NEWEST LIBRARY IS HANDMADE Little free libraries are what you might expect: small, free-standing, handcrafted structures where people can take and leave books. The Little Free Library organization, based in Wisconsin, has sent out nearly 4,000 official library signs worldwide. One of the latest was built in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, thanks to the Eau Claire Seymour Lions Club. Lions Terry Mc- Dougall and Dave Swan built a replica of the unused Little Red School at the site of the nearby rural school. The club donated books to the Little Red School Free Library. The club is working on another free library with an aquatic theme at the municipal pool. OKLAHOMA LIONS SHOW THEIR METTLE AFTER POWERFUL TWISTERS Members of a small club chartered just three years ago, Carney Lions sprang into action in May when tornadoes devastated their tiny town as well as Moore and other places in Oklahoma. “They were digging people out of the rubble. They were seeking medical attention for them,” says Dawn Miller, 3-H second vice district governor. Lions in Oklahoma City and elsewhere in the state also responded immediately to the tornadoes on May 20 that killed 23 people and injured nearly 400. Lions used their mobile health screening unit as a command post for aid at the Wal-Mart in Moore and later at a central relief station at a high school. They passed out vouchers, made possible by LCIF funds, provided blood glucose screenings and advised storm victims on what to do next. Zone Chairperson Jacque Mooney, who lost her home in the tornado that hit the Moore area in 1999, created a handy checklist of things to do for storm victims. LCIF approved a $100,000 Major Catastrophe grant for disaster relief in Oklahoma and also collected donations from Lions. More than $200,000 is now available from LCIF for Lions in Oklahoma. Recovery plans have not been made yet, but some Lions have suggested helping the schools that were destroyed or damaged. The Lions’ contributions, especially in Carney, demonstrated the value of service clubs, says Miller, who formerly lived in Moore and whose home was damaged by the 1999 tornado. “It’s testimony to the great need for local clubs familiar with their own communities,” she says. S.C. LIONS MARCH SMARTLY Dressed in full Lions regalia, Lions in South Carolina marched down main streets in dozens of towns in March to let residents know of their presence and their service. About half of the 150 clubs in Multiple District 32 took part in the Walk for Sight. Marching Lions shook hands with curious onlookers and passed out club brochures and membership applications. The project culminated with a rally at the South Carolina State House in Columbia. State Senator Mike Fair and Past International Director Gene Spiess spoke at the rally, according to Randy Edwards, project chairperson. 83 YEARS AGO IN THE LION JULY 1930 For the first time, a club “inducted” a lion. The New York City Lions Club made Gilmore a member. He’s shown with his owner, Col. Roscoe Turner (left), and John Kirkland Clark, president. BY THE NUMBERS 19 Service groups and businesses at an open house for the visually impaired in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. Brian Hetherington, who is blind, and his club, the Maple Ridge Lions, organized the event to connect the blind with resources. 336 Hats, mittens and scarves knitted or crocheted last year for U.S. soldiers overseas or needy people in Connecticut by Colchester Lions and volunteers they recruited. 16 New members added within a few months by Willmar Noon Lions in Minnesota by simply asking people to join. Membership now stands at 50. 10 Years after it disbanded that the Newman Lions Club in California chartered again with four members of the original club, begun in 1949. The four are George Vargas, Ed Faria, Jim Lagrutta and Marge Carvalho. The club has 25 members. 72,000 Eyeglasses collected by Harry Thornton of the Lacey Lamplighters Lions in Washington since 2000. He retrieves them from 30 donation boxes in Thurston County. 8 “ Sleep kits” with sleeping bags, socks, toothbrushes, books and other goods given to local police departments for at-risk children by Livonia Lions in Michigan in partnership with Sweet Dreamzzz. 3.5 Weight in pounds of a thermal imaging camera, which helps firefighters find people in smoke-filled rooms, purchased by the city fire department after a donation from Danbury Lions in Connecticut. The previous camera was lost in a fire. 45 Children displaced by a nine-alarm fire at an apartment complex in Woodbridge, New Jersey, that came to a party with games, entertainment and toys thrown by the Edison Visionary Lions. RICHARD “TONY” DOYLE Lately at Spring Branch-Bulverde Lions’ events, children are on the lookout for their beloved Lion pirate. After losing his leg in 2005 while serving in Iraq, retired Army Sgt. Richard “Tony” Doyle had toyed with the idea of creating a pirate character to show children there can be a bright side to any hardship in life. Since making that idea a reality last summer as a Texas Lions Camp counselor, Doyle is bringing fun and lightheartedness to Bulverde, Texas, while serving his Lions club and community in a unique, generous way. How did you come up with the idea of becoming a pirate? I had always wanted to be a “pirate” since