IN THE SPOTLIGHT LONGTIME DREAM COMES TRUE Manuel Castro Alonso was a stone craftsman with a dream. A Lion in Spain since 1972, Castro created an impressive 20-foot statue dedicated to Lions and erected it on a mountain. The statue “represents the Lions’ integration of people–men, women and children. It’s about a social movement,” says his son, also named Manuel. Castro wanted to present a replica of the statue to the headquarters of Lions Clubs International in Oak Brook, Illinois. Castro was unable to make the trip, but in April his son did the honors. The 21- inch replica, a testament both to the importance of Lions to their communities and the family bonds among many Lions, decorates the LCI lobby. “I believe he will be very happy,” says his son. LIONS HONORED AS CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE Lions from the United States and around the world will meet with top U.S. officials on October 2 to discuss mutual areas of interest and how Lions can best serve their neighbors. Lions Day at the White House, a daylong briefing co-hosted by LCI and the White House, will provide an opportunity for Lions and government officials to share information and ideas and honor Lions who are Champions of Change. The event will be streamed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live, and LCI will tweet from the event using the hashtag #WHLions. The morning will include an in-depth briefing session on areas of interest to Lions with key government agency officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Education and others. Lions who have been selected to represent the association’s 1.35 million members as Champions of Change will be recognized and participate in a panel discussion in the afternoon. Lions around the world are encouraged to participate online and follow the event on Twitter. More details will be posted at www.lionsclubs.org as they become available. LIONS, U.N. COLLABORATE Lions Clubs International is exploring ways to collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. LCI recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.N. office to further support Lions’ efforts to assist people in need after disasters. Possible areas of collaboration include introducing innovative technologies such as solar lighting and energyefficient cooking stoves, providing emergency/transitional shelters and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation. LCI would offer Lions’ service and expertise, not financial support, to the U.N. office. BY THE NUMBERS 16 Members of the Washington Lions Club in Missouri who drove 250 miles to Joplin to spend 2 1/2 days helping rebuild a home destroyed in the May 2011 tornado. 5 Service clubs, including the Taft Lions and the Taft Midway Sunset Lions, that supported a presentation of a county-wide drug task force on the impact of meth in Kern County in California. 56 Seating capacity of the new passenger bus purchased by the Millet & District Lions in Alberta, Canada, to transport sports teams, seniors and schoolchildren. 4 Number of Saturdays it typically takes for the Dell Rapids Lions in Iowa to fill a trailer with paper it collects for recycling, a project begun in 2008. 30 Wheelchairs available for loan to those in need by Milford Lions in Delaware. The club also provides hospital beds, walkers, canes and more. 200 Canoeists and kayakers who dipped their oars in Staffordville Lake during the Stafford Lions Club’s Moonlight Paddle in Connecticut. 19 Veterans from the VA Medical Center in Menlo Park, California, who took part in a daylong fishing trip sponsored by Lions Veterans Charities and escorted by Foster City Lions and others. 16 Years that Cupertino Host Lions in California have annually filled a trailer with donated goods to assist needy families in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation. The project began after Lions Roger Reimers and David Lee, returning from a hunting trip, aided a Navajo family involved in a deadly car accident and discovered when visiting the victim’s family that many households lacked basic items. 59 YEARS AGO IN THE LION OCTOBER 1953 Tennis great Maureen Connolly, 18, returns home to San Diego after winning Wimbledon and receives a bale of alfalfa for her pet horse, Colonel Merryboy, from William Sample, president of the San Diego Lions Club. That year Connolly became the first woman to win tennis’ grand slam. Ironically, her tennis career ended the next July when a startled Colonel Merryboy slammed against a concrete mixer truck, and Connelly’s right leg was crushed. ONE OF US What started out as just a part-time job to help her pay for college turned into an experience that would change Malia Ushijima’s direction in life. When Ushijima, now 22, began working for an optometrist close to four years ago, she was a business major at the University of Hawaii. After accompanying her boss on Lions’ children’s vision screenings, Ushijima was deeply affected—so much so that she decided to become an optometrist. She joined the Waiakea Lions, and then led the creation of a club at her university, chartered in August 2011. Since then Ushijima has helped the Mauna Kea Lions Club grow and thrive. She’s also already spoken at two USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forums, helped launch a Leo club and received numerous accolades