The Staples, Staples Host and Staples 93 Lions in Minnesota purchased and installed Lions’ signs at four highway entrances