History 1990-2000 07 18D

Lions of Georgia

District 18 D

1990-2000 Part Two


As District Governor Don Wagner challenged District 18D “to make new friends among leaders in your community, to develop your leadership potential, to serve people in need.” He observed since Melvin Jones founded Lionism, “only opportunity has sustained us ever since.”

“Opportunity” for District 18D in the 1990s came to meant to fulfill the challenge of SightFirst, to appreciate Jim Ervin’s rising leadership as International Director, to integrate women in Lions Clubs, to widen perspectives Lions who attend USA/Canada Forums, and district, state or inter-state sponsored training programs, and to continue all the services of Lionism within Georgia Lions redistricting.

After SightFirst was proposed at the International Convention in St Louis in 1990, the structure to implement it was laid out in 1991, when Jim Ervin received national prominence as a early supporter and promoter, and success in his Albany club. His Albany Evening Club of 30 members had received SightFirst pledges over a five-year period, the largest $10,000, and totaled $76,700 for SightFirst.

To strengthen the emphasis on membership, Don Wagner gave new emphasis to the Order of the Golden Chain. He stressed motivation and publicizing the strengths and services of Lions clubs. He acknowledged Golden Chain recipients. Wagner said, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

PID John Pearce inducted district officers, July 12, 1992, at the First Cabinet Meeting in Georgia Baptist Assembly at Toccoa. Administrative members were Lieutenant Governor Buddy Ouzts, Tom Sexton secretary/treasurer; Region 1 Chair Howard Whitaker with Zone 1 Chairs Harvey Weiss and Zone 2 Chair Frank Felton; Region II Chair William Mundy with Zone 1 Chair Michael Kelly and Zone 2 Chair Del Von Almen; Region III Chair Dan Stuart with Zone 1 Chair Jerry Nelms and Zone 2 Chair Henry Braselton; Region Chair Edgar Kent with Zone 1 Chair James Hunt and Zone 2 Chair Jim Panter; and Region Chair V Norman Masters with Zone Chair 1 & 2 Dan Gladney.

Governor Wagner selected advisors for each zone chairperson. Advisors in Region were David Little (1) and Jimmie Johnson (2): in Region II, Arthur Gurr (1) and Barry Ladd (2), in Region III, Willie Farmer (1) and Don Hardigree (2); in Region IV, Ray Rowell (1) Edgar Kent (2); and Region V, roger Paluzzi (1) and Judy Gladney (2).

Cabinet members with special assignments were Lawrence Sutherland, Vice-President Camp for the Blind; Bob Beardon, Eye Bank Coordinator; Virgil Megil, Bulletin Editor; Conny Shirley, Constitution and By-Laws, and International Understanding; C L Chuck Wilson, Vice-President Lighthouse; toward F Miller, Librarian; J R Phillips, Chaplin; Sam A Vickery, Diabetes Awareness; W W Banks, Rally Chair; Aurthur Gurr, District Breakfast Chair; Bill Piper, District Convention and Nominations Chair; Convention members Walter Pope, James Nease, Mancel Oliver; Tom Sexton, District Credentials Chair, and members Don Hiz, Howard Whitaker, Brad McKinney; W Myers Banister, Membership Chair and Long Range Planning; Millard F Havener, Song Leader; and Herma A Jones Tailtwister and State Pin; Buddy Ouzts; Membership Chair;

Also, J Rich Harrleson, Environmental; Charles Shokley, Extensions; Ed Snyder, Hearing Conservation; Thois Masters, Leader Dog; Legal Liability, Jim Panter; Leo Clubs, Donnie Canup; Oscar and Margaret Battle, Lioness Co-Chairs; Mike Higgins, LCIF; Willard Kimsey, Information and Program; Barry Ladd, Outstanding Blind Award; Jim Schwartz, Outstanding Deaf Award; Don Hardigree, Parliamentarian; Acton Brown, Recording for the Blind; Irving Hellenga, Resolutions; Chuck Wilson, Rules; William Owens, Sergeant-at-Arms; Dan Staurt, SightFirst; Bryson Tanner, State Awards; Bryard Roper, State Uniform; Bob Pinson, Used Eyeglasses and Hearing Aids; George Weigle USA/Canada Forum; White Cane, bobby Reynolds; Steve Leslie, Youth Exchange; M C Stowe, Golden Chain.

Multi-District officers in the 1992-93 Cabinet were George Blackburn, Membership Development; Bill Tanner, Council Advisor; William Bross, Lion Tamer; Olin Newby; State Historian; and Ben Poole, Train-the-Trainer.

In 1992-93 all Gwinnett County Schools used the Lions Quest program. District Governor Wagner inducted 22 charter members into the new Peachtree Lions club of North Atlanta, Oct 23, 1992.

North Dekalb Club President James Hunt, the 1991-1992 cabinet secretary-treasurer, was honored in Washington, DC, Sept 27, 1992, for “contribution to the science of this great country.” His company produced two products used by helicopters in Desert Storm. He had breakfast and lunch with Senators, and dinner with President and Mrs. Bush, when Margaret Thacher was also a guest.

Region V gave Lions pins, buttons, and banners to share with Lions Clubs in Peru, to baton twirler Katie Doinnenwert from Duluth, one of seven US girls participating in the “42nd Festival International de Primaara.” in Trujillo, Peru.

