LIONS PROMOTE LITERACY Lions worldwide are encouraging literacy and taking part in President Wayne Madden’s Reading Action Program (RAP). Clubs have reported 45,446 activities, 1,908,180 hours of service and 5,221,799 people served. Typical activities include reading to children, donating books and developing after-school reading programs. U.N. DAY IS A SUCCESS Three hundred-fifty Lions and guests attended the 35th Lions Day with the United Nations in February in New York. The day included talks by Nicholas Alipui, director of UNICEF Programmes, and Carl Augusto, president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind, as well as a panel discussion by three Lions and three U.N. officials on education/literacy, hunger/poverty and the role of youth in service. Lions and the United Nations share a long history, dating to the earliest days of the latter when Lions helped to formulate the nongovernmental section of its charter. CALIFORNIA GIRL WINS PEACE POSTER CONTEST Jenny Park, a 13-year-old from California, was named the grand prize winner of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. More than 400,000 students worldwide submitted posters for the contest, marking its 25th anniversary. Park’s poster features portraits of the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ban Ki Moon, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Woodrow Wilson. “These are people from different places and different times, of different faiths, of different races, gender and ages. They share one thing in common: they all found peace within themselves,” says Park. The poster also contains a self-portrait. “I wanted to convey that peace begins with any regular individual, just like me and you,” she says. “We don’t have to be the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa to be creators of peace.” Park will receive US$5,000 and a trip to a special awards ceremony at the 96th Lions Clubs International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. With her will be two family members and the president of the Northridge Lions Club, which sponsored her local contest. “We knew Jenny’s poster was special the minute we saw it,” says President Yasin Lakhani, a past district governor. The 23 merit award winners receive a certificate of merit and US$500. They are from Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, the Philippines, the Republic of South Africa and the United States (Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon and West Virginia). NEBRASKAN WINS ESSAY CONTEST Maura Loberg, 11, of Wayne, Nebraska, is the grand prize winner of the 2012- 2013 Lions International Essay Contest for visually impaired youth. Loberg, who will receive US$5,000, will be honored in July at the Lions Clubs International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Her essay, titled “Pieces of Peace” includes: “In English class, we learned about homophones, which are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. I think of the words “piece” and “peace” and realize I am a piece of the peace puzzle. Like a puzzle, our world consists of many types of people that are separated by color, religions, money and many other reasons. It is hard to fit together and live next to each other if not positioned the right way. … My ideas to help aid world peace include better communication, more respect for each other’s differences and the opportunity to dream for a more peaceful planet.” Her entry was sponsored by the Wayne Lions Club. The award was announced at Lions Day with the United Nations in February in New York. 54 YEARS AGO IN THE LION APRIL 1959 A charter member of the Egg Harbor Lions Club in Wisconsin, Chief Roy Oshkosh of the Menomonie Tribe stands next to a hand-carved wooden statue of himself. BY THE NUMBERS 180 Flame-proof pajamas donated by Brea Lions in California for children placed in protective custody. 80 Tables displaying train sets at the train show of the Waynesboro Lions in Pennsylvania. 50:46 Winning time among the 3,104 runners and walkers who competed in the 41st Blessing of the Fleet 10- mile road race held by Narragansett Lions in Rhode Island. 380 Pocket-size books on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence given to schools in Fraser, Michigan, by Fraser Lions in partnership with the nonprofit Liberty Day. 25,200 Volunteer hours logged by Cave Spring Lions in Roanoke, Virginia, recycling eyeglasses. 628 Pavers with engraved names of loved ones sold by Mesa Fountain of the Sun Lions to help finance a new 15-foot-high fountain for the Fountain of the Sun retirement community in Mesa, Arizona. 25 “Boo-boo bears” donated by Clarksburg Lions to the Clarksburg Police Department and the United Hospital Center in West Virginia to comfort children. 