Our latest Outward Bound Community Partnerships Champion - Tony Cornell
Back in 2008, our Community Partnerships Coordinator Lloyd Worthy, presented to the N2 Lions District Convention in Merimbula NSW. In the audience was Lorraine Mackenzie, a future District Governor for Q1 District, encompassing 95 Lions Clubs in
DG Lorraine had already identified Past District Governor (PDG) Tony Cornell to be her Activity Chairman. And what a choice that was! This one-man dynamo has truly risen to the challenge. To begin, his club, Brunswick-Mullumbimby, without hesitation sponsored the first Q1 participant, to travel all the way to the ACT for a 12-day Navigator Course in time to appear on stage with Lloyd at the Convention, adding the final touch to the presentation. Of interest, that young man, Jonah Amberose, is part of the Outward Bound intern group currently in training!
Using funds from the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund (AOBDF) as a promotional opportunity, Lloyd invited Q1 District to join Outward Bound in co-sponsoring a group of participants on a Rainforest Navigator Course at Uki in January, providing they came up with sufficient numbers to support the course. The looming Christmas break and Outward Bound not resuming until a week before course commencement were real complications and there was only about six weeks till we had to call it. Hey, Outward Bound is supposed to be challenging, right?
Insufficient space here for the effort, the travel, the talks and the ‘friendly persuasion’ Tony pulled out of the hat. Suffice to say that the course proceeded with 15 participants, 13 of whom received part-sponsorship from combined Q1 District Lions Clubs, including 4 foster kids from the Qld Dept of Community Services. The July course was more difficult with no Outward Bound contribution, NSW and Qld school breaks not coinciding, and clubs balking at the $1875 course fee, but Tony persevered, providing 4 of the 6 Lions Club sponsored starters, and involving another 10 Clubs.
With more time and coinciding school breaks, Tony focussed on September this year, employing a new funding idea of 2 clubs per participant and expanding his initial arrangement for foster kids with the Qld Dept of Child Safety. Numerous written appeals to every Lions Club in the District, multiple club presentations, hundreds of kilometers and significant personal expense saw September almost entirely a Q1 Lions Club course, 11 of the 14 sponsored by a total of 17 Lions Clubs. He already has several thousand dollars donated towards the January course next year!
At the 2012 District Convention, he will present a proposal to have this activity formally declared a Q1 District Project for the next three years. This is an enormous step forward for the Outward Bound Community Partnerships initiative. In July this year, outgoing District Governor Lorraine Mackenzie paid tribute to his success in establishing the Q1 Outward Bound partnership, presenting him with the prestigious Dr. Harry Jenkins Fellowship Award for his efforts.
As Tony has stepped forward again for next year, he and Lloyd will continue their personal alliance, working towards a shared goal to give our youth the best start possible.
Photo: Tony and his wife Charmian after receiving his award.