They may be a couple of generations apart, but Lions and cadets enrolled in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton are discovering just how much they really do have in common. A partnership between the Augusta Lions Club and the Institute has introduced more than 200 young women who are enrolled in the world’s only all-female cadet corps to Lions and community service. The partnership came about after the campus Lions club dissolved. Many Lions work at the residential women’s college and the club donates a textbook scholarship each year. “We invite students to meetings who have been nominated by the leadership of the VWIL program,” says Bruce Dorries, an Augusta Lion and a college faculty member. “They tend to be diverse; go-getters who already engage in service or plan on a career in public service. Naturally, many of our club members are veterans, and it took no effort to convince them of the benefit of the collaboration and scholarship.” Lions and cadets have cleaned up a national cemetery and cleared a highway and creek of trash and litter. “Personally, I feel the connection between the VWIL and the Lions club is making each of us stronger women,” says Cadet Gretchen Domaleski, vice president of the Mary Baldwin College Class of 2011. “In college, people often have to search for a community service organization that meets their needs and fits their time schedule. Together with the Lions, VWIL offers its students a chance to help the local area and develop leadership qualities.” One recent joint project was the creek cleanup—a hands-on, all day, physically demanding effort that well-disciplined cadets easily tackled. Institute leaders “consider the service projects and breakfast meetings as an extension of their program’s larger mission–to educate and train civically engaged young leaders for both military and civilian life,” says Dorries. “Both the club and the corps are grateful for the partnership, which injects youth and energy into one organization and wisdom and experience into the other.” Touching the Senses in Iowa “Cool!” “Wow!” “Neat!” The exclamations kept coming after campers from Iowa’s Camp Courageous summer program for the visually impaired experienced the visiting Sensory Safari. The campers, many of whom had multiple disabilities, were amazed since so many of them had never touched animals larger than house pets. The exhibits were part of the Pierson Wildlife Museum Learning Center in Neligh, Nebraska. The educational traveling display is part of the museum’s collection of big game animals from four continents. The idea for bringing the collection of mounted animals to the camp came from Iowa Lions Foundation Trustee Phil Larabee, who grew up in the Neligh area, and whose family physician was Dr. Kenneth Pierson, owner of the collection of 150 exhibits. He recalled visiting the museum as a child, and believed the campers could benefit from a “Big Game” experience without leaving the campgrounds. Volunteers during the day included members of the L. A. Angels Single A minor league affiliate team, the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Camp Courageous Executive Director Charlie Becker says the visit made such an impact that “two days after the Sensory Safari, campers were still talking about it.” Royal Honor A Lions club in England has been nominated for a royal honor for its relief work after devastating floods last year. Morpeth Lions Club is in line for the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, according to The Journal. The floods left 1,000 Morpeth homes and businesses under water. Morpeth Lions raised 208,000 Euros (US$303,000) in emergency financial help for flooded families. Working with British Red Cross officials, the Lions gave cash grants to hundreds of flood victims. The Northumberland County Council recommended the club for the award. Andrew Tebbutt, a council official, praised the club: “Whatever requests are made of them, they always seem to manage to come up with the goods, and they go that extra mile to make a real difference to people in need.” Chartered in 1972, Morpeth Lions Club has 29 members. The club provides those in need with toys and food at Christmas as well as household items and day trips throughout the year.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/IDEAS+THAT+ROAR/244103/24409/article.html.