Bob Robinson promoted a Zone Wide Eye Donor Drive Card Drive, in Zone I, Region III. Jerry Nelms, Zone Leader. Region Chair Dan Stuart spoke for the region goals and project SightFirst.

Cabinet members gave reports at the Second Cabinet Meeting, Nov 21 at 3:30 pm. Checks submitted for Lions projects at the Cabinet Meeting total $8,768.

First Vice-President James T Coffey addressed the District Rally, at 6:30 pm, at Holiday Hall. Lion Willard Kimsey received the “Rebuilding Lions Award,” for activating clubs. Lion Jerry Nelms, Howard Whitaker, and Tom Sexton received the “International President Certificate of Appreciation.”

Governor Don Wagner promoted the traveling Roadrunner Award, to be granted May 2, 1993, at the Fourth Cabinet Meeting in Simpsonwood. Each club could visit the club that has the plaque, with at least five members. The visits were to be certified by the visited club secretary, and mailed to the district governor. An interested club would contact the district governor to determine where the roadrunner plaque was located, to visit that club and retrieve it.

Lions considered Department of Health directives issued April 7, 1992, that they could inspect club food sources, preparation, sanitary procedures, facilities used, transportation or sale or reuse, and could prohibit serving crème pastries, custards, salads with meat or eggs.

Winder Lioness President Shirley Wilbanks, a volunteer for the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, challenged people to be “service-minded in their community without personal financial reward.”

Towns county Lions continued their annual summer activities to thousands of visitors around their North Georgia Fair at Hiawassee and fall musical programs featuring various musical groups.

PID John Pearce conduced a Cabinet Training Session, Oct 11, 1992, at Holiday Hall in Gainesville.

Governor Wagner alerted Lions to various relief efforts of food, supplies, and money, through existing agencies, for victims of Hurricane Andrew.

Jerry Nelms shared with Lions a medical article in professional journal, “Ocular Surgery News” entitled, “Lions Clubs Dedicate $25 Million to Provide Third World Eye Care,” by Robert C Welsh, MD, who developed the Welsh Third World Eye Operating Microscope. Welsh witnessed Lions volunteer in India who gave free cataract operations at rural eye camps. He has met James S Cameron, who heads up Lions worldwide cataract services, who provides Voluntary Optometric Services of Humanity camps in Guatemala and Honduras.

Lions clubs in Athens work together in the Lions sight Conservation Council, who in 1991 purchased eyeglasses costing $43,529. Each club member pays $36 per member as based on M&A reports.

District 18D promoted the Georgia Lions Lighthouse challenge, using the Lighthouse theme adopted Oct 18, 1992, “Catch the Vison,” to purchase glasses by the Lighthouse and clubs, at $25 single vision, $40
bifocals, and trifocals, $45, from Lion Steve Helwig, HO Manufacturing in Athens.

The Quest program was increasingly related to the DARE program. SightFirst broadened and expanded the efforts of Lions clubs to fulfill its worldwide mission to eliminate blindness.

Within District 18D’s participation in Campaign SightFirst (CSF) Dan Stuart, District SightFirst Chair, promoted the “Operation Four in Ten” goal or 24 clubs from 18D’s 60 clubs to raise $1,500 for SightFirst by June 30, 1993, toward the Lions goal to raise 130 million dollars to conquer world blindness. He urged clubs to have a SightFirst Chairman, vice-chairman, and treasurer, and to send committee reports to International. He asked Melvin Jones funds be payable to LCIF-Campaign SightFirst, to be enclosed with a MJF nominee application. He promoted club goals to earn a “Lions Conquering Blindness” Banner patch, to use of CFS Publicity Kits and the “Lead the Way…Light the Way” video. He recommended slogans: ‘The Whole World Is Watching.’ Through SightFirst the whole World shall see what Lions can do. Support CSF. CSF: Only United Can the Battle Be Won. Join with other Lions in the Battle against Blindness. Help us earn the “Lions Conquering Blindness” banner patch by raising at least $1,500 by June 30, 1993. CSF: Conquering Blindness is Within Our Sight. Let’s see what $1,500 can do. A Child’s Sight is Priceless. Ore club’s $1,500 could pay enough Vitamin A capsules to prevent blindness for one
year to as many as 3,750 children.

As the Lions’ Quest emphasis was being gradually shifted to the DARE program, Buddy Ouzts shared steps how Winder club is supports, QUEST. Order supplies, receive commitments from the local Board of Directors. Contact the County School Superintendent for approval from the Board of Education. Contact the State Representative or Senator whether match grants are available. Contact police-sheriff departments for support, in addition to the DARE program. Secure the Chamber of Commerce endorsement. Enlist support of other clubs and groups, and publicize on radio and TV. Get church and ministerial support. Solicit contributions from banks, automobile agencies, insurance offices and other local businesses. Request support of faculty of target ages to use QUEST curriculum. Develop a training program for teachers of QUEST. Acknowledge publicly receipts from individuals and businesses.

Hall County Lions held a Lions Eagle Ranch Rodeo, July 30 to Aug 1, South Hall chaired parking and the hayride shuttle, and Clermont helped with parking. Gainesville club sold and sponsored banners that were displayed around the rodeo area, and chaired entertainment and game booths. Each participating club received reciepts according to the number of hours worked by its club members.