for her Lions’ accomplishments. WHY DID THOSE FIRST VISION SCREENINGS HAVE SUCH A STRONG EFFECT ON YOU? It amazed me that there were kids as old as third grade who couldn’t see well. I wondered how they had studied or learned at school for all those years. Some of the kids would come to our office to receive eyeglasses and they were so happy when they could see! I really liked having a direct impact on helping them. IS THAT WHAT LED YOU TO DECIDE TO BECOME AN OPTOMETRIST? Yes, and also my boss, Cedric Mitsui, who’s been my mentor and got me involved with the Lions. Watching him work with patients and volunteer with the Lions has been a big inspiration to me. He taught me what it is to do community service, to think beyond myself to all the people out there who can be helped. WAS CHARTERING THE MAUNA KEA CLUB A BIG TASK? It was a stressful time. I had only been a Lion for a year and I had to coordinate with school and work. But I really wanted to start a club with more people near my age so we could work on projects that matched our interests and would help us develop as leaders. WHAT IS YOUR MEMBERSHIP LIKE? Our club is 50 percent college students, and we also have several families as well as some older members. The students have even recruited some of their family members! It’s fun having three generations of members. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT?We do a lot of vision screenings at schools. We drive to schools out in the country, even if there are only 10 kids there. Those are the people who really appreciate that we take the time to go to their schools. DO YOU HAVE TIME FOR ANY OTHER INTERESTS? I love the Food Network and I like to experiment with cooking gourmet food. My favorite thing to cook is Italian food—bruschetta, pasta, risotto—whatever I can come up with. HOW IS IT LIVING IN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES ON EARTH? The ocean is across the street from my house! I love to paddleboard and take my dogs to the beach. I’ll go away to optometry school, but I’ll come back home to stay after that. Know a Lion who you think deserves a bit of recognition? Email 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 MEMPHIS SOUTHERN COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY CAMPUS CLUB, TENNESSEE YEAR FOUNDED: 2004 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: The Memphis Southern College of Optometry (SCO) Lions are a high-energy bunch of 167 future optometrists. At each monthly meeting they select a recipient of Lions-sponsored eye care or eyeglasses. Meetings conclude with a guest speaker from a sight-related organization. SEEING THE BIG PICTURE:The Lions don’t wait until graduation to help the visually impaired. For World Sight Day, SCO Lions partnered with other student organizations to raise more than $2,000 for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. NOT YOUR TYPICAL SPRING BREAK: It’s a natural fit for the Lions to support and participate in the Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH). Just after each spring semester, SVOSH coordinates service trips to developing countries to provide vision services and eyeglasses (many of which are donated by Lions clubs). Lions clubs across the United States support the group’s efforts, and Lions at each destination provide assistance. FUNDRAISING GOALS THAT SCORE: Each fall the Lions sell tickets to a Mississippi RiverKings minor league ice hockey game to raise funds. Last year the club extended the hockey theme to a Halloween fundraiser, decorating the campus Eye Center and donning hockey uniform costumes. COMING SOON TO A CLUB NEAR YOU: The SCO Lions chartered with 25 members but the club has become the largest in its district, inducting more than 100 new members last year. By the time their three years in school are completed, students gain a love for Lions’ service that they carry with them as professionals to clubs around the country. WHY SERVE? “Being Lions allows us to use our skills to help those in need. There is no better gift in life than lending a helping hand to others, and as Lions we are encouraged to maximize our potential.” –Lion Ellen Elmore OVERHEARD “I had no idea and I was really confused on who it was. Then I heard his voice and I’m like now I know who it was. It was the first time that I’ve seen him in a while.” –Student Leah North on a live video chat with her dad, Robert North, serving in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force. The West Liberty Lions Club in Ohio helped purchase the video equipment for Leah’s school. From wtov9.com “We are basically anything having to do with the prevention of blindness. We are the eye people.” –Donna Talley of the Farmington Evening Lions Club in New Mexico in The Daily Times. “We’re going to give it all away.” –Vernon Gordy of the Rincon Lions Club in Georgia on the proceeds of the sale of the clubhouse. From the Effingham Herald. ON THE WEB There are more than 4,500 photos on LCI’s Flickr photostream! Upload photos, see what clubs around the world are up to and view official LCI photos at www.flickr.com/photos/lionsclubsorg. Make a comment on a photo or search by keyword to find just what you’re looking for. Flickr photos can also easily be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
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