hosting events all week to show their commitment to the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative.

Tune in all week to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter page for interesting statistics and information about immunization efforts around the world. Be sure to tag us in your own social media posts to let us know about your clubs’ activities, and search #vaccineswork to get in on the conversation. Thank you for your dedication to eliminating measles!

Together in Service, Joe Preston, Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation.

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Update: District Cabinet Meeting Scheduled May 1, 2016

Clipart of a District 37 file cabinetA Cabinet meeting is scheduled on May 1st at the Gallatin County Detention Center, 605 South 16th Ave. in Bozeman. The meeting will start at 9:00 (not 8:30). Lunch will be provided. If you have any items for the agenda please let District Governor Richard or District Secretary Randy know.

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Administrator for MT Lions S&H Foundation Needed

Knight-3The Foundation is looking for a Lion to serve as the Foundation’s administrator. The position is part-time. It requires a minimum of 15 hours per week. The starting compensation is $500-$700.00. Interested individuals must submit a letter of interest, resume and letter of support from the local Lions club.  Open announcement for specific information and where to obtain or send materials.

Application materials will be reviewed by the Foundation’s executive committee. Selected candidates will be interviewed on July 23, 2016 at the trustee’s quarterly meeting to be held in Ennis.

Open PDF of position announcement.

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A Message From International President Yamada

Dear Lions,
As we approach 100 years of service, I’d like to thank you for your tremendous efforts leading up to our Centennial. I also want to encourage you to report your club’s hard work and continue working toward your end-of-year goals. Reporting allows your club’s accomplishments to be recognized and shared with Lions around the world.
Here’s how your club can finish the year strong and help usher in our next century of service:
  • Invite and retain at least three new members to help your club grow and make Lions even stronger!
  • Host a youth, vision, hunger and environment project in support of the Centennial Service Challenge.
  • Plan a Legacy Project during the Centennial Celebration to create a visible reminder and a lasting legacy of your service to your community.
As our 99th year comes to a close, we can all take pride in our accomplishments. Let’s keep up the momentum so we can continue to serve and turn our humanitarian vision into reality!
Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada
Your International President
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Lions Montana Forum Update:

From PDG Bill Pfeiffer:

An image of laurel wreath and the lions logo with text reading Montana Lions Forum, Bozeman, April 30, 2016.Hello Lions of Montana!  A quick reminder about the upcoming Lions of Montana Forum to be held on the 30th of April at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman, Montana.  This is a first of its kind event to be held in Montana, attempting to provide training, motivation and fun, similar to the experience gained by attending a USA/Canada Forum.  There will be dynamic presenters, most from outside of the State, providing training opportunities normally not present at our local events.  In addition there will be two outstanding motivational presentations, one by Past International President Bill Biggs to start the event and the other presented at lunch by Past International Director Dana Biggs.  Both are excellent speakers!  

In order for this to be a truly successful event however it takes more than just great speakers and presenters.  It takes attendees!  So if you have not already signed up now is the time to put it on your calendar and plan on being in Bozeman on Saturday the 30th of April.  Attached are copies of the registration form and an outline of events.  I’ll plan on seeing you there! 

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District Officers for 2016-2017 Named

On Saturday April 9, 2016, a series of meetings were held. The Montana Lions Sight and Hearing foundation met in the morning to conduct regular business and two special meetings of the Cabinet combined with Past District Governors were held to fill vacancies for Vice District Governors and District Governor for the Lionistic year of 2016-17.

Art of a scale and gavel.Since our position of having our Governor Elect resign and not having filled the Vice District Governor positions was unique. Following our Constitution, ByLaws, and advice from Lions Clubs International’s Legal Department required two separate meetings of the current Cabinet and PDGs.

The first was called by PDG Jim Johnke to nominate and appoint a District Governor elect (who after appointment remains to be accepted by Lions Clubs International).  DG Richard Gessling agreed to be appointed as Governor for another year with some realignment of duties for the District Executive Committee (this will be the subject of another post in the coming weeks and is part of the agenda for the next Cabinet meeting). Richard was the only nominee and was endorsed by a unanimous ballot. Jim adjourned his meeting.