At the District Convention, March 7, 1993, at Winder Clubhouse, Lion A Lamar “Buddy” Ouzts was elected District Governor, Oscar Battle elected Lieutenant Governor, and Donald Hix, Cabinet Secretary/Treasurer. District Governor-Elect Buddy Ouzts gave a comprehensive summary of Lionism goals as he stressed QUEST, LCIF, the Lighthouse, the $10 Million Dollar Club, the Recording for the Blind, membership, and other Lions projects.

At the Third Cabinet meeting, March 7, after the District Convention, District Governor Don Wagner called on cabinet officers to give reports on 1992-93 district activity.

Past District Governor W Clyde Davis from Albany Evening Club held SightFirst Group Training session, March 21, 1993, at Holiday Hall in Gainesville, for 18D SightFirst Group Coordinators (four to six clubs in each group); PDG Millard Havener, PDG Thois Masters, PDG M C Stowe, Bob Robinson (Classic City), Steve Helwig, (Athens West), Ray Rowell (Laurel Ridge), Walter Pope (Winder), Joe Hirsch (Dawsonville), Richard Chambers (Commerce), Ed Hashbarger (Norcross), Norm Masters (Snellville, and Jerry Nelms (Oconee).

At the Fourth Cabinet Meeting, May 2, Governor Wagner and cabinet officers at Simponwood analyzed goals for the year, and plans anticipated for emphasis in 1993-94. M C Stowe received completed applications for the Golden Chain awards.

Legal Council Jim Panter reported not only for Region IV Zone 2, but on the legal status of the Georgia Lion Eye Tissue Services, as successor to the former Georgia Lions Eye Bank located at Emory. He pointed out Georgia Lions in 1987 designated Emory University Hospital as depository of donated eye tissue. He said the existing corporation Georgia Lions Eye Bank, not now located at Emory, is not now the legal successor to the older Lions Eye Bank.

Lt Gov Elect Oscar Battle reported to Peachtree Lions, “As Guiding Lion for this new Peachtree Lions Club, I have attended most of your meetings and board meetings. It is rewarding to see the metamorphous of this group (mainly new to Lionism) to a club exhibiting love and feeling for Lionism.”

International Director James E Ervin from Albany was speaker at the 60th Anniversary Dinner of Toccoa Club, May 11, at the Toccoa Falls College Cafeteria-Dining Hall. Guest Lions attended from Winder, Gainesville, Dahlonega, Clermont, towns County, Peachtree, LaVista, Comer, Elberton, Cornelia, Martin, Lavonia, Oconee, and Union County in District 18D, Albany in District 18C, Atlanta in District 18A, and Thomaston and Washington in District 18F.

District Governor Don Wagner announced the top five clubs winning SightFirst banner patches for per capita giving were (1) Oconee (2) Athens West (3) Athens (4) Monroe, and (5) Gainesville.

Region IV Zone II Chair Jim Panter, District Legal Counsel, advised hope beyond disheartenment, “vigilance during change,” as District 18D faced internal transitions, new goals, and possible re-districting.

Augusta hosted the State Convention at Bell Auditorium, May 28-30, 1993, with District 18D centered at Holiday Inn off Washington Road. Governor Don Wagner presided at 18D Breakfasts, and Governor Wagner and Secretary/Treasurer Tom Sexton granted awards to 100% presidents, secretaries, zone and region chairs, and cabinet officers. M C Stowe awarded Golden Chain recipients.

State Awards Chair Bryson Tanner reported for 1992-93, that 33 clubs in the state submitted 222 entries in 43 categories. District 18D had fewer entries, but accounted for 36% of all entries, and had 12% more awards than a year ago. The state committee granted 87 awards. Two of three Lioness clubs entering were from District 18D, Decatur Lioness winning one first place, and Snellville Lioness one first and one second.

District 18D Lions Clubs ratings for 1992-93 State Awards were Gainesville, five first place, six second place; Winder, five first place, two second place; North Dekalb, four first place, two second place; Athens West, one first place, two second place; Oconee, one first place, one second place; Athens, one first place; Toccoa, one second place; Toccoa, one second place, one honorable mention; Cornelia, one second place; Dawsonville, one second place; Lanier, one second place. First place for scrapbook was Winder and Towns County, with Toccoa second, and Dawsonville third.


Commerce club hosted the first cabinet meeting, July 23, 1993, at the Wrangler Building in Commerce, and then served barbeque. Cabinet members of District Governor A Lamar “Buddy” Ouzts were inducted and reported. Dana Stuart was named District SightFirst Coordinator.

New Cabinet members welcomed were Region I Zone 1 Chair Randy Shirley, replacing Harvey Weiss, and Zone 2 Frank Melton replacing Paul Kellum; Region Chair II Michael Kelly replacing Dan Sullivan; Zone 1 Chair Charles Looper replacing Victor Hamburger, Zone 2 Chair W Mac Lentz replacing Victor Hamburger, Zone 2 Chair Don Dunahoo replacing Bradley McKinney.

Also welcomed were Region III Chair Bobby Reynolds replacing A Lamar Ouzts, Zone 1 Chair W Mac Lentz replacing Daniel W Stuart and Chair Frank Findley replacing Robert L Smith, and Margaret Battle replacing Kenneth A Gilbert.

Also welcomed were Region V Chair Norm Masers replacing George Weigle, Zone 1 Chair Pete Stamen replacing Nick Brigham and Zone 2 Chair Ellis Britt replacing Norman Masters.

