IN THE SPOTLIGHT LIONS MEET MEASLES GOAL Thanks to generous donations, untiring fundraising efforts and unstinting dedication, Lions recently met the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to raise $10 million for the fight against measles. Consequently, the Gates Foundation gave Lions Clubs International Foundation $5 million to combat measles–the largest single donation ever given to the Foundation. Lions have been working hard to help protect children from measles and its terrible side effects such as blindness, brain damage, deafness and more. Through the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative, Lions helped to vaccinate 157 million children in 2012. LIONS’ DOLLAR GAINS APPROVAL The Lions’ 2017 commemorative silver dollar is coming. President Barack Obama signed the Lions’ commemorative coin act into law on Oct. 5 following Congressional approval. Lions throughout the United States had urged legislators to pass the bill. Congress approves only two commemorative coins for each year. The US$1 coin will be available in 2017 to celebrate Lions Clubs International’s centennial. LCI will collect $10 for each coin sold. The estimated $4 million raised will support Lions’ programs that assist the visually impaired, those with disabilities and those affected by major disasters. International President Wayne A. Madden says, “This coin will provide greater awareness of our organization, encourage Lions to move forward with their selfless volunteer service and raise critical resources to continue to help those in need.” For information, visit www. lionsclubs.org/coin. MANNING SCORES FOR GUIDE DOGS Eli’s coming–to the aid of New York-based Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Eli Manning, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New York Giants, is featured on public service announcements for Guiding Eyes, which Lions in New York and elsewhere support. The 30-second spot airs during NFLgames on CBS. Shown holding a future guide dog, Manning compares the trust he puts in his offensive line with the trust blind people have with their dogs. Manning has hosted the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic for six years. He became involved because champion blind golfer Patrick Browne Jr. of New Orleans is a friend of the Manning family. SERVICE CAMPAIGNS DRAW LARGE NUMBERS Lions embraced the first three Global Service Action Campaigns for 2012- 13. The Engaging Our Youth Campaign in August served 907,466 youths and Lions from 2,439 clubs put in 286,889 service hours. The Sharing the Vision Campaign in October served 709,561 people and Lions from 2,067 clubs tallied 213,680 service hours. As of press time, the Relieving the Hunger Campaign served 674,339 people with Lions from 1,050 clubs compiling 144,915 hours. In April, Lions are encouraged to complete an environmental project. 38 YEARS AGO IN THE LION JANUARY 1975 International President Johnny Balbo greets Jamie Weaver, the 1975 National Poster Child for the March of Dimes, on her visit to Lions’ headquarters. Jamie, 9, of Spokane, Washington, was born without eyes and wore plastic ones. BY THE NUMBERS 9,006 Sandhill cranes counted by staff at a wildlife center not long after the Crane Cruise, a 50-mile bike ride through territory frequented by the migratory bird. The Medaryville Community Lions in Indiana sponsor the ride. 130 Typical number of participants at the free weekly ice skate at a local rink sponsored by the Parksville Lions in British Columbia, Canada. 3,022 Eyeglasses collected by Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Torrealday, son of Joe Torrealday, past president of the Narragansett Lions Club in Rhode Island. 200 Planes that usually visit Washington Island in Wisconsin during the fly-in fish boil held by Washington Island Lions. 80 Age at which attendees to the Old Timers Picnic are treated to a free barbecue dinner by the San Miguel Lions in California. 950 Prints for sale of the Manheim Central High School football field in Pennsylvania by Manheim Lions. Profits fund a defensive driving course for teenagers; five football players were killed in two separate crashes. 125 Length in feet of the bog that trucks negotiate in the mud run of the Kearney Lions in Missouri. 