First Roar MOBILITY CARTS GAIN FOOTHOLD More Lions are adopting PETs. The Personal Energy Transportation Vehicles, handcranked carts for people who can’t use their legs, are made by PET International, a nonprofit group based in Columbia, Missouri. Since December of 2007, Lions have partnered with PET to build and deliver an estimated 3,000 carts for children and adults in a dozen nations. Altogether, PET has delivered 44,000 carts to 100 nations since 1996. Digital LION Watch a moving video on PET at www.lionmagazine.org. A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME CHANCE ENCOUNTER Lions often meet other Lions while traveling, but a Lions couple from Maryland hit the jackpot while on a bus tour of Turkey. Amy and Salvatore Capuccio, members of the Perryville Lions Club since 1997, saw a large gathering in a room at their hotel restaurant. “A first we thought it was a wedding, but then my husband saw Lions name tags,” says Amy. The Capuccios soon found themselves talking with International President Barry Palmer, who was helping Turkish Lions celebrate their country’s independence day while also honoring the sacrifice of Australian soldiers who fought in Turkey in World War I. “What a terrific organization–we can go halfway around the world and meet Lions friends,” says Amy. 31 DIE IN INDIA AT LIONS’ OUTING A Lions club outing in India turned into a horrible tragedy when a boat capsized and 31 people died. The accident happened on Feb. 9 in the state of Odisha, located on the east coast, as Sambalpur Lions and family members returned from a picnic near a dam. Eight Lions, eight spouses of Lions and 15 children of Lions died. On the boat were 124 Lions and family. Scuba divers recovered the remains of many of the dead. International President Barry Palmer said in a blog post the day after the tragedy: “I ask you to join me in prayer for those who lost their lives and their surviving family members, as well as all the Lions throughout India who are only now coming to grips with the reality of what has happened.” Lions leaders in India traveled to Sambalpur to offer comfort. DAVID FOSTER GETS TOP AWARD Sixteen-time Grammy winner David Foster will receive the 2014 Lions Humanitarian Award at the international convention in July in Toronto. Foster has created hit songs and best-selling albums for such artists as Earth, Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, Michael Bolton, Seal, Dolly Parton, Chicago, Hall & Oates, ’N Sync, and Gloria Estefan. A native of Canada, he created The David Foster Foundation in 1985 to aid Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. He has volunteered his time and talent to more than 400 charities. The Humanitarian Award is given for “substantial humanitarian accomplishment.” A $250,000 grant from LCIF accompanies the award. (See related story on page 36.) OVERHEARD “I noticed the credit card Smith used had a Lions Club of Michigan logo on it. So Smith, who just happened to be the Lions Club state secretary, asked if there was a club in town and I replied, ‘No, but maybe we should start one.’” –Charter member Emery Bennett of the Goodrich Lions Club in Michigan on the founding of his club after his chance encounter in 1962 when he worked at a gas station. From the Clarkston News. “We want to pull heartstrings a little bit to take care of the guys who took care of us. These guys are dying off fast; we have to make sure they know how we feel about them.” –Tom Kryger, 2012-13 president of the Itasca Lions Club in Illinois, on his club’s promotion of a traveling World War II memorial that stopped in town. From the Daily Herald. “Since forever”–how long Kyler Cabebe, 8, has been riding a bike. –From a story on the bicycle safety clinic of the East Kauai Lions Club in Hawaii in The Garden Island. “I can keep it?” –Kiera Osborn, 9, upon receiving a dictionary, one of 78 given to third-graders at Pioneer Elementary by Lucerne Lions in Indiana. From the Pharos-Tribune. BY THE NUMBERS 741 Square inches (19” by 39”) of a custom-designed stained glass panel titled “The Essence of Windham” and featuring seven images of local places and things that was raffled off by Windham Lions in New Hampshire. 32 Teams that competed in the 2013 Lions Bonspiel (curling) in Wisconsin. 300 Reflective armbands donated to police for the public by Nanaimo Lions in British Columbia, Canada, after an elderly man was struck by a car and killed. 7,000+ Envelopes stuffed by Colchester Lions in Connecticut and sent to residents for the club’s annual appeal. 100+ Craft beers from 36 breweries available for sampling at the Brewfest of Monticello Lions in Minnesota. 264 Cases of fruit sold in the last five years by charter member Herb Lidtke of the Beaver Dam Lions Club in Wisconsin, chartered in 1953. 