First Roar U.N. DAY FEATURES NOTABLE SPEAKERS A Nobel Peace Prize winner and a Lion who cofounded a Lost Boys group were among the speakers at the 36th Lions Day with the United Nations in February in New York. Adil Najam, who shared the 2007 Nobel with Al Gore, spoke on environmentalism, and Lion William Mou, who helped found Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan, reflected on his experiences and the importance of literacy and civic education. Also speaking were International President Barry Palmer; Usman Iftikhar, a sustainable development expert for the United Nations; Simona-Mirela Miculescu, Romania’s U.N. ambassador; and Lion Wendi Dwyer of Illinois, who promotes literacy in Sudan. Four hundred Lions and guests attended the day. CORNEAL TRANSPLANTS SAVE $6 BILLION Corneal transplants performed in the United States last year will result in nearly $6 billion in total net benefits over the lifetime of the recipients, according to a study by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). With a corneal transplant, a person avoids direct costs of vision loss such as higher routine medical costs and the indirect costs of potential years of lost productivity. Eye disorders are the fifth costliest to the U.S. economy after heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions. More than half of all EBAA-member eye banks were founded by Lions Clubs. DRUMHELLER SELECTED TO LEAD HEADQUARTERS The International Board of Directors announced in March that attorney Scott Drumheller will lead Lions’ headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, as executive administrator and secretary, effective April 1, 2014. He succeeds Peter Lynch, who retired as senior executive administrator because of health reasons. Drumheller joined Lions Clubs International in September 2003 as its general counsel, and he also served as secretary since 2006. Lynch now is serving Lions Clubs International as chief strategic adviser. “I would like to thank Peter for his dedication and outstanding service to the association and foundation over the past 24 years. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve the association in my new capacity,” says Drumheller. Says Lynch, “I can’t say enough about how pleased I am, with the board’s blessing, to be handing over the baton to Scott. We are all very fortunate to have someone with his great abilities.” NEPALESE BOY WINS CONTEST Ashish Karki, 12, of Nepal is the grand prize winner of the 2013-14 Lions International Essay Contest for visually impaired youths. Ashish, who will receive $5,000, will be honored in July in Toronto at the international convention. The contest’s theme was “Our World, Our Future.” Ashish’s essay includes: “What will be in the future? I always ask myself this question. Nobody is responsible for us. The modern era is deeply rooted in self-centeredness, violence, crime and lack of certitude. To eradicate these tendencies we have to bring the light of peace, justice, brotherhood, responsibility and rational human behavior through education.” The Kathmandu Ramechhap Lions Club sponsored Ashish. The award was announced in February in New York at Lions Day with the United Nations. ONE OF US What made you turn your life around? After high school, I was depressed, unhealthy and angry. I went to the school for the blind in Halifax, and things started to change. I met inspiring role models, learned skills and boosted my confidence. The CNIB gave me a laptop, and I could use the Internet. I gained freedom with a guide dog. A new YMCA opened near home. I began exercising, lost weight and was hooked! You had quite a series of life-changing experiences. Those organizations and people saved my life. When I finally accepted my blindness, it was like being reborn. I did things I never thought I’d do, like going to cooking school. The CNIB provided a talking scale, an aid and other tools. Now I love to cook healthy food every day. What was that first triathlon like? I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but my buddy and volunteer at the Y believed I could. I was dead last, but I never gave up. When we crossed the finish line and I heard cheering, I had goose bumps! We did seven triathlons together. How did the Craig Gives Back-2-Back Cross Canada Bicycle Tour come about? My friend Lloyd McClean had on his bucket list to ride across Canada. I was really excited that he asked me to join him. We trained for a year! In addition to being a personal challenge, we made the ride a chance to give back to three of the organizations that changed my life. Unfortunately, you were injured early in the ride. I had a bad knee injury, and I had to drop out to heal. It was really hard to do, but someone was able to take my place. I rejoined them for the latter part of the ride. And you were able to give back? Yes, I’m so glad we raised $10,000 [US$9,048] for the charities. I used to be weak, but thanks to the help I received, I’m strong. I want to help other people become strong too. CRAIG AUCOIN When Craig Aucoin lost his sight as a teenager from retinitis pigmentosa, he fell into a deep depression. Struggling with hopelessness and anger, he gained weight and felt lost. But thanks to some instrumental services and people in his charming waterfront community of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada—most notably the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the YMCA and Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind—Aucoin turned his life around. Now 38, he’s an independent, accomplished triathlete who can cook up a storm. Last summer, Aucoin jumped at the chance to use his love of bicycling for a fundraising ride across Canada. Although things didn’t go as planned, this Pictou Lion continues to inspire as he pedals through life. 