New Club Spins its Wheels Carol McCague, a Toronto Beaches Lion in Canada, is more comfortable in sales helping clients buy new condos in luxury high-rises, but she put on a pair of heavy gloves anyway to help Lions raise money for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCI) as part of the Wheelin’ Lions relay team. “It was a lot harder than I thought it would be,” she explains about navigating the chair around a track. “I’m fit, but I’m no spring chicken,” McCague adds with a laugh. Carol Minnich, president of the just-chartered Leaside Centennial Lions Club, organized a Lions team for SCI’s Wheelchair Race Challenge and Stroll. McCague, who served as a Guiding Lion for the new club, volunteered immediately. “There’s strength in numbers,” she says. `Twelve Lions participated, eight on the relay team and four as volunteers. Other clubs participating were the Toronto Netrayla, Toronto Bangladesh and Toronto Central clubs. The Lions’ team was among 30 that together raised CAD$105,000 (nearly US$80,000). The Toronto Doctors and Toronto Cathay Lions clubs pledged donations to the team, which raised $1,160. About half of the relay team members routinely use wheelchairs for mobility. “Their wheelchair quality and experience and capabilities were far beyond our Lions, which is why our team was dead last in the overall rankings. It took an average of 5.25 minutes for each of our Lions to do a quarter-mile lap. The fastest team averaged well under half that time,” Mike Minnich, Carol’s husband, points out. Lions chose among an assortment of wheelchairs made available for teams. They went for new and shiny. That was a mistake. “We were told that because it was so new, the wheels were tight,” says McCague. “They just didn’t spin the way they should have. Let’s just say we scored a lot higher in enthusiasm than we did in the final standings.” Lions Hit a Hole in One Many members of the River Hills/Lake Wylie Lions Club in South Carolina live on or close to the River Hills Country Club. So the club set a goal of collecting 1,000 gently used balls for Bunkers in Baghdad, which ships donated golf clubs and balls to American troops stationed overseas. A 34-gallon plastic barrel in the pro shop filled up. Lion Bill Holleman, whose home is on the 15th fairway, found 800 errant shots in his backyard. Other Lions fished balls from the golf course’s lake. Lions quickly filled 22 boxes with 8,000 used and even new balls. The club, which donates $100,000 yearly to 35 groups, saved 800 pounds of waste from going into a landfill. It cost the club only $600 to ship the boxes. Len Fleet, a retired judge who discovered the Bunkers initiative for his club, says he has been known as “the Judge.” Until now. He now answers to “the Golf Ball Man.” Helping the Blind Touch History Christopher Leffingwell, who died in 1810, was a patriot and merchant. His home in Norwich, Connecticut, now a museum, is a treasure trove of colonial America. Artifacts include a colonial sword, pistol, kitchen implements, lanterns, tobacco pipes and candles. It’s a place friendly to the visually impaired. Its periodic Touch of History tours allow the blind to get close to history. “Most museums are out of reach of the blind. Like most sightless people, I’ve been dragged off by family members or accompanied friends to museums. I can’t ‘ooh and ah’ at all these things because they’re behind glass,” says Kevin Harkins of the Norwich Lions Club who advised the museum on the tour. The president of the Society of the Founders, which owns and operates Leffingwell House Museum, is Greg Farlow; he and his wife, Cam, are Norwich Lions. Lions such as Art Mueller volunteer at the museum. The tours for the blind include narration by volunteers. “Each time we do a tour, we get suggestions and are constantly making
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