15 YEARS AGO IN THE LION APRIL 1999 Hailed as “a warrior against diabetes,” Lion Bob Scheidt, 44, of the Kutztown Lions Club in Pennsylvania walks across the United States to raise funds to fight the disease that he has had for more than 20 years. Digital LION Read the full story on Bob Scheidt at www.lionmagazine.org. ONE OF US DR. ALI HAIDER Dr.Ali Haider will never forget what he was once told by someone in Ghana: that being blind is a fate worse than death. That’s what drives this ophthalmologist and Louisville Downtown Lion to travel away from his wife, three children and busy practice in Kentucky several times a year to help people in some of the most remote parts of the world regain their sight. Haider has had malaria in Africa, been “shown off” around town against his will by a tribal chief in Iraq and crossed a river in his homeland of Pakistan using a makeshift pulley, all in the name of reaching those who need him. With his new nonprofit World Sight, Haider is bringing vision— and a chance at life—to more people than ever. Why do you think people believe blindness is worse than death in some parts of the world? In a country like Ghana, when a blind person cannot help support his family he becomes a burden in a place where people are already starving. The fact that I can go into a country with a briefcase and a few tools and help people avoid that fate is my passion. It’s often a simple cataract surgery that only costs about $15 per eye. How did you develop such a passion for helping those in need? As a child in Pakistan, my father was the only physician in our entire region. My earliest memories are watching my dad help people. I knew I wanted to make the biggest difference I could using the least resources. My first trip as an eye surgeon— with help from the Louisville Downtown Lions—was back to Pakistan. In several days I restored sight for 120 people. It’s the most gratifying feeling to be able to do that. You’ve been in some dangerous situations. Why do you keep going back? There is just so much need. In most of the villages where I work, there’s no doctor for hundreds of miles. In all of northern Ghana there’s only one ophthalmologist. When I was there, a 10-year-old girl walked with her blind grandfather for two days to reach me. They slept on the ground, had little to eat and waited in a long line for his cataract surgery. Twenty minutes after meeting me, the grandfather could see his granddaughter for the first time. What does World Sight do? With World Sight my partners and I are training physicians in the developing world to perform eye exams and cataract surgeries. Along with volunteers and local Lions, we’ve set up clinics using existing infrastructure in Pakistan, Ghana, Iraq and Madagascar, and soon we’ll be in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. The best part is knowing that even when I’m not there, people are being helped. This brings me peace. Learn more about World Sight at www.worldsightnow.org. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line. CLUB of the MONTH WHITING, INDIANA YEAR FOUNDED: 1929 MEMBERS AND MEETINGS: On the first and third Thursday evenings, the Lions gather in a church meeting room. Once a month a Lion sponsors dinner for all to enjoy while discussing club business. The club, with members from 28 to 81 years old, is proud to have three optometrists among its ranks. REMEMBERING VETERANS: The Lions took an aging veteran’s memorial under their care two years ago, making improvements such as installing flag poles and lighting and initiating a memorial brick program. BBQ BEFORE BATTLE: The Lions show their support for two local high schools with a more than 80-year football rivalry. Before the big game, they bring the players, coaches and cheerleaders together for a barbecue and camaraderie. The Lions present a trophy to the victorious school as well as a $500 college scholarship to one standout student. ELEVATED ANNIVERSARY:To celebrate their club’s 75th anniversary, the Lions brought Serena’s Song, the world’s first wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon, to their community for two days. Thirty disabled children and their families enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience of soaring over Whiting in the big blue balloon. FIRST RESPONDERS: When an apartment building suffered a terrible fire last year, the Lions were among those helping the victims find comfort in a temporary home at the community center. After reaching out to District 25 A, the Lions donated more than $4,000 to the 10 families who lost everything. OUT AND ABOUT: The small club makes their presence known in the community by having a booth at Oktoberfest, walking in the July 4th parade, selling raffle tickets at Cruise Nights, participating in the Pierogi Festival and holding a Christmas party for children with special needs. WHY SERVE?“To me, being a Whiting Lion isn’t just wearing a purple shirt or a cool Lions pin. It's a commitment to help others and at the same time have the camaraderie of other Lions who have the same goals.” –Lion Linda Miklusak Digital LION Read about the Digital LION Club of the Month at www.lionmagazine.org.
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