Hurray for Hollywood! Bingo used to be big for Moncton Lions in New Brunswick, Canada. Then casinos started going up, and club revenue went down. New member Beth Peterson, a fan of game shows, had an idea. The club’s first Hollywood Game Night Corporate Challenge drew 12 teams, which dressed in costumes, themed outfits, feathered boas or matching T-shirts. Teams competed in Charades, Pictionary, Blindfolded 5-Letter Words, Link in the Chain and How Do You Doo Singing. “A player has to keep singing doo-doo-doo to a tune until somebody on the team gets the song title,” Peterson explains. She admits she had a favorite team: “That would be the Cereal Killers, complete with bowls and spoons.” The event was staged in the Lions’ spacious clubhouse, where Bingo had been held. The 32-member club enlisted more than 30 friends to help manage the teams and serve refreshments. The On-Airheads, a team of five disc jockeys, won the top prize, a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice. With Lions matching the prize, a $2,000 donation was given to the Friends of Moncton Hospital. The Boys and Girls Club of Moncton received $1,000, and $200 was also given to a pet rescue organization. Twelve feet of snow covered the ground the night of the event. “We had to find some indoor activities that will make some money for us when the snow starts falling,” says Peterson. “One of the guests told us that she had so much fun, she didn’t want to leave. She said, ‘Sign me up for the club!’ We did.” Lions Lead Camp Cleanup When the Girl Scouts put out a call for help to clean up Camp Sacajawea in Missouri, Lions answered—and standing with them was an entire community of volunteers. “When we explained the needs of the camp, folks had a pretty hard time saying no to us,” says project chair Lion John Meehan. Lions have been active in Sedalia since 1938. The Girl Scout camp had been a vital part of the community since 1942, and its hiking trails and campsites had become littered with debris and fallen trees from years of storms and little maintenance. Hiking trails throughout the camp’s 30 acres were considered hazardous, and the camp was in danger of being closed. Meehan coordinated work parties at the camp for 18 months. Volunteers from throughout Pettis County brought in heavy duty equipment to tackle the overgrown and unkempt acreage. Dead trees were cut up and hauled out. Twelve cords of wood were hauled out, stacked and sold after being removed from hiking trails. Profits were donated to the camp. What couldn’t be cut into firewood was burned by the fire department. There are now four hiking trails and three clearing campsites for Scouts and the community to use. “The usual amount of people we had working on a day was about 20, and they were spread out all over the woods,” says Meehan. Lions intend to keep the land clear and safe by organizing yearly work parties. These Monkeys Mean Business If Lion Carmen Presti had his way, Wilson Lions in New York would be adding some new tail twisters—complete with actual tails—to liven up club meetings. After all, the primates he cares for at The Primate Sanctuary he owns with his wife, Christie, have been involved in fundraising for Lions for the last four years. And it turns out that monkeys mean business when it comes to fundraising. “I think we’ve probably increased donations by 30 percent by having [capuchins] Sarah and Emily help us. You know, I think if I had a dollar for every time I heard somebody say, ‘Hey, you’ve got a monkey on your back!’ our donations would double,” says Presti with a laugh. Content to sit on Presti’s shoulders, they stop traffic while club members ask for donations to fund service activities. “We only have one traffic light on a main corner in Wilson, so it’s the only place people have to stop their cars. You just can’t drive by a monkey. Kids are always making their parents give us a dollar or two so they can talk to the monkeys,” he says. They march in parades with Lions, and love to hand out bananas to cyclists participating in the Tour de Cure event to raise awareness and funds for diabetes research. “Wilson is one of the stations where riders stop on the way from Buffalo to Alcott,” explains Presti. Lions volunteer at a way station to distribute water and, yes, bananas, to cyclists. Surprisingly, the capuchins readily hand over their favorite fruits to riders. “No, it’s not a problem at all for them to give up those bananas,” Presti says. “They know there’s always more.”
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