By Helen Nielsen-Eckfield
"It only took me five years, five months and 14 days to accomplish what we are celebrating here tonight," Lions District Governor Julie Crawford told the crowd attending the Charter Night dinner for the new Del Sol Lions Club held April 24 in the Director's Room at the Del Mar fairgrounds.
Five years ago three months of effort to form a service club in one of the few areas in California not serviced by the Lions had ended up with only two recruits.
Now, five years later, everything is different.
"To charter a new club with 67 charter members is an extraordinary achievement," said past International Director Bill Crawford, who presided over the installation of charter members and officers.
What is different? Both the recognition of the times we are living in and the existence of members and community leaders who are anxious to "give back to the community" was the consensus around the dinner tables.
David Mirisch, a charter member, summed it up by saying: "I believe we all have a sense of service inside us, and through the camaraderie within Lions we can set that free to roar."
Lions Clubs International is a service organization with 1.3 million members functioning in 205 countries. In addition to their traditional interests of addressing the needs of those with sight and hearing impairments, the scope of the Lions goes far beyond.
Crawford spoke of the involvement of San Diego area clubs in the Food 4 Kids program, which addresses the needs of financially disadvantaged school children who do not have adequate food to eat over the weekends. Whereas the students do get meals at schools during the weekdays, they often face hungry weekends in struggling families. With partnership support from Lions Clubs a Food 4 Kids program now gives these students a backpack in which, each Friday afternoon, they leave school with adequate food for three meals per day for Saturday and Sunday.
Credit for obtaining this number of charter members was given to the networking between the first 20 who recognized the need for such a club in the Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley area.
"We have so many needs in this area, we often don't see it, or overlook it," Dave Roberts, the new president of the Del Sol club told the dinner guests. "We welcome anyone who wants to serve and give back," said Roberts, who gave recognition to the many new officers and members who had already distinguished themselves with such efforts.
During the charter dinner, Roberts was sworn in as president and Brian Sciutto, a local mortgage broker, was sworn in as vice president.
Anyone interested in joining should contact the club's secretary, Mary Jane Boyd at email@example.com or 481-7547.
The club meets from 5 to 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Sam's Place Restaurant, 141 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach.