WALESA INDUCTED Lech Walesa recently was inducted as an honorary member of the Gdansk Neptun Lions Club in Poland. The induction was part of the club’s 20th anniversary celebration. During the ceremony Walesa praised the Lions as “very openhearted and strongly patriotic citizens who will support him in his endeavor to build a better future and promote Poland all over the world,” according to Past District Governor Wieslaw Makarewicz. Walesa was a labor activist at the Gdansk Shipyard who helped form and lead communist Poland’s first independent trade union, Solidarity. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and served as president of Poland from 1990–95. Walesa has many ties to Lions. He hosted three Lions international presidents, spoke at the Annual Lions Day at the United Nations and in 2007 attended the Gdansk Lions annual charity concert. DOWNLOAD DONOR As a boy in Maryland with a district governor-father John Durkee Jr. Sold Christmas trees and white canes. So when he helped develop an iPhone application related to vision he deemed it fitting to make a donation to Lions. Durkee and his partner donated $1 for each download between Dec. 15 and Dec. 25 of his Look Closer app, which turns the iPhone into a magnifier. “I’ve reached the age where reading glasses are a requirement. Often I forget my glasses but I always have my iPhone,” said Durkee, a resident of Florida. Look Closer is a product of Freshminds, based in Hawaii. Durkee and his Freshminds partner, Bruce Benner, donated $347 to LCIF from its “12 days of Christmas” promotion. That may seem small but “we haven’t covered our costs to build the app yet,” said Durkee, and Apple takes 90 cents from the $2.99 download. He added, “Thank you for all the work Lions do and for all the wonderful memories of my dad and times as a little kid helping out at Lions’ events.” SIGHT FOR KIDS SCREENS 10TH MILLION Lions celebrated a milestone with the recent screening of the 10 millionth child through the Sight for Kids program. A program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Sight for Kids is saving or restoring sight to children throughout Asia. The leading cause of blindness in children and adolescents is uncorrected refractive error. Sight for Kids screens children for refractive error and other vision problems. Vision loss can severely harm a child's development since learning is often visually based. Sight for Kids screens children in Korea, Thailand, China, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. More than 275,000 of those screened were referred to physicians for further evaluation, more than 75,000 received glasses and more than 55,000 were treated for various eye conditions. CASH FOR CLUNKERS A Florida optometrist put a new spin on cash for clunkers. Hollywood Eyes offered a $25 discount on new eyeglasses if customers donated their old pair. The old eyeglasses were donated to local Lions. A VERY GOOD SIGN The street credibility of Lions in Miami is at an all-time high. Lions of District 35-A in Florida were honored for their service when SW 147th Avenue from SW 7nd Street to SW 88th Street was recently dedicated as Lions Clubs Avenue. A Miami-Dade County Commissioner led the naming ceremony. GLASSES ‘LIBERATED’ Since the end of World War II, 30,000 pairs of eyeglasses sat in a warehouse in Pennsylvania. The glasses are now finally being recycled thanks to the owner and local Lions. A man who wishes to remain anonymous bought the warehouse in the early 1990s. He recently contacted the Landisville Lions, who transported the glasses to the New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in West Trenton. Turns out that the man’s relatives had run a government-surplus business at the site. WELCOME TO THE CLUB! LION: Lisa Porter CLUB:Woodcliff Lions Club, Nebraska OCCUPATION: Senior National Account Manager, North American Communication Resource INTRODUCTION TO LIONS: Twelve years ago, we purchased a cabin at Woodcliff Lakes. I came to know the Woodcliff Lions during several events throughout our summer seasons. There’s always a Pancake Feed in the spring to launch the season, another in the fall and a wonderful Fourth of July fireworks display. I always felt that donating money was a good contribution for all the events that my family looked forward to and enjoyed. HOW I JOINED THE CLUB: In 2008 my husband, Ned, and I built a new home at the lake and moved there full time. This is how we made many new friends and became much more aware of the true purpose of the Lions activities. At that time, president Gary Tews asked us to come to one of their monthly meetings. That meeting included an overview of the Leader Dogs for the Blind with Puppy Raisers Lion Dr. Johnson and his wife, Lori. They brought their 8-week-old black Lab named Buddy to the meeting and explained what being a puppy raiser is all about. This is truly when it came to me that volunteering and supporting the fundraising means much more than simply donating to each event. We joined immediately. THE CLUB DOESN’T KNOW THAT: My first fundraising event was at the age of five. My sister is