"Please keep up the great work. All states need this."

General Information


Lions Learning Retreat Mission:
To offer a weekend retreat designed to provide individual Lions with tools to use in their local clubs to enhance and improve their opportunities to succeed in serving their communities and Lions Clubs International.

Thanks to the MD-12 Council of Governors for their support of the Lions Learning Retreat.

Download registration form in PDF format
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The Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center has become the long-term home of this event and we appreciate the great facilities and service. The volunteer presenters and speakers who will provide the leadership and instruction for the weekend are ready to make sure you have the best possible experience. We hope you will be invigorated and encouraged and that you take home new tools to enrich your service. Thank you for being a part of the future of Lions in Tennessee.


The LLR collects needed items for Fisher House, Blessings In a Basket (weekend meals for elementary school children), and Teen Homeless Closet.

Board of Directors

• July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2018: Dave Crawford, Thom Wilson, Jill Smelzer
• July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019: Eileen Laura, Ann Young, Susie Davenport
• July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020: Gary Laura, BJ Blankenship, Jim McFarland
• July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021: Clare Crawford, Jill Smelzer, Thom Wilson

Hotel Information

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES is the Host Hotel and attached to the Convention Center.
• 111 Hospitality Blvd., Manchester, TN
• 931-728-9383 Call for reservations and ask for the Lions Rate.
The first 45 rooms will be $99 and any over will be $129-$149. It was unclear at this time what the price would be. It is important to call for your room very soon to get this this great rate.

COMFORT SUITES is located across the parking lot from Convention Center.
Rate is $99.00; 20 rooms are blocked off for the Lions Rate.

Rate is $99 at time of publication. This information will be updated if changed.

Attendance by Tennessee District and State, 2018
L 6
I 33
O 22
N 25
S 30
South Carolina 8
Iowa 1
Alabama 1
Arizona 2

Lion Ron Anderson did an outstanding job as General Chair and is owed a debt of gratitude from MD 12.
Past International President Joe (Joni) Preston, Past International Director Jerome Thompson and Past Council Chair Joe Pitts are also to be thanked for coming to Tennessee and sharing their Lion talents with those that attended.

                                    "All seemed organized and well presented."

Steering Committee


Ed Lantz, Chair
Sheila Chesanow, Co-Chair

                                    "Keep up the good work, fellow Lions."


To Be Announced

Note: All times Central Time Zone

                                    "Loved learning from leaders to apply in Lions and Life."



PID Ed Cordes
The Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Lions Learning Retreat will be Lion Ed Cordes from Corning, New York. He is the Chairman of Lions KidSight USA Foundation. We are fortunate to have Lion Ed come to Tennessee and let us know what is happening with KidSight around the United States.

"Lions KidSight USA Foundation has a tremendous mission of identifying kids with risk factors for amblyopia. I am proud to serve as its national chairman. I am also very much looking forward to the Lions Learning Retreat." --PID Ed Cordes

Jackie Christensen, aka Helen Keller
We are so glad that Helen Keller will be coming to the 2019 Lions Learning Retreat. OK, it is really Lion Jackie Christensen from Canal Winchester, Ohio. She will reenact the challenge that Helen Keller gave the Lions at the 1925 International Lions Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio to be Knights of the Blind.

                                    "Enjoyed all the presenters and their programs. Nice variety."


Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan - After Cedar Point
• Early History of Anne Sullivan
• Helen Keller after Cedar Point
• The 3 Musketeers - Helen, Anne and Polly Thompson
• Helen Keller after Anne's Death

Melvin Jones
• The Young Melvin Jones
• The Business Circle of Chicago
• Lions Clubs International
• Melvin's death and memorial

LCIF and You--PCC Ron and PDG Joann Birdwell
• LCIF 1st 50 Years
• Where does the money go?
• Recognition
• Campaign 100

A Presidential Field Guide to Saving Lions: Verbs vs. Nouns--PDG Cliff Swoape
A study on how to be the best President (or other Officer) possible through action focused leadership.
• Organize vs. Organization - Agendas, Club Calendars, Newsletters, and Expectations are much different than Rigid Rule Stagnation.
• Report vs. Report - Reporting your membership and service activities is a critical part of the action not just an echo.
• Attend vs. Attendance - Simply being present is a start, but active participation in District, Zone, and Club activities is integral to your success.
• Lead vs. Lead - Leadership is NOT a weight, it is a gift that will invigorate your Club.
• Serve vs. Service - Will you help plan your Club’s funeral Service or help it Serve your Community for generations to come? The answer is easy, We Serve.

KidSight. Past, Present & Future--PID Ed Cordes
• From the beginning
• Where we are today
• What does it take to be be fully involved as Lions
• What does the future hold

Can I Be A Secretary?--PDGs Frank & Ann Young and PBA Keith Lawrence
• Can I do the job? Why not?
• What it takes--Duties and Responsibilities
• Why do I have to report service?
• How to report
• MyLion App

Kidsight USA Vision Screening-Plusoptix--PDG Mark Cook
• Get comfortable with your vision screener
• Vision Tips/Techniques
• Latest software updates from Plusoptix
* Bring your current plusoptix instrument with you for software updates onsite.

Seminars offered twice are indicated with an asterisk [*].Light yellow background indicates double-session seminar.

                                    "Group participation/interactive seminars are great."


Recent Photos are on Facebook Page

Please like and share your photos of the event here.

                                    "Great location-Food good-People Pleasant."


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