Lions Club state gathering this weekend in Modesto

About 600 members of Lions Clubs throughout California are coming to Modesto this week for the statewide convention.

Ann and Bob Tognetti of the Modesto Breakfast Lions will be the co-chairpersons of the Friday through Sunday gathering at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto. The Tognettis are past governors of the club.

The local Lions district covers nine counties and includes more than 2,000 members.

Ann Tognetti said the president of Lions International, Mahendra Amarasuriya of Sri Lanka, arrives Wednesday for a planning meeting and will report to the convention on worldwide club activities in a keynote address Saturday after lunch.

The gathering also will feature a one-day convention of Leos, or young Lions, who will attend leadership classes and clean donated eyeglasses as part of their current project. One of the Lions Clubs' main goals is to eradicate blindness worldwide.

The Lions also will award a prize to the top peace poster made by a child 12 years old and younger.

Other highlights include an overview of growth in the club by Mark Miller of Georgia.

On Sunday, the address after breakfast will be by author and motivational speaker Chuck Wall on "Random Acts of Kindness."

Seminars and classes will be held to instruct Lions club members and a Saturday flag cere-mony will post the flags of each country with an active Lions Club. The ceremonies are open to members only.

Staff writer Roger W. Hoskins may be reached at rhoskins@modbee.com or 578-2311.