First Roar LIONS TARGET TECHNOLOGY USE LCIF is partnering with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to close the computer technology gap for those with vision loss. People with visual impairments lag significantly behind sighted people in acquiring and using computers and digital technology. LCIF recently awarded AFB $125,000 to understand the steps needed to bridge the technology divide. Lions and AFB envision eventually working on the problem with university programs for the teachers of the visually impaired, occupational therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, schools for the blind, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and others. Helen Keller was a longtime AFB employee, and Lions and AFB enjoy of a long history of working together. HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? Service dog badges and vests are easily obtained online with no verification, making it likely people without disabilities are gaining access to public places with untrained pets, according to a Chicago TV station. CBS 2 investigative reporter Pam Zekman purchased a service dog vest and identification badge online for her pet collie and took Sophie with her to two stores without being questioned. A retired police officer working undercover with Zekman used phony dog credentials to enter a movie theater and restaurant. The Canine Companions for Independence is urging the federal government to outlaw the sale of fake service dog credentials. STRANDED MAN AIDED AFTER FLASH FLOOD After a flash flood basically stranded in his home a man who uses a wheelchair, Fayetteville Lions in Tennessee helped end his isolation. The club paid a contractor to repair a damaged culvert that isolated Bobby Hazelwood. From his house on the night of the storm, Hazelwood watched as a large log floating down the flooded stream hit a vehicle crossing over the culvert. Marshall Arney, a Lion since 1969, coordinated the repair work. FEMALE MEMBERSHIP INCREASES TO 26 PERCENT The recent fiscal year was a banner one for female membership. Forty percent of all new Lions in the year that ended June 30, 2014, were women. That brings female membership up to 26 percent. The percentage of female Lions was 28 percent in the United States and 28.2 percent in Canada. The constitutional area with the most women was South America/Central America/the Caribbean and Mexico with 43.5 percent. Last was Europe with 20.7 percent. The board of directors approved in July the continuation of the Family and Women task force to increase female membership and leadership as part of a longstanding effort toward those goals. HONOR WWII HOMEFRONT HEROES Gold Dome Lions in Charleston, West Virginia, are supporting a national effort to recognize women who served on the homefront during World War II by working defense factory jobs. Under the “Rosie the Riveter” moniker, these women became a symbol of strength during wartime. Lion Anne Montague, the daughter of a “Rosie,” is executive director of Thanks! Plain and Simple (thanksplainandsimple.org), dedicated to recognizing these women for their work. “Through Thanks! Plain and Simple, our club became acquainted with several Rosie the Riveters,” says Lion Jim McMillon. “We are proud to have two ‘Rosies’ in their 90s who are now members of our club.” ONE OF US AMANDA ROSS Amanda Ross claims a lot of firsts. She was a first-generation college student, the first female president of the Alum Creek Lions in West Virginia, the youngest-ever district 29 O governor and possibly the first person to receive a marriage proposal at the Eiffel Tower directly following an international convention. Ross, a 32-year-old newlywed and elementary school counselor in the tight-knit community of Tornado, takes in all in stride, figuring someone was bound to be first, so why not her? Did you set out to be so groundbreaking? No, I think I’m just outgoing, and I like to jump in and try things. When I became president of my club, I was 28. Most of the club was older men, but it was great. If you show your dedication, no one cares about gender or age. I did dress professionally and made the position dignified. Now I’m back to wearing jeans! You became district governor at the Hamburg International Convention last year, a trip that turned out to be quite memorable. My boyfriend, Dean Ross Jr., also a Lion, went to the convention with me, and we had an amazing time. Afterward we took the train to Paris. That night we were sitting on the lawn at the Eiffel Tower—which happens to be my all-time favorite thing. When Dean said he wanted to give me something, I thought it was going to be an Eiffel Tower key chain. But he proposed and I was so surprised! You two go way back. We met and became best friends during college at Marshall University where I was studying criminal justice and sociology. Did you know then that you wanted to be a school counselor? I actually wanted to be a correctional counselor. But I had an epiphany one day when I realized that I would rather counsel kids to help them not end up in prison in the first place. How do you know when you’ve really helped a student? I can watch a student’s progression throughout the year. One second-grader was an outsider at the beginning of the year, but he had a complete turnaround by the end of the year. It’s amazing how when a child knows they are safe and cared for how he will grow and blossom. How do you help students through especially tough times? When something traumatic happens, the most important thing is to be present and listen. I’ve had students who have lost parents or fellow classmates. Too often we want to talk to children and tell them what to do or feel, when all they really need is for someone to listen. I’m honored to be able to do that for them. 