History 1990-2000 08 18D

Lions of Georgia

District 18 D

1990-2000 Part Three


Winder-Barrow High School band led the Georgia delegation in the parade at the Lions International Convention in Montreal, July 9-12, 1996, (winning second of parade bands) as Georgia Lions waved Ervin’s placards along the parade route. The band also played in two demonstrations foe Ervin in the plenary sessions at the Molson Center in Montreal were Bill Wunder, Norman Schwarzkopf, International President Augusin Soliva, and PDG Jimmy Carter, who began his address; “It’s a long way from Tail Twister to being United States President.” Campaign volunteers for Jim Ervin at Montreal promoted him to delegates, arranged demonstrations, and gave up-to-date information to Georgia

District 18D held its New Officer Training at Gainesville Civic Center, June 23. The First Cabinet Meeting was held July 28, 1996 at North Georgia Technical School, Clarksville.

District White Cane Chair Dan Stuart, candidate for 18D Vice Governor 1996-97, carried the Olympic Flame, July 15, 1996. Each Olympic Relay torchbeaer wore a uniform of a T-shirt, shorts, and socks, averaged two to three hours from check-in point to return to the check-in point.

Lions began to prepare for the Paralympics Games scheduled for Aug 16-27, 1996. The options Lillburn Lion nick Brigham described at the region II Zone 2 meeting in Dawsonville, were to sponsor a paralympic, send a visually-impared child to the games to purchase and sell tickets, or to
volunteer work at Paralmpic Awareness Promotions at the Camp for the Blind, or in schools and communities, or to volunteer at Pre-Games set-up or at sporting events.

Winder Noon club, Aug 7, 1996, featured Philand Angie Copeland, a paralytic volunteer. Phil, son of Lion Ron Copeland, was paralyzed three years previously.

Gainesville Lions publicized the Paralympic Yachting held Aug 16-27 at the Acqualand Marina at Flowery Branch. Toccoa Lions Club Secretary Joe Vaughn worked in the head security tent for the Olympics at Lake Lanier, guarding security equipment, and met a number of high clearance celebrates and heads of state who were interested in aquatic competition.

International Director Charles “Sugar” Weir from Lansing Michigan, demonstrated his Puppet Lion George, at this reception, Nov 15, 1996.

District Governor Norman Masters convened the Second Cabinet Meeting at Holiday Hall in Gainesville 3:30 pm, Nov 16, 1996. At the District Rally, Nov 16 6:30 pm, International Director Charles Weir speaker. At the rally, Winder Noon Club President Bobby Reynolds received the International President’s award for community service.

District 18D’s District Convention and Third Cabinet Meeting were at Winder Community Center, March 9, 1997. Candidates for vice-governor were Ed Hashbarger, Bob Robinson and Tom Sexton. Elected for 1997-98 were Dan Stuart, District Governor; Thomas F Sexton, Vice-Governor; Buddy Ouzts, Children’s Eye Center Committee Member, and Jim Schwartz, Vice-President Camp for the Blind.

Winder Leo club reported 25 members, most of whom are participating. Projects included selling cotton candy at the Fall Festival, visiting residents at nursing homes on holidays, distributing Valentines in February, distributing $100 to the school for a mural, and $100 to the Josh Davis fund.

Lion Dan Stuart on April 12, 1997, ran in the Athens 5K Road race. the White Cane Day Run, to benefit the Georgia Lions Lighthouse.

Clermont-North Hall Club hosted the Fourth Cabinet Meeting, May 4, 1997, in its new clubhouse in Clermont. Year-end reports were given by Ed Hashbarger, Leader Dog; Ellis Britt, Golden Chain; Don Painter, Leo and Youth Outreach; James Weaver, Recording for the Blind; Don Wagner.

Administrative officers were Region I Chair Jeff Thompson, and Zone 1 Chair Wayne Carpenter; Region II Chair Beverly Shirley with Zone 1 Cahir Victor R Hamburger and Zone 2 Chair Joe Hirsch; Region III Chair Bob.


Lions International Convention at Philadelphia, PA, July 3-6, 1997, featured America’s past as well as its future. Attending the Jim Ervin reception at the Hotel Marriott in Philadelphia, among others were President Austin Soliva from Brazil, Immediate Past President William H Wunder, and Second Vice-President Kajit Habanananda. Past International Director John Pearce was presenter, July 3, 1997, at the “Membership Seminar; Looking Toward the 21st Century.” The Georgia Lions Delegation was seated on the main floor during the Plenary Session. At the Georgia Jamboree helpfulness was shown, when Maurice Gregory from Mississippi fell backwards, to the floor, she was quickly picked up by her husband and Tony Williamson from Sussex, England.

District Governor Dan Stuart remembering the International President’s theme, “Proud Past-Bright Future,” shared that Georgia Lions number 286 clubs with almost 8,000 Lions, and in District 18D, 1250 Lions are serving in 41 clubs.

