IN THE SPOTLIGHT LIONS NEWS BRIEFS COUPLE COMPLETE CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP Lions Mark and Debbie Mansell of Washington completed in July their 10,000-mile, 48-state motorcycle journey to raise funds for Leader Dogs for the Blind. The 24-day ride raised $40,000, enough to provide a person with a Leader Dog, says Mark Mansell, who was featured on the cover of the June LION for his bicycle ride across the country last year for Leader Dogs. Mansell says the ride revealed to him the various ways Lions serve. “We’ve seen firsthand the creativity of so many who are following their own dreams and taking action in the many local, regional and international service opportunities we have as Lions,” he wrote on Facebook. A HERO IN THE MAKING Not yet a graduate of Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in San Rafael, California, an 18-month-old yellow Lab named O’Neil has already helped saved lives. Out with a supervising trainer and a blindfolded apprentice trainer in June, the trio was walking on the sidewalk when O’Neil suddenly stopped and reared his head back to check behind, sensing danger. Supervisor Todd Jurek then saw an out-of-control car veering backward toward them and got all three quickly to safety. Two other staff members were ahead of the team and also got swiftly out of the car’s path as it careened down the sidewalk. “Thanks to very quick reaction times and smart thinking, there were no injuries,” GDB staffer Sierra Fish told LION Magazine. In an interview the next day with The Marin Independent Journal, Jurek said that O’Neil’s sensitive hearing probably detected the sound of glass breaking before his human companions did as the car smashed a store window. SHARE THE VISION IN OCTOBER Lions are asked to “share the vision” in October by fighting blindness. The initiative is one of the four Global Service Action Campaigns of Lions Clubs International (a focus on youth was in August, feeding the hungry in December/January and preserving the environment in April). These are not the only ways Lions can work toward the same goals as other Lions worldwide. The literacy campaign begun under Immediate Past President Madden is continuing as is the planting of trees urged by 2011-12 President Wing-Kun Tam. THE POWER OF THE PENNY How much is a million pennies? Enough to substantially improve the lives of the blind. The Atlanta Lions Club in Georgia has launched a Million Penny Challenge. The club has placed 250 buckets in car washes, nail salons and other locations around the city. The $10,000 the club hopes to raise will benefit the Georgia Lions Lighthouse and other good causes as well as raise the visibility of Lions, says club president Scott Rogers. 56 YEARS AGO IN THE LION OCTOBER 1957 Lions Clubs International surveyed its 600,000 members as part of the 40th anniversary of Lions. The average Lion was 44 years old, worked as a retailer and earned $12,370 annually (considerably more than the average family income of $5,000 then). Sixteen percent of Lions owned or operated a farm. Fishing and hunting was the most popular hobby. Most Lions golfed and owned a power lawn mower, and 39 percent agreed they were “handy with a camera.” The top three consumer magazines among Lions were Reader’s Digest, Life and Better Homes and Gardens. The typical Lion was a member for eight years and nine months and read the LION regularly (the cartoons accompanied the survey story). BY THE NUMBERS 121 Felony and misdemeanor arrests made possible by K9 Ajax, a German shepherd for the Emmaus Police Department in Pennsylvania, before he died after seven years of duty. Emmaus Lions purchased the dog for the department. 300,000 Cost in dollars to businesses from stolen copper in Rogers, Minnesota. To deter further theft, Rogers Lions bought the police department a multicamera surveillance system. 2,000 Peaches used to make homemade ice cream for a fundraiser for Crozet Lions in Virginia. 2,000 Frozen peach daiquiris sold by Palisade Lions in Colorado. 12 Members of the Morris Lions Club in Illinois who drove 80 miles with a large grill and enough food and treats to feed 150 hearing-impaired children at Camp Lion near Bloomington. 7 Backrests of bus benches in Bradenton, Florida, to be transformed through winning posters from a Graffiti Hurts poster contest for students co-sponsored by Bradenton Lions. 192 Antique engines between 60 and 100 years old displayed at the Mid-Ohio Valley Antique Engine Festival held by Waverly Lions in West Virginia. 680,000 Tabs delivered by Bill Dierks, tab coordinator for the Brookside Lions in Delaware, to the Ronald McDonald House in Wilmington. LARRY “MAD MAX” MAXWELL Every time the Parkersburg South High School football team scores a touchdown, its biggest fan bounds across the field, waving the team flag and cheering fervently, bringing the filled stadium to its feet. “Mad Max” knows how to get fans energized— he’s been the school’s spirit leader for 32 years, just about the same amount of time he’s served with the South Parkersburg Lions. Although Maxwell retired from his 37-year run as an English teacher at the West Virginia school in 2011, he continues going strong as the local youth’s devoted cheerleader—and dedicated pen pal. How did you become “Mad Max”? When I was starting out as a young teacher, I wanted to get involved in the school, and I had the opportunity to become spirit leader. I love