Bonnie Martin did not receive a Builder’s Key award at the Lions Club’s gathering Monday. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Martin already has her Builder’s Key, which the Lions award for recruiting two or more members in one year. So she is not eligible. Otherwise, her recruiting would have been acknowledged again when the Thomson Camellia City Lions Club gathered at Queen of Angels Catholic Church.
As always, Martin was recruiting. She used every reasonable opportunity to invite visitors to join and to encourage Lions to recruit. Most of what Martin does is habit, not strategy. It’s personality, not purpose. And if folks should want to enjoy her company at Lions, that’s all the better.
“Did you get everything you need?” “Come back and join us next month.” “Is your wife not well? Please take a plate of food for her.”
Martin is not always recruiting for the Lions. Sometimes she’s recruiting for the VFW. She’s happy to write and distribute publicity for both organizations. She’s helpful, informative and persistent. In other words, effective.
Helping keep two organizations on track isn’t quite enough, so she added the duties of McDuffie County Election Board.
She’s the chairwoman. That should take up dozens of days between now and November.
Meanwhile, there’s the Lions District Conference in Atlanta in March, and the state convention in Savannah in May. “I try to make all of them,” she said.
Bonnie and Luke Martin are part of the fabric of Thomson. It’s a community drawn from a dozen states. As dinner faded into dessert Monday, the Rev. Bill Williams asked Luke to clarify a comment about a hill south of town on Wrens Highway. As it turns out, McDuffie does not have hills, according to Williams’ Pennsylvania standards. Luke conceded the point.
Luke and I then played geography quiz for the seventh or eighth time. We were former neighbors in a sense. He worked for the Kankakee, Ill., Police Department. I worked for nearby Indiana newspapers. The Martins were surprised to find someone in their adopted home who could find her former town of Aroma Park on a map of Illinois. I was surprised that Luke mentioned a former police partner’s name in association with L’Erable, Ill. That sounds like a nearby Beaverville or town of Iroquois name, I said.
“Yes, actually, it was Beaverville,” he said.
I was not the only transplanted Hoosier at the table. I hope to
hear more about that from Jack Bennett. That might mean another
Lions carry-in. That’s fine.
As it turns out, Bonnie isn’t the only recruiter in the Martin family.
If Bonnie can serve two civic organizations and the election board, maybe I can at least attend three organizations. If Foster Wylie can run a business while serving Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis, I can at least wish him well.
Here’s what a person might expect at Lions. Williams can tell you more about Pennsylvania. Bennett will tell you a bit more about the eastern slice of Indiana. Luke can tell you more about the life of a Chicago police officer. Everett Hobbs can tell you about the Panhandle of Warren County. Every one of them can tell you how rewarding it is to raise money to buy glasses for the poor and provide services to the blind.
Bonnie probably could tell you more than that. A person tends to gather a story or two as they serve multiple terms as club president, serve as region chairwoman and earn four International President’s Awards. That’s the short list.
On this night, Bonnie congratulated Builder’s Key winners Margie Morris and Kathy Barrow on their good work.
Then she helped clean the church hall, packed up Lions pamphlets, and headed home. “Are you sure you won’t take a plate of food to your wife?”
And she was able to put aside her Lions duties for the better part of 13 hours before she stopped at The McDuffie Mirror office. In case she didn’t mention it, the Lions meet at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 1326 Washington Road, Thomson.