Not afraid to be innovative, these clubs tried something different. They were happy they did. 1. Toying with the Police Stouffville Lions in Ontario, Canada, found a way to ease the pain of a parking ticket while helping the needy. Vehicle owners who received a ticket on a snow-clearing route in part of December in Whitchurch-Stouffville could avoid the $50 fine by donating a toy to the town’s Toys for Tickets program with Lions and a food bank distributing the sanctioned payola. 2. Verse Fights Adversity Poetry and prostate cancer? Well, why not? Boyne Lions in Australia held a breakfast fundraiser for a prostate cancer foundation during which poets read their works. Centuries ago the Bard knew that no measures should be discounted in fighting serious illness: “Diseases desperate grown/By desperate appliances are relieved,/Or not at all.” 3. Perfect Planter Project Montclair is an attractive, hillside, tree-covered neighborhood in Oakland, California, and Oakland Montclair Lions contribute to the good vibes with a Halloween parade, Easter Egg hunt and restaurant walk. But a modest project also subtly enhances the community. The club recruited a local artist to create intricate mosaics that include a Lions Club logo for planters scattered throughout the neighborhood. 4. Windows to the Past Birthdays are tough–what do you give to a centenarian? The city of Duncan in British Columbia, Canada, celebrated 100 years, and Duncan Lions decided to give murals. A local artist painted four panels depicting the city’s past and present amid the four seasons. One panel shows Gil Thom, charter president in 1958, strolling downtown with a mother and child. The murals are displayed in the windows of a seniors center. 5. Kindness Amid Sorrow Before Lions stepped in, some parents who lost an infant through stillbirth or very early in life shoved their various keepsakes and mementos in a paper or plastic bag before leaving the hospital. Now the grieving families at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada place the precious items in an attractive, handcrafted memory box made possible by Barrhaven Lions. Social workers say the boxes can help create new memories that lead toward healing. 6. Online Shopping The auction of Alberni Valley Lions on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is broadcast live on TV. But what sets apart the event is that the more than 300 items up for bid can be viewed two weeks prior on a website. The items once were displayed at a mall, now closed. 7. Lions, Tigers and Cougars, Oh My Louisburg Lions in Kansas make an annual donation to the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Education Center. On a group outing Lions watched tigers devour whole raw chickens and slab of ribs. Members say it was just a coincidence that their club president accompanying them was Kitty Koonse. 8. No Laughing Matter A set of goggles called Fatal Vision simulates the visual effects of being drunk. Put them on and walking a straight line or touching a pencil tip becomes nearly impossible. Wilton Lions in New Hampshire donated the goggles to police to use for impaired driver prevention sessions. Lions tried them on, and the results were funny but ultimately sobering. 9. Serving but Protected Police dogs expose themselves to grievous harm in carrying out their duties. Broken Arrow Lions in Oklahoma reduced the risk by raising funds for four doggie bulletproof vests. 10. No Cheating Allowed Bicycling and baseball may have their frauds and cheats, but New Portland Lions in Maine run a whistle-clean Frog Jumping competition with iron-clad rules. Contestants may not feed frogs Tabasco or other hot sauce prior to the event. Touching the frog means instant disqualification. Frogs must be at least four inches long and have a name. None of these rules prohibit enthused, spur of- the-moment support: frogs can be blown on and shouted at, and rooters even can jump up and down.
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