four years older than me and she was a Blue Bird. She needed to go door to door to sell boxes of candy and raise money for her troop to attend a summer camp. She was too shy and really had a hard time, so I took over and sold all the candy for her. I then thought it would be a good idea to go door to door and sell my grandfather’s carpenter pencils to raise candy money for myself. My grandfather did not think it was such a good idea and wanted me to give his neighbors their money back. The problem was that some of the men I sold his pencils to actually wanted them and didn’t want to give them back even for a refund. I guess that’s how I started my sales career and found a passion for fundraising for good causes! THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE ME: Hard working, energetic and family oriented. CLUB OF THE MONTH PERRY NOON LIONS CLUB, OKLAHOMA FOUNDED: Aug. 1, 1926 COMMUNITY SERVED: Established 60 miles north of Oklahoma City after the “great land run of 1893,” Perry has an official population of 5,230. Farming, banking, commercial and industrial activities are all central to the community, which also has convenient access to interstate highways, airports and railways. MEMBERSHIP: 70 MEETING MATTERS: Noon on Thursdays at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church Parish Hall. CLAIM TO FAME: A Perry Lion named Bill Parker was instrumental in creating the Oklahoma Lions Eye Bank in 1957, which has made possible 15,000 successful corneal transplants. In addition to that achievement, Lion Sam Ebersole says, “This year were are helping the Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club build a new playground for handicapped children to take the place of one that has seen better days by donating $1,000 to that club’s ambitious efforts. This playground is in honor of those killed during the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred E. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Another member of our club, Lion Sheriff Charlie Hanger [at the time an Oklahoma State Highway Patrol Trooper] captured the bomber, Timothy McVeigh.” KEEPING BUSY IN THE COMMUNITY: The club maintains a highly visible presence in Perry. Among many other projects, Lions provide free watermelon during the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration, cook and serve meals at a local soup kitchen, sponsor annual Farmer-Rancher Appreciation Days (the area is home to 739 farms), and hold a Children’s Pet Parade each year before Christmas. Ebersole points out, Each child who marches in the parade, with or without a pet, gets a shiny half dollar at the end of the parade. The Perry club also supports one of the state’s best known humanitarian efforts—the Oklahoma Lions Boys Ranch, which provides a nurturing and stable home for kids in need. WHY BE A LION? “If an individual desires to be of service to his or her community, state, nation and world, then a membership in an active Lions club should appeal to that person,” emphasizes Ebersole. “One of our jobs is to let people know of the services we provide for our neighbors and around the world.” OVERHEARD —Referring to efforts by the Windsor Lions Club, who invested in a trust fund for victims, and others after 13 people died in a shooting at upstate New York immigration center almost a year ago. From the Star-Gazette in Elmira. “The local Lions Club put up a new sign calling for support for the young dancer–and why wouldn’t they? Everett has done more to put the village on the map than anything that’s happened in 100 years!” —Referring to Everett Smith, one of the four finalists on the popular reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance Canada. From the Brantford Expositor in Ontario. 26 YEARS AGO IN THE LION MARCH 1984 Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Great Britain, visits a Lions-supported home for disabled children in Zambia. BYTHE NUMBERS 4 Age in weeks of the youngest entry in the Gulf Coast Royalty Pageant, open to “babies, beauties and beaus,” of the Pascagoula Noon Lions in Mississippi. 10 Books on diabetic education donated to the Marion County Library by the Marion Lions in South Carolina. 11 Hawaiian Lions who repaired sidewalks with quick-drying cement in Waikiki in areas frequented by tourists as part of a city beautification program. 666,666 Cans and bottles collected, sorted and redeemed annually by the Unionville Lions of Connecticut, raising about $40,000. 65 Kilometers per hour (40 mph), the record-setting speed of Makayla Ellis in her pink car called Sweet Emotion in the soapbox derby sponsored by the Oshawa North Oshawa Lions in Ontario, Canada. 3 Hours after midnight (3 a.m.) that Lions in the Cayman Islands gathered to cook a fundraising breakfast consisting of ackee, codfish, bananas, eggs and bacon. 17 Ice cream makers who took part in the Brain Freeze Homemade Ice Cream Contest sponsored by the Canon City Royal George Lions in Colorado. (Cinnamon black walnut took home the prize while peanut butter chocolate chunk won the People’s Choice honor.)
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