DG Richard the opened a second meeting to fill existing Vice District Governor vacancies. PDG Lary Garrison was nominated for First Vice (beginning Lionistic Year 2016-17) and Lion Dennis Kopitzke as Second Vice for the same year. Both were elected to their positions by those present.

Congratulations the the new officers for 2016-2017:

  • District Governor – Richard Gessling
  • 1st Vice District Governor – Lary Garrison
  • 2nd Vice District Governor – Dennis Kopitzke

Webmasters Note: The process used at the meetings followed the best legal advice available and cannot be repeated in the future because of changes to the Lions International Constitution taking effect later this year.

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Congratulations to Winnett for New Leo Club

PrintI want to congratulate the Winnett Lions Club for successfully sponsoring and starting the Winnett All-Star Leo Club. This is a great accomplishment and is the result of these children from Winnett participating in the Lions Peace Poster Contest the last couple of years. These youngsters have been asking when can we be Lions? Well now they are.

Club president and Past District Governor twice, Jim Johnke, was instrumental in getting the job accomplished as was the rest of the club. Congrats to the Winnett Lions Club and the new Winnett All-Star Leos.

District Governor Richard

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Reminder: Special Meeting Called for April 9.

A drawing of a lion's head.I want to remind all lions of District 37 that there will be a meeting in Helena at the Valley Bank, 321 Fuller Avenue on Saturday April 9, 2016 starting no earlier than 1 pm.  This meeting of the District Cabinet and Past District Governors and any interested member will be to appoint a replacement for resigning District Governor Elect Jayne Pfeifer (district governor term 2016-17) and to appoint a First Vice District Governor (term 2016-17) and a second vice district governor (term 2016-17) to fill these currently vacant positions.  I hope this is clear.

You may email me gesslingdds@gmail or call 406-425-3785 if questions.  The legal notice of this meeting has been sent previously.  Thanks for all you are doing for Lions in Montana.

District Governor Richard Gessling

Previous post of legal notice to Cabinet and PDGs.

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Lions Montana Forum

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Special Meeting to fill VDG Vacancy Called for April 9, 2016

Official Notice:

37_state_mail_headHello Lions. Due to Health Reasons, First Vice District Governor, Jayne Pfeifer has decided to resign and will move out of State.

As IPDG of District 37, I am calling for a Special District 37 Meeting for the purpose of electing a First Vice District Governor to fill this vacancy.

The Special Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 starting at 1:00 pm in the Basement of Valley Bank, 321 Fuller Avenue, Helena, MT.

Nominations will be accepted at this time and an election will be held. All Lions of District 37 are invited  to  attend. You must attend this Special meeting to make nominations and cast a vote.

submitted by Immediate Past District Governor, Jim Johnke, 3/27/2016.

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Lions USA/Canada Forum News Available

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DG Elect Resigns – New Appointment Needed

Image of a sad face.Montana Lions,  it is with great sadness and great expected joy I report that Lion Jayne Pfeifer has resigned her position as District Governor Elect.  This has been a difficult decision for Lion Jayne but she has taken her doctor”s advice and decided because of her health she should move to a location where she will have a much greater chance of a healthier life.  All of you who know Lions Jayne and Bill Pfeifer regret losing them in Montana but know they will continue in their Lions ways.  I hope that you all will rally around and support both their move and the change this brings to the Montana Lions.

Clipart of a District 37 file cabinetAs per District and LCI bylaws we need to have a cabinet meeting that also includes the Past District Governors and choose a new District Governor elect.  We should also be selecting a 2nd Vice District Governor soon also.  I am waiting to hear from Lions Clubs Legal division soon what kind of meeting we are required to have to accomplish this transition in a timely fashion.  More will be coming but at the very least we will be meeting following the Sight and Hearing Foundation meeting on April 9th in Helena or before if necessary.

District Governor Richard Gessling

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Update: Forum Workshops’ Location Selected

An image of laurel wreath and the lions logo with text reading Montana Lions Forum, Bozeman, April 30, 2016.The location for the Guiding Lions Workshop, Saturday April 23, and the New Club Development Workshop, Sunday April 24, will be in the basement of the Big Sky Western Bank located at 106 East Babcock Street, Bozeman. The plan is to start the sessions at 10:00 AM each day (Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th) and to be finished no later Than 4:00 PM, with an hour for lunch.

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