AFRICAN NATION JOINS LIONS Lions Clubs International has become bigger by adding one of the world’s smaller nations. São Tomé and Príncipe became LCI’s 210th country or geographic territory. The São Tomé Rosa Porcelena Lions Club was chartered in October with 30 members. The Portuguese-speaking island nation is located off the western coast of Central Africa. The nation’s two main islands are São Tomé and Príncipe. The country’s population is 187,000, the second smallest African nation behind Seychelles. BLIND SAILORS TAKE ON LAKE MICHIGAN Blind sailors from six nations competed in a race on Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, last fall. Teams from Australia and Great Britain claimed first places at the IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championship. The three-person crews navigated the course via an audio system that played a unique sound for each boat. Sheboygan Lions prepared meals for the sailors and assisted them with offshore needs. Prior to the race, Lion BJ Blahnik of Sheboygan, who has limited vision, told the Wisconsin LION he took up sailing again after hearing that the race was coming to his town. “In no time at all, I was driving a sailboat all by myself for the first time in 12 years,” he wrote. “I hope someday to be like those sailors [in the race] who do not see themselves as impaired. Rather, they all say, ‘Why not me?’” INDIANA LIONS PUT BEST PAW FORWARD Indiana Lions not only beautified their state office building but also paid tribute to their long history and recognized their 403 clubs. Past International President Wayne Madden of Indiana helped dedicate the new entryway to the Indianapolis office last year. The plaza tells the story of Indiana Lions from W.P. Woods of Evansville, the first president of Lions Clubs International in 1917-18, to the many outstanding service projects of Indiana Lions. The Indiana Lions Foundation used an engraved brick program to fund the beautification. LIONS MUSEUM IN GEORGIA OPENS A devotee of Lions memorabilia, Chip Nedza patiently amassed every collector’s Lions pin ever produced in Georgia. Then, simply by asking, he secured a treasure trove of Lions material from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a longtime Lion. This is the makings of a museum, Nedza thought. And so it was. The Lions Museum at the Georgia Lions Lighthouse in Chamblee opened last year. The museum displays more than 1,200 Lions items. The collection is a testament to Lions as not just a club but as a way of life. The Lions logo and colors are part of hats, shirts, ties, jewelry, watches, clocks, buttons, ash trays, pocket knives, license plates and more. Also on display are banners, patches, pins, bells and gavels. The history of Lions in Georgia is told through rare photos, letters and newspaper and magazine stories, says Nedza, district 18 N governor and the state historian. Dozens of items relate to Past International President Jim Ervin of Georgia 1999-2000. Among them are gifts from Lions worldwide and congratulatory letters from dignitaries including then-President Bill Clinton. The Carter collection includes his Tail Twister pin from 1956-57, his district governor pin from 1968-69 and his 60-year chevron. Perhaps the most poignant display is a hefty 18-volume Braille Bible. Linda Lea Salzman, born blind in 1948, received the books from New Jersey Lions when she was 10. After Salzman died in 2013, her sister gave the books to her friends, Lions Glen and Ann Hall of the Statesboro Lions Club in Georgia, who donated the Bible to the museum. INVESTED IN LIONS Most photos posted by Lions on LCI’s Flickr site show projects, events or meetings. A Lion from the Izmir Turk Cyber Lions Club in Turkey took a different approach. The symbolism is in the eye of the beholder: when you don your vest, Lions are close to your heart? Or, we often say Lions roar but it’s more like a meow—a gentle, lovable sound full of good will. SUPPORT CENTENNIAL STAMPS The Lions International Stamp Club (LISC) is asking Lions worldwide to promote Lions Clubs International’s 100th anniversary in 2017 by having stamps issued in each member nation. Lion Bob McClelland, a past member of the Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee, advises Lions to stress the accomplishments of clubs in their own countries when writing to postal authorities. In 1967, Senegal, Brazil and Peru issued special stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of LCI. “Hundreds of similar stamps have been issued over the last 96 years,” says Howard Levenson, coordinator of the LISC’s Centennial Stamp Project. Visit lisc.nl to learn how to promote this global effort. Governments issued stamps honoring Lions’ golden anniversary. Learn more at lionmagazine.org. One of Us Celine Childs Whitemarsh Lion, Pennsylvania As her club’s first female club president—now in her third term—Childs has never let a potentially dangerous genetic condition, disability from a tragic car accident or the challenges of aging get in the way of her drive to give back and step up. I Love a Parade I got to know the Lions when I coordinated our town’s tricentennial parade and they were a sponsor. I had no idea how to organize a parade, but somehow it turned out great. I kept thinking of Barbra Streisand singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade”! Undeterred by Disability I have albinism, so I’m nearsighted and very sensitive to light. You won’t find me at the beach, but it’s never held me back. Thankfully my sight is good enough that I can drive, and I loved being a nurse for 28 years. A Natural Leader As a child I did a psych test and was told I was a leader. I didn’t think much about it, but I do often think, if I don’t do it, who will? I know how to crochet, but I can’t sit still. I’m happiest when I’m solving problems and getting something done. Healing through Serving My husband and I were in a horrible car accident in 1989. I broke my back, and my husband had a bad concussion. We both went on disability. After a year of rehab, I started volunteering more. I wasn’t able to work, but I could still help others and be involved in the community. Advocate for the Elderly I started a new residents’ association at my senior living community which addresses real issues, like installing surveillance cameras. I’m proud that we formed a small card and candy