To strengthen the membership base, Governor Ouzts continued Zone Membership Advisors. They were for Region 1, Zone 1, David Little (Hartwell). and Zone 2, Jimmy Johnson (Elberton); Region II Zone 1 Arthur Gurr (Union County), and Zone 2, Barry Ladd (Gainesville); Region III Zone 1 Willie Farmer (Athens) and Zone 2, Don Hardigree; Region IV Zone 1 Ray Rowell, and Zone 2 Edgar Kent; and Region V Zone 1 Roger Paluzzi and Zone 2 Judy Gladney.

District Governor Buddy Ouzts’ newly assigned Cabinet Members for 1993-1994 District Convention/Nominations Chair Bill Munday, to succeed Bill Piper, and Committee Members John Goodwin, Dan Sullivan, Jimmy Griffith; Chair District Credentials Donald Hix succeeding Tom Sexton, and Committee Members Tom Sexton, John Goodwin, Bobby Reynolds; District Membership Chair Bobby Reynolds succeeding Meyers Bannister; District Tailtwister Jimmy Moore succeeding Herman Jones; District Retention Chair Oscar Battle succeeding Buddy Ouzts; Bob Walter; Hearing Conservation, succeeding Ed Snyder; Honorary Committee, M C Stowe and all PDGs; Leader Dog, Dan Sullivan succeeding Thois Masters; Lioness Club Chair Judy T Gladney, succeeding Oscar and Margaret Battle; LCIF, Don Wagner, succeeding Michael Higgins; Myers Banister, Long Range Planning; PID John Pearce, New Officer Training School; Shirley Griffith, Outstanding Deaf Award, succeeding Jim Schwartz; Michael Higgins, Rule, succeeding Chuck wilson; M C Stowe, district Sight; Donnie Canup, State Convention, succeeding David Sargent; Wlater Pope, State Uniform, succeeding Byard Roper; Used Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids, John Goodwin, succeeding Bob Pinson; USA/Canada Forum, Randy Shirley, succeeding George Weigle; chuck Wilson, White Cane, succeeding Bobby Reynolds; Youth Exchange, Marilyn Caldwell, succeeding Steve Leslie.

Reassigned Cabinet members were John Pearce as Past International Director, and Leadership Development Chair, and New Officer Training School; Virgil Megill, Bulletin Editor; Conny Shirley, Constitution and By-Laws, and International Understanding Cooperation; Sam A Vickery, Diabetes Awareness; Millard Havener, Song Leader; W H Sperry, Drug Awareness; J Rich Harrelson, Environmental; Charles Shockley, Extensions; Don Hardigree, Parliamentarian; Willard Kimsey, Lions Information and Program; Acton Brown, Recording for the Blind; Irving Hellenga, Resolutions; Will Owens, Sargent-at-Arms; Bryson Tanner, State Awards; Herman Jones, State Pin; M C Stowe, Order of the Golden Chain; George W Blackburn, Multiple District Membership Development; Olin Newby, Multiple District Historian; and Ben Poole, Multiple District Train the Trainer. All the Campaign SightFirst Group Coordinators were reassigned.

All SightFirst Group Coordinators who were members of the Cabinet under Dan Stuart, District SightFirst Coordinator, were reassigned by Buddy Ouzts: PDG Millard Havener, PDG Thois Masters, PDG M C Stowe, Bob Robinson, Steve Helwig, Ray Rowell, Walter Pope, Joe Hirsch, Richard Chambers, Ed Hashbarger, Norm Master, and Jerry Nelms. Later Charles Cope from Decatur replaced Ray Rowell as coordinator.

Coordinator Dan Stuart conducted SightFirst Training Sessions, Sept 30 with Bob Robinson in Athens, with Joe Hirsch Oct 7 in Cumming, with M C Stowe Oct 22 in Toccoa, and Oct 18 with Walter Pope in Winder.

In 1993 discussion of redistricting possibilities was more intensive. At the 1992 State Convention delegates opposed the first proposed reorganization possibilities of Multiple district 18 into five districts. A specific proposal was submitted for review in 1993-94, which would have five districts that would be named L.I.O.N.S. Most of 18D would have united with most of District 18A. The district named “L” would stretch from South Carolina to Alabama borders. The boundary to the south would have been the southern boundaries Floyd, Bartow, Cherokee, Hall, Banks, Franklin and Hart Counties. “District O” would have included Dekalb, Gwinett, Walton, Barrow, Jackson, Madison and Elbert counties, then part of District 18D and extend to a line of the southern boundaries of Burke, Jefferson, Johnson, and Laurens Counties.

The primary objection to the proposed “District L” was travel access and time over the mountain range between northeast and northwest Georgia. The sentiment against five Lions districts in Georgia by carving up of District F, encouraged 18D (with one county from 18E) to give sufficient counties to District 18F to have the required membership to permit its survival. The Multiple District Council of Governors developed the 1994 state pin outlining the six districts according to the boundaries before redistricting to become a collectors item.

Governor convened the Second Cabinet meeting in Gainesville, November 20, 1993, before the District Rally. International Lions Director Marshall W Cooper from Beaumont, Texas, addressed the Rally at Holiday Hall in Gainesville. Cooper gave Certificates of Appreciation from the International President to Buddy Ouzts, Donald Hix, Bryson Tanner, Norman Masters, and to Like Kelly. “Top Five” Banner patches for Campaign SightFirst were awarded to Gainesville Lanier, Cornelia, Bethesda, Dawsonville, and Athens clubs. The 1993 Rally program was videotaped, and copies were available from District Secretary Donald Hix.