leading the teams out and getting the crowd fired up at games and pep rallies. When the movie “Mad Max” came out, the students started calling me that because I’m so intense, and it caught on. Why has building school spirit been so important to you? When I came back from the Vietnam War, I was one of the forgotten soldiers. I was welcomed home by my dad, but that was it. At that point I thought, if I ever had the chance to show my appreciation for people, I would. Being a teacher gave me an opportunity to be a cheerleader and motivator. You’ve also been a cheerleader through writing letters. I wanted kids to feel appreciated and important, so for about 15 years I wrote each of them at least four times a year. Someone did the math, and it turns out I wrote about 6,000 letters a year! The principal would give me the students’ schedules, so I would write them about their classes. I sent them homemade holiday and birthday cards. I don’t write as many now that I’m retired, plus postage keeps going up! But if I see a student in the newspaper and I want to congratulate them for something, I’ll write to them at the school. Do you ever hear from students you wrote? I’ve had former students tell me later on that they were having a bad day and when they got home, the letter cheered them up. They’ve said that it meant a lot that someone out there knew they were there and appreciated them. How’s retirement treating you? I love it. I’m doing more now than I used to being in the classroom all day. I volunteer at a historic one-room schoolhouse, and I’m an adjunct instructor at a college. I’m doing what I can to help the Lions with the Reading Action Program. I volunteer at schools once a week and read to students. That seemed like a natural thing for me to do. CLUB OF THE MONTH WASECA, MINNESOTA YEAR FOUNDED: 1927 MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS: The 41 Waseca Lions gather twice a month for a lunch meeting at the Pizza Ranch Restaurant. Members caught not wearing their Lions vest are fined one dollar, as are those celebrating a birthday or anniversary that month. With ages ranging from their 20s to 90s and professional fields including finance, education, small business and transportation, the Lions bring a variety of talents and perspectives to the club. WE SERVE, WE FLIP: For more than 40 years the Lions have faithfully flipped pancakes at their annual fundraising breakfast. The Lions team up with the Boy and Girl Scouts to pull off a perfect event and ensure that every attendee leaves with a full stomach and a big smile. Through this and other fundraising efforts, the Lions are able to help support more than 25 charities. A COLLECTIVE EFFORT: Everyone in Waseca knows to donate their unneeded eyeglasses and hearing aids at any of 10 Lions collection spots in businesses and churches. The Lions also ask participants at their popular golf outing and other events to bring eyeglasses to donate. Thanks to the Lions successfully getting the word out, they were able to collect more than 800 eyeglasses and hearing aids last year. HELPING KIDS SUCCEED: Each year the Lions give all third-grade students a dictionary, co-sponsor the high school awards banquet and present three scholarships to standout high school seniors. Scholarship applicants need to prove themselves worthy of the prestigious award: they must show that they have served their community, excel academically and write eloquently about their educational and career goals. WHY SERVE? "I joined the Waseca Lions because of the local and international interests of the group. Since then, I’ve learned much about the gifts and concerns of the community. It’s an organization that makes and supports community leaders." – Lion Nancy Hansen OVERHEARD “This is Bellbrook’s finest hour. It’s social hour in Bellbrook, a homecoming for everyone who’s ever lived here.” –Ben Rader of the Bellbrook Lions Club in Ohio on the annual Lions Club Festival, a tradition for 48 years. From the Dayton Daily News. “It’s like having a no-hitter in baseball.” –Johnny Crow, past president of the Slidell Lions in Louisiana, on the perfect score of a competitor in the Slidell BBQ Challenge, co-sponsored by his club. From nola.com. “For me, it’s just been Esther internalizing the idea she’s part of a group that can make a difference.” –Josh Gibb of the Galesburg Lions Club in Illinois on his six-year-old daughter volunteering in a community cleanup as part of SIMBA, the club’s youth group. From the Register-Mail. ON THE WEB Have you ever wondered how some clubs have their service projects featured on LCI’s Facebook page, blog, Twitter or in LION Magazine? One way LCI headquarters finds out about club accomplishments is through the Submit Your Story page on LCI’s website. Using an online form, Lions can enter information such as the project name, goals and results. Add a photo to attract even more attention. Submitting your story may not only help your club receive some recognition, but it could benefit and inspire other clubs. Visit www.lionsclubs.org and search for “Submit Your Story” to find out more and share your experience. Do you know a Lion who you think has a great story or deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of the Lion and the reason you’re making the nomination to email@example.com. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line.
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