shop run by volunteers. The residents can stop in, buy a candy bar and socialize there. Irish Roots My family immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland when I was 4. I’ve visited five times. I have 78 cousins there! I’m always stunned by how photogenic everything is—even a disheveled shack. I’ve taken hundreds of photos. My favorite thing to do is to get up in the morning and sit with the sheep. They’re very patient—they wait for me to change my lens! Marrying a Blind Man BY MARGARET PHALOR BARNHART “You don’t plan to marry a blind man, do you?” queried my mother. I had met Jim (not his real name) early in my freshman year of college in Ohio. For our third date he invited me to a concert in downtown Columbus. He used a cane that led him along the sidewalk and up and down steps. I learned to let him take my arm so he could feel the motion of my body. The music was terrific but the chemistry wasn’t there. That was our last date. I graduated and taught fifth grade. One of the girls was blind. An excellent student, “Susan” used a Braille writer and books and a typewriter. All went well until it came time for me to teach volleyball. I asked Susan to help me keep score. Wrong! Susan stomped out of the gym and walked several blocks to her home. Soon she returned with her mother, who assured me it was OK for her to play volleyball. Years later, working as a counselor in an elementary school, I taught classes that included hearing and visually challenged children. The teacher of the visually impaired was blind. “Janice” managed her classroom with the help of her guide dog and aide. She and I became friends. The first time we went out to eat her salad came with an anchovy on top. Janice picked it up with her fork and put it in her mouth. She immediately spit it out. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked. Another day we ate pancakes. As I was spreading the ball of butter over my flapjacks I saw Janice use her fork to place the butter in her mouth. She said, “Please tell me these things.” From then on I did. Janice lived alone in a house she had purchased. A large ticking clock helped her know where she was in the room. Another clock struck every 15 minutes. Her door bell connected to a speaker indoors so she could ask who was there. She traveled to school and elsewhere on a city bus. She was amazingly self-sufficient. Years ago, I signed up for a massage at my local fitness center. Charlie, the masseur, was blind. I heard it was best to remove all my clothing. With a towel wrapped around me Charlie told me how to fit my body into the sheets so that I would be completely covered. A gesture I appreciated, he discreetly stepped out of the room while I positioned myself on my back. Charlie was a master at his trade. Exposing one limb at a time, his gentle massage began at my fingers and up to my shoulder. He proceeded with each foot and leg, then the other arm and my back. It was incredibly relaxing. Blind since age 10, Charlie was very professional and trustworthy. Over three years I got to know him well. For six months I stopped going, then signed up once more for a massage. My husband and I had separated and were headed for divorce after 28 years of marriage. Charlie told me his wife had died 10 years ago and he lived alone in his apartment. Some days, when I noticed Charlie had an open slot, we would go for a walk. One day I spied a robin’s egg on the grass. His daughter is named Robin. I picked up the egg and gently placed it in his hand. He told me no one had ever done that before. Charlie and I were married in a pine forest at a nature center. Birds were chirping. Airplanes flew overhead. Purely by chance our wedding day coincided with a nearby air show. Mother was there, and yes, she accepted Charlie into her life, even asking him for a massage! Margaret and Charles Barnhart are members of the Tucson Rincon Lions Club in Arizona. Overheard “They really wanted to help others before helping themselves.” –Rodney Bergman, president of the Gifford Lions Club in Illinois, on his club’s fundraisers for residents affected by a tornado even though at least 10 Lions saw their homes damaged or destroyed. From the News-Gazette. “When you talk to a kid right now, the first thing they do is pull out their iPad or something and go to the Internet. We are really pushing social media like Facebook.” –Past District Governor Calvin Parker of South Carolina on efforts to establish Leo clubs. From the Times and Democrat. 42 Years Ago in the LION FEBRUARY 1973 International President George Friedrichs of France met Pope Paul VI in a private audience at the Vatican. The two leaders discussed world peace and attaining human solidarity. The pope also congratulated Lions for their service. By the Numbers 783 Three pointers made last year by four local high school basketball teams in the Shoot for Sight project of Crossville Lions in Tennessee. Lions secured pledges from businesses and residents for each shot made, resulting in $2,715 for vision care. 20 Price in dollars a woman offered for a Christmas tree stolen from the lot of Bennington Lions in Vermont. Charged with petty larceny, the woman told police she thought the trees were free because there were no signs indicating price. 1,200 Newspapers sold on street corners in two days in December by Memphis Lions in Michigan to raise funds for holiday turkeys. Lions sell ads to businesses and wrap the ads around The Free Press and Detroit News. 335 One-pound packages of sausage resulting from two hogs purchased from 4-Hers at the county fair by Paoli-Meridian Lions in Indiana. The Lions donated the sausage to a food pantry. 8.5 Pounds of pull tabs collected for Sutter Creek Lions in California by 20-year-old Joey Menschel, who has autism. 13 Percentage of large American flags displayed per town population last July 4th in Garber, Oklahoma, thanks to a Garber Lions fundraiser. The town of 850 displayed 109 flags. 400+ Birthdays of residents listed in the calendar created and sold by Wakefield Lions in Kansas. 600 Pounds of raccoon served at the Danville Lions Club Raccoon Dinner in Ohio. The dinner includes mashed potatoes, vegetables and, of course, raccoon gravy. 6 Length in miles of a ski trail in Wisconsin kept open because Minocqua Lions paid the trail’s liability insurance.
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