The support of CNMI and Guam delegates, along with other members of the U.S. Congress, for House Bill 2139 or the Lions Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act attests to the contributions of the local Lions Clubs in the region, according to local Lions club officers.
H.R. 2139 would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue not more than 400,000 $1 coins in commemoration of the centennial of the Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service club organization founded on June 17, 1917, by Chicago business leader Melvin Jones.
LCI has programs and activities carried out by more than 45,000 clubs with over 1.35 million members worldwide.
Lions Clubs are known for their efforts in five key areas of service: preserving sight, combating disability, promoting health, serving youth and providing disaster relief.
Here in the Northern Marianas Islands, three Lions Clubs are under LCI: the Saipan Fil-Am, Saipan Marianas, and the Saipan Unity Lions clubs.
Apollo M. Madriaga, president of the Saipan Marianas Lions Club, disclosed Friday that CNMI Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan has joined the growing number of representatives who have co-sponsored the bill by Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Peter Roskam.
Madriaga, who is also the Information Technology Committee co-chair of LCI District 204, said that Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo co-sponsored the same bill last Nov. 15. The number of the bill's co-sponsors has now reached 260.
“Lions Clubs are more recognized in Guam than here in the Commonwealth,” he said. “With this bill in the U.S. Congress and the support of Delegate Kilili, we hope that we'll raise more awareness about this international club, which aims to provide assistance to the community and link with other non-profit organizations to offer more services to the public.”
Ladyvir Canape, incoming region chairperson of District 204, which also covers the Lions Clubs in Guam, said that Sablan's support acknowledges the existence not only of LCI but also the local Lions Clubs in the Marianas.
“His support is very overwhelming. We sincerely hope that with the many co-sponsors of the bill, it would be enacted into law because it would help significantly the efforts of Lions Clubs International to raise funds and reach out to more people in need,” Canape told Saipan Tribune.