Simpson steps into Lions International coordinator role

Weiser Lions Club member Betty Simpson, left, is pictured with past International Lions President Brian Sheehan in July during an extensive training and a Hometown Sports themed dinner, as Simpson steps into the position of LCIF Multiple District 39 Coordinator. Simpson served as the Lions Club District 39W governor in 2022-2023. Courtesy photo
Nancy Grindstaff
Weiser Lions Club member Betty Simpson hasn’t let any grass grow under her feet since passing the District 39W Governor’s baton to Boise Bench Lions member Lynne Burks at the end of June.
 Simpson has since taken the presidency of the Multiple District 39 Past District Governors Association, a role she will fill for the next year, and has begun a three-year term as a Lions Club International Foundation coordinator.
 In the coordinator’s position, Simpson said she serves as an ambassador for Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) in her Multiple District (MD). 
 “I ensure that my team of LCIF District coordinators implement LCIF fundraising strategies; educate Lions about the impact of LCIF locally, regionally, and around the world; track benchmarks and goals; and encourage Lions to support LCIF in my MD according to LCIF’s position overview,” Simpson said. “MD39 consists of two districts – 39W and 39E (eastern Idaho). We are part of LCIF Area H, which encompasses Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and California.”
 During her 17-year Lions Club membership, Simpson has held multiple local offices, most of them multiple times. Leading up to her year-long term as District Governor in 2022-2023, she had served six times as Zone chairman, twice as Regional Zone chair, Certified Guiding Lion, Second Vice-District Governor, and First Vice District Governor.
 As she climbed the ranks in the worldwide civic organization, Simpson took advantage of every training opportunity made available.
 “The training provided for future District Governors begins during their elected term as a First Vice District Governor,” Simpson explained. “In my year, I trained from mid-August through the end of June, 2022.
 “Training was done via webinars, on-line classes and assignments, and meetings with an assigned group of fellow First VDG Lions,” she said. “I was in a group with Lions from the USA, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. Our group trainer actually had ties to Weiser. He lived here for a couple of years when he was a student at Park Intermediate School before his family moved to Washington. Our training was very thorough. We also had two days of in-person training held at the site of the Lions International Convention in Montreal, Canada, just prior to the beginning of the convention days. Each year, there’s a special ceremony on the final convention day where we officially become District Governors.”
 During her governor’s term, Simpson said she made 75 in-person, district Lions Club visits, although that number doesn’t include the meetings and activities with her Weiser Lions Club. 
 “District 39W covers Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon,” she said. “There are currently 30 active Lions Clubs. Our Easternmost club is the Declo Lions Club and the Westernmost is the Vale Lions Club.” 
 Her husband, Jim, was usually with her as she traveled to the other Lions communities.
 “Jim is a 47-year Lion,” she said. “I absolutely loved meeting all the Lions, visiting clubs, and learning about all the amazing service activities they were doing in their communities.”
 Simpson is delighted with the Lions Club membership growth throughout the district during her year in the governor’s role, and especially with an influx of younger members.
 “During 2022-2023, District 39W saw an increase in younger adults joining Lions,” Simpson said. “We encourage younger Lions to join as well as all service minded of any age. Organizations in the USA need younger generations to join in order to continue their service in the future. 39W clubs are also seeing younger adults step up to hold officer positions.”
 Simpson said she wishes she had become part of the organization earlier than she did.
 “Personally, joining Lions was a perfect fit for me,” Simpson said. “I only wish that I had joined earlier. I love being a Lion. Being of volunteer service and helping others and your community gives one a special feeling that cannot be adequately put into words. 
 “I have met so many special people, all focused on service, and have been given many opportunities that I am so grateful for,” she added. “We have fun serving others.”


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