SERVE YOUTH IN YOUR COMMUNITY THIS AUGUST Lions worldwide will help children in their communities by hosting service projects Aug. 8-14 during Lions’ Worldwide Week of Service for Youth. From health and education initiatives to helping friends and neighbors meet children’s basic needs, there are countless ways to impact youth in your community and around the globe. It’s also a great way to help achieve the Lions’ centennial goal to serve 100+ million people. Learn more by visiting the Worldwide Week of Service for Youth page at Lions100.org. Joel Greek reads his essay at Lions Day with the United Nations in March. SOUTH AFRICAN BOY WINS ESSAY CONTEST The grand prize winner of this year’s essay contest for blind youth lives in a poor neighborhood in South Africa and lost his sight as a result of a brain tumor discovered when he was 6 months old. Joel Greek, 12, is the winner of the 2015-16 Lions International Essay Contest for visually impaired youths. A sixthgrader at the Athlone School for the Blind, he wrote a 500-word essay on the importance of sharing peace by eliminating inequality and discrimination. “I myself am a young boy with a disability, the only one in my family. Yet they accept me knowing I am capable of anything. We have an opportunity to change the world,” he wrote. Joel, who is blind in one eye and has partial vision in the other, will receive $5,000 and be honored at the 99th International Convention in June in Fukuoka, Japan. The award was announced in March in New York at Lions Day with the United Nations. The ceremony was attended by Joel, his mother, a secretary from his school in Cape Town and James Lang, president of the sponsoring Gordons Bay Lions Club. Extra Digital Content Essay contests have been a longtime staple for Lions Clubs—read a 1934 LION story on a wife whose first-place essay on the value of Lions’ membership praised her husband for becoming “more unselfish—a finer companion.” By the Numbers 2 Truckloads of logs sent by Forks Lions in Washington to Quincy Lions across the state, 330 miles away, in exchange for produce. For 36 years Forks Lions have distributed the produce to the needy while Quincy Lions cut the logs into firewood, to be sold or given to the elderly and disabled. 4 Leo clubs sponsored by Auburn Host Lions in California. 145 People with vision impairments fed at the North Carolina State Fair by Apex Lions. 25 Skydivers who performed at the Wheels and Wings event (which also featured 800 classic cars) sponsored by Osceola Lions in Wisconsin. The event commemorated the death in 1991 of seven people, including five members of a skydivers club, when two planes collided. 49 Bikes sent to people in Cape Town, South Africa, by Seaforth Lions in Ontario, Canada. 14 Skipjacks that competed in the 56th skipjack races of the Deal Island Chance Lions Club in Maryland. There are only 34 skipjacks left, traditional fishing boats used on Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging. 3 Length in miles of the canoe and kayak race held by Wakefield Lions in New Hampshire. 17 Local celebrities who prepared dishes for the Celebrity Chefs fundraiser staged by Tallmadge Lions in Ohio. 365 Diners at a pancake and sausage breakfast held by Bowman Lions in North Dakota to benefit a cancer patient. 60 Minutes it took for University of Texas Lions to sell all 100 of its succulents in handmade dinosaurshaped pots to benefit Refugee Services of Texas. 69 Vendors who took part in the Schumacher Lions Club Christmas Craft Show in Ontario, Canada. 200 Smoke alarms or batteries for smoke alarms Casa Grande Lions in Arizona helped the fire department install in homes. 64 Years Ago in the LION JUNE 1952 Who’s on first for the awards? None other than Bud Abbott (second from right) and Lou Costello (second from left). President Lou Reider of the Philadelphia Central Host Lions Club (far right) and Harry La Brum of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce honor the comedy duo for their charitable work on behalf of children. What happened next? We don’t know. A monument honors Paul de Chomedey, the French military officer who founded Montreal in 1642. MONTREAL SELECTED FOR 2021 CONVENTION The world’s second-largest French-speaking city (after Paris) but also remarkable for its ethnic diversity and its creative scene, Montreal will host the 2021 International Convention. The board of directors chose the Canadian city in the spring. The largest city in Quebec with 1.65 million people, Montreal is an important center of commerce, culture, finance, aerospace, technology, design, tourism, gaming, film and world affairs. It has produced such diverse talents as the writer Saul Bellow, the band Arcade Fire and the omnipresent actor William Shatner. Montreal hosted the convention in 1996 and 1979. Lions meet for the 99th International Convention in June in Fukuoka, Japan, in Chicago in 2017 (the centennial for Lions Clubs), in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2018, in Milan, Italy, in 2019, and in Singapore in 2020. PATTY DUKE WAS LIONHEARTED Patty Duke, who died in March and won an Oscar for her fiery portrayal of Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” in 1962, was an honorary Lion—twice. In 2009, recognizing her longtime efforts on behalf of the blind and deaf as well as her advocacy for those with manic depression (from which she suffered), Lions in District 37 N in Montana made her an honorary member. In 2012, after she directed a local production of “The Miracle Worker,” the Spokane Central Lions Club in Washington bestowed honorary membership on her. The club helped stage the play as a fundraiser for a group that assists the blind. Duke, whose married name was Anna Pearce, lived in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. She was 69 when she died and just 16 when she became famous for her role as Keller. Patty Duke’s portrayal of Helen Keller earned her an Oscar. EIGHT CITIES GET VISION CARE As many as 5,000 children and adults will receive free eye exams and, if needed, eyeglasses as part of a partnership between LCIF and VSP Global. Lions clubs in this pilot program are providing Eyes of Hope gift certificates in eight cities. Beneficiaries must have a household income at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines and not have insurance coverage for eye exams or glasses. Lions clubs are providing the certificates in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Long Island/New York, Portland, Oregon; and Sacramento, California. Based in Rancho Cordova, California, VSP Global provides eye care and eyewear products and services. Overheard “Last year the Lions club came out to do vision screenings, and I was chatting with them and mentioned my dad was a Lion. When I went [to a meeting], I shared some stuff about dad, and it just felt right.” —School principal Susan Holthaus on why she joined the El Dorado Lions Club in Kansas in memory of her late father. From the Butler County Times Gazette. “We’ll be sending lots of bouquets to people who are Meals on Wheels drivers, the thrift store workers, construction workers, Lions club members—people who are not really thanked for the work they do in the community.” —Sherry Benko, owner of the Buds and Blooms shop in Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada. From The Free Press. “We just have to wiggle our toes. Cuz that’s for pictures.” —Grayson Rysavvy, 3, on the instructions given to him by Ned Doan of the Northwood Lions at a vision screening of Iowa KidSight. From the Globe Gazette. Extra Digital Content Watch an excellent VSP Global video on the importance of clear vision.
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