Music Inspires and Entertains All Lions tend to sing the praises of their clubs, but one Lion in Grenada, Mississippi, composed an entire concert— all to raise money for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Morris “Moe” Hubbard penned the lyrics and music for a performance Grenada Lions cosponsored with the First Presbyterian Church, where the concert was staged. The 17 religious songs raised both spirits and money; only one, the 23rd Psalm, wasn’t composed by Hubbard. “It was a wonderful surprise when donations turned out to be over $1,500. Every penny was donated since there was no admission charge,” says Mary Stoker, president. The largest contribution was $500, given by a woman who told Lions she’d once worked next to a school for the blind and saw firsthand how guide dogs serve. Volunteer musicians and singers from the community performed, including Hubbard’s wife, Lion Pamela, a professional singer. Two of the couple’s musician friends played bass and acoustic guitars. Hubbard, playing piano, was accompanied by drummer Bill Daley, another member of the club. “Moe’s spent his life in a tuxedo playing the piano as a professional musician and arranging music for bands and vocalists. He’s really happy to find a way to incorporate his music into Lions’ service,” Pamela Hubbard says. Hubbard began his musical association with Lions early in life. A member of the Mississippi Lions All State Band as a teenager, he played the trumpet while marching in two international conventions in the 1950s. “When I semi-retired from my music career and moved back to Grenada, I was asked to join,” Hubbard says of the club where his father had been a longtime member. “I’m a Leo who just turned 80,” he says with tongue firmly in cheek. “My wife and I have always loved dogs, but we had a hound dog puppy show up in our backyard. He refused to go away, and we got attached,” Hubbard says. The puppy, aptly named Lucky, was the catalyst for the concert benefiting other dogs—those who serve the blind. Caring for Kids in Transition in Alaska Nancy Norton had an “aha” moment two years ago. It wasn’t merely a moment, though, since her inspiration is still changing lives. “I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never given much thought about foster care or the kids who are affected, but I guess that’s because it’s never involved me,” says Norton, who with her husband, Mike, is a member of the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club in Alaska. When she discovered that children were being shuffled off to foster homes with just a plastic bag holding their meager possessions, she immediately understood what a tough transition it must be for them. Asking the state’s Office of Child Services (OCS) how Lions could help, she learned they could provide backpacks filled with a few comforting items. “We advertised on social media and approached businesses for donations. Every dentist in town gave us toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss,” Norton says. A local Moose Lodge gave “Tommy the Moose” stuffed animals to the club. Lions shopped at thrift stores for “gently-used” backpacks and received books from Friends of the Library. Hotels donated sample-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Lions also staffed donation tables at a shopping mall. People dropped off more than 100 new and nearly-new backpacks, 600 stuffed animals, nearly 300 shampoos, 263 toothbrushes, soaps, coloring books, toys, books and more. “Little kids even showed up with their stuffed animals to pass on to make other kids happy,” says Tom Dawson. One backpack Lions received really stood out. “We don’t know who donated it, but tucked inside was a note that read, ‘This pack is a good companion. It made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro,’” says Norton. Lions laminated the note and placed it inside a pack pocket. “Maybe the teen boy who received this backpack will find value in what this other person went through and realize that as bad as this moment may be for him, all things are possible,” she says. Battling Hunger on the [Faux] Front Lines Map lines might look very different today had not the 700 British soldiers in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, successfully fended off approximately 3,000 American fighters during the War of 1812. The Battle of Stoney Creek was pivotal in the defense of Upper Canada. Since 1981, however, the battle still rages on as historical re-enactors portray soldiers and civilians on the actual site of the fighting. Lions may not wield muskets and hatchets, but they are widely acclaimed for their culinary skills with spatulas and skillets. “Stoney, as we’re called in the re-enactment community, is known by all for providing the best breakfast at any re-enactments,” says Stoney Creek Lion Alison Lennox. Last year, the battle’s bicentennial drew the largest crowd ever for the weekend event. Lions served 1,200 eggs, 600 heaping servings of homemade fries, 1,200 sausages, 1,200 slices of bread and 1,200 slices of bacon. To warm up the crowd on cold mornings, they dispensed more than 2,000 cups of hot coffee. While the breakfast was paid for entirely by the club, Lions did receive some help from members of PAWS, a youth group sponsored by the club. For their generosity, Lions were honored with a plaque recognizing their years of fueling battlefield participants with hearty