OHIO BOY WINS ESSAY CONTEST Jalen Ballard, 12, of Toledo, Ohio, is the grand prize winner of the 2014-15 Lions International Essay Contest for visually impaired youths. Jalen, who will receive $5,000, will be honored in June in Honolulu at the international convention. The contest’s theme was “Peace, Love and Understanding.” Jalen’s essay includes: “Being blind myself, some people may feel sorry for me and think that I can’t do basic things on my own such as getting dressed, cutting my own food, opening water bottles, walking from Point A to Point B and so on. But very few people realize that I am a fully-functional human being, aside from my limited vision. … If we as a society can become understanding of others’ differences, everyone will feel more valued, and this will help create a more peaceful world.” The Sylvania Sunrise Lions Club sponsored Jalen. The award was announced in March in New York at Lions Day with the United Nations. Digital LION Watch a short video on the essay contest at lionmagazine.org. 100 SECOND CENTENNIAL VIDEO PREMIERES The second centennial video, a brief recounting of the impact of Lions Clubs’ founder Melvin Jones, is part of the latest LQ, the Lions Quarterly video magazine. The video describes Jones’ relentless passion to grow Lions Clubs. He often traveled 200,000 miles a year, by train, airplane and even by burro, to start clubs. Upcoming centennial videos will focus on Lions as Knights of the Blind, expansion of Lions, peace/international understanding and other themes. The first centennial video, a five-minute story on the founding of Lions Clubs, was part of the January 2015 LQ. Digital LION Watch the centennial videos at lionmagazine.org. U.N. DAY FOCUSES ON SIGHT, YOUTH A tradition for 37 years, Lions Day at the United Nations was held in March in New York. Among the highlights: International President Joe Preston and Macharia Kamau, the Kenyan Ambassador to the U.N., reviewed the progress of the Millennium Development Goals and explained the Sustainable Development Goals. A panel including two Lions and two U.N. officials discussed the needs of the world’s children. LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer detailed the successes of SightFirst, and Dr. Silvio Mariotti of the World Health Organization discussed the Lions/WHO childhood blindness centers. More than 500 Lions, Leos and guests attended. Lions and the U.N. share a longtime relationship. In 1945, Lions helped formulate the nongovernmental section of the U.N. charter. CARTOON, SHMARTOON! This clever cartoon appeared in the online New Yorker. But why not a Lions logo on the collection box? “I was not aware that was a Lions’ thing,” the cartoonist Emily Flake, 38, of Brooklyn, told the LION. “But I’m very glad to hear of your good work. I’ll be sure to drop off my (super-strong coke-bottle) glasses with you when it comes time for a new pair!” PRIZED MINIATURE CAR STOLEN Nashville is a small, trusting town in Indiana. “Ninety percent of the people here don’t lock their doors,” says Larry Hanson of the Brown County Lions Club. But that sense of community didn’t stop a thief from stealing the club’s prized miniature parade car. Lions had stored the oneman, gas-powered car in an unlocked area at a flea market owned by a Lion after a crash two years ago in which a Lion was injured. (He’s OK.) The police are investigating but “there is no hint, no clue” as to its whereabouts, says Hanson. Lionized with the club’s name and yellow and blue paint, the car was used in the club’s Spring Blossom Parade. The club bought the car in the 1970s. “It’s been part of the club longer than most members,” says Hanson. “We’re one of the biggest clubs in the state in one of the smallest towns.” The club has 82 members and draws heavily from Nashville, population 800. WORLDWIDE WEEK OF SERVICE FOR CHILDREN SET FOR MAY Lions Clubs International has designated May 16-22 as a Worldwide Week of Service to help children in need. Feed a child. Read a book to a classroom. Paint a playground. There are innumerable ways to help children. The service will count toward Lions’ centennial goal of serving 100 million people by 2017 if it is reported via the Service Activities Report on the online MyLCI system (mylci.lionsclubs.org). Clubs that report their centennial service activities will be awarded a banner patch based on their participation. Questions? Contact LCI at CSC@lionsclubs.org. By the Numbers 20 Temperature at the start of the Snowball Open, a golf tournament run in January by the Orono Lions in Minnesota that brought out 480 golfers and raised more than $10,000. 79,200 Pull tabs from aluminum cans given to Michigan City Lions in Indiana by Jack Benning, co-pastor of God’s Grace Ministries. 30 Blind and sightimpaired people who learned golf fundamentals from a PGA professional at the annual Cucamonga District Host Lions Club Golf Challenge in California. 90 Length in miles of a two-day “sidewalk sale” in 12 towns along historic Route 66 in northern Illinois during which Braidwood Lions sold brooms. 12 Length in inches of a pipe bomb in a parked vehicle disabled by the Penn State Bomb Squad that forced evacuees from more than a dozen homes to take shelter at the Ferguson Township Lions’ clubhouse in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania. 15 Gallons of spaghetti sauce prepared by Michael Quinn for the Elfinwild Lions’ biannual pasta dinner in Pennsylvania. Overheard “It’s good exercise, and I’m really, really happy when I find one.” —Justin Hoving, 7, who sells lost golf balls he finds at a golf course and gives the funds to Sycamore Lions in Illinois to buy eyeglasses for the needy. From the Daily Chronicle. “Even the biggest, meanest guys cry when their puppy leaves.” —Joe Polson, an inmate at the Newton Correctional Release Center in Iowa, commenting on the Lions’ Prison Puppy Program that raises Leader Dogs. From the Newton Daily News. 69 Years Ago in the LION MAY 1946 Lions support a traffic safety program in the United States and Canada led by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. More than 28,500 people died in auto accidents in 1945 and one million were injured. Police say many cars, not properly maintained, are mechanically unsound. The highway carnage had another cause: “The police are certain that during the war years drivers became rusty. Then with the end of the war and the abolition of gasoline rationing they cut loose.” Digital LION Read the complete story about the traffic safety program (May 1946 LION).
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