A new professional women’s Lions Club is coming to Saline County and is looking for new members. 

This club will be for women in the Saline County area, and its organizers expect more than 20 inaugural members. 

Nell Rockett, the secretary for Lions Club district 7-L, and Art Ritter, the former governor of Lions Club district 7-L, will be guiding the new club and helping it get started. 

“This club is being created because we know the population, and we need more women to be involved in Lions,” said Rockett. 

This first meeting will be held at noon on Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Downtown Benton, and lunch will be provided for those who can attend. 

There is a $35 new member fee for new applicants, and members must be 18 years old to join. The club’s meetings will most likely be regularly held at noon, but all of the details will be finalized at Friday’s meeting. 

The Lions Club is a worldwide organization, with the motto of “We serve.”

The club puts together many service projects every year, with some past ones including trash pick up days, meals on wheels, even offering assistance to the World Services to the Blind, who offer blind individuals help with career training and life skills. 

Other Lions Clubs have put together food banks, disaster trailers, and other resources to help those in financial need, often holding fundraisers to raise thousands of dollars for their cause. 

“One hundred percent of money raised goes to our selected charities,” Rockett said, making it clear that Lions Clubs try to do their part for their communities rather than make a profit. 

Each club decides on the causes they support, considering the community’s needs and their five global causes: vision, environment, hunger, pediatric cancer and diabetes. 

This new club is specifically geared toward bridging the gap between the number of men and women in Lions Clubs. 

Rockett is a strong advocate for gender equality in the organization, saying that she hopes the Lions Clubs will consist of “exactly 50 percent women, and 50 percent men.”

The organization is still progressing to be more inclusive to women, and they have just elected their first female president of international Lions Clubs, Gudrun Yngvadottir, from Iceland. 

The organization only allowed women to join about 20 years ago. Lions Clubs were exclusive to men prior to that decision, which Rockett said is “the best thing that ever happened to the Lions.” 

Those interested in becoming a member of this professional women’s Lions Club should attend Friday’s meeting, or can contact Nell Rockett at nrockett@att.net or 870-722-4633 or Art Ritter at arritter@ieee.org or (501) 847-8268 for more information. 

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