meals. The re-enactment is performed twice a day followed by a fireworks show. “The re-enactors come from as far away as Ohio, Michigan, Winnipeg, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario to participate. They bring 1812 alive,” Lennox says. Costumes, living quarters, cooking utensils and artillery are all handmade and provided by the actors to lend authenticity. “The makeup and costumes are accurate for that era,” she points out. “Seeing the babies and children dressed up in their long dresses and bonnets and carrying their handmade plates and cups in a basket is just really exciting.” Held on the grounds of the 200-year-old Gage family homestead, Lennox says that the hundreds of white tents complete the “surreal and tranquil” image. A real re-enactment fan, she’s happy that Lions are involved. “This is so different than the usual way we serve the community,” she explains. Life Lessons for Bike Safety There may have been a few wheelies popped and a bit of hot-dogging, but Lions and volunteers goodnaturedly put enthusiastic children back on the right path to bike safety. “Oh, yes, I’ll say those kids were excited,” emphasizes Larry McGuire, a Chester Lion in Illinois. “They were whooping and hollering, riding fast and showing off.” At the suggestion of local bike enthusiast Tom Welge, Chester Lions sponsored a bike rodeo in an elementary school parking lot. Thirty children from 6 to 9 learned how to safely navigate the streets from Lions, police and hospital personnel. Bicyclists steered around an obstacle course while learning from police what traffic signs indicate and how to obey state bicycling laws. Hospital staff showed the children how to stretch without injury before riding their bikes. Everything was free for children—and for Lions, too. “We spent no money,” points out McGuire. A program called Helmets First provided free helmets and drinking water and hydration bottles were contributed. Six bicycles were donated as prizes by local shop CycleWerx, which also had one of its bike mechanics at the rodeo to give free tuneups and inspections before riders hit the streets. Leos See the Big Environmental Picture Hannah Leff tackles graffiti removal as routinely as she cleans local beaches. Like the rest of the members in the Soquel High School Leo Club in California, she’s encouraged by the school to participate in community service. Painting over graffiti is just one part of why she likes being a Leo in her community located near the Pacific Beach shoreline. “Each thing we do, whether it’s graffiti removal, a beach cleanup or anything along those lines, is just a little piece in the big picture,” says Leff, a sophomore. Her club is sponsored by the Cabrillo Host Lions Club. Lions and Leos also regularly plan cleanups of a mile-long stretch of beachfront. Adviser Krista Brassfield says, “You wouldn’t believe what we find—mattresses, old barbecue grills, tires. The kids come and go as they graduate. But no matter who’s in the club, they all want to focus on the environment.” A community center donates paint to cover the graffiti. The cans are collected at the Santa Cruz County landfill and mixed together for enough to cover the “art” of taggers who use the underpass to show off their work. “This helps to recycle the paint and save the program money on the cost of new paint,” explains Larah Connell, the county graffiti coordinator. “It’s kind of a cat-and-mouse game,” says Brassfield. “The underpass gets covered up with graffiti. Then we paint it, and a few weeks later it’s back to square one.” She says that not all the graffiti is unsightly. “Some if it’s almost beautiful, sort of like murals. The kids feel kind of bad covering it up, but we figure it’s giving the graffiti artists a fresh canvas to use.” Trash Equals Cash If it was metal, it was wanted. Old crutches, walkers, pots, pans, grills, fencing, lawnmowers, car parts, electric motors and even a small boat were hauled out and recycled in Vinton, Iowa. Lions sponsored a scrap metal recycling project that made residents dig deep down into basements, kitchens, sheds and garages to toss out 22.5 tons of scrap and another 19 tons of appliances for recycling. Lions not only made $3,800, but also helped dispose of unwanted and unused items cluttering property in their town of 5,200. “About half of our 80 members were involved. Donors with trucks full of scrap metal were there way before our advertised 8 a.m. start time,” says Julie Zimmer. Three appliance dealers also donated nonworking trade-ins. Lion Pat Lyons offered his business property for two semitruck trailers and several large roll-out containers. He also arranged for five employees to safely run forklifts and operate other equipment. “One of the strangest things was the cab frame from a pickup,” says project chair Rick Ohrt, who adds that it was quickly disassembled into smaller pieces with a cutting torch. A common item destined for the scrap heap was exercise equipment. Curbside pickup was available at no charge for disabled or elderly residents unable to haul their own scrap metal. Lions received help from members of a Boy Scout troop they sponsor. Funds earned from selling the donated scrap will help support Boy Scouts, a literacy program, college scholarships, vision testing for preschoolers and the Iowa Lions Foundation.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Service/1983208/254273/article.html.