NEVER TOO OLD TO BE PRESIDENT Andrew Vireno will turn 100 in December–when he will be about halfway through his term as president of the Corte Madera Lions Club in California. A Lion since 1954, Vireno said he was asked more than a dozen times to serve as president. But he said he was too busy running his bar/restaurant in nearby San Francisco. Vireno wants the 42- member club to grow. “The No. 1 object is to get more members,” says Vireno, who golfs twice a month and lives with his wife, Aline, 88. Says Bob Bundy, club secretary, “He’ll do great. He’s still sharp. He always attends meetings, so he has a sense of how the club should go.” Vireno is finally following in the footsteps of his father, who was president of the Daly City Lions in 1926. PAST PRESIDENT SOLIVA DIES Past International President Augustin Soliva, of Brazil, has died. He was elected to the association’s highest office at the 1996 International Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prior to his election as International President, he was an appointee to the International Board of Directors from 1976 to 1977 and was elected in 1980 to serve a two-year term as an international director. A Lion for nearly 50 years and a Melvin Jones Fellow, Past President Soliva was a Life Member of the Sao Jose dos Camp (Centro) Lions Club and a major contributor to Campaign Sight- First. Most recently, he served on the 2011-12 LCIF Steering Committee. His presidential theme was Building Bridges, which reflected his desire to unite Lions in global humanitarian service efforts. Past President Soliva was actively involved with many projects to assist those in need, including working with the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas and other agencies that shared the goal of the eradicating this sight-robbing disease. In addition to many professional and civic recognitions, Past President Soliva was the recipient of 24 International President’s Awards and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association bestows upon members. SHARE THE VISION IN OCTOBER Autumn is a time for Lions to do common service and to strive toward membership goals. Lions are asked to “share the vision” in October by fighting blindness. The initiative is one of the four Global Service Action Campaigns (a focus on youth was in August, feeding the hungry in December/January and preserving the environment in April). International President Wayne A. Madden also reminds Lions of the Fast Start Awards. District governors who achieve two new clubs or positive net growth by Oct. 31 will attain a Cruising Speed award. District governors who achieve five new clubs and positive net growth by Oct. 31 will attain the Passing Speed award. Madden also encourages clubs to do quarterly “pit stops,” or self-evaluations, and for Lions to achieve the Club Excellence Award and District Governor Team Excellence Award. More information on these programs is available at www.lionsclubs.org. BY THE NUMBERS 122 Years and counting for the Old Settlers Reunion in Missouri, also known as the Louisburg Picnic and run by the Louisburg Lions since 1971. 3,500 Weight in pounds of the Nautilus weight trainer donated by an athletic club to the Lakehead Lions Community Health Center in California, which the Lakehead Lions helped form. 1,500 Purchase price in dollars of the community’s last log cabin by the Sandborn Lions Club in Indiana, which wants to move the cabin to the town park. 122 Bags of food collected by the Sandhills Lions Club in North Carolina for a local food bank. 16 Eating establishments that took part in the Restaurant Stroll of the Union City Lions in California. For $15, 400 diners grazed on small portions of fare ranging from burgers and fries to pasta and crepes. 2,200 Pounds of smelt deep-fried in 80 gallons of vegetable oil for the annual smelt fry of the Brooklyn Park Lions Club in Minnesota. The fry began in 1963. 250 Students at six grade schools given a Canadian flag by Comox Valley Monarch Lions in British Columbia as part of Project Pride to encourage pride in country, province and community. 150 Community volunteers who helped construct the log-cabin style Dorris Community Center in a project spearheaded by Dorris Lions in California. ONE OF US When she was 2 years old, doctors wanted to put a bar in Wendy Koenig’s back to straighten it. But her father said all she needed to do was to play and be active and her back would correct itself. Not only was he right, but he helped send Koenig on a path that would lead her to becoming a champion runner. A native of Estes Park, Colorado, Koenig spent her teen years traveling the country for track and field competitions. The Lions helped her succeed, raising funds to enable her to travel to meets. With great support, Koenig (then known as Koenig Knudson) propelled herself to the Olympics, both in 1972 in Munich and 1976 in Montreal. Koenig, an audiologist, later became the Estes Park Lions Club’s first woman president. WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING AT YOUR FIRST OLYMPICS AT JUST 17 YEARS OLD? It was so overwhelming—I kept a diary and it’s like someone else wrote it! Mostly, I remember the camaraderie and sportsmanship shown by all athletes, and how lucky I was to be there. DID YOU RECEIVE ANY ADVICE AS A NEWBIE? The first inside scoop was to arrive at the Opening Ceremonies lineup early enough to be in