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Another stepping stone

Genoa City Lions Club member's new role

ABOUT GREG PRYOR - Wisconsin Lions District 27-A1's newest second vice-district governor and member of the Genoa City Lions Club for almost 25 years is: - Originally from Chicago. He moved to the area of Genoa City and Twin Lakes in 1976. He lives in Twin Lakes with his wife of 40 years, Kate. They have two daughters — Andrea, who lives with her husband Igor and son Ari in New York; and Jennifer, who lives with her husband, Eric, in New Berlin. - Previously owned a long-haul trucking company which transported perishable products coast to coast for 20 years. - Has served District 27-A1 in several different capacities, including the Campaign SightFirst Group, has been a cabinet secretary/treasurer, a district new officer trainer and zone and region chairman. - Has received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 1996; the International Lions President's Award for 1997-98; the International President's Certificate of Appreciation 2000-01; the district governor's Distinguished Service Award 2004; the Birch-Sturm Fellow Award 2004; the Wisconsin Lions Federation President's Award 2009; and the Inernational President's Leadership Award 2009. - Has 100-percent attendance with the Genoa City Lions Club
February 01, 2011 | 03:38 PM
For 58-year-old Greg Pryor, it started with wanting to give back to his community.

In 1986, the Twin Lakes man joined the Genoa City Lions Club.

Now, Pryor has something new to add to his already crowded list of accomplishments — second vice-district governor of Lions District 27-A1, which covers the southeastern corner of Wisconsin, including 53 Lions Clubs, or about 1,400 members

On Jan. 15, at Grand Geneva, Lyons Township, Pryor was elected to the position.

"I was running unopposed," Pryor said Wednesday, Jan. 26. "I always joke with people about it. I tell them the competition was fierce."

Although he won't be inducted until July 8 in Seattle, at the Lions Clubs International Convention, Pryor is already thinking ahead.

He said his new position is a "stepping stone" toward other higher Lions positions.

Pryor said he wouldn't be eligible to meet his goal until 2013, when the spot of district governor would be up for election.

If elected, at the very least, it could earn him a trip to Hamburg, Germany, for the international Lions convention.

"But I would be going for it, the good Lord willing, and if my health stays together," Pryor said.

How it began

For the record, he shows no signs of bad health — physically or mentally.

In fact, Pryor gives the impression of having a good memory.

He's good with dates and remembers details from something which occurred almost 25 years ago.

For example, he knows when he began working at Stan's Lumber in Twin Lakes — Aug. 22, 2000.

He knows he joined the Genoa City Lions Club in November 1986, after another club member — Stan Torstenson, owner of Stan's Lumber — invited him to a meeting.

"I had always tried to do things for the community," Pryor said.

Prior to joining the Lions, he was involved in the Twin Runners Snowmobile Club, which worked to improve area snowmobile trails, and the Twin Lakes Business Association.

But it was after that meeting he went to with Torstenson when Pryor said he discovered why the Lions Club was a perfect fit for him.

"I found out how Lions worked, that it raised money to help the community and every dollar raised went back to the community," Pryor said. "These were all things that were near and dear to me, but I didn't have the resources to do that. This is what's great about this organization. It gives you the opportunity to help out somebody in need."

Since 1986, Pryor has logged several accomplishments within the Genoa City Lions Club, including awards for 100 percent attendance, being club president for four terms, being a "100-percent president" for three terms, and served as first-, second- and third-vice president, a tail twister, membership and golf outing chairman and on the board of directors.

It doesn't stop there. For District 27-A1, he held down numerous titles — including Wisconsin Lions Foundation director from 2003 to 2009 and president from 2007 to 2008.

He also helped build two homes for Habitat For Humanity in Pell Lake.

But now, all of those experiences may help Pryor in his newest endeavor.

What's a second

vice-district governor?

According to Pryor, his new District 27-A1 position will have him working closely with the district governor and filling vacant district positions, acting "like an assistant manager" for the organization.

"But my main priority is membership growth," he said.

Pryor said he expects much of meeting that priority to be talking with district Lions Clubs and attempting to foster ideas on how to bring in members.

Previously, other area Lions Club members have said publicly they need more young people to join their organization. To this, Pryor said that was something which came up Jan. 15 at Grand Geneva.

"James Cavallaro, the international director from Springfield, Penn., said if we don't seek new members, we may very well be the last Lions standing," Pryor said. "It's all about bringing in new blood."

According to Pryor, the Genoa City Lions Club has 32 members. Two of them were installed this year.

He said that's not a bad start to 2011.

However, that's just one of 53 clubs.

"We just have to keep asking people," Pryor said about his strategy to gain new Lions Club members. "Ask your neighbors, ask the people you have coffee with. Just keep asking."

But the trick isn't to fill empty seats.

"You can always get bodies, but you want to get quality members who truly believe in the organization and would sacrifice to do what it takes to get the job done," Pryor said. "That's what we need to keep the organization thriving (but) it's hard with parents doing things with their kids who are always so involved with extracurricular activities."

So begins Pryor's search to bring in new, young, energetic members.

"They are the future," he said.

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