Nicole & Anthony Cook Brenham Evening Lions Club, Brenham, Texas Newlyweds Nicole and Anthony Cook share a commitment to each other and to Lions. Lions Anthony and Nicole Cook baked and sold purple cupcakes to support the Great Purple Cupcake Project, an epilepsy awareness event for World Epilepsy Day. It was 2012, and Texas cowboy Anthony Cook wasn’t a Lion. But he was attending Lion events with Nicole Weyand, an active member of the Blinn College Lions Club in Brenham. He was interested in Lions, he says, “but mostly I was interested in her.” Weyand, who had twice served as president of the Brenham High School Leo Club, asked him one day if he was a real cowboy. She needed to photograph a “real” cowboy for her western art class, she says. “But mostly I just wanted to get his number.” Cook agreed to be photographed and Weyand continued to let him “follow her around” at Lion events. She baked heart-shaped cookies to share with the Blinn Lions on Valentine’s Day, but mostly for him. He said “no thanks,” she remembers. (Every romance has its glitches.) But eventually Anthony said “yes” to cookies, and more importantly, to joining Lions. And Nicole said “yes” to him. Now Anthony and Nicole Cook—married on April 16, 2016—are the young newlyweds in the Brenham Evening Lions Club. Their youthful faces and enthusiasm are a welcomed addition to a club where most members are 50 to 90 years old, says Past International Director Joe Al Picone, who has been their mentor. Anthony spends 12 hours a day on the back of a horse. Nicole spends her day teaching dance. And on the first and third Tuesday of every month they go to Lions meetings where she says, “We love the company.” “Dirty, smelly or tired, we’re there,” says Nicole, who is second vice president. Her husband is club director. Their love for each other and their dedication to Lions have kept them involved in multiple projects. When Nicole learned that Anthony has epilepsy she led the club in baking and selling purple cupcakes to support The Great Purple Cupcake Project, an epilepsy awareness event for World Epilepsy Day. When they transferred to Sam Houston State University to finish college, they became active in the Sam Houston Bobcat Lions Campus Club, enjoying activities like Senior Center visits together. Now college graduates, they are back in Brenham. Nicole assists Picone in his role as Guiding Lion for the Blinn College Lions Club. Anthony and Nicole have continued the T-shirt drive they started as Blinn students. In 2016, they collected more than 1,000 T-shirts across their district for residents of the Brenham State Supported Living Center. Both say “giving back to others” is the reason they love Lions so much. But, Anthony adds, “Building a relationship with people who need a support group is the part that I enjoy.” “It was well worth joining,” he adds. “Not only is it about giving without expecting anything in return, but I have learned how to be a better leader. And because of what Lions clubs do, we were able to accomplish a lot.” Lions activities are even more fun, says Nicole, “when we can do them together.” Do you know a Lion who you think has a great story or deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of the Lion and the reason you’re making the nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line.
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