Article from the May 2004 Canyon State Lion
Lions International Melvin Jones Memorial - - A Legacy of Opportunity
Submitted by PID Bud Danylchuk
The Birthplace of Melvin Jones at Fort Thomas is an enviable opportunity for the Lions of Arizona to develop a destination center to showcase Lionism to Arizona Lions and to the entire world. The initial concept and development of the spire, which was dedicated in 1965, is a credit to vision of the Safford Lions Club and the Arizona Lions.
In the last six to seven years the memorial committee has taken the project to a progressive level in erecting a symbolic building and establishing a more viable relationship with Lions Clubs International. But now the committee is in a maintenance mode because of constitutional wording which requires some adjustment. In order for the project to realize further development the Lions of Arizona should engage in some consultative dialogue and to realize that the Melvin Jones Memorial Committee is an international entity that requires broader intent than that of a multiple standing committee.
The development of the Melvin Jones Memorial is in the best interest of the Arizona Lions, the Lions of the world and Lions Clubs International Lets review the development of the memorial as an International project.
Initially the project was called, The Arizona Lions Melvin Jones Memorial, Inc. but since 1998 the title was changed to Lions International Melvin Jones Memorial. At the San Diego International Convention the International Board, under the leadership of President James Ervin, passed a resolution that the memorial committee has the mandate to solicit all the clubs in the world and that recognized the Memorial as a Lionistic shrine.
The 2001 memorial committee requested funds directly from Lions Clubs International and was granted $12,500. This grant was approved without the normal application but was approved as a special entity. As a result the committee has been accorded special status because of its connotation as the birthplace of the founder Melvin Jones.
Last year a sizable donation of $31,750 from the Korean Lions was because of the credibility of the committee via Lions Clubs International and with the understanding that the funds continue the development of the project. This donation was a very positive approval of the plans that were proposed in the request.
The time is now to pursue the developmental vision by rearranging the bylaws of this standing committee to provide opportunities on this International project for Lions from other multiples to be committee members. We would have the benefit of their input in decision making and also to be part of the fund raising and thus assist in the development of the project. This action should be achieved in a most expedient manner, so as to sustain the appeal and momentum that has been established with Lions Clubs International. This goal is doable and achievable with a proper mix of members who will have a positive attitude and make decisions by consensus.
Procrastination and inaction are not options to neglect an opportunity to develop such an exciting destination point for all the lions of the world, right here in Arizona.
Article By Lion PDG Les Daviet II - Past President Melvin Jones Memorial
Contrary to a misunderstanding by some MD21 Lions and Lions Clubs, the Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial is not an International Project and it is not funded by Lions Clubs International or by the LCIF Melvin Jones Fellowship Program. The Memorial is an MD21 State Project operated by Arizona Lions. The Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial relies entirely on contributions and fundraisers and needs the support of ALL Arizona Lions. The Memorials operating fund balance is currently critically low so your donations are urgently requested. Contributions may be sent to the Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial, P.O. Box 163, Fort Thomas, AZ 85536.
Members of the Memorial Board of Directors are seeking invitations to come to your clubs, zone meetings and other activities to talk about the Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial. Please contact me by phone at (602) 525-2377 to arrange for a speaker. My e-mail address is LES_DAVIET_II@compuserve.com
The initial Memorial development was conceived and implemented by the Safford Arizona Lions Club and an impressive spire was dedicated in 1965. In the ensuing years a museum building has been added, and it has become obvious that the development of the Memorial is a responsibility of all the Lions of the world. In keeping with this thinking at the 1999 International Convention in San Diego the Lions Clubs International Board of Directors recognized the international significance of our Memorials commemoration of the Melvin Jones birthplace in Fort Thomas, Arizona by granting the Memorial permission to seek contributions from outside of MD21. This is the extent of the involvement from the Lions Clubs International to this point.
A program to secure donations from the Lions of the World is being developed by the Memorials Board of Directors. This program should begin to bear fruit over the next several years, but it will never replace the need for strong and continuing support from MD21 Lions.
The Memorial museum houses many memorabilia and artifacts including those pertaining to Melvin Jones Lionistic activities. A specific portion of space in the building is dedicated to Lion health programs regarding diabetes, sight, hearing, and drug awareness. All the works are displayed in a very professional manner befitting the founder of the premier service organization in the World.
Future plans are pendingFurther work depends on the support from all LIONS.
Please become a cornerstone of the Melvin Jones Lions International Memorial and help keep it prospering and growing. Your contributions and continued support to this important project are greatly appreciated.