The Johnson City Lion’s Club met in regular session on April 7, 2016 at the Johnson City Country Club.  Those in attendance were King Lion Ken Gough, PDG Ed Gibbons and his guest Trevor Southerland (Volunteer Blind Industries), D.J Naron, Tom Terry, Jerry Lonon, George Winton, Steve Campbell and his guest Bob Armstrong (First Bank and Trust), Brian Powell, Bill Pike and Tim Tapp.


The meeting was called to order by King Lion Ken Gough with  Bill Pike leading the pledge and Brian Powell leading us in prayer.


Lion D.J. Naron, a former and returning member of the club, was called upon to re-introduce herself to the club.  She has volunteered to work on the KidSight project.


King Lion Ken made announcements regarding:


  1. The Lion’s work day in Roanoke. A work crew of 6 went to Roanoke and took 2,350 pair of glasses and a bag of glasses from the Elizabethton Club (number unknown).  The work day was cut short as one of the Roanoke staff was called away due to the illness of a family member.
  2. KidSight- 13 children were involved at Woodland Elementary School and 2 were referred for eye exams. Lions Sterling Winn and Ken Gough participated.
  3. There is a need for an eyeglass recycle box in Unicoi. The Wal Mart in Unicoi is not interested so another area needs to be chosen.
  4. Lion C.B. Willis sent a thank you note to the club regarding the memorial contribution given for his wife.
  5. LCIF sent a chevron for our banner recognizing this year’s Melvin Jones Fellowship recognition.


Moving into the business portion of the meeting, King Lion Gough announced the election for 2016-2017 officers.  PDG Ed Gibbons made the motion with a second by Lion Bill Pike that the officers be elected by acclamation.  There were 8 yes votes to this motion and a disgruntled sound that may have been a no or two coming from Lion Jerry Lonon’s side of the room (with Lion George Winton sitting nearby).  This brought some laughter.


Lion Steve Campbell introduced his guest, Bob Armstrong and PDG Ed Gibbons introduced guest speaker Trevor Southerland who is the Exec. Dir of Volunteer Blind Industries in Morristown.  Don Raines and Ed Gibbons serve on the board at VBI.  Trevor Southerland is a Lion as well.


In this presentation, Mr. Southerland discussed the history of VBI and gave details on the number of employees and their commitment to providing jobs for sight impaired and blind individuals as well as their hiring of several individuals who are not blind.  They are very proud of the work that they do for the military, with contracts with the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps for helmet covers, and fitness pants.  He also discussed the paper towels that the industry deals in and the fact that they are still producing mattresses just as they have since 1951.  They currently produce 17 types of beds.  They also have a partnership with General Electric.  He was also happy to report that the average salary is above minimum wage and that a benefits package is offered.

King Lion Gough thanked Lion Sutherland for his presentation and gave him a Lion’s International coffee mug as a thank you gift.


King Lion Gough announced the board meeting next week.  The  Tail Twister collected 2.55 and the Lion Tamer collected 1.35.  The Lion Tamer himself won the drawing and said that he wanted it to go the Billy Pike Scholarship Fund which being interpreted is the Sight Conservation fund.


With no other business to come before the club the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Tim Tapp – Secretary


About Tom Terry

Retired IBM large systems marketing representative. stock broker, insurance agent and financial planning specialist. Member of Johnson City Lions Club since 1974.
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