Jefferson Lions Club hosted the First Cabinet Meeting, July 27, 1997, at the Jackson Electric Building. The Second Cabinet Meeting was Nov 15, 1997 at Gainesville Civic Center before the Rally, and the Third Cabinet Meeting March 8 after the District Convention at the Snellville American Legion Hall.

District Governor Dan Stuart proposed club goals, in attitude to follow the Lions Code of Ethics and Objects, in concern for people in the club and outside to win others, in sharing the opportunities of Lionism within the club, to those in other clubs, and to those outside of Lionism.

Jim Gilles Melancon from Repentigny, Quebec, was Rally speaker, Nov 15, 1997 at Gainesville Civic Center. He was co-chair of the 1979 and 1996 International Conventions in Montreal, Quebec. He has been district governor, Council of Governors Chair, moderator of a leadership seminar, and chair of the multiple districts’ Promotion Committee.

Dr James Weaver in 1997 shared for the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, 38 clubs in 1995-96, gave $8,060 from the state total of $15,938 by 114 clubs. In 1995-96, 38 clubs of 104 gave $10,570 of the total $18,952 provided throughout the state.


District Governor Tom Sexton and Vice-Governor Joe Hirsch strengthened local initiatives by clubs in District 18D and focused on opportunities in each local community. The perspective within the district rallied more intensive witness in the uncompleted tasks, privileges, and obligations of Lionism.

By meeting regularly in the remodeled and upgraded Gainesville Civic Center, the improved service and meeting place, although smaller that Holiday Hall, was adequate for the reduction of member clubs in the District, and has spurred new initiatives.

The USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum was held in Lexington, Kentucky. District 18Ds PID John Pearce was Chairman of the Forum. He made a grand entrance into the convention hall room opening night riding on the back of a Kentucky thoroughbred! There was a record attendance of over 3,600. District 18D Governor Tom Sexton delivered the opening night invocation.

The second Cabinet Meeting of the Lions Year was held in conjunction with the annual District Rally. Both events were hosted by the Gainesville Lions club. Our visiting Lions International Director was Phil Tom and his wife, Betty. the Toms were a tremendous hit with all those attending. During the rally, ID Tom presented Lions Clubs International President’s Certificates of Appreciation to Lions Ed Hashbarger, PDG Don Wagner, and District Governor Tom Sexton. The District 18D Past District Governor’s Association inducted Lions W W “Bill” Banks of the Gainesville Lions Club and J R Reeves of the Clarkesville Lions Club into the Association’s Hall of Fame.” Both Lions were recognized for their achievements and service through many years in Lionism. Over 300 lions and guests attended the District Rally.

The 3rd Cabinet meeting and the District’s Annual Convention of the Lion year was hosted by the Dawsonville Lions club at the Dawson County High School on March 8, 1999. Lion Joe Hirsch of the Dawsonville Club was elected District Governor for the 1999-2000 Lion year, while Lion Ed Hashbarger of the Norcross Club was elected Vice Governor. Another highlight of the afternoon was the selection of Dawson County Middle School student, Jessie Reece, as District 18D’s Peace Poster contest winner. Jesse’s entry was selected “best” from 14 entries.

During the 1998-1999 Lion year, District 18D was well represented in service to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation as well as the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind. The district supported the Georgia unit of the Recording for the Blind, located in Athens, as well as the Leader Dogs for the Blind. The Lions of 18D worked very well and hard in support of the various Lions’ projects as well as countless other causes.

The 4th Cabinet Meeting of the year was held in Winder hosted by the Winder Noon club. Preparations were discussed and plans made for the 1999 Georgia Lions State Convention to be held in 18D hosted by the Athens area Lions Clubs.

Past District Governors Millard Havener and Dan Stuart served as Convention Co-Chairs for the 1999 Georgia Lions State Convention held in Athens in May 1999. District Governor Sexton served as State Chairman for the event. Our International guest was no stranger to Georgia Lions, for incoming Lions International President Jim Ervin of Albany served as official Lions International guest. In addition to Lion Jim, our convention hosted Quest International President Mike Buscemi, and Leader Dogs for the Blind President, Bill Hansen. District 18D Lions Virgil and Ruth Megill of the Toccoa Lions Club were singled out for the outstanding job they did as editors for the 18D Bulletin. The 18D Bulletin was judged best monthly bulletin in the state! DGE Hirsch was presented Lions Clubs International “Leadership Award” by LCI incoming President Ervin at the Convention’s Saturday night District Governor’s banquet.


District Governor Joe Hirsch from Dahlonega Club has motivated other clubs to branch out into new fund raising projects and local service activities. The success of Lions Sponsored Golf Tournaments replaced the appeal and productivity of Bingo Games that were popular in the early 1990s. The district became more relevant to the opportunities it has within the new boundaries of the District.