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. OVERHEARD “Shoot, yeah, I’m excited about it. It’s the biggest game of the year in Alabama football.” –M.J. Humphries, the winner of the Warrior Lions Club raffle for two tickets to the Alabama vs. Auburn game. From Al.com. “You hardly ever see a tractor like that. It was there, and I was there.” –Chuck McCormick, who successfully bid $22,000 in an auction of a “parade-ready” 1966 John Deere tractor donated by the Bocker family, longtime members of the Polo Lions in Illinois. Seventy-five percent of the $22,000 went to the club, and the rest to the bidder’s charity of choice– research to prevent pancreatic cancer. From the Ogle County News. “She came into my store weeks after the surgery, and she could pick out her own candy with nobody to lead or help her. … This little fiveyear- old girl opened my eyes. You have to see a miracle and the magic in the miracle. Then you want to go to work, promote and raise some money.” –Lion Bill Teague, the founder of the 37th annual Trumann Lions Club barbecue in Arkansas, on being inspired by a visually impaired girl whose sight was restored in 1974 thanks to his club. All proceeds from the fundraiser go to the blind or visually impaired. From the Democratic Tribune. BY THE NUMBERS 341 Career saves of Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, the star of the 35th annual sports card show of the Ephrata Lions in Pennsylvania. 3,800 Pieces of chicken, as well as 11,100 ears of corn and 600 pounds of coleslaw, sold at the 50th annual chicken barbecue of the Goodhue Lions in Minnesota. 70 Disabled veterans treated to a party and given gifts of fleece blankets and socks by Jurupa District Lions in California. 100 Eyeglass frames donated to the Huron Lions Club in South Dakota by retiring optometrist Dr. Robert Johnson. 300 Dollar amount in pledges required to gain release from behind bars for participants in the Jail or Bail fundraiser of the Fort Frances Voyageur Lions in Ontario, Canada. 9,000+ Rehoboth Beach Lions Club telephone directories hand-delivered by members to Delaware residents. The directory has been the club’s main fundraiser for nearly 70 years. 63 YEARS AGO IN THE LION OCTOBER 1951 Tulsa Brookside Lions in Oklahoma made a pair of shorts measuring 96 inches at the waist to publicize Shorts Day. The Lions then mailed the shorts to a Paul Bunyan museum in Minnesota. The Lions’ partner on the special day was a businessman’s group, which wanted to reassure customers it was OK to dress casually while they shopped. CLUB of the MONTH LEECHBURG-GILPIN, PENNSYLVANIA YEAR FOUNDED: 1948 MEETINGS AND MEMBERS: The Lions meet on the first and third Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Coco Coffeehouse. The 20-member club is mostly made up of retirees, but the membership also includes a priest, store manager and college administrator. The club is benefiting from a recent influx of younger members, primarily found through word of mouth. ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, SERVE: Looking to raise both money as well as the club’s profile in the community, the Lions held their inaugural annual 5K run/walk last fall. With 48 participants and 22 sponsors, the Lions were pleasantly surprised at the community’s support. A “PARKED” IMPROVEMENT: Some of the $2,100 raised from the 5K was put right to use for the community’s park. The Lions helped renovate a pavilion, conduct electrical repairs and improve the park’s road. NO CHILD LEFT OUT IN THE COLD:The Lions provide the school district’s nurse with a Kmart gift card to purchase items such as coats and shoes for students in need. EARLY CLAIMS TO FAME: In the late 1940s the Lions helped make the community safer by providing the first Leechburg police car radio. In the ‘60s, they made a splash by helping to build the town’s first community pool. ON THE ROAD AGAIN: One day each spring and fall the Lions head out on a two-mile stretch of road for a cleanup. Their adopt-a-highway days always prove to be productive with piles of roadside debris collected. RESOURCEFUL FUNDRAISING: The Lions have held a Pampered Chef sale, sold frozen chocolate-covered bananas at Little League games, raffled a gas card and sold hoagie tickets for a local shop to keep service project funds flowing. WHY SERVE? “Lionism is more than wearing swag, attending a meeting or participating in an event. Being a Lion is serving your community always.” –Lion Melinda Kulick Digital LION Read about the Digital LION Club of the Month at lionmagazine.org.
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