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Lion Robert Wood welcomes guest speaker Evie Henson to a Lions Club meeting to speak about the Census.

The Marshall Lions Club met Tuesday at the meeting room of Jose Tequila’s Grill where members ordered from the menu. President Jimmie Van Norden called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions with a reminder to turn off or silence cell phones, and asked Lion Bob Graves to open the meeting with prayer and appointed Lion P. A. Almquist to lead the Pledges of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags.

Lion Jimmie asked Lion Dudley Swofford to lead Lions in singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “America.”

Lion Tamer Robert Coleman welcomed Lions and guests to the meeting. Guests included Shae Thompson, guest of Lion James Thompson.

Lion Robert said the count for the day in the Den is 18. The Thought for the Day: “May we think of Freedom; not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is Right.”

President Van Norden then called on Tail Twister, Chris Horsley. He wanted the club to celebrate Lion Jimmy’s husband, Jerry Van Norden’s birthday; Lion Alex Keith’s birthday, Lion Dudley and Margaret Swofford’s 61st wedding anniversary and Lion Robert and Page’s 26th wedding anniversary. The club sang our Happy Song to help them in their celebration.

President Jimmie called on Lion Robert Wood, who introduced Evie Henson, Partnership Specialist for the Dallas Regional Census Center.

She explained that she is working to get funding for East Texas. The census works for rural, as well as city areas. She told Lions that $675 billion a year is spent on the U.S. Census and that $75 billion is earmarked for Texas.

Census date returns funding to various counties depending on population. Evie said that is why it essential to count everyone.

According to Henson, some rural roads are counted as abandoned because no one responded to the Census. She stated that data is not shared with outside agencies, such as INS, CIA, etc.

Various programs rely on data from the Census; schools, assisted living programs, etc. It is important that children be included. The current Covid 19 Pandemic has caused the deadline to be extended from July 31 to Oct. 31.

Eva explained that Aug. 12, workers will go to individual residences, and that 55% of the people in Marshall did not respond to the Census. Grants, in part, depend on Census responses.

Henson said the Census workers work at fair, festivals – anyplace that people gather. She said they have drive-in reporting in various towns, but it could be reduced by some activities.

Numerators and canvassers locally heard locally with better results. 9-9-1 systems benefit from the Census. She reported that college could be counted at their college address, not their home address.

President Van Norden thanked Ms. Henson, presented her with a Lions writing pen. She asked Lion Paul Martin to close with prayer and adjourned the meeting.