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Lions challenged to support community

The Greenville Lions are on the grow with five new members.

Lions District Governor Linda Ziglar, who presided over the induction ceremony at the civic group's regular Monday noon meeting, commended President Doyle Sasser and the Greenville Lions for their efforts at recruitment in the community.

&#8220Your club is really on the move. I visit many clubs and they aren't as active as you are,” Ziglar said.

&#8220It is not often I get to induct five members in at one time, so this is great.”

Mike Looney, Julie Swann, Bill McCrary, Jeff Hughes and Ken Chestnutt are the club's newest inductees.

Looney, Butler County Schools superintendent, briefly shared highlights of the system's tangible progress and its future challenges with members and guests.

&#8220We have a lot of great people in our school system…who work with boys and girls in sometimes difficult situations. They're the ones who have done this,” Looney said.

&#8220All seven of our schools made academic benchmark this year and we have more students enrolled in AP courses than ever before…we are not where we want to be yet, but we are making progress, and that's happening across the state.”

With many structures a half-century old or more and in sore need of repair, Looney stressed the importance of increased financial support from local communities for the county's schools. &#8220We've turned the corner academically and up to now we've been able to do ‘a lot with a little bit'…but at some point, we have to look at these aging facilities and say, ‘Where do we go from here?'”

Proposals to consider consolidation of current schools &#8220will be a volatile issue,” Looney said.

&#8220We have a long road ahead of us, and it's going to continue to take a lot of commitment.”

Commitment to community was a theme Ziglar stressed in her remarks to the club.

&#8220Our new Lions International president is keeping things simple. The slogan is ‘We serve,'” Ziglar said.

&#8220We need to get back into the community and meet its needs…what better way to do that than to help your own school system? Get out and get involved with the young people, because they are your future Lions.”

Long-time Greenville Lion Former two-time district governor, Gene Hardin, first female Greenville Lion, Katie Holcomb and Ricky Cargile, secretary and the local club's Lion of the Year, were all recognized and presented pins by Ziglar during the meeting.