The last meeting date of the Madison Lions Club for the business year is for our installation banquet. That date this year was June 23, 2020. We have all experienced changes in our routines due to COVID-19. Our banquet was no exception.

Typically we have our banquet at a church fellowship hall of one of our members. But, due to this virus, changes were made for our location. Instead of evening time for our members and wives to bring appetizers, meats, vegetables, salads, desserts, ice tea and soft drinks we convened at Hamils on Hwy. 51 in Ridgeland, MS for lunch. One great advantage to this change was we did not set up tables, bring any food from home or tear down the tables after our meeting. Hamils did all of that work for us! And, once again, great food and service from Hamils.

Our agenda followed previous installation banquets. Betsy Landers, outgoing President, called our meeting to order, a prayer for our food and pledge of allegiance. Betsy asked for reports from our club secretary and treasurer.

Once the business part of the meeting was completed, the installation of a new board and directors, Lion of the Year, perfect attendance pins were presented and a short message from incoming President, Greg Palmer.

Gary Theis, Secretary, announced and presented pins for those members with perfect attendance. Then Betsy announced our Lion of The Year recipient, Rusty Healy.

Rusty is a long-term member of our club. He consistently attends our board and club meetings. He is a model of service in his involvement with our different projects. One, in particular, is our Chick-N-Go fundraiser. Rusty makes the arrangements for the setup and tear down of the long line of grilles for the chicken halves long before the sun rises. This monstrous length of grills and charcoal can handle 400 chicken halves at one time! Rusty is a great selection of a Madison Lions Club member who puts into action our Lions motto…..WE SERVE.

This past year we had six new members added to our club. This is a record number especially when you consider one-third of the year we did not meet due to COVID-19 directives. We also had a Lions Club member transfer into our club. Only three of those six new members were able to attend this special meeting. They were Steve Caruthers, Ken Hackman and Dick Cowley. Their sponsoring club member presented their Lions Club pin. James Wilkerson reviewed the significance of being a Lion and if they would pledge to add their support and involvement to this cause. They all agreed.

James Wilkerson, Past District Governor, was asked to talk about the importance of each position of those elected to serve as board members and directors for our club.

Greg Palmer, the incoming President, received the gavel from Betsy Landers. Greg mentioned the projects she was instrumental in starting. They were participating in the MSU Extravaganza and the chartering of the Metro Leos club. He then presented a beautiful plaque for her leadership and service for our club.

Greg then closed out our banquet with a few comments about his excitement for what he saw in Lions Clubs International and our club, especially the service to others focus. We ended our meeting by repeating together our Lions motto……WE SERVE!