Each year German Lions in an all-female club gather at a vineyard to pick grapes, a strenuous task. But the result is a crisp, pleasant, award-winning Riesling, sold to fund the club’s project to help preschool children read. The Wiesbaden An Den Quellen Lions have collaborated for three years with the well-known Georg Müller Stiftung winery in Hattenheim. The second vintage was particularly successful. It won a silver medal at the Hessian State Wine Awards, another silver at the Austrian Wine Challenge in Vienna and a bronze medal from the Federal Department of Agriculture. The club typically produces about 2,000 bottles of a vintage. The 31-member club makes sure the labeling matches the quality of the wine. A graphic designer creates the distinctive labels, and each vintage is given a slogan. The first vintage was dubbed Euterpe, the muse of song. The second was Thalia, the muse of comedy, and the third Terpsichore, the muse of dance. Besides backing the Stepping Stone to Reading project, the club supports Lions Quest. Five years after the tsunami devastated their area, the children of a village in Hambantota district in Sri Lanka sprinted toward their new playground. They sailed in the air on the swings and flew down the slides. “What can I say about happy children? I will leave it to your imagination,” said International Director Luis Domínguez of Spain, who took part in the dedication in Singha Village (“Lions Village” in the native language). Domínguez recently visited Sri Lanka to monitor the progress of the Lions village and to provide additional assistance from Spanish Lions. Besides the playground, Spanish Lions also dedicated a community center, several shops and public bathrooms. Partnering with LCIF, Lions in Spain built 100 homes and gave nearly 40 sewing machines to jumpstart economic recovery. Accompanied by local Lions, Domínguez spent three days visiting residents at their homes and assessing current needs. “It was nice to see how some of the families have progressed very well,” he said. By the end of his visit, Lions distributed 27 more sewing machines, 55 rolls of cloth and 136 barrels of paint for the homes. Lions also agreed to fund another sewing machine, scholarships for children and a wheelchair. “We basically gave them necessary things to help them make a better future. In other words, we bought the ‘fishing rod,’ ” Domínguez said. A “green curtain” drapes the outside walls of Suwa Elementary School in Japan. Lions with green thumbs and a desire to nurture green thinking in youths made possible the green wall. Yokosuka Lions donated morning glory seeds, planters and nets to Suwa and six other elementary schools in Yokosuka and supervised the planting at two of them. The climbing plants serve as a blind for the windows and also cool the building. The vines have reached the second floor at Suwa. Fourth graders water the plants during the school year and summer. “We only planted morning glories this year. But if we mix in some moon flower seeds, we can enjoy the flowers the whole day long,” said Hiroshi Kuga, a Lion who runs a landscaping and nursery business. The club learned from its mistake the first year of the project, when summer watering was not scheduled and the plants dried out. As a further improvement, this year the club gave the schools not only seeds for the Japanese morning glory but also for the Seiyo (Western) morning glory, which blooms later and will beautify the school until October. Located in Kanagawa, Yokosuka is a city of 425,000. The club’s goal is to install green curtains in the city’s 50 elementary schools.
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