The Alexander Bay Lions Club in Canada helped establish an emergency warming center at the Lions Community Centre they own and operate. Two years ago, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador had extended periods of electrical power outages during the coldest winter months, says Lion Ronald Pond. “That period was called Dark NL.” Lions partnered with area municipalities to purchase a 100,000-watt generator and made extensive changes to their clubhouse to include space for medical equipment and hospital beds. The rehabbed facility is designed to provide those without electricity, including residents of two senior housing complexes, a warm and comfortable place to stay during power outages. The Calhan Lions Club in Colorado has been honoring a student of the month for 15 years. Each year, four students each from two high schools are honored. Students are selected by their high school teachers, and they and their families are invited to be guests of Lions at their dinner meetings, where they are presented with a certificate of recognition. The Knowlton Lions Club in Quebec, Canada, supports the “Guardian Angels” project of the Brome Lake fire department to distribute smoke alarms to schoolchildren. More than 440 alarms have been distributed so far. Lions pay for approximately 90 alarms and an educational program each year. The St. Ignace Lions Club in Michigan sponsored a service dog that was raised by a prisoner at Kinross Correction Prison. Dog Chewy then progressed to the training center at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan. The Bolingbrook Lions Foundation in Illinois partnered with DuPage Township to raise $3,400 to support a beep baseball tournament for the blind. The two-day event welcomed teams from several states to the suburban Chicago event where between six and eight teams annually have played since 2000. Members of the Little Beaver Lions Club in Pennsylvania serve as “Lion Listeners” to children they mentor to help them with reading. Lions also helped donate a Dr. Seuss book to each of the school’s 258 students. The Spokane Central Lions Club in Washington gave a total of $34,000 in scholarships to 14 nursing students and five high school graduates. The club awards scholarships annually. The Shelbyville Lions Club in Indiana sponsors an annual “Fly- In—Drive In” breakfast for pilots at the Shelbyville Municipal Airport. Tickets sell for $6 and the public is invited to attend the breakfast fundraiser held inside an airport hangar, where they can visit with pilots and see various aircraft. The Stanford Lions Club in Kentucky celebrated Helen Keller Day by eating dinner blindfolded at their meeting. “It was challenging; we now realize how amazing this small task is handled by the visually handicapped,” says Lion Bob Swett. The Randolph Lions Club in Massachusetts sponsored and participated in the town’s Senior Olympics. A weeklong event, it features many of the same Olympic events such as javelin and discus throwing, but also includes a bean bag toss, darts, bowling and basketball free throws. The seven Lions who participated won 39 medals among them at the closing ceremony. The Whiting Lions Club in Indiana gave away free smoke alarms to families attending Safety Day, sponsored by the fire and police departments. Largo Lions in Florida sponsored a Teacher/Staff Appreciation Day by delivering large sheet cakes to three schools closed to students during a teacher training day. Teachers and staff were so grateful for the recognition that Lions will now make this event an annual tradition. More than $200,000 has been raised from the Irish Stampede sponsored for the past 15 years by the Dublin Lions Club in Texas. It’s a salute to the local dairy industry and also raises funds for Lions to support vision screening, the Eye Bank and Leader Dog programs, the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville and other programs in “the Irish Capital of Texas,” says Lion Mac McKinnon. More than 800 runners annually participate in the 10K, 5K and 2K races. Winnipeg Lions in Manitoba, Canada, donated $5,000 to a high school to help pay for lighting its athletic field. Lions sell Christmas treats, chocolate rabbits and honey to help raise funds for their community activities. In Kenya, Nairobi Lions are promoting the teachings of noted urban farmer Francis Ilahakai, who advocates growing organic vegetables and fruits without using chemicals in cities. Planting fruit trees at a school is just one activity Lions are undertaking as part of the project, during which vegetables will also be planted at several schools with available land to sustain gardening. The fruits and vegetables will later be harvested to help feed the hungry. Gardens have already been planted at three schools with seedlings donated by Ilahakai, who says that he hopes to promote awareness of Lions clubs among the youth of Nairobi. “They will grow to know who Lions are and what they do to help in their communities,” he adds. In Tennessee, Fairfield Glade Lions have collected 20,500 pairs of used eyeglasses in the last eight years. Lion Ed Litman personally made arrangements with a nearby Wal- Mart store to ship the boxed glasses to the Lions Recycling Center in Indiana. Lions also collect used printer cartridges and hearing aids for recycling. The Tanahu Lions Club in Nepal provides free eye care services in partnership with an eye hospital since 2011. Last year, more than 9,500 men, women and children had their vision checked and 217 had cataracts removed at no charge. Lions also annually check the vision of students in 14 schools. The Amherst Lions Club in New York gave five graduating high school students each $500 scholarships. Concordia Lions in Missouri poured a new concrete pad for a shelter in a park, which had to be moved to a new location and needed flooring. The Singapore Bedok Lions Club in Singapore raised more than US$20,000 to improve living conditions for children living in an orphanage in Myanmar. The funds will be used to construct water and sanitation facilities at the orphanage and to provide more beds and chairs for the residents. The Emmett Lions Club in Michigan donated money to purchase a handicapped-accessible paddle boat for Lions Bear Lake Camp. Lions in District D 2 and from throughout the state donated money to purchase a second boat for campers after the first one proved so popular.
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