PAST PRESIDENT BEHAR DIES International President Dr. Jean Behar presents the 2001 Humanitarian Award to Barbara Hendricks, an opera singer with many charitable endeavors. As Lions’ international president for the new millennium, Dr. Jean Behar of France took it upon himself to be innovative and forward-looking. Begun during his presidency in 2000-2001 were New Century Lions Clubs for younger members, club branches for smaller clubs and online leadership courses for Lions. One of the most important Lions in Europe, Behar died on Oct. 2 at his home in France. He was 87. A busy radiologist in the early 1970s, Behar rebuffed friends who asked him to join a service club (non-Lion). But he became a Lion in 1975 when he learned about Lions and was invited to become a charter member of the Le Havre Expansion Lions Club. His club soon began music lessons for young laborers. Later he founded the Medico Lions Club, which coordinated medical missions and donations of eyeglasses from French Lions to developing nations such as Niger and Senegal. As president his theme was Quality: Key to the Future, and he was particularly proud of the successes of SightFirst. The number of cataract surgeries performed in China through the SightFirst China Action Plan reached 3.5 million during his term. Soft-spoken and modest, Behar greatly valued the friendships he made as a Lion. “Now I have good friends in many parts of the world, a reward that has enabled me to appreciate a number of cultures and human feelings,” he wrote in the LION in 2000. Overheard “I’m glad I can see. I can do what I want to now.” —Madison Bradshaw, 7, after Cleburne Lions in Texas helped pay for surgery on her left eye when 40 other groups contacted by her family did not step up. From the Cleburne Times-Review. “I feel a lot safer than I used to.” —William Chittenden, 13, referring to Carol, his golden Labrador, a seizure response dog given to him by the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. William, who has epilepsy, lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. From the Nanaimo News Bulletin. “I started as a guest and ended up as an elf.” —Michele Rubenstein on the Christmas party for hearing impaired students held by Warren Lions in Ohio. She attended it as a child with her father, Lion Rocky Rockwell. Rubenstein bought and wrapped gifts for the party, first held in 1965. From the Tribune Chronicle. CUBA SIGHTFIRST PROJECTS SAVE VISION José Martí, a student at the School for Children with Special Needs in western Cuba, meets with a nurse and an official of Germany-based Christoffen Blinden Mission, a partner of SightFirst in Cuba. Two LCIF projects to reduce childhood blindness in Cuba have saved vision and advanced pediatric healthcare there, and Lions Clubs International leaders recently visited Cuba to monitor the projects. LCIF Chairperson Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada of Japan and other Lions leaders traveled to Cuba. The Cuban eye hospital network is in need of updated equipment, and SightFirst provided a $128,669 grant in 2012 to diagnose and treat retinopathy of prematurity, which occurs in premature births and can cause blindness. The equipment provided by Lions allowed 2,732 premature infants to be screened, and 26 children to be treated at the Cuban Institute of Ophthalmology Ramón Pando Ferrer in Habana, the premier eye hospital on the island. SightFirst further provided $35,811 in 2013 to improve low vision services and to address retinopathy of prematurity in western Cuba through collaboration with the Lions Foundation of Germany and the Cuban Council of Churches. The grant made possible the training of more than 300 healthcare professionals, the equipping of 12 pediatric hospitals and serving nearly 1,700 children. Prior to 1959, Lions were a familiar presence in Cuba. The 1945-46 international president, Dr. Ramiro Collazo, was from Cuba, and Havana hosted the 1940 international convention. Lions helped eliminate yellow fever in Cuba in the 1940s and ‘50s, and statues in public squares and street names honor Lions. TWO NEW LIONS AND TWO PROSPECTS International President Chancellor Bob Corlew welcomes his daughter and son-in-law as new Lions. They joined the Keller Lions Club, close to their home. International President Chancellor Bob Corlew and his wife, Dianne, enjoyed the hospitality of Lions in Kerrville, Texas, this summer and happily took part in the induction of their daughter, Leigh, and sonin- law, Landon, who live in Texas. During the ceremony the Corlews’ young grandchildren brought smiles to onlookers by raising their hands like their parents and doing their best to repeat the vows. Bowen, 4, received a New Mountains to Climb pin, which signifies his grandfather’s presidential theme. He wore it dutifully for days but also wanted to play with his mother’s Lions pin. “Mine is not real. I want a real Lions pin