Kirkland residents attend 100th Lions convention

District Governor Steve Boettger is pictured at the 2017 Lions Clubs International Parade of Nations in Chicago.
District Governor Steve Boettger is pictured at the 2017 Lions Clubs International Parade of Nations in Chicago.

Newly elected District Governor Steve Boettger, a 27-year member of the Kirkland Lions Club, accompanied by his wife Kelly (also a Lion) recently attended the Lions Clubs International Centennial Convention in Chicago.

The Boettgers were two of more than 40,000 Lions who participated in the global event that drew representatives from more than 120 countries and geographic areas around the world.

Convention highlights included a Parade of Nations featuring 10,000-plus Lions from around the world, many in native dress, who marched along with floats and marching bands. Attendees also heard keynote speaker former Vice President Al Gore who in 2007 won the Nobel Prize for raising awareness about Global Warming, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, stressing the importance of international relations, and world-famous American singer and Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle. Entertainment was provided by The Beach Boys, the band Chicago, the Charlie Daniels Band and Patti La Belle.

Convention delegates attended workshops, learned about important issues facing communities globally, elected international officers, voted on constitutional amendments and helped set the future direction for Lions Clubs International. Steve Boettger said new service areas for Lions include an increased effort against diabetes and pediatric cancer.

“It was a chance of a lifetime to gather with people from around the world who have the same passion for Lions and for serving their communities. Lions are not only making a difference in their local communities, but also around the world,” Boettger said in a news release.

The Kirkland Lions Club has 73 members and they meet on the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. at various locations. Lions clubs are groups of men and women that identify needs within their communities and work together to fulfill those needs.

According to Boettger, Kirkland Hiawatha junior and senior high schools have both formed Leo clubs this year. Leos are school-based clubs for kids ages 12 through 18. The Leos work alongside the Lions as well as independently to provide service projects for their communities.

For more information or to get involved with the Kirkland Lions or the Hiawatha Leo clubs, contact Boettger at 815-739-7879 or

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