losing my leg. When I became a camp counselor, I had the opportunity to bring the character to life. I have a prosthetic leg that looks really good as a peg leg, and I bought a pirate costume. The campers loved it, and so did the Lions and camp staff. Why did you become a Texas Lions Camp counselor? I’m a full-time student studying European history and agriculture, and last year a friend at school who was a counselor approached me about it. I thought it would be good to show children that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t do things. I’ll be the archery activity leader this summer. How did you develop an interest in archery? When I was doing rehab at the Center for the Intrepid, a bunch of us were invited to a U.S. Paralympics training center to try out some sports. I was amazed when I watched a double amputee [one arm and one leg] archer use his hand to hold the bow and draw the string back with his teeth. I tried it and was a natural. What do the campers learn from archery? Last year there was a boy with severe cerebral palsy who didn’t want anything to do with archery. Finally we managed to talk him into trying it. He put his hand on my wrist while I pulled the string back. At the moment it released, he had a smile that was beyond ear-to-ear! Words can’t do it justice how it felt. Maybe later he’ll try something he never would have because of that experience. When you’re the pirate, do children ask about your leg? Yes, and I tell them what happened in a simple and direct way. Parents try to keep their kids from asking, but I don’t mind. They’re genuinely interested in why I’m different. I want them to know that just because you may become disabled, you can still live life. It’s a way of serving my community and showing that adversity can be turned into fun. Do you 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 FORT VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON YEAR FOUNDED: 1955 MEETING MATTERS: As the 94 Lions arrive for their weekly lunch meeting, they enjoy piano music played by Lion John Caldwell. At each meeting they learn from guest speakers and have a chance to win an ever-growing jackpot raffle. MEMBERSHIP ON THE RISE:Thanks to the club’s social, upbeat approach, more than 25 new Lions of all ages have recently joined through helping with projects and attending fun meetings and open houses. The club’s original president, 104-year-old LeRoy DeBast, still proudly serves. STAYING ON TRACK FOR THE BLIND: For the past 35 years, the Lions have held an annual track and field meet for visually impaired youths. More than 100 students convene at the Washington State School for the Blind for the fun competition, pre-meet career talks by visually impaired adults and a post-meet dance. FAST FOOD: Since the Lions started “Walk and Knock” in 1982, it has grown to become the county’s largest food drive. Through asking for food donations door-to-door on the first Saturday in December, Lions and other volunteers collect enough food to stock 13 food banks through March. ROCK STARS FOR A CAUSE: The Lions’ biggest fundraisers are their eclectic benefit concerts featuring local talent, including themselves. Lions have surprised audiences by dressing in costume and rapping, singing reggae tunes and crooning country oldies. These good sports have raised close to $100,000 for Sightfirst II and other causes. WHY SERVE?“My boss ordered me to join a community service group. Against my will I joined the Lions because they met at lunch. That was over 25 years ago. Since then, I’ve learned how good it feels to be a member of a group that helps so many in so many ways.” –Roy Pulliam, membership chairperson OVERHEARD “When you go to work every day, you work hard, fight the fight, chasing the almighty dollar, and that has its place. But you just don’t do that with the Lions club. You feel really good after doing what we do.” –Todd Probasco, 2012-13 president of the Orland Park Lions Club in Illinois, in the Orland Park Patch. “If we want to live in this community and we want to be a good community, we have to take care of the people who live here who don’t have the resources.” –Dr. Sally Freeman, grand marshal of a Lions parade in Rincon, Georgia, and an owner of Effingham Eye Care, which provides free eye care in partnership with Rincon Lions. From the Effingham Herald. “It’s definitely like being royalty. And the Lions club gives you free corn dogs!” –Mendota (Illinois) Sweet Corn Festival Queen Madeline Piller in the Mendota Reporter. ON THE WEB Connect with Lions around the world by using Instagram, a fun and creative way to share photos. Install the Instagram app on your smartphone, and after taking a photo, choose a filter that can transform the shot to look like nostalgic Kodak Instamatic or Polaroid images. Play with color and contrast, create collages and use many other effects to make your Lions’ images even more memorable. Find the free app in the iTunes or Google Play stores. Then use the #LionsEverywhere hash tag to get started sharing and following Lions’ photos. Digital LION Watch a video of the “Village Lions” performing “LION”—their version of the song “YMCA”—at last spring’s benefit concert. Read about the Digital LION Club of the Month at www.lionmagazine.org.
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