with an L,” he told his mother. LIONS BLOW UP A BRIDGE The Boone Bridge is demolished, thanks to two Lions Be a Lion—serve others, make friends and blow up bridges. Jim Harrer and Lisa Alexander of the St. Charles First Capitol Lions Club in Missouri flipped the switch on a detonator to destroy half of the 1930s Boone Bridge, replaced by a new bridge that spans the Missouri River between St. Louis and St. Charles counties. The Lions club earned the right to flip the switch after winning a raffle benefiting the St. Charles County Boys and Girls Club. The club had bought ten $10 tickets. Harrer and Alexander earned the honors by being the first to respond to an email from President Cheryl Thiede seeking volunteers. (A non-Lion who bid the highest won the right to blow up the first half of the bridge.) A demolition team instructed the two Lions on what to do. They were 1,000 feet from the bridge when given the signal: “fire in the hole!” It took about a half-second to see what they did. “We heard the boom and watched the bridge disappear into the river,” says Harrer. “It was an awesome experience.” By the Numbers 200 Tables occupied by 83 vendors at the toy train show held by Deer Park Lions in Maryland. 261 Boxes of crayons collected and delivered last year by Kearney Lions in Missouri to children who spent Christmas at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. 20,000 Meals supporting Stop Hunger Now packaged by Ipswich Lions in Massachusetts. 39 Varieties of candy sold at the candy store run in late November and December last year by Greenfield Lions in Ohio. 2,000 Oversized red bulbs likely used over the past 70 years for the lighted Christmas tree silhouette Pacific Lions in Missouri erect atop a bluff during the holiday season. 10 Pounds of used keys, as well as five pounds of pop tabs, 100 used hearing aids and 2,000 eyeglasses, sent to the Lions of Illinois Foundation by Joliet Noon Lions. 80 Years Ago in the LION JANUARY 1937 The LION held a cover contest for the first issue of the new year, and the winner was Lion Bill Alligood of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He received a $50 prize. Extra Digital Content Read about the contest and see other entries. LCIF PROVIDES AID AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW Hurricane Matthew in October was the deadliest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since 2005. LCIF awarded an Emergency grant to Haiti to address immediate needs of disaster victims. Lions and Leos from Port-au-Prince traveled to Petit-Goâve to work with clubs there. They packed and distributed more than 2,000 relief kits of medicine and food. LCIF also awarded an Emergency grant to the Lions of 31 N in North Carolina. Lions there braved the conditions to bring food, water, blankets and medical supplies to those affected most by the storm. “When disaster strikes, Lions are among the first to offer help to the victims, even though they are often victims themselves,” says Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada, LCIF chairperson. “Working together, LCIF, local Lions and Lions leaders assess the urgent needs and quickly deliver the aid most required by victims.” PHONE FEAT DONE IN CALIFORNIA District Governor Dave Roberts of California set out to call every Lion in District 4 L6—in one hour. The goal was to thank them for their service with the intent to cement their bond to Lions. Mission accomplished—just about. Using their own cell phones, 30 Lions made nearly 900 calls last spring. The district has 1,350 Lions. But Roberts did not have a phone number for some and others lived in the same household. Most calls ended with Lions leaving a message on an answering machine. Those who did pick up often were touched. A Lion recovering from surgery was happy to talk to a Lion. A Lion who said he had not attended an event for a while was now motivated about his membership. “One Lion told me he was a Lion for life now that he was called by the district governor himself,” says Roberts, who gave gift cards to the Lion who made the most calls and the Lion who finished his call sheet first. CENTENNIAL ISSUE COMING IN JANUARY Herman Ripp (left), president of the Appleton Noon Lions Club in Wisconsin, emcees a fashion show in 1967. Get ready for the centennial issue of the LION in January. The once-in-a-lifetime issue will look back at the storied history of Lions, consider where we are today and look forward to our next century of service. It will feature compelling service stories, iconic images and a preview of Lions Clubs International’s new five-year strategic plan, LCI Forward. Get ready to celebrate our past, present and future in January and be sure to hang on to this special centennial keepsake issue for a lifetime. Enjoy the above photo, a taste of what’s to come.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/First+Roar/2647324/361278/article.html.