LIONS NEWS BRIEFS HOLD THE PICKLES, PASS THE COMPLIMENTS Move over Big Mac–the Braille burger is here. The Wimpy burger chain in South Africa used sesame seeds on a bun to spell out “100 percent pure beef burger made for you” and sent the burgers to blind institutions. The special burger was a marketing ploy to publicize the restaurant’s Braille menus. It worked. The ad the company also created went viral on YouTube, and an estimated 800,000 people with vision impairments learned of Wimpy’s accessibility to the blind. As the video said: “This was a small gesture but for people who use their hands as their eyes this was the first time they could do more than just taste their food.” The sesame seeds on the Wimpy burger read: “100% Pure Beef Burger Made for You.” LIONS PARTNER WITH WHO Lions Clubs International is furthering its partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in fighting blindness by creating child-friendly eye care centers and preventing diabetic eye disease. Lions will invest more than $3 million to help WHO develop 26 child-friendly eye care centers in lesser developed countries as part of the Lions-WHO Project for the Elimination of Avoidable Childhood Blindness. Lions will also provide more financial support to WHO to combat diabetic eye disease. Lions will support WHO in training health care workers in developing countries to better detect and treat diabetic eye disease, while the Lions themselves will increase their vision screening programs to raise awareness of the condition. Lions and WHO will further prevent loss of vision among children. This photo of a Lions’ project was taken in China. SERVICE CAMPAIGNS DRAW LARGE NUMBERS Lions’ Relieving Hunger Global Service Action Campaign in December and January was hugely successful. Lions fed 7.4 million people through 603,183 service hours. The combined numbers for Lions’ three service campaigns in 2011- 12–Engaging our Youth, Sharing the Vision and Relieving Hunger–are 1.9 million service hours and 11.3 million people served. Lions’ campaign to preserve the environment is occurring in April. Members of the Sacramento Golden State Lions Club in California feed 600 homeless people. INDIANA GIRL WINS ESSAY CONTEST Mikaela Smith, 12, of Indiana, was named the 2011-12 grand prize winner of the Lions’ essay contest on peace for visually impaired students. She was sponsored by the Chesterton Lions Club. She was recognized on March 16 at Lions Day with the United Nations in New York City and awarded $5,000. Mikaela wrote, “I believe that watching a child is the best example that shows children know peace. Although I am blind, I can hear and feel their laughter as they frolic together in the summer breeze. I can hear them suggest a food drive for a homeless shelter. I can hear them working together in unison.” To learn about sponsoring the 2012-13 essay contest or to read Mikaela’s essay, visit www.lionsclubs.org and search for “essay contest.” ONE OF US Sherry Welsh’s sister, Karen, struggled with kidney disease from a young age. Karen had dialysis treatments three times a week, forcing her to always be near home and the hospital. After Welsh joined the South Brant Lions in Ontario, Canada, she found out about Lions Camp Dorset, a refuge on a lake where people on dialysis can enjoy outdoor recreation and time with family. Karen and her family created wonderful memories at Camp Dorset, along with thousands of other families who have visited since 1978. After losing 34-year-old Karen 12 years ago, Welsh wanted to honor her sister’s memory and help support the camp. In 2008 Welsh set out on “Karen’s Quest,” a 640-kilometer (398-mile) walk that ended at Camp Dorset. At that time, Welsh had no way of knowing that she would walk four years in a row and raise $165,000—or that she would have such a flood of support from family, friends and Lions along the way. WHY DID YOU WANT TO SUPPORT CAMP DORSET? It has a very special place in my heart. I remember Karen saying how wonderful it was. It was the first time in many years that she could have a vacation and relax while on dialysis, because she knew her girls and husband were outside enjoying themselves instead of sitting in a hospital waiting room. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH KAREN’S QUEST? One day I was thinking about Karen and what she would have done, and it came to me. We both hated when people littered, and we both loved the outdoors. I thought I could walk to Camp Dorset while picking up garbage, and I would raise funds through donations, fundraising events and collecting recyclables. RECYCLABLES? Ten or 20 cents per bottle or can doesn’t seem like much money, but on the first walk we picked up $4,000 in bottles and $2,000 in cans along the road. Amazing, isn’t it? WAS IT DIFFICULT TO PREPARE FOR THE WALK? The first one took about six months to plan because I had no idea how to arrange such a trek. After a donated RV fell through at the last minute and we were going to have to travel in a van, Lions opened their homes and found hotels for us. Karen’s Quest became a reality through generous Lions, Lionesses and Leos, and the friends and strangers who “believed.” WAS THERE EVER A TIME WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU MIGHT NOT FINISH? I have to admit there were times I thought I should give up; some days were difficult. But I would think about the suffering Karen went through, as well as the sunshine we could bring for the patients and families now. These thoughts would get me through the day. WHAT HAVE THE FUNDS RAISED DONE FOR THE CAMP? They have gone toward purchasing a water purifying system, 20 dialysis machines and making renovations to the cottages. Our next project is to build a non-denominational chapel and create memorial plaques for those who have passed. DID LIONS COME OUT TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT? The support was unbelievable. During last year’s walk, Lions held fundraisers, pizza parties, barbecues. Lions gave me tours of their towns and dialysis units. They walked with me. I found the kindness and generosity absolutely amazing. Just after crossing the Karen’s Quest finish line, Sherry Welsh carries a donation and a gift from Lions. The stuffed Lion’s shirt says, “We are walking with you.” Know a Lion who you think deserves a bit of recognition? E-mail us a brief description of your Lion and the reason you’re nominating him or her at email@example.com. