October 31 – November 1, 2014 | NAIT Campus Edmonton, AB
The Edmonton Chinese Lions Club was proud to host the 2014 District 37L Convention. The two-day event was held at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) campus and was themed, “We Care, We Serve” to reflect our values as Lions.
The event kicked off on Friday, October 31st, 2014 with a banquet, where the audience listened to International Director Don Shove’s speech entitled “Keep Moving.” He cautioned the Lions not to become complacent and to continue implementing initiatives to get the Club growing.
Sandra Woitas, a long-time educator and strong advocate for the needs of disadvantaged children and families, was presented with the Lions District 37L Citizen of Distinction award at the banquet.
The banquet was followed by the inaugural “Lions Got Talent” show. There were seven entries ranging from singing to skits to a fashion show. The winning club was the Stony Plain Lions Club, who put together an elaborate and highly entertaining performance — well done, and thanks to all who participated!
The convention program began on Saturday with an informative welcome speech by NAIT president Dr. Glenn Feltham, detailing NAIT’s success in graduating students and placing them in the workforce. He also talked about NAIT’s campus expansion initiatives and the vision to consolidate all the campuses into one location. Dr. Feltham’s speech was followed by ECLC President Angie Loo’s speech, which welcomed all the delegates to the convention.
The highlight of the day was Mr. Frank O’Dea’s keynote speech, entitled “Hope, Vision, Action.” He discussed 5 moments in life, spanning from his days panhandling on the streets of Toronto to co-founding the Second Cup and a number of other international charities. Frank skillfully peppered each segment of his speech with humor and inspiration, and the delegates were captivated by his incredible stories. After his keynote — and a standing ovation from the audience — Frank spent a considerable amount of time talking to the delegates and signing copies of his books during the morning coffee break.
Delegates then listened to Linda Hoang’s talk about using social media to deliver high-impact marketing with low-cost tools for non-profit organizations such as the Lions. She discussed different social media platforms and explained the importance of having a strategy for using social media. Linda’s ideas were practical and easy to understand, and helped introduce social media as a tool for Lions clubs to consider.
After a healthy lunch, prominent Toastmaster Peter Kossowan talked about board leadership for non-profit organizations. Peter shared his 30 years of board experience with the audience and brought some very interesting points and suggestions for this challenging task to our audiences with humor. It was definitely a good session to attend for those who are involved at the board and chair level. After coffee, the delegates were treated to Peter Kossowan’s very instructive speech on “The Magic of 3” in public speaking. He provided us with lots of ideas on how to make speeches interesting while keeping them simple. He also answered quite a few questions from the audience. From their reaction, the delegates appreciated Peter’s sessions.
We were also thrilled to offer an afternoon Youth Session on Saturday, complete with lunch and a tour of the NAIT facility. Attendees were given a presentation from NAIT about the institution, and then learned about overcoming adversity from Mr. O’Dea through a repeat of his keynote speech and a question period. The Edmonton Omega Achievers Leo group then talked about leadership and volunteering to become a leader in the future. About 90 Edmonton youth from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youth Empowerment & Support Services, Crystal Kids, and the ASSIST Community Services Centre participated.
Overall, the convention was a success, enjoyed by 150 Lions and guests — many delegates rated this convention as one of the best that they have attended in years! We wish to extend our thanks to NAIT and the ECLC Convention Committee members for their dedication to making this project a success!