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Lions Of South Dakota
  District  5 SE
DG Notes

Marie Anne Ben
From the District Governor - Marie Anne Ben



Lions of District 5SE, it is time to set sights on a new horizon. Over the past 100 years, Lions Clubs members around the world have provided services for their local community, region and the world. We are proud to be a part of over 1.4 million Lions in over 200 countries and geographic areas around the world. We have done well in reaching needs. Now is the time to challenge ourselves to strive beyond what we have done and to provide other needed services and activities.

Lions Clubs International has five primary global causes. These include Diabetes, Environment, Vision, Hunger, and Childhood Cancer. The activities your club does to help inform others and resolve issues with sight, health, youth, elderly, the environment and disaster relief make a tremendous impact for those who are reached and served. It is up to the local cub to determine what needs they can help deliver a difference by providing educational and informational opportunities, networking with other organizations and resources.

As district governor, I am asking each club to identify and set tangible goals to help move the clubs forward on a guided mission. By sharing the planned information, the 5SE district leaders and other Lions would be informed of the activities. We then could have contacts to share the experiences and learn more from one another about how the activity works. If assistance is needed in developing leaders, membership extension and retention, service activity ideas, please contact the district leadership team.

By September 25, I am asking each club to:

•Provide a list of planned or anticipated service and club activities with the anticipated date of the events for the 2018-2019 year. It would be great if each club could identify at least one (and hopefully more) service activity around the global causes and other identified needs in the community as well as plan fundraising events to help generate the funds needed to provide the services.

•Identify members who want to learn more about leadership positions at the local, zone, district and international levels. If we do not have leaders to carry out roles, we have a floundering organization. Each member can be a leader taking on specific tasks to help keep the organization functioning well. Who are those members?

•Set a goal as to how many new members the club will add. Plan a membership drive event and invite new community members to become a part of our great association. Contact the district Global Membership team for assistance. There are plans available to help run an engaging event.

•Plan on having club representatives at the Fall Forum that will be held in Groton, South Dakota on Saturday, September 29. It will be a great time to mingle with Lions from the district, learn about new initiatives of Lions Clubs International and engage in conversation to explore and share about the opportunities.

Be sure that your members are involved in a service project. Explore and implement new projects. The options are endless and we need to reach new horizons of service within our communities and the world.

Share your stories about upcoming events. Remember to post these on the My Lion app, Facebook, your club website and the district website. Contact the local radio, newspaper and other news feeds to let the community know about the plans and to share the success stories.

I am looking forward to meeting Lions of the district, sharing the stories and growing our service, leadership and membership.
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DG Marie Anne Ben is originally from Hatboro, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Hatboro-Horsham High School in 1979, she attended Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 with a double major in special education and elementary education. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Development and Learning Strategies from Wilkes University. Marie Anne taught students with special needs for thirteen years and was also a peer coach for four years before retiring from her teaching career in 1996. She then worked for Godiva Chocolatier for nine years, most of that time as the international shipping coordinator. 

Marie Anne has lived in Vermillion, SD since September 2005, joining the Vermillion Lions Club in Sept. 2006. She has served on committees and in leadership positions including two one-year terms (2009-2011). She continues to serve on the board as club secretary. She attended her first LCI convention in 2009. She was a three-year 5SE Zone 8 chair, served as the 2012 state convention treasurer and has been on the district cabinet for seven years. Marie Anne has also served six year on the South Dakota Lions Foundation board including two terms as the SDLF board president and an ex-officio member to the Dakota Lions Sight and Health board of directors. 

Marie Anne serves as a member of the Vermillion American Legion Auxiliary Wallace Unit #1 including two terms as president and board of directors. She has assisted in the holiday Buddy Basket drive and the Military Purple Up events. 

Marie Anne works at the University of South Dakota Along with her partner, Moses Ikiugu, she is taking private pilot flying lessons. She enjoys traveling and looks forward to the trips to their home in Meru, Kenya. She enjoys gourmet cooking, reading gourmet food magazines, dining, and meeting people.

The first year of the next century for Lions Clubs International and for the members of 5SE will be the start of a new beginning of service, leadership and membership.

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