Just Say No


DG Rodney Foyce (2-E1)

When Barbara Bush was First Lady in the White House she coined the phrase “Just Say No”. She applied the phrase to kids related to drugs. I always found “Just Say No” applies well too many situations.

With Lions I apply it to current members who say they want to drop their membership. A friend of mine was treasurer of a club for several years and when he sent out the dues invoice he would normally get one member who sent it back and said they wanted to drop their membership. Unless you died it wasn’t going to be that easy to leave that Lions Club. He would look at the individual and how involved they had been, who their friends in the club were, what business they were in, and how long they had been a member. From that he decided if dropping their membership was the right thing for them to do. Normally the answer was no.

He would write them a note encouraging them to keep their membership. If they still wanted to quit he would have one of their friends ask them to continue. If they still wanted to quit he would leave them alone for 6 months but still on the rolls and then go back and encourage them to remain a member. If they still wanted to quit he would leave them alone for another 6 months but still on the rolls. Being on the rolls meant they would still get all the minutes of meetings, notices of service projects, and the monthly Lions magazine. After 18 months if they still wanted to quit he would cancel their membership.

Over a couple of years as treasurer he saved 8 members and lost only 2, one of which says they will come back when their life returns to normal. Why did they come back to the club – because we made them understand that we cared about them, they were important to the club, and the service we provided the community was important – all the reasons they joined in the first place.