After the summer 1993 Lions Georgia Mountain Fair at Hiawasee, Towns County Club in its fall celebration, Oct 11-14, featured country music and gospel music. Gainesville Lions “Rang the Bell” for the Salvation Army, that brought in more than any other group of volunteers. Social Circle Club assisted 4-H youth with their presentations, provided pre-game meals to the local Boy Scount Troup. Union County Lions held a Food Booth at the annual Fall Sorghum Festival, and gave donations to the Union County Nursing Home, and 30 pounds of frozen beef patties to the SAFE House in Blairsville. Decatur Lion Charles Cope ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) on Thanksgiving morning in 1993. Toccoa Lion Virgil Megill received a club pin and banner from Saga Wakakusu Lions Club (District 337-C) in Saga City, Japan, Nov 23, 1993. Toccoa Club held its annual Steakout, May 21, 1994, with $2,000 in prizes awarded. Towns County Lions kicked off their 1994 Georgia Mountain Fair events with a Spring Festival, May 20-21, 1994, featuring bands, singers, dancers, and varying musical acts in the music hall. Bethesda Lions sponsored a golf Tournament, May 21, at Cedar Lakes Golf course in Loganville. District LCIF Chair Don Wagner arranged for a transfer of 60,000 pairs of eyeglasses from Muncie, Indiana, to the Georgia Lighthouse in Decatur for processing before worldwide distribution.

Governor Ouzts promoted the “Prevent Blindness Georgia,” that began Jan 1, 1994, through “Operation I Care.” The Lighthouse computerized donated glasses to be available for persons with specific eye needs.

Winder Lions Clubhouse was host to the District Convention, March 6, 1994, for the election of 1994-95 officers and for the Third Cabinet Meeting that followed., with reports of cabinet members. Snellville Club hosted the Fourth Cabinet Meeting. May 8, 1994, at the American Legion Building in Snellville.

District 18D officers for 1994-95 chosen at the District Convention were Oscar Battle, District Governor; James Panter, Vice Governor, and Marilyn Caldwell, Cabinet Secretary/Treasurer. Governor Elect Battle announced the New Officer Training would be at North Georgia Technical Institute in Clarksville, June 4, 1994.

Savannah hosted the State Lions Convention, May 27-29, 1994, as SightFirst and all emphasis of Lionism were featured. Second Vice-President Dr. William H. Wunder from Wichita, Kansas, spoke of the urgency of SightFirst as he documented from his personal military experience in various parts of the world, the needs in the Third World, and what the Lions are doing through SightFirst to conquer blindness.

Lighthouse President Donald Hardigree presented to District Governor Buddy Ouzts an award for best overall support of the Lighthouse by 18D in 1993-94.

The Ed Brothers who were at the USA/Canada Forum in Winston/Salem, performed at the State Convention.

Region II, Zone 2 Chair Tom Sexton, received the 1994 District 18D Model Lion award at the State Convention, presented by Buddy Ouzts.


Governor Elect Oscar Battle announced the local club officer orientation for the 1994-95 year to be at North Georgia Technical Institute, June 5, 1994. District 18D participated in the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Seminar at Cove Crest in Tiger, as host to District 18D, June 25-26, 1994.

District Governor Battle was installed with other district governors at the 77th annual International Lions Convention, July 12-15, 1994, at Phoenix, Arizona. At the convention Past International Director Brian Stevenson announce that cash and pledges toward the US $130 million SightFirst goal on July 133, totaled $145,731,029, of which in cash was US $88 million. Two International Directors, one from New York and one from New South Wales in Australia, and a Headquarters staff member in a seminar recommended for the Lions Future Image, “”Be quality Lions. Be open to new members, including women, young people, and minorities. Let training be ongoing. Be a caring community.”

The make-up officer training session was held at North Georgia Technical School in Clarkesville, prior to the First Cabinet Meeting, July 31, 1994.

Cabinet members inducted at the First Cabinet Meeting included Region I Chair Howard Whitaker (Toccoa), with Zone 1 Chair J R Phillips (Royston), and Zone 2 Chair Robert McCannon (Comer); Region II Chair Victor R Hamburger (Towns County), and Zone 2 Chair Ronald Cowley (Gainesville); Region III Cahir Dan Stuart (Oconee) with Zone 1 Chair Bob Robinson (Athens Classic City), and Donald Hix (Winder); Region Chair Edgar Kent (Rehoboth) with Zone 1 Chair Frank Findley (Tucker), and Zone 2 Chair Margaret Battle (Peachtree); and Region V Chair Norman Masters, with Zone 1 Chair Pete Stamsen (Lawrenceville Noon), and Zone II Chair Steve Hart (Lilburn).

