The Story Of A Pin

From the moment I received my first non-traditional Lions Club pin, I knew that one day I would want to design one of my own. My first pin was a gift from Lion Harry Grandel, a Claymont [Delaware] Lion with 60 years of service who loves collecting pins—and their stories.

I promised him that if I ever got any good pins with stories I would give him one.

This is the story of my pin.

My club, the Bellefonte [Delaware] Lions, are an extremely diverse group of service-minded individuals. Because we come in all shapes and sizes, the pin contains a triangle, a circle, and a square. Even though we are unique, we all share a common purpose of serving our community, and so the different shapes are all unified into one connected whole.

In addition to this, the phrase “squaring the circle” is often used to describe a task perceived as impossible—exactly the type of endeavors the inspiring Lions I serve with seem to do on a daily basis.

The compass and the square are tools used by masons to ensure that the buildings they create are structurally sound. Since the Bellefonte Lions seek to build community, it is important to make sure our foundation is built properly.

At the center is the Eye of Providence, the all-seeing eye of God who watches over us in all that we do.

On the outer edges of the triangle are the words “Hope, Inspiration, Goals, & Humility.” These are the words that have come to define my experience as a Lion. The Lions serving today are the Hope for the future of our international association; I find Inspiration in their journeys of service; it is important to set and choose our Goals wisely because there is so much work to be done; and we should have Humility in all that we do because our true strength comes from our service to others.

The final phrase I chose for my pin, “Illuminate Community,” is both a mission statement and a description of those that I serve with. As Lions we are bringing the light of service to our community. Also, an Illuminate is another word for a spiritually enlightened individual. I have met so many inspiring and loving Lions who have deep spiritual and religious perspectives that I feel that we are truly an Illuminate community that seeks to illuminate community.

I was blessed with the opportunity to share both my pin and its story with Lion Harry. He placed it in the one binder of Lions Clubs mementos that he is keeping as he leaves behind a lifetime of collecting Lions memorabilia and moves from his home into assisted living. I am truly grateful for his friendship and for his initial gift of a pin that started my collection.