Prof. João Fernando Sobral PAST PRESIDENT SOBRAL OF BRAZIL DIES Prof. João Fernando Sobral’s slogan as international president in 1976-77 was “make your fellow man needed.” He personally heeded that maxim particularly with Lions. Before his term ended he invited to headquarters and met at length with five Lions he had encountered on his visits to more than 50 nations. Lions inspired him and helped make his life meaningful. “These Lions were the men who made my year a success,” he wrote in his last presidential column in the LION in 1977. “It was they who put my theme into action in every facet of their lives.” Sobral, the first Brazilian to serve as international president, died Jan. 4 after a lengthy illness. He was 90. Sobral was a nationally known economist, a university professor and a successful businessman in Brazil. His firm was a leading manufacturer of thermal products, plastics, glass and sheet metal items. He also served on the Brazilian Federal Reserve Board and as a special adviser to the Minister of Mines and Energy. A Lion since 1960, he served as district governor and as an international director from 1969-71. As president he oversaw the building of an orphanage and arranged for free medical care for children with heart problems. He was the first chairman of SightFirst in Brazil and consistently encouraged Lions throughout Latin America to support LCIF and SightFirst projects. The Lahore Green View Lions Club in Pakistan holds a vision screening for schoolchildren. SERVICE WEEKS POST BIG NUMBERS Lions’ Worldwide Week of Service to Fight Hunger Jan. 9-15 was a success. To date, as reported to Lions Clubs International (LCI), 1,002 clubs fed 272,258 people through 1,328 projects. The week dedicated to sight projects, Oct. 10 to 16, also posted high numbers. Nearly 2,800 clubs benefitted 563,016 people through 3,603 activities. The numbers for the week for service to youth (Aug. 8-14) are: 2,717 clubs helping 633,052 youths through 3,856 projects. The Worldwide Week of Service to Protect our Planet is April 17-23. Clubs are encouraged to report their service to LCI through MyLCI online. Clubs can report their service through July. FIREFIGHTER PAYS BACK LIONS—32 YEARS LATER A retired firefighter in California whose career was made possible by Lions clubs has repaid them 32 years later. Dennis Jones sent the two Lions clubs a check for $600 before Christmas. In 1984, he had failed his vision test for the fire department, and the Lompoc and Vandenberg Village Lions clubs each donated $300 for corrective eye surgery. Jones went on to work for the Lompoc Fire Department and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Each of his three sons and a grandson followed him as firefighters. “For [me and my wife], it was always in the back of our minds,” Jones told the Lompoc Record about repaying the clubs. “I had always wanted to do that, to pay them back, but when you’re raising kids and a family, life goes on. Then we just got to a certain point where it’s like, ‘Well, OK, there are no more excuses, let’s do it.’ So this was the year where we just said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’” Kathy Cady, a Vandenberg Village Lion, says the club will funnel the donation back into the community. A TIP OF THE HAT TO MOORE The passing of actress Mary Tyler Moore in January brought to mind the February 2009 LION that promoted the upcoming international convention in Minneapolis. Lion Jackie Malling, then executive director of the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, bore a passing resemblance to Moore and graciously agreed to imitate the opening scene of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” set in Minneapolis. “People bring up that cover to me frequently,” says Malling. “I do feel close to MTM.” Malling and Moore threw hats, and Lions threw a big party for more than 11,000 Lions and guests from 123 nations. You’re gonna make it after all? Lions certainly did. KELLER AND JONES BACK WITH LIONS Ohio Lions will welcome two historic figures at its state convention: Helen Keller and Melvin Jones. A Keller impersonator will re-enact her legendary appeal to Lions in 1925 to be Knights of the Blind. The Multiple District 13 state convention will be held in Sandusky, but for Keller’s speech on May 13 Lions will travel to nearby Cedar Point, where Keller gave her speech at the Lions’ international convention. Keller will be played by Jackie Christensen of the Canal Winchester Lions Club. She has portrayed other historical figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Jacqueline Kennedy. Portraying Melvin Jones will be Kenneth Hammontree of the Ashland Noon Lions Club. Known as “Mr. Ohio History,” he has portrayed George Washington and General Dwight Eisenhower. Also appearing at the convention—and portraying himself—will be International President Chancellor Bob Corlew. Extra Digital Content Watch a riveting reenactment of the Keller speech. SEEING VINTAGE FRAMES IN A NEW WAY Eyeglasses aren’t just for seeing anymore. The Tahlequah Lions in Oklahoma are turning vintage eyeglass frames into business card holders and necklaces and selling them to fund their service projects. President Dr. Joseph Shetler says most of their 25 members are affiliated with Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry in Tahlequah. They know eye glasses, but it was Lion Dr. Hank van Veen who took on the job of collecting donated specs. In the process, he also accumulated a box of glasses that were too old or broken and could not be refurbished. Another practitioner showed van Veen how a little handiwork can turn fragile frames into business card holders. The frames are attached to a wooden base, and they have been selling for $20 to $30. Lion Leslie Beck has also made necklaces from the more ornate frames and sold them for about $60. Oklahoma’s Tahlequah Lions are selling business card holders and necklaces they make from donated vintage eye glasses. Overheard “For the life of me, I cannot understand why a person would not want to be a Lion.” —Bryan Cooper, historian of the 95-year-old Canon City Noon Lions Club in Colorado. From The Daily Record. “You just can’t have a better feeling than that.” —Jim Helmueller of the Pardeeville Lions Club in Wisconsin on giving sight to others by transporting cornea tissue. From Wisconsin News. “It’s hard for some of those guys to get up and down the steps in their high heels.” —Bryan Stuck of the Massillon Lions Club in Ohio on not including Beeftrust, longtime male Lions dressed as women, in the club’s annual variety show. From The Independent. By the Numbers 350,000 Pull tabs collected and delivered to a Ronald McDonald House by Pearson Pickerel Lions in Wisconsin. 160 Pounds of kitten chow donated to a local animal shelter by Sedalia Lions in Missouri. 16 Raised beds of vegetation in a grade school’s garden tended to by Vass Lions in North Carolina. 14. 5 Percentage of body weight lost by the winner of the Biggest Loser fundraiser of Batavia Lions in New York. Pledges secured for each pound lost by the 90 participants raised $10,000 for the club. 101 Distance in kilometers of a bicycle ride along the central Oregon coast to publicize Lions clubs and their vision screenings of schoolchildren. 1,976 Triathletes who participated in the Spudman competition run by Burley Lions in Idaho. 160 Height in feet of a flagpole purchased for a city park by New Baltimore Lions in Michigan. 11 Types of pies sold by Owatonna Lions in Minnesota as their major fundraiser. 19 Disc golf baskets provided for a course by Cheyenne Sunrise Lions in Wyoming. 90 Years Ago in the LION APRIL 1927 Founder Melvin Jones rhapsodizes on “The Power of Music.” A longtime advocate for singing at meetings, Jones writes, “Language is not subtle enough, tender enough to express all that we feel. When language fails, our highest and noblest longings are translated into music.” Read Jones’ full column. RECOGNIZING LIONS FOR INVITING NEW MEMBERS See the list of Lions receiving Higher Key Awards for inviting new members to serve with us. LAUGHS FROM THE PAST Read how the Ashland club in Kentucky teased members who failed to recruit new Lions.
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