385 Dictionaries given annually by Lacy Lamplighters Lions in Washington to third-graders in 15 classrooms at four schools. OLGA RUBI ACOSTA Olga Rubi Acosta loves serving her community, and she does it in more than one language. This 18-year-old high school senior and president of the Colquitt County Leos has led everything from literacy projects to a major renovation of a camp. Her infectious enthusiasm about service enabled Acosta to sponsor 35 Leos, and led her to be named as a 2011-12 Leo of the Year. Acosta uses her Latina roots as a translator for non-English speaking community members in a variety of settings, helped launch an organization that assists immigrants assimilate into their new home in Moultrie, Georgia, and volunteers weekly at an English-as-a-second-language course. Acosta humbly gives tirelessly to her community, and she doesn’t have plans of stopping anytime soon. Why did you become a Leo? I wanted to become part of a club that is different than all the others and focuses on community service. Since eighth grade I’ve enjoyed every moment of being a Leo. What has been your favorite Leo project? The Leos heard that campers were turned away at the Georgia Lions’ Camp for the Blind because they reached capacity. We came up with the idea to turn an abandoned infirmary into a bunkhouse. We were told it would be impossible, but we went there every weekend we could to work on it. It took a lot of time and effort, but now the camp accepts 24 more campers than before. We learned about teamwork and that determination will pay off. Do you enjoy being a translator? I started at an early age translating for my parents. It wasn’t too fun translating when my teachers would tell my parents something wrong I did at school! But now I know that I’m helping people with a service. I help a family with a baby who was born with multiple disabilities. It’s rewarding to see them understanding what the doctors and nurses are saying about their baby. You’ve also help start a civic organization in your community? Latinos United en Moultrie helps newcomers understand their rights in the United States and get involved in society. We hold town hall meetings, post community notices and share messages of cultural and societal concerns. You’ve served as a “madrina” at an impressive 12 Quinceañeras*. I love being a madrina because it’s a position of honor. It’s like being a godparent. My favorite event is the dance performance. We start practicing months ahead of time until it’s perfect. What will you do after high school? I’m taking certified nursing assistant courses which will go toward becoming a physical therapist. But I don’t want to stop there. I’m really interested in becoming an optometrist. I’ll be able to help people as part of my career and as a Lion. *A traditional Latin American ceremony and celebration held to mark a girl’s 15th birthday. It’s Leo Awareness Month, and the LION is honoring the great work of Leos in this issue. Enjoy learning more about Leos like Olga throughout the issue. CLUB OF THE MONTH PENBROOK LEO CLUB, PENNSYLVANIA YEAR FOUNDED: 2009 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: The 21 Leos in this community-based club from several middle and high schools meet twice a month at the borough’s community building. Members are encouraged to bring friends to meetings, which include guest speakers on topics that emphasize the importance of education and volunteering. Advisers provide leadership training and mentoring. HANDS-ON HELP:The Leos have used their enthusiasm and energy to hold a carwash for the Northeast Pennsylvania Eye Bank, walk and bowl to raise funds for diabetes research, visit residents at a nursing home and assist the Lions with an Easter egg hunt and Halloween parade. FIGHTING HUNGER: Taking a day of their Thanksgiving vacation to give back, the Leos held a food drive for a food pantry. They piled more than 30 bags of groceries into a trailer and collected donations of more than $1,600. After experiencing a great sense of accomplishment and reward for preventing those in need from going hungry, the Leos decided to make this an ongoing project. GOING GREEN: The Leos adopted a one-mile section of the Capital Area Greenbelt trail. In addition to keeping it beautiful, they planted 10 trees along the trail. The Leos also maintain a memorial garden at a community park. PAYING RESPECT: The Leos participated in Wreaths Across America, a program in which wreaths are placed at veterans’ graves. After placing wreaths at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, they returned a month later to clean up the area. ON BEING A LEO: “Just thinking about all those people who can actually have meals after our food drive makes me smile inside. It really felt good to know that we helped the hungry.” – Emily Miller OVERHEARD “For me, going out collecting gives me a very warm feeling. It restores my faith in people when there is so much that is going wrong in the world.” –Dave Panega of the Bolingbrook Lions Club in Illinois on taking to the streets for Candy Day. From the Suburban Life. “Wow, I kind of like this. It feels like you have a family here, because we’re not from here.” –Brenda Williamson of the Stafford County Lions Club in Virginia on becoming a Lion several years ago after moving to the area. From Fredericksburg.com. “We like to say we’ve sent more dogs to college than we have kids.” –Alice LeBlanc, who raises puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind along with her husband, Bill, a Hudson Lion in New Hampshire. From the Nashua Telegraph. ON THE WEB Follow LCI on Pinterest to see pictures and videos of Lions and Leos performing service around the world. Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that allows users to organize and share photo links from the web. Users “pin,” or keep track of recipes, home décor ideas, wedding planning or anything they would like to remember or be inspired by. Find your own inspiration by following LCI. LCI’s Pinterest boards include documentation of President Madden’s travels, the Peace Poster contest, LCIF projects, special programs such as the Lions Reading Action Program and much more. Visit pinterest.com/ lionsclubsorg to get started.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/News/1342211/150315/article.html.