Always the Brides, Never the Bridesmaids Taking the event over from the all-male Blenheim Lions Club in New Zealand, the all-female Beavertown Blenheim Lions Club has run its Bride of the Year Show since 2003. The women have to have been married within the past year and live in Marlborough. “The girls are lovely—very excited to have the opportunity to wear their dresses again,” says Lion Sue Stichbury. About 20 brides typically enter the competition. Tickets to the event are NZ$40, and the club has raised NZ$70,000 (US$51,000) from it. A rescue helicopter service was the chief beneficiary from the fundraiser last year. Photo courtesy of the Bleinheim Sun The Long and Winding Road A Japanese club whose name pays tribute to a distinctive seagull sponsors a popular coastal walk close to the seagulls’ breeding grounds. The Hachinohe Umineko Lions Club in northeastern Japan has held the 6-kilometer Umineko Walk since 2005. An umineko is a black-tailed seagull whose breeding ground Has been protected since ancient times. But most walkers come for the stunning scenery of the Tanesashi Coast, an array of rocky inlets jutting out from the water along a crescent-shaped beach. Japanese novelist Ryotaro Shiba once wrote, “If beings from outer space came to visit Earth and I was tasked with showing them our planet’s natural beauty, Tanesahi would be our first destination.” Students volunteer alongside Lions at the walk. Hikers are asked to bring their own bowls and chopsticks, and they are served soup at the end of their walk.
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