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. Digital LION Watch a video on Aucoin's ride at www.lionmagazine.org. CLUB of the MONTH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN YEAR FOUNDED: 2012 MANAGING MEMBERSHIP: Membership unavoidably fluctuates along with the student population, so the Lions keep up on recruitment throughout the year to maintain their sizeable club—currently at 108 members—by handing out flyers, networking through Facebook and inviting potential members to fun events. EVENTFUL MEETINGS: Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., auditorium doors open for Lions to mingle until the meeting start time of 6 p.m. After hearing Lions’ news items, answering Lions’ trivia questions and receiving the weekly “Lions Mission”— goals ranging from having lunch with a fellow Lion to taking part in that week’s fundraising event—the Lions participate in an ice-breaker activity to build community and boost energy for the meeting. SYMPHONY OF SERVICE: Putting their many musical talents to good use, Lions perform regularly at nursing homes. The Lions Orchestra inspires their senior citizen audiences to clap, smile and dance as they perform crowd-pleasing melodies. KEEPING AUSTIN BEAUTIFUL: The Lions conduct restoration projects at a creek a couple of times each semester. They also clean up unsightly graffiti around town, plant trees at the university’s tree nursery, pick up litter at a lake and tend to vegetables and plants at a small farm on campus. SERVICE WITHOUT BORDERS: The Lions raise awareness and funds for global causes through Operation H.E.R.E. (Help Establish Relief Everywhere). Last year they raised more than $1,000 through a bake sale, fried rice lunch sale and a volleyball tournament for Sower of Seeds, which fights human trafficking in Asia. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: On any given weekend, energetic and eager Lions can be found caring for animals at a shelter, helping refugees with job searches, tutoring children or serving lunch at a soup kitchen. These busy Lions logged more than 2,000 service hours last semester alone. WHY BE A LION? “There is one word that lies at the threshold of being a person with good intent, and being a true Lion: action. It’s taking what you have to give, and actually doing something about it. That is what it means to be a Lion.” – Lion Jennifer Chavarria Digital LION Watch an entertaining recruitment video created by the University of Texas Lions and read about the Digital LION Club of the Month at www.lionmagazine.org. OVERHEARD “I hear it!” –Jeremy King, 6, blind since birth, just before pouncing on a blue, beeping Easter egg in a hunt sponsored by Smithfield Lions Club in Virginia and 23 other clubs in District 24. From the Daily Press. “Yeah, we threw about $27,000 into the Conococheague. When that happens, people are bound to get interested.” –Dave Rotz of the Chambersburg Lions in Pennsylvania on the large turnout for his club’s annual trout derby. From the Chambersburg Public Opinion. “I think if you’re the type of person who wants to join the Lions it’s because you’re the type of person who wants to do it. Either you’re a Lion or you’re not. There is no in-between.” –Faye Mirr, zone chairperson and member of the Wauwatosa Lions in Wisconsin, in the Wauwatosa Now. BY THE NUMBERS 32 Years that Bedford Township Lions in Michigan have met at Erie Restaurant. Last year members dined on fried chicken for $6, the same meal and price as 30 years ago. 55 Residents who attended a candidates’ forum co-sponsored by Benson Lions in Arizona. 2 Place of Advait “Adi” Patel, 9, of West Virginia among 5,300 competitors, the largest in chess history, in the Super Nationals in Tennessee. Logan Lions near his home then helped pay for his travel expenses to the World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. 8 Youths with disabilities who learned to “sit ski” thanks to skis made possible by Whitefish District Lions in Ontario, Canada. 15.5 Height in feet of a two-sided clock tower donated to the borough by Hasbrouck Heights Lions in New Jersey. 10 Energy-efficient flat screen computer monitors donated to the library by Augusta Lions in Kansas. 150 Seniors treated to a turkey dinner and live music at the annual winter event of the Millbury Lions in Massachusetts. 2 Batting cages for youth baseball teams donated by West Salem Lions in Wisconsin. Digital LION 68 YEARS AGO IN THE LION MAY 1946 Will Terry, a past international director, and his wife accept the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, for their son, Seymour, killed on Okinawa a year earlier. The Army lieutenant ran through a hail of bullets to destroy five pillboxes with grenades and then singlehandedly successfully assaulted another enemy position before a mortar shell killed him. Digital LION Read the full story at www.lionmagazine.org.
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