218 Savings in dollars by New Bedford Lions in Massachusetts by using coupons to buy food for a pantry. The food cost just $49.71. MARIE WICKS As Marie Wicks prepares to represent Mississippi in the Miss America Pageant on January 12, she has a lot on her mind. From practicing piano to keeping up on current events to perfecting her public speaking skills, Wicks is making the most of every minute. But this recent graduate of the University of Mississippi also has something else at the forefront of her thoughts: her mission as a Lion. What is EyeS.T.A.R.? Through my platform Eyesight to all Regions (EyeS.T.A.R.), I’m working to raise awareness on vision health. I give presentations to schools and civic groups, and I work closely with Lions clubs through eyeglass collection drives and free vision screenings. Why did you choose vision health as a platform issue? When I was 11-years-old I was diagnosed with severe nearsightedness. I remember putting on my first pair of glasses. The clarity of the world before me was astonishing. I decided to make it my mission to bring eyesight to those in need. How did you become a Lion? My grandfather was a Lion for more than 50 years and my father is a Lion. In high school I helped with the Lions Sea and Sun Camp for the blind and visually impaired, where I was introduced to true courage. The campers gave me something invisible to the eye—a gift of the heart—that inspired me to continue service for sight for the rest of my life. How did you get involved with pageants? In high school I was very reserved, but I decided to compete in the Junior Miss program. I enjoyed the thrill of being on stage and the challenge of the competition. Over the five years that I competed for Miss Mississippi, I grew more comfortable with public speaking and performing; these skills have made an impact on every aspect of my life. The scholarship funds I received helped me achieve my undergraduate degrees, and now I plan to pursue a career in ophthalmology and global health policy. Can you share a pageant secret? Hand warmers are a perfect remedy for frozen fingers before playing the piano for the talent portion of the competition. What are some highlights from your time as Miss Mississippi? I’ve enjoyed visiting the Mississippi National Guard and spending time with patients at the Batson Children’s Hospital. But some of my most rewarding experiences have been with Lions. I’ve visited clubs across the state, and I helped conduct two vision screenings. Mississippi is rich with the spirit of Lionism. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line. CLUB OF THE MONTH POUCH COVE, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA YEAR FOUNDED: 1982 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: The 39 Pouch Cove Lions meet twice a month at their Lions club building, once for a board meeting and once for a dinner meeting prepared by volunteers. The Lions’ ages span seven decades and their professions include a marine research analyst, captain of a Canadian Coast Guard ship and an advertising executive. EARLY RISERS: As the most easterly situated club in Canada, the Pouch Cove Lions claim the honor of being the first Lions in North America to see the sun rise. CHECK THEM OUT: Since 1985 the Lions have helped support the public library, working with the librarian to select books and magazine subscriptions that pique patrons’ interest. They also sponsor a children’s summer reading program. HOLIDAY CHEER: The Lions show gratitude to senior citizens each year by hosting a holiday dinner for 150 attendees, complete with turkey and the trimmings, Christmas carols and the crowning of a king and queen. LIONS IN ORBIT: Shortly after the club chartered, a Lion discovered that a former NASA satellite tracking station (active from 1971 to 1976) on a 15-acre site at nearby Shoe Cove was no longer in use and that the facility and land were owned by the Newfoundland government. The Lions worked with the government to acquire the buildings and land for a nominal fee. They refurbished the largest building, opening it as their club facility and community center in 1985. FUN AND GAMES: From weekly bingo games to card games and darts tournaments, the Lions bring the community together for friendly competition, all in the name of supporting the clubs’ community contributions. WHY BE A LION? “To give back to the community in which I was raised and help insure my community prospers as a whole.” – Lion Danny Connors OVERHEARD “A lot of Lions have been members for a long time. We have to show that we’re not just elderly guys who meet for a beer and decide to clean a park.” –David Moen of the Burnsville Lions Club in Minnesota in a story on service clubs in the Star Tribune. “It’s not trash. It’s resources.” –Kay McKeen, director of SCARCE in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which collects unwanted items from households and finds a use for them (eyeglasses go to Lions clubs). From the Chicago Tribune. “I’m going to go fast. Faster than a reindeer. Faster than a dinosaur.” –Davis Niccum, 4, on a race he entered at Kids Day at the Gaston Lions Club Fair in Indiana. From The Star Press. ON THE WEB Find frequent updates on the international president’s travels, watch videos of Lions in action, see inspiring photos and connect with Lions clubs around the world on LCI’s blog. Visit the recently redesigned blog at lionsclubs.org/blog to see the latest news. You can also access a list of featured Lion and Leo club blogs. Enter your email address to subscribe to the blog so you’ll never miss a post.
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