Changes in cabinet responsibilities from the previous year were Lighthouse Foundation Vice-President, Bobby Reynolds; district Rally Chair Terri foster; district Credentials Chair Marilyn Caldwell; District Membership Chair James Panter; Youth Exchange, Joe Hirsch; Environmental, James Wentworth; Hearing Conservation, Ed Hashbarger; Leader Dog, Ed Hashbarger; Leo Clubs, Richard Smith; Lioness Club Chair, James “Jay” Lovett; LCIF, Buddy Ouzts; Recording for the Blind, James B Weaver Jr; Past District Governors, Mike Higgins; White Cane, C L Chuck Wilson; Youth Exchange, Ann Brennan; Golden Chain Chairman, Ed Hashbarger; Multiple District Membership Development, Robert H Bovee; State Pin Herman A jones Jr; State Uniform, Walter E Pope; USA/Canada Forum, George Blackburn; Multiple District Council Chair, Buddy Ouzts.

Lions International President Guiseppe Grimaldi, a neuropsychiatrist, who was elected at Phoenix, was welcomed at a reception by the Georgia Lions Council of Governors, July 27, 1994. In the welcoming committee at the Atlanta Airport were PDG Oscar and Margaret Battle, PDG Buddy Ouzts, PDG 18B Stan Bazemore, International Director Jim Ervin, and Lighthouse Executive Director Marlene Lague. In adjustments to the various priorities of Lionism, Grimaldi called for Lions to “Share our Solidarity, Humanitarian Solidarity.”

Grimaldi addressed the Georgia Lions Council of Governors, meeting in Atlanta Hilton and Towers. Buddy Ouzts as Council Chair headed the delegation that met Dr. Grimaldi at the sirport. At the reception PID W Myers Banister offered the invocation and PID John F Pearce led the Pledge of Allegiance. International Director James E Ervin introduced Grimaldi, and PID George P Crumbley gave the response to the speaker.

Grimaldi was recognized for his efforts as a founding member of the Italian Lions Association for Diabetes Awareness and Research, as past director of the Italian Medical-Surgical order, and past member of the Medical Court of Justice. He was honorary president of the Higher Court of Justice for the preservation of the “Mediterraneo,” and a member of the Italin Red Cross, an author and poet.

Lawrenceville Noon Club sponsored Georgia’s Fifth Annual Peachtree Classic Bluegrass Festival, Aug 5-6, 1994.

Past International Director Kajit Habanananda from Bangkok, Thailand visited LaVista Lions club, at a stopover in Atlanta, while he was enroute to the USA/Canada Leadership forum at Des Moines, Iowa, Sept 22-25, 1994.

Both Past District Governor Buddy Ouzts and Governor Battle advised District 18D clubs to send relief for the central Georgia flood to the Lions State Office in Eatonton. Clubs throughout the year gave support
for Georgia flood relief.

Each day at the Georgia Mountain Fair, Aug 3-14, 1994, Towns County Lions promoted different special events, including a special appearance of gospel singer, Sandi Patti. Lions Day, which offers free admission for Lions, was Aug 8, when a Beauty Pageant was scheduled to choose Miss Georgia Mountain Fair.

District Governor Battle announced in October 1994 that Lions clubs International at its Headquarters in Oak Park, Illinois, had recommended a change of district boundaries of Multiple District 18. In realignment District 18D would give Dekalb and Walton counties, and District 18E give Houston County to District 18F, to give 18F sufficient membership to be preserved.

The reception for Third-Vice President Judge Howard L “Pat” Patterson was held Nov 18, at the State Botanical Gardens Conservation at the University of Georgia. Patterson spoke briefly at the Cabinet Meeting., Nov 19, and gave the address at the District Rally following the Cabinet Meeting.

At the Second Cabinet Meeting, Nov 19, Snellville Club presented the resolution to nominate Norman Masters, and Toccoa Club presented the resolution to nominate Howard Whitaker as nominees for District Lieutenant-Governor for 1995-96. The cabinet endorsed Past District Governor Jim Ervin as candidate for Vice-President, and referred the action to the Multiple 18 District at the State Convention.

Third Vice-President Howard L “Pat” Patterson, Jr, addressed the District 18D Rally at Holiday Hall in Gainesville. Judge Patterson challenged the district to champion Jim Ervin as Candidate for Third Vice-President in 1996, and reviewed how Mississippi’s endorsement of one of their Lions to be Third Vice-President, rejuvenated all the districts.

By November 1994 the Maysville Club had 20 charter members ready for the Charter Meeting set for January 1995.

Chairman Buddy Ouzts on behalf of the Georgia Council of Governors presented to Georgia Governor Zell Miller. Dec 20, 1994 a medal for his “contributions and outstanding services of Lions International.”

District Trading Pin Chair Herman Jones challenged clubs to submit designs for future state trading pins. The prizes, upon recommendation of three judges, were $75 first place, and $25 second place.

District SightFirst Chair Dan Stuart, who participated in the Atlanta Peachtree Ten Kilometer Run for SightFirst, in 1994, ran for White Cane, and encouraged other Lions also to run with him. Lion Dan suggested runners at club meetings secure pledges for White Cane runners, and send such contributions to the Lighthouse marked “White Cane Day Run.”

Dawsonville Lions cooperated with the Sheriff’s department in the remodeling of the old county jail for the Dawsonville Chamber information center.

Region III Zone 1 sponsored Athens Lions Awareness and Health Fair at the Georgia Square Mall, Jan 21, 1995. Georgia Home Health Care Service took more than 50 blood pressure tests. St Mary’s Hospital made 90 blood pressure screenings and seven referrals, and thirty-nine cholesterol testings with twenty-one referrals to doctors.

