It’s Amazing, All Right! It wasn’t a trip around the globe and contestants weren’t forced to defy gravity or eat anything that was still moving, but the Amazing Race that Marlboro Lions in Massachusetts sponsored was still pretty exciting. The 18 teams performed a variety of daring feats, risking—well, if not all—at least their dignity—blowing bubbles, building birdhouses, eating pudding without a spoon and taking a math quiz. Each contestant paid a $20 entry fee, which included a pasta dinner at the race’s conclusion. There were 10 stages to the race, each requiring concentration, skills and yes, a bit of luck. The race was originally intended to be an annual event, but Randy Scott says it garnered so much media attention that Lions now plan to sponsor a race twice a year. Events included wading into waist-high water to retrieve a clue written on a floating jug or driving to the local Wal-Mart store to find a clue posted on the windshield of a car. Address locations were even tied to tree branches. Nothing was easy or obvious. The total driving distance for 15 separate locations was about 10 miles. “From the first challenge to the last, we had a blast!” says contestant Teresa Loftin Scarpato, president of the Marlborough Junior Women’s Club. “We loved scrambling around Marlborough and having a little friendly competition among the other teams.” Adds teammate Jodi Schoolcraft, “It was hilarious, hard and fun. I would do it again tomorrow!” While daunting, she says the course was “extremely well thought out, balanced and crazy fun.” The Junior Women’s Club team not only ran the race for the fun of it but also to show support for Lions. “We were very proud of another civic club doing something ‘out of the box’ for a fundraiser,” Schoolcraft emphasizes. In the water balloon toss, racers were required to collect a specified amount of water—after the balloons were tossed by teammates. The dilemma they faced was a double-edged sword (never good when tossing water balloons): a smaller amount of water and a longer distance or a larger amount and a shorter distance. Either way, collecting the water after balloons burst made for some pretty wet work. Scott says ages of contestants ranged from a young girl to the mid-fifties. One of the teams suffered a vehicle breakdown midway, but didn’t let it stop them. “Dad went home and got the second car and they finished— not well, but they finished,” laughs Scott. “And this group had the most fun!” The race raised $1,000, but also raised the profile of Marlboro Lions. Scott says that his previous role as a district membership chair helped him be creative. “My mantra was simple,” he says. “Do service. Make it fun for the Lions and the public. Publicize the heck out of it, especially the fun stuff.” And, Scott points out, one important thing to remember: “Ask people to help out or join while they are still laughing.” Bison Home on the Range The American Bison has been pictured on coins, flags, state seals, logos and has even been depicted as a sports mascot. It has enjoyed a long association as an iconic image of the old American West. Wyoming Lions, however, may have come up with a first: using the big, burly, bison as an opportunity to raise funds to help fight blindness in developing countries. The Lions of Wyoming Foundation raised nearly $25,000 for Campaign SightFirst II by selling raffle tickets to a bison hunt. No animal was hurt, however. The bison is still happily grazing home on the range after the winner donated it back to Lions. The foundation is committed to fulfilling its pledge of raising $100,000 for Campaign SightFirst II. Another fundraising effort is a spring candy sale. The Wyoming Lions’ foundation also sponsors the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp for visually impaired campers in Casper. Participants learn how to become more independent, interact with others who share a vision disability and enjoy all the usual camp activities. Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary, the foundation supports a variety of projects around the state in addition to the camp. Those include the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank, Rocky Mountain Lions Institute Foundation, Leader Dogs, Lions Early Childhood Vision Screening and LCIF.
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