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line. CLUB OF THE MONTH ELKHART LIONS CLUB, INDIANA YEAR FOUNDED: 1923 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: At their weekly noon meetings, the 67 members enjoy guest speakers along with conducting club business. To stay informed about LCI news, they periodically view an LQ – Lions Quarterly video. LONG-DISTANCE LENSES: The club’s efforts to collect, clean and process used eyeglasses culminates each year in a trip to Mexico. On each five-day mission, they join forces with Mexican Lions to provide vision screenings and glasses for approximately 5,000 people. EXTRA, EXTRA: The club’s largest fundraiser is creating and printing an annual community newspaper, Lion Tales. The advertising revenue generated helps them conduct services like providing eyeglasses to those in need and supporting the Indiana Lions Eye & Tissue Transplant Bank (which the Elkhart Lions were instrumental in establishing). SERVING CHILDREN BETTER BY JOINING TOGETHER: For the past two years, Elkhart Lions have partnered with the Elkhart Community Lions to distribute more than 1,200 dictionaries each year to all third-grade classrooms in the community. The Lions also look out for children by working with area clubs on Metro KidSight. Since 2004, the project has provided vision screenings for more than 3,600 preschool children and nearly 300 referrals for follow-up services. Recently the Lions caught a potential vision problem in a four-year-old boy who had not yet shown any symptoms. The Lions hold the thank-you letter they received from his family dear to their hearts. RAISING THE FLAG FOR VETERANS: The club installed a flagpole on Main Street as a way to honor community veterans. Each month, a different veteran is honored as the U.S. flag and the flag of the appropriate branch of the U.S. military are flown. A special plaque displayed at the base of the flagpole profiles the individual being honored. WHY BE A LION? “We impress upon prospects that membership enhances their commitment to be a part of the community, not just a member in the community.” –Marty Juel, president Third-grader Megan Nelson checks out her new dictionary as (from left) teacher Jennifer Winkelman, Elkhart Lion Marty Juel and Elkhart Community Lion Diann Hoyt look on. OVERHEARD “There’s a lot of love in there.” –Angie Duerden standing in the clubhouse of the Zionsville Lions in Indiana and referring to 4,500 white paper luminaria bags rescued from flood waters by Lions and others. The bags were saved for a Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer. From the Zionsville Times Sentinel. “I know I couldn’t drive home if I didn’t have my glasses. These people all must have another pair.” –Holly Bengford, a box office clerk at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, on the glasses left behind after events. Twice a year the center donates several dozen pairs to Lions clubs. From the Sioux City Journal. “Neither did I.” –Mike Vrooman’s reply to a newspaper reporter’s comment that he did not see where his golf ball went after teeing off in the McCulloch Memorial Cup in Montville Township, Ohio. Vrooman was one of 20 blind golfers who competed in the tournament. From the Beacon Journal. ON THE WEB Has your club joined President Tam’s Million Tree Planting Campaign? Lions worldwide have planted close to 7 million trees so far. Check out the interactive map on the LCI Web site to see how many trees have been planted in different countries around the world. Go to www.lionsclubs.org and search for “million tree map.” You’ll also find resources for getting involved, success stories and information about The Believer’s award for tree planting. BY THE NUMBERS 4 Age of Juliet, a Border Collie therapy dog “accepted as an official member” of the East Hampton Lions Club in Connecticut. 150 Smoke alarms distributed to low-income households during National Fire Safety Week by the Dunkirk- Fredonia Lions of New York in collaboration with other groups. 809 Points won by the Hamilton Lions in New York in a Family Feud fundraiser against the Hamilton Rotarians, who had 408 points. The $1,000 raised will be used for sight and hearing programs and for books for the library. 100 Denomination of a bill found in a collection jar for a White Cane drive of Fenton Lions in Michigan. 350 Monthly maintenance cost in dollars borne by the Palm Springs Lions Club for the field used by the Cathedral City Little League. 22 Charter members of the re-chartered Thorold Lions Club in Ontario, Canada; the club had disbanded in 2008 after 40 years as a club. 3 Cost in dollars for a professional appraisal at the Antiques & Appraisal Show of the Bedford Lions in New Hampshire. 738 Running races completed by Past International Director Franklin Mason, 87, of the Mullins Lions Club in South Carolina; his running, including 120 marathons, has raised more than $105,000 for Lions’ charities. 53 YEARS AGO IN THE LION APRIL 1959 Paul Settles of the Hagerstown Lions Club in Maryland offers fresh pancakes to a businessman on a special breakfast flight to promote the club’s third annual Pancake Day.
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