Snellville Lions hosted a New Lions Orientation, Feb 26, 1995, at the Snellville American Legion building arranged by Region V Chair Norm Masters.

District Governor Battel, to encourage smaller Lions Clubs featured a three-page report of activities of smaller clubs (under 25 members) in the February 1995 issue of the District Bulletin. Each article in
its title listed the name of each club with the number of its members, to demonstrate what smaller clubs are doing.

District Governor awarded an additional 300 points in meeting the District Governor’s Goals, if the special “D’s Trees” project was completed and documented on M&A reports during 1994-95.

On Arbor Day Region III Zone 1 participated in the D’s Trees project planting fourteen trees from the State Botanical Gardens at fourteen locations in Athens. Included were the Boys Clubs of Athens, the Girls Club of Athens and at St Mary’s Hospital Long Term Care Center, the Council on Aging, neighborhood and homeless center, nursing centers, Leisure Living and retirement centers. Martin Lions planted seven beds with trees and shrubbery in the new Martin Community Park.

A Georgia Lions Re-zoning meeting was held Jan 22, 1995 in Milledgeville. Lions clubs in Dekalb County and the twelve clubs in Region V were asked to send their representatives to the District 18F Convention and Cabinet Meeting at Sandersville, March 18, 1995. District Governor 18F, Bill E Shurling visited clubs in Region IV in anticipation of their becoming part of District 18F.

Herman Jones from Gainesville arranged for filming Lighthouse Public Announcements for White Cane at the Atlanta Falcon Complex. Lion Herman Jones appeared with Coach June Jones in one spot of the two 30-second announcements the Lighthouse sent to every television station in Georgia.

At the District Convention at Oconee County Convention Center in Watkinsville, March 12, 1995, delegates voted Jim Panter for governor and Norman Masters for vice governor. to serve in 1995-96. Following the convention, cabinet officers presented a Merit Award and a Saving Bond to Taylor Presley at the Cabinet Meeting, for winning the district and the state Peace Poster Awards.

Gainesville Lions sponsored DARE Day, April 8, 1995, in cooperation with the Sheriff’s Department. Lion Don Painter as “Sir Don the Clown” participated in the entertainment. Included were dunking tanks for peace officers.

The Fourth Cabinet Meeting was held May 7, 1995 at Forsyth County High School. Governor Elect Jim Panter sheets would be sent out for recording tapes for clubs preferences for official visits. Governor Battle challenged Lions to be models for the “Youth of America.”

At the State Convention in the Ironworks complex at Columbus, Immediate Past President Jim Coffee reflected how an International Lions President gives five years to the life of the association. Council Chair Buddy Ouzts, May 26, read the resolution adopted at the convention for the support of the candidacy of Jim Ervin as nominee for Third Vice President.

Marietta lions arranged for “Lion Jim’s Traveling Road Show,” as dancers performed, governors clapped, rockets sang and did gymnastic stunts. In a demonstration of enthusiasm on the convention floor, Jim and Betty Ervin rode in a red convertible, preceded by motorcycles. Lions waved banners and flags and sang, “Happy Days are Here Again.”

In the District Governor’s contest, Oscar Battle announced winners for the small clubs were Lawrenceville Evening third place, Athens West second place, and Peachtree first place. Among medium clubs, he said winners were Oconee third place, North Dekalb second place, and Dawsonville first place. Large club winners were Snellville third place, Gainesville second place, and Towns County first place.

District chair of State Awards, Bryson Tanner, summarized District 18D first place winners by the State Awards Committee, were six awards for Gainesville, Athens West two first place awards, and one first place each from Cornelia, Dawsonville, North Dekalb, Lawrenceville, Oconee, Snellville Lioness, and Toccoa clubs. Gainesville had four second place awards, Peachtree second place, and one second place award by Dawsonville, North Dekalb, Toccoa, and Towns County clubs. Both Dawsonville and North Dekalb received an honorable mention. Scrapbook awards were Toccoa first, Gainesville second, and Towns County third.

Illustrative of redistricting was the Laurel Ridge 35th anniversary, May 16, 1995. From 18F were guests PDG Carolyn Irvin and District Governor Elect Beverly Roberts. Guests from 18D were District Governor Elect Jim Panter, Zone Chair Frank Findley, North DeKalb Lions President Ann Stump and her husband Secretary Harold Stump, and Rehoboth President Elect Gene Lambert and his wife Dottie. District 18D Secretary/Treasurer Elect George Blackburn was speaker at the Laurel Ridge anniversary.


When Jim Panter returned from the International Convention in Seoul, Korea, after being installed as District Governor, he opened his leadership as governor of 18D with the appeal to keep “Fun in Lionism.” He advised Lions always “to be on our best behavior,” to be positive forces, to work as a team, “to support and follow those in whom we have placed responsibility, and who have accepted it, as our teachers.” He said, “We can accept that accomplishments are unlimited, if we but forget who is to get the credit.” He explained, “We have a platform from which we can benefit from which we can benefit mankind.” that is unique, “that can not be approached by government or religion.”

District Governor Jim Panter sustained as much as possible the Cabinet officers and region and zone chairs, and added stability in the first year after redistricting had reduced the size of 18D. PDG Don Hardgree as new district chaplain began to submit monthly messages to the District. The Training Center for new officers was staged at Gainesville’s Civic Center on June 4, 1995.

