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News Release


Melitta J. Cutright

Michelle Blomeke

Hero Pilot and Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Headline Lions Clubs International Convention in Sydney June 28-July 2

OAK BROOK, Illinois, USA, June 1, 2010 – Chesley B. (Sully) Sullenberger III, the American pilot who landed a jet plane on the Hudson River near New York, and Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, will speak to more than 15,000 members of Lions Clubs International and their families in Sydney, Australia, as part of the association’s 93rd Lions Clubs International Convention. Convention events will be held Monday, June 28, through Friday, July 2.

Highlights of the convention will include:

  • A spectacular Parade of Nations, beginning at 11:00 on Tuesday, June, 29. An estimated 10,000 Lions from 100 countries, many in native dress, will march along with floats and 20 bands 1.4 kilometers north on Macquarie Street from the intersection of College, Prince Albert and St. Mary roads.
  • A keynote address by Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, the pilot who made an emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving 155 passengers and crew, at 9:15 on Friday, July 2 in the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
  • Presentation of the 2010 Lions Humanitarian Award to Wangari Maathai, an internationally known environmental, peace, human rights and democracy activist from Kenya at 9:00 on Thursday, July 1 in the Sydney Entertainment Centre. In 2004 Maathai became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The Lions Humanitarian Award includes a grant of US$200,000 for continuing humanitarian work.
  • Selection of the first winner of the Lions Clubs International Global Youth Music Competition at 19:30 on Wednesday, June 30 in Bayside Auditorium B of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Ten young people from around the world will compete on the violin.
  • A colorful flag ceremony with the flags of Lions nations from around the world at 11:45 on Wednesday, June 30 in the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
  • Election of the 2010-2011 Lions Clubs International President, Sid L. Scruggs III of Vass, North Carolina, USA, on Friday, July 2.

Presiding over the convention will be 2009-2010 International President Eberhard J. Wirfs of Kelkheim, Germany. President Wirfs has led the association through the third consecutive year of membership growth and innovation as well as expanded community service, including major relief assistance following the Haiti earthquake.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographic areas. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world. To learn more about Lions Clubs International, visit


Attention media:  media passes will be available from the Convention Operations Office, Exhibit Hall 1 Foyer, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information about convention events, visit the Online Convention.


Rotating pictures of Lions.

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