Lions: Back row: 2nd President Kingsley Fife, DG Bhong Gracia, 2nd VDG Lily Harris. Front row: 1st President Susan DeRemer, 3rd President Kathy Boole, 1st VDG Farideh Monghate, Dist. Lion Emmie Manansala. Courtesy photo

The Santa Monica Lions Club has had a fun, productive couple of months.  In September we were very lucky to have Matt Hall, the SM Daily Press editor, come to speak. His presentations are always highly anticipated events. He discussed a wide range of topics, from government and social issues to area development and economics. We always come away with new knowledge and a broader perspective.

In October we welcomed four of our Los Angeles area district officers, District Governor Bhong Gracia, First Vice District Governor Farideh Monghate, Second Vice District Governor Lily Harris and Emmie Masansala, a district administrator. In addition to sharing his history as a Lion, DG Bhong also caught us up on news from some of the other 58 clubs throughout our district.

The biggest news, which I had the pleasure of announcing, the merger of the Pacific Palisades Lions Club into the Santa Monica Lions Club!  We have been working with the state attorney general and secretary of state for the past two years, and approval was finally granted.  We are now the Santa Monica Pacific Palisades Lions Club.  This merger was a natural progression as we have worked together in the past, both providing support and services to our local communities and the Westside. Once Lions Clubs International changes the name on our website, we will change the name on our Facebook page. We are also happy to have Kanda Kandasamy, the president of the Palisades Lions Club, join our board as the vice president of our combined clubs for the rest of this fiscal year.

Later in the month, as part of our effort to resume community service, we delivered homemade baked goods to the Fisher House in Westwood.  This will be our third year of providing US Veterans with holiday baked goods while they are receiving medical treatments and surgeries at the Veteran’s Hospital.  We are so lucky to have Fisher House at the WLA VA Center. Similar to Ronald McDonald Houses for children, they provide low-cost and/or free overnight accommodations for US Veterans and their families that live too far away.

To learn more about the Fisher House and the impact Covid-19 had on their services, Lisa Dykes will becoming from the Fisher House to speak in November. It will be part of our US veterans salute, as we will also be hearing from Dr. Kingsley Fife about his service as a medic in the US Air Force.  Later Lions President Susan will pass the gavel on to Kingsley as he becomes the second president for this fiscal year. SM Lions have three presidents a year, with Kathy Boole taking the position after Kingsley.

If you are interested in learning more about the Fisher House, or becoming a Lion, we welcome you to join us on Wednesday, November 10th at the Elks Lodge at 6:00 pm.  To attend the dinner, please RSVP by contacting Yoriko Fisher, at santamonicalion@gmail.com, or Kingsley Fife at 310-454-2960.  Please remember, due to reinstated health guidelines, masks are required for all indoor events.