FOUR STARS FOR LCIF Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, recently awarded LCIF four stars, the highest ranking a charity can receive. More than 5,400 of America’s largest charities are ranked on the Web site. LCIF received higher rankings than both the Red Cross and Feeding America. Charity Navigator assesses a charity’s financial health, regarding both its day-today operations and its ability to sustain its programs over time. More than four million donors last year used the site that TIME Magazine called “one of America's 50 coolest Web sites.” Said LCIF Chairperson Al Brandel, “The rating confirms what many Lions already know—LCIF is a great way to make a difference in the lives of people. Our foundation is adept at maximizing the value of the donations it receives from Lions.” HEISMAN FINALIST AIDED LIONS One of the 12 national finalists for Wendy’s High School Heisman collected eyeglasses for Lions. The Wendy’s Heisman award, held in conjunction with college football’s Heisman award, honors exceptional students for excellence in academics, athletics and service. William Sievern, a senior at Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, Indiana, created an eyeglass collection contest for elementary school students for an Eagle Scout project. The contest generated 1,500 eyeglasses for the Evansville Eastside Lions Club, and the winning class received a pizza party from an optometrist group. Sievern was one of nearly 55,000 applicants for the Heisman. The two winners were from Louisiana and Colorado. LIONS DISMANTLE LOG CABIN Lions in Michigan dismantled a log cabin discovered hidden beneath the siding and drywall of an outbuilding in a homeowner’s backyard. Negaunee Lions also will help reconstruct the cabin in a park adjacent to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The cabin may date back to 1867. The chinking between the red pine and cedar logs included red underwear with buttons. Negaunee Lions help preserve and showcase the area’s heritage. They maintain a key attraction of the Heritage Trail–the first iron ore pit in the Lake Superior region. Lion Jim Thomas, a Negaunee councilman, is president of the Heritage Trail Authority. The cabin was discovered in the backyard of Anna Dompierre, the granddaughter of Lion Dave Dompierre. The 48-mile Heritage Trail runs from Republic to Marquette. LCIF PARTNERS WITH CLINTON GROUP Lions Clubs International Foundation established a partnership with The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to carry out 7,000 cataract surgeries in or near Lima, Peru. CGI was established by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to unite NGOs, the private sector and other global leaders to tackle pressing needs including blindness. A pilot program, the Peru initiative is expected to lead to additional cataract programs as well as economic development opportunities in Latin America in partnership with CGI. LCIF AIDS CHILE LCIF provided each of the four districts in Chile $10,000 in emergency funds after the Feb. 27 earthquake. One of the largest on record, the earthquake killed more than 800 people and displaced more than 2 million. Lions worldwide donated to LCIF to aid disaster victims including Finnish Lions, who pledged $25,000. LCIF awards approximately US$2 million each year in emergency grant funding, in addition to grants for larger disasters. Online donations can be made at www.lcif.org/donate. LIONS AND THE VANCOUVER OLYMPICS The son of a Canadian Lion competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Julien Cousineau, son of Alain Cousineau of the Lachute Lions Club in Quebec, finished eighth in the men’s slalom. His combined time was one minute and forty seconds, just 1.34 seconds behind the gold medal winner. Lions in Vancouver capitalized on the Olympics. Last year the Vancouver Chinatown Lions and the Vancouver Arbutus Lions held a Medal of Merit dinner honoring Jack Poole, the chairman of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The event raised $75,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation. Poole died of cancer in October, just one day after the flame for the Games was lit. Lions in Vancouver also scheduled in May a Medal of Merit fundraising banquet honoring Diane and Doug Clement. Diane was a sprinter on the 1956 Canadian Olympic team in Melbourne and Doug competed in track at the 1952 Olympics at Helsinki. AARON VALLEJO, 38, wanted to join a service organization, but hadn’t found one that fit his needs. After his wife joined the El Paso Five Points Lions Club in Texas about a year ago, Vallejo attended a few activities with his wife to get the flavor of the club. He joined the Lions in December because of the camaraderie he felt with the other members. “I got to know some of the people and had a good time doing it,” Vallejo said. As an admissions counselor for an automotive training school and a father with two children and another on the way, Vallejo travels often and appreciates the family feeling his club offers. His 12-year-old daughter’s Girl Scout troop recently attended an event with Vallejo and his wife. “The Girl Scouts volunteered to help serve the chili dinner,” Vallejo said. “It’s great that we get to spend time on the weekends with each other. We have lunch once a week and I get to spend a little time with my wife. Any time here and there that we can spend as a family makes a big difference.” HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CLUB: Friendly, fun and energetic. FAVORITE FOOD: Green