The first District Cabinet Meeting was held July 30 at the Gainesville Civic Center at 2 pm, when cabinet members were installed and plans were made within the new boundaries of 18D. District Governor Panter organized the new cabinet and said Secretary/Treasurer George Blackburn would send forms to each club on which each club could reply the dates most preferable for the governor’s offical visit. Bryson Tanner gave the district awards for scrapbook. Bobby Reynold spoke as District Chair of the James E Ervin Campaign for Third VP, and spoke as VP of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. At 3 pm make up training session was held after the cabinet meeting.

District Governor Jim Panter announced seven priorities for 1995-95. (1) Keep fun in club meetings, projects, and fundraisers. (2) Make local Lions work shine in preparation, publicity, and contribution to the community. (3) Pay district/state and international dues on billing dates of July 1995 and January 1996. (4) Pay for supplies from International or from State Lion Tamer on receipt of statements. (5) Document all activities and events on the M&A report and send before the 5th of the month. (6) follow the Lions Code of Ethics and Objects in Lion work and life. Panter determined to hold a high morale for the district.

Accepting the International theme of “Leadership” Governor Panter admitted, “We have a jump on the International theme.” He said he recalled an 18D emphasis, “Leadership Builds Membership.” “The ral leader.” he said, “does not need to feed one’s ego, but becomes a server with responsibility to others.” Zone 1 Leader of Region III Robert P Robinson characterized a response, when he congratulated West Athens Lion Ron Epperson for his proposal, that a new State Lions Pin should say, “This young man is energetic, and has vision and ideas we need in our clubs.”

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse mobile eye center began to circulate through the state. Gainesville Lions agreed to give $125 monthly to the Lighthouse to cover diesel fuel for the generator of the unit.

Secretary/Treasurer George Blackburn became ill after the First Cabinet Meeting and had surgery Aug 20 for removal of a benign brain tumor. DG Panter attended the Georgia Council of Governors Aug 19, 1995. He characterized the 1995 USA/Canada Forum in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as possessing “enough wisdom to open doors to which there is no key” He said the forum “is the premier education and articulation of Lionism, a major asset to discipline self-esteem to do the right thing at the right time.”

There were 22 lions from District 18D who attended, from Mountain Park, Gwinnett, Snellville, Winder, Dahlonega, Gainesville, Union County, and Toccoa clubs.

The Second Cabinet Meeting was held Nov 18, 1995, at Holiday Hall in Gainesville. At the District Rally that followed, International Director Gary W Fry, an educator from Mitchellville Lions Club in Iowa, was speaker. He said PRIDE in Lionism stands for “resourceful, purpose, imagination, dignity, and excellence.”

District Governor Panter complimented Dawsonville club with 29 members in September invited 30 guests to a meeting in October, and won eleven to become Lions. After dedicating the “Martin Green” Park, prepared by Martin Lions, on veteran’s Day Nov 11, 1995. Panter called Martin Lions Club “local Lionism at its best.”

When District 18D, now smallest in Georgia, gave the largest contribution “$14,543 out of the statewide total of $48,657, toward the Children’s Eye Center at Emory, successor to the Eye Bank and the Eye Tissues Services, Panter exclaimed, “District 18D is to be congratulated.

A matching LCIF grant of $50,000 was part of the $100,000 presented by Grant Administrator Buddy Ouzts, to the Georgia Lions Children’ Eye Care Center at Emory, Feb 3, 1996 at its open house. Jim Panter was a committee member.

Bill Bellamy, 1995-96 Coordinator Children’s Eye Care Center announced Dr Arlene Drak, medical director, conducts research in genetic eye disease, working with Dr Thomas M Aaberg, director of the Eye Center and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory.

Clermont Lions opened their clubhouse in summer 1995 for club and zone use. PDG David Sargent from Clermont Club was elected president of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation at its meetings in Macon, Feb 17-18, 1996.

Delegates to the District 18D Convention, March 10, 1996, prior to the Third Cabinet Meeting, elected for 1996-97, District Governor Norman Masters, District Vice District Governor Dan Stuart, District Librarian Bob Robinson, District Vice President of the Lighthouse Conny Shirley, and member Lions Eye Clinic, Bill Bellamy. Buddy Ouzts announce 18D could host youth exchange students in the drummer 1996 from Belgium, Finland, Japan, Germany, or Brazil. The length of stay is from four to eight weeks averaging six weeks.

Winder Noon Lions Club was chartered March 29, 1996 when PID Jim Ervin was speaker.

Gainesville Noon club hosted the Fourth Cabinet Meeting, May 5, 1996, in the superior Court Room of the old historic Courthouse in Dawsonville.

Lions Verne Boucher and Bob Hermann of Norcross Club became available to speak at clubs for the “Lions Project for Canine Companions for Independence,” a Lions program for dogs to help handicapped people as Leader Dogs for the blind.

Second Vice President Judge Howard L Patterson from Hattiesburg, Mississippi was speaker at the State Convention, May 23-25, 1996 at the Airport Hilton. District Governor Jim Panter presided at the closing plenary session of the Lions State Convention, May 16, 1996 at Hapeville.

Lion Roberta Wagner was one of two Georgians enrolled among the first 45 in the pilot Leadership Institute, April 23-28, 1996 at Lisle, Illinois, a few miles south of Oak Brook. Ron Epperson was later among Lions to receive training in the Lions International Training program for those less than five years as a Lion.