HELEN KELLER STATUE UNVEILED AT CAPITOL A bronze statue of a seven-year-old Helen Keller solving the mystery of language was unveiled in October at the U.S. Capitol. Installed by Alabama, the statue is part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue depicts the moment in 1887 when Helen’s teacher Anne Sullivan spelled out “water” in her hand while holding it under a water pump. Alabama Governor Bob Riley said the monument will teach visitors that “courage and strength can exist in the most unlikely places. Children especially need to be reminded of this basic truth, and this statue will get their attention.” The 600-pound statue was created by Utah artist Edward Hlavka. A committee led by Alabama first lady Patsy Riley raised private donations to cover the $325,000 cost of the project. Lions from Alabama and elsewhere and more than 40 of Keller’s descendants attended the dedication ceremony, and students from the Alabama Institute for the Deaf sang patriotic songs. The tribute to Keller replaces a statue of Jabez Curry, a Confederate officer and educator who was little known to Alabamans. Keller, of course, challenged Lions to be “Knights of the Blind” in a 1925 speech. PEACH BOWL FOUNDER DIES Past International Director George Crumbley, 86, the founder of the Peach Bowl/Chick-fil-A Bowl, died in September. The Peach Bowl was the nation’s first charity bowl. The game provided entertainment and generated support for charities such as the Lions’ Lighthouse for the Blind, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Crumbley served as executive director of Atlanta’s post-season collegiate football classic for 18 years until 1985. During that time, more than $1 million was raised for the benefit of the visually impaired in Georgia. The Peach Bowl is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Crumbley coordinated the 1982 international convention in Atlanta, then the largest convention ever held in the city with attendance exceeding 30,000. He worked in sales and management for CBS then in 1962 formed Crumbley & Associates, an advertising agency. SLUMDOG STARS MEET WITH CHILDREN Child actors from the Oscar-award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire talked about making movies and sudden celebrityhood with hundreds of schoolchildren in India. Sponsored by Lions clubs, the exchange was part of the Kochi International Film Festival in Kochi. Speaking to the children were Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, who played young Salim, and Rubina Ali, who played the young heroine Latika, 9. The two were the only reallife slumdwellers among the m ov i e ’s child stars. LIONS SUPPORT FORT HOOD Members of the two Lions clubs near Fort Hood took part in a 32-hour “Troops in the Spotlight” event after the shootings. Participants stood for 30-minute intervals in a Wal-Mart parking lot to show support. “The event had been planned prior to the tragedy; however, the turnout was more meaningful and probably accounted for the huge crowd honoring the troops and asking for God’s love and support for the many injured and killed just days before,” said Past District Governor Shirley Dillman, president of the Round Rock Noon Lions Club in Texas. Lions from her club and the Round Rock Dawn Busters, as well as others, contributed to memorial funds. The two clubs have participated in an “Adopt-AUnit” for deployed troops from Fort Hood over the past year.
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