Special to the News Messenger
The Marshall Lions Club met Tuesday, July 16 at the Panola-Harrison meeting room. A lunch of chicken-fried pork chops was served by Catfish Express Catering.
2nd Vice-President Stacy Bowen called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions with a reminder to turn off or silence cellphones.
Lion Stacy asked Lion Kent Reeves to open the meeting with prayer, followed the Pledges of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags led by Lion Travis Keeney.
“My Bonnie” and “America” were sung with gusto, led by song leader Lion Alan Grantham, accompanied on the piano is Lion Stacy Bowen.
Lion Tamer Patrick Owens welcomed Lions to the meeting and guest Donna Lane, spouse of Lion Stephen Lane. He reported that there were 26 in the Den today.
In a bit of trivia, he said that in the only 1908 Olympics event was dueling with wax bullets. Lion Patrick also read the Thought for the Day – “I always say: Don’t make plans, make options!”
Tail Twister Chris Horsley levied fines on a lot of Lions with some adding to the Lions Camp Cans. Lion Chris hit up Lion Robert Wood because he didn’t have his fine from last week when his phone went off. Lion Robert asked if he would take $1, which Lion Chris promptly accepted. He commented on Lion Dare Westmoreland’s arm in a strange looking sling contraption.
Lion Chris reported that there were several birthdays and anniversaries — one being Lion Ken Poindexter. Lions Robert and Brenda Wood celebrated 55 years on July 17 and Lion Dudley Swofford and wife Margaret celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. Lion Chris appointed guest Donna Lane to lead the Club in singing our “Happy Song” to them.
Lions, be reminded that the “9/11 Heroes Run” will take place Saturday, Sept. 7 at Telegraph Park. The run benefits the Travis Manion Foundation. Anyone who wants to participate in the 5K run/walk/ruck and 1-mile fun run can register at 911heroesrun.org. Lion Travis Keeney is a local sponsor and organizer.
2nd VP Bowen called Lion Chris Horsley to the podium to introduce the speaker, State Rep. Chris Paddie. Paddie and his wife, Brooke, have two sons — one a senior and one a freshman at Marshall High School. Paddie is in his fifth term.
Paddie explained that he was elected in November 2018 and was sworn in in January. The legislature serves one year, and then the next year is an off year. Most representatives use that time when they are not in session to “meet with people, such as I’m doing today,” he said, and get a feel for what may be needed in his area. Paddie said this system had served the people well for a long time.
According to Paddie, this past election was the most critical in recent times. He reported that the Republican party lost 12 seats, but is still a majority. He also stated that 95% of bills passed are not partisan issues. He told Lions that a new speaker of the house, Dennis Bonnen, was elected, adding that he is young and may last a good while.
Paddie said they passed a lot of legislation this session, but one he is particularly proud of is school finance reform and tax relief. They approved a $250 billion budget for the State. They also gave teachers a much-needed salary increase.
Paddie said that every school has its own problems and needs, and the legislature is not going to tell those schools how to spend their funds.
They also provided improved health care and pensions for retired teachers. He said, in essence, they will get a 13th check a year.
Paddie answered lots of questions from Lions and was warmly received.
2nd VP Bowen thanked Representative Paddie for his interesting and very informative program and presented him with a Lions writing pen. Lion Stacy closed with prayer and adjourned the meeting.