First Virtual Lions Club in West Virginia Chartered in Ohio County Provided February 19, 2020 The first virtual Lions Club in West Virginia has officially formed in Ohio County. With the blessing of Lions International, the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club is one of only 16 virtual clubs in the United States. This innovative venture has been in the planning stages for months and is now officially recruiting new members. This new approach to service is breaking down barriers to membership of the Lions International organization by using technology to connect individuals interested in making a difference in a community. Virtual Lions clubs use phones, tablets and computers to unite and serve the community. These clubs establish a presence in a virtual space and coordinate their in-person service efforts using a variety of virtual channels. “By forming a virtual club, we hope to make it easier for civic-minded men and women to join us in our mission to serve the youth of Ohio County. This format gives flexibility necessary for today’s busy individuals. Our hope is to do most of the planning through online communications in order to increase attendance at our projects and get more accomplished in our community,” explained President Chris Doty. “We realize that people are busy yet want to give back to their community. Forming a virtual club allows us to avoid additional long meetings and gives busy people the chance to check in when they’re on the go or when it’s convenient for them,” said Doty. The Ohio County Virtual Lions Club has chosen to be a specialty club, focusing on the children in Warwood. Specialty clubs bring individuals sharing a common interest together and give them an opportunity to turn those interests into rewarding service projects benefiting the community. The Ohio County Virtual Lions Club is focusing on serving the children of Ohio County through projects facing our children: hunger, wellness, literacy, education, anti-bullying, leadership, technology, playgrounds/recreations, programming and more. Those interested in serving are welcome to join the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club. Planning for specific Lions International cause-related activities has already started. To get involved, email Jan Ross, membership chair, or reach out to the club on their Facebook page. The cost of membership is $5 each month. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with nearly 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. CHARTER NIGHT CELEBRATION Members will celebrate the charter night of the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club at Warwood Elementary Gymnasium beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. Subscribe to Weelunk During the ceremonies, Lions District Governor Bill Syphers will present the members of the new club with their official charter from Lions International. Members of the Mt. Olivet Lions Club, who sponsored the formation of the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club, will be on hand to congratulate members of the new club. Past District Governor and current Guiding Lion Paul Amrhein will be the master of ceremonies for the evening. A social gathering with appetizers will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 for two. Reservations and payments can be made online at Eventbrite or by calling 304-281- 3088. COMFORT COVERS In observance of childhood cancer awareness month for Lions International, the Ohio County Virtual Lions Club is teaming up with Grow Warwood Pride and community members to make knotted fleece blankets and raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancers. According to the Lions International website, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. There has been a 13 percent increase in childhood cancer over the last 20 years. The average age at diagnosis for children with cancer is 6 years old, and one in every 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the Ohio County Lions Club, along with Grow Warwood Pride, is hosting Comfort Covers, an event to make fleece blankets for donation to pediatric oncology patients utilizing the Ronald McDonald House. This event will start at 6 p.m. at the Warwood Elementary School Gymnasium. The Ohio County Virtual Lions Club decided to make knotted fleece blankets for pediatric cancer patients to warm them during and after treatment. The blankets will provide comfort as well as warmth. Making the blankets is something anyone young or old can do — it’s just tying knots. The goal is to make at least 100 blankets. The community can participate in two ways: • Sponsor a blanket — the donation can be made in memory or honor of a loved one. Sign up here. • Join the group on Thursday at Warwood Elementary School Gymnasium for an evening of blanket making. RSVP here. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. 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