At the bi-weekly San Pedro Lion’s Club meeting held last Thursday, May 27th Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairman Baldemar Graniel announced that there would be no National Lions Convention held this year.
This will be the first time in 32 years that Zone 59, which represents all Lions Clubs country wide will not be holding a convention. Typically the National Lions convention includes Lion members from other clubs country-wide and is usually held over a weekend. With opening ceremonies, hospitality booths hosted by visiting clubs, organizational workshops, regional tours, receptions, dances and cultural presentations the event usually ends with a parade celebrating Lionsim in Belize.
According to Graniel, the Zone 59 Cabinet recently decided against holding the annual convention based on the fact that the Zone does not have the funding to host the event. Months ago Zone 59 had over $10,000 in their bank account but learned in March that the monies had been embezzled by Zone 59 Secretary/Treasurer Kainie Manuel.
The story, first ran in The San Pedro Sun
on April 29th, Vol.20 - #17, (http://sanpedrosun.net/old/10-172.html
) reported that Ms. Manuel confessed to a Zone investigation team that she had exhausted the Zone’s funds. On April 27th, Manuel appeared in San Pedro Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with 15 counts of theft. Although a court date on May 26th was scheduled, the hearing was adjourned to a later date.
Although the Zone is struggling to replenish their hard earned funding they maintain their commitment to the community. According to Chairman Graniel, there is now talk about organizing an informal retreat sometime later this summer where all regional clubs can participate at a minimal expense.