Recognizing the local group’s contributions, Lions International president Bob Corlew paid a special visit to the area last week.
Corlew, who hails from Tennessee, and his entourage made a stop in Breslau to plant a large maple tree at the Lions International Dog Training Farm, commemorating the visit and taking a look at what Lions Club members in the Waterloo Region have been up to.
Art Woods, a member of the Elmira Lions Club since 1972, was on hand to greet Corlew at the farm, as well as hosting a lunch for the visitor and local Lions in Elmira.
“It is a big deal in the world of Lionism. We are an organization of 1.4 million members around the world so to be graced by his presence is a rare experience. It was something that we appreciated – the fact that he would take the time to visit our area and fire up the troops a little bit,” said Woods.
While at the dog training facility, Corlew used some heavy machinery to plant a tree among the many already growing there. The trees are dedicated to individuals or groups from all over Canada, and now, Corlew is a part of Elmira Lions history.
“We started 19 years ago to really give some protection to the buildings at the farm. There are memorial trees there in memory of Lions and friends of Lionism from every province and territory in the country, and some from the United States as well. This is on a national scale. The trees are growing and there are lots of nameplates in there,” said Woods, who noted Corlew was a personable visitor.
“Anyone that I spoke to was impressed by his down-to-earth mannerism. Corlew seems to be one of the people, and that is great,” he said.