chicken enchiladas. I like the rich southwest taste. It’s a tortilla that’s rolled up with a green sauce with chicken and cheese. It’s just a good, spicy dish that we make here in El Paso. FAVORITE TELEVISION PROGRAM: “ER” — I like the drama and suspense. THE LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ: How to Get Your Children to Live, Love and Leave by Wilson Wayne Grant FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT: We honeymooned in Clearwater, Florida, in 2006 and it was beautiful. WHY YOU BECAME A LION: My wife, Rocio Vallejo, is Lion and she convinced me. I saw her excitement for helping people. She was a Leo when she was in high school so she knew all about it and now was a good time for her to join. WHAT YOUR CLUB DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I am a die-hard Dallas Star hockey fan! They came down from Minnesota and used to be the Minnesota North Stars. We have a minor league hockey team here in town, too. PROJECTS YOU’D LIKE TO SEE YOUR CLUB TAKE ON: A Leo club. I’m in high schools all the time and I think that this would be something that’s pretty interesting. I see a lot of kids in difficult situations. I think this is something that could give them some guidance and structure. CLUB OF THE MONTH HAMPDEN LIONS CLUB, MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDED: May 2, 1948 MEMBERSHIP: 57 COMMUNITY SERVED:Town of Hampden, population 5,000. It’s a suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts, that’s mostly a farming community. MEETING MATTERS:The group meets every first and third Wednesday of the month September through June. The first meeting each September is a steak roast at the local VFW. FUNDRAISING EFFORTS: Hampden Lions have three major fundraisers each year. They publish the local telephone directory and hold a golf outing. Their most famous fundraiser is the annual Brown Gold Sale. They shovel horse manure and sell it, which raises $3,000 to $4,000. SERVICE PROJECTS:The club has purchased items for the police department, highway department, town library and local schools. Hampden Lions have also sponsored a street clean. MEMBERS:The club membership includes a truck driver, nurse, chef, sales representative, retired judge and business owner. The diverse group of men and women also include couples with young children. CLAIM TO FAME: In 1964, after the death of children’s author Thornton Burgess, the club made a down payment to save his birthplace from being sold to developers. The home was eventually purchased by the Audubon Society and is now a nature sanctuary. The club is known mostly for its Brown Gold Sale, which started in 1976 by thenclub President Ted Crowley. It began as a community service project to clean up the small town, which has a number of families with horses. The first profits went to build a gazebo that still stands today at the Thornton Burgess Middle School. Crowley was interviewed by several radio stations across the country about the success of the project. PROUDEST MOMENT AS A CLUB: Rebuilding the club from a low of 38 members 10 years ago to close to 60 excited and active members today. OVERHEARD “Somebody was talking about our youth today, how they weren’t what they used to be. A little voice said, ‘You can talk about it or you can do something about the situation.’ ” –Sam McCord Sr. Of the Moultrie Lions Club in Georgia about a successful program he started a dozen years ago honoring the most improved student at a middle school. From The Moultrie Observer. “It’s so much fun to help others and expect nothing in return. The best part is knowing that we are changing lives, one pair of glasses at a time.” —Leah Throckmorton, 16, a junior at Hart High School in Santa Clarita, California, who took part in the school’s annual eyeglass drive for Lions clubs. From The Signal. 10 YEARS AGO IN THE LION MAY 2000 Singer Stevie Wonder took part in a promotional video for the Lionssupported A Life Worth Living video series for people who suddenly lost their vision. BYTHE NUMBERS 3 Finish place of the Toronto Beaches Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, for its mini-festival along the route of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Community groups are judged based on the number of spectators, costumes, noise level and entertainment. In conjunction with the race the club raised $3,542 for guide dogs. 6,000 Weight in pounds of the 12 pallets of used eyeglasses collected by the Horton-Brockway Area Lions in Pennsylvania. 3,000 Hits on the Mattituck Lions Club’s Web site prior to its 55th annual strawberry festival in New York. 14 Weight in ounces of the black Angus Ribeye streaks, along with 10- to 12-ounce lobster tails, served at the annual fundraiser of the Fontana Big Foot Lions Club in Wisconsin. 13,000,000 Estimated dollar value (if new) of the 130,000 pairs of eyeglasses recently sorted for recycling by the South Elgin Lions in Illinois. 1929 Year of a petition signed by Carrollton Lions in Missouri discovered in a time capsule unearthed from Root Elementary, built that year. The Lions had beseeched the school board to erect a new school. Charter member John Finlayson signed the petition; his son, Bruce, is a club member as is his grandson, Keith. 250,000 Amount in Canadian dollars of a federal grant to the Malcolm Island Lions Club to improve and expand Malcolm Island Harbour. Grants have been made to coastal communities in British Columbia hurt by changes in the salmon industry.
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