Christopher King takes the reins of Lions Club for second time
On Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, the Lions Club of Pago Pago held their yearly changeover night, where the outgoing club president bids a fond farewell and fa’afetai, handing over the mantle of leadership to the incoming president.
The venue this year was the beautiful new fale at Moana o Sina, where nearly 50 members and guests gathered to witness the installation of the club’s new officers and board of directors, as outgoing Lion president Isabel Steffany Hudson turned the club leadership over to incoming Lion president Christopher J. King.
Charter president Mike Sala (who has presided over the club five times) performed the rites of installation while past president and charter member Vaito’a Hans Langkilde served as Master of Ceremonies.
In her farewell address, Lion Isabel noted, “The honor to have served you in this capacity in the last twelve months has been all mine.” She said, “I am proud of what were able to accomplish and have full confidence in our new president and board to continue our work, as we serve this community in meaningful ways.”
Lion Chris King — Lion King as he is fondly known — took the post for the second time in his years as a Lion member, having served once before as president of the club in 2008-2009.
He reminded those present of the two simple, powerful words that are the driving force behind the world’s largest community service organization — “We Serve”. With over 1.3 million members spanning the globe, he said, “We Serve” is founded on the strategy of team spirit. Let’s continue to use our motto as a source of inspiration as we work together to provide the best possible service to our community.”
Lion King gave credit and thanks to his wife, Danielle for her support and encouragement, adding that “it’s our family’s support that allows us to do what we do.”
Under Lion president Isabel — who also gave credit to her “very patient husband” Dean— the club held several small village outreach clinics, including a special visit to the senior citizens of TAOA, which she pledged Lions will now do on an annual basis.
With the help of ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank and Fletcher Construction, the club acquired a van for mobile clinics; formed a new partnership with the Special Olympics and donated $10,000 to LBJ for state-of-the-art diagnostic eye care equipment.
Fagasa, Malaeloa and Alao villages were visited, where hundreds of residents were given free vision screening as well as blood sugar and blood pressure checks in partnership with the Department of Health. Hundreds of eye exams were given, thousands of reading glasses and sunglasses were distributed, and several residents were sent for follow up checks and surgery due to the findings in the clinics.
The club also donated cash, bottled water and food items to the Apia Lions Club to help with their recovery from Tropical Cyclone Evan.
In addition, the club yearly sponsors and benefits youth programs such as the Leo Club at South Pacific Academy, the Boy Scouts of America, Aloha Council and the international Peace Poster contest, which rewards youth for their artistic visions of peace in our world.