Thursday, April 30, 2015

32 Years Ago....

Thirty-two years ago, one of our Lion members took the plunge....  He helped charter our club, the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions (MFLC).  Ever since he has been making a difference in the lives of many.  

Lion Neil Atkinson was born Columbus, Kansas but moved to Juneau in 1972.   He has held every position in the club and has chaired numerous committees.  He has held the following positions and received many distinguished awards at the District level as well:  

First served as club president 1995-96 
MFLC Lion of the Year 1987, 1988, 1989 
First served as Zone 7 Chair 1993-1995 
Region 2 Chair 1995-1996 
District Governor 49A 1997-1998
49A Secretary of the Year 2000-2001
MD 49 Council Chair 2001-2002

Lion Neil has attended International Conventions in Philadelphia; Birmingham, England; Denver; Indianapolis, and Osaka, Japan; and USA/Canada Lions Forums in Syracuse, Forth Worth, Reno, Milwaukee (2 times), Portland, and Anchorage.  

Lion Neil first heard of Lions in 1959 when his brothers and him "won" money for clothes from the Columbus Lions Club for school following their dad's death from diabetes.  As a paperboy, the Lions treated all paperboys to a Christmas dinner and a gift.  In 1967, Neil represented the Lions Club in the Lions band at their State Convention.  Lion Neil says, "my service here is to pay back a little of what that club did for me and my family."  

Lion Neil is always bringing new service ideas and projects to the club.  At present, he's spearheading Heavy Equipment Day in partnership with Rotary.  This will be our first joint venture.  He's also making arrangements for us to assist Swampy Acres (Juneau's "farm") in their Family Farm Day where we will help park attendees and help with the petting stations.  Course, you know Lion Neil for the annual Barbecue and Auction that benefited the American Diabetes Association where we have raised over $150,000 over the years.  And my favorite Lion Neil project -- our annual Light Flights that benefited the Children's Tumor Foundation and other projects.  

Lion Neil will take a break soon and head up the Taku River where he hides out for the summer.  A much deserved break.  We look forward to many more years of new service ideas and projects from Lion Neil!  

Thanks, Lion Neil, for all you've done over the years in our community, making it a better place to live.  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

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