the lane closest to the TV cameras when we marched in. I arrived early to find many of my fellow USA teammates with newspapers. I realized I had a long wait, but really, bringing a newspaper to the Opening Ceremonies—how tacky! But I knew the real reason for the newspapers when the doves of peace were released. Messages of “good will” were spread over the heads and into the hair and clothing of many athletes! UNFORTUNATELY THE 1972 OLYMPICS IS KNOWN FOR THE TERRIBLE MUNICH MASSACRE. When the Black September terrorist attack happened it was very scary. At the time it happened I was out sightseeing. When I returned my teammates were at large windows talking about seeing the helicopter fly right past our dorm with the hostages. I knew some of the athletes on the Israeli track team. Seeing the Israeli team’s bravery was overwhelming. WERE THE 1976 GAMES DIFFERENT FOR YOU? I was so much calmer and able to take in more. I remember every stride of my race and the 80,000 people cheering. But also the charm of the Munich Village was replaced with armed guards on the rooftops, fencing around the Village and underground walkways to the track. In the prelims I improved my lifetime best performance in the 800 meters, running just under two minutes—I had tried to do that for six years! Only one U.S. female athlete had run faster. YOU STILL HOLD THE 800 METER (1:58:91) AND 1,500 METER (4:21.80) RECORDS AT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY. I didn’t realize that until recently when my son pointed it out to me! I was shocked. DO YOU USE YOUR AUDIOLOGY EXPERTISE FOR LIONS SERVICE? I’ve been donating my services since 1991 and I have a hearing aid bank at my office. For more than 20 years my club has helped an average of 15 people receive free hearing aids annually. DO YOU STILL RUN? In 1984 I was training for the Olympics, but the torn cartilage around my hip sockets got so bad I couldn’t even walk up stairs. So I decided it wasn’t worth it to continue. These days I enjoy low-impact activities like hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and swimming. CLUB OF THE MONTH WINNIPEG LIONS CLUB, MANITOBA, CANADA YEAR FOUNDED: 1921 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: The 43 Winnipeg Lions meet weekly at noon. Their wide range of professions includes a travel agent, farmer, artist and former NHL hockey player Donald “Bones” Raleigh (who played 535 games and scored 101 goals for the New York Rangers in 1943-44 and 1947-1956). A HOME WITH HEART: The Lions’ proudest moment was breaking ground for their first senior residence, Lions Manor, completed in 1965. They have since opened Lions Place and Lions View, and now have a total of approximately 1,000 residents. The facilities include housing and care for those with mental health needs and Alzheimer’s disease. HITTING THE STREETS: Since 1942 the Lions have held their Rose Day Tag Day to raise funds; they raised $3,000 this year. They don’t miss the opportunity to increase awareness by sharing pamphlets with each donor about Lions’ service. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR: Along with five other service clubs, the Lions established Camp Manitou for disadvantaged youth in the 1930s. The Lions continue to support the camp that hosts nearly 5,000 children each year. Youths selected by social service agencies enjoy activities such as mountain biking, zip lining and canoeing at the 28-acre camp. PAR FOR THE COURSE? The Lions’ golf marathon fundraiser is only for the most enthusiastic golfers. Contestants spend a long day (about 12 hours) golfing 100 holes. The Lions keep the golfers energized with beverages and snacks. TAKING FLIGHT FOR THE FUTURE: Winnipeg Lions formed the Jim Whitecross Air Cadet Squadron—one of the first in Canada—in 1938 to help at-risk young people develop skills and character to prepare for their futures. The Lions remain committed to this group of 100 to 140 teen cadets enrolled each year. The cadets learn skills such as map reading, first aid and airmanship, and they have the option to enter the military upon graduation. WHY BE A LION? “We have the opportunities to serve those in need and to continue the work of the Lions who came before and established such a wonderful and worthwhile history.” –Lion Ernest Jones OVERHEARD “Our daughter said, ‘If one good thing could come out of losing Dad, I think we should do it.’” –Luella Miller on donating the eyes of her husband, Bob, to the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. From the Boone News Republican. “It’s kind of neat to be part of a group that addresses needs locally but doesn’t stop there.” –Christie Hall, a charter member of the Columbus Downtown Lions Club in Ohio. From the Columbus Dispatch. “To be honest, pink is not my color. I think that a long, black dress would have made my hips look slimmer.” –Jeff Lukken, mayor of LaGrange, Georgia, on his portrait in drag for the annual calendar of the LaGrange Lions. From the LaGrange News. ON THE WEB Have you visited the LCIF Lions Center yet? This great resource is available for Lions at www.lcif.org. Find grant applications and deadlines, download publications and learn the many ways to give. Multiple District or District Coordinators for LCIF can also visit the Coordinator Center to find a variety of tools and resources to make their jobs easier.
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