By KEITH D. PONTIUS
For The Vista
Approximately 175 Lions and their spouses, representing 42 clubs, and over 1,000 Lions in District 12-0 will be assembled March 8 & 9 at the United Methodist Church in Fairfield Glade for their 58thAnnual Convention.
District 12-0 is composed of 18 counties located in Middle Tennessee, reaching from Byrdstown to Cleveland and Chattanooga.
Hosting this event will be the Lions of Cumberland County – Fairfield Glade with 110 members and Crossville with 16 members.
Leading the Convention will be District Governor Jerry Pala from Signal Mountain, assisted by 1st. Vice-District Governor Barbara Blansett from South Pittsburg, and 2nd VDG Mel Tryon from Signal Mountain.
The Comfort Inn Suites located at Crossville will be the official hosting site.
DG Pala joined the Signal Mountain Lions Club in 1998 and has been a dedicated leader ever since. He has served in about all the major offices of the club, a number of District offices, newsletter editor for the District for three years, and director and treasurer of the District 12-0 Eye Bank located at Erlandger Hospital in Chattanooga.
The weekend’s activities will officially start Friday afternoon, March 8, at the Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church on West Chester Rd. with a Council of Governors Meeting and a special Hospitality site for all guests.
Evening banquet will start at 6 P.M. followed with a welcoming speech from Ashley Allen, Sr. VP of the Cumberalnd County Chamber of Commerce and special entertainment by local artists, Ashley Krohn, Aaron Ingram and Matt Page.
Also taking place during this time will be a very special Silent Auction that has been a tradition for a number of years, organized by Lion Eileen Laura of Crossville.
Registration and hospitality will begin at 8 A.M. (CST) Saturday at the Glade UMC with opening ceremonies set for 9 A.M.
During the morning program a celebration will take place recognizing the 30th anniversary of the District 12-0 Eye Bank and Sight Service, headquartered at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Special guest will be Patricia Lawhorn, the first recipient of cornea tissue from the Eye Bank in 1983.
Morning and afternoon sessions will be involved with numerous business and committee reports, concluding in the afternoon with the election of a new District Governor and Vice-District Governors.
Candidates are Barbara Blansett, Mel Tryon and Leila Gibson from Cookeville, respectively.
Keynote speaker for the banquet at noon will be Past International President J. Frank Moore from Daleville, Alabama.
He was elected to serve as president of The International Association of Lions Clubs at the association’s 84thInternational Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 2-6, 2001. He is an educator by profession and a former superintendent of education for the Daleville, AL. City Schools.
A member of Lions since 1975 PIP Moore has been leader of many Lions programs and has received numerous awards.
PIP Moore is a United Methodist Church Certified Lay Speaker, serves on the Conference Laity Board and is treasurer of his church. Past Pressident Moore and wife Rita, also a Lion and Melvin Jones Fellow, have two daughters and a son, who also are Lions, and five grandchildren.
Lions International is the largest service club organization in the world with over 1,350,000 members in over 46,000 clubs, 207countries and biographical locations.
Current International President is Wayne Madden from Auburn, Indiana. In Tennessee, Lions have a membership of over 5,600 in 217 clubs.
Planning committee for the Convention are Past District Governor Keith D. Pontius and Glade Lions; registrations – Monterey Lions; Silent Auction and Hospitality – Crossville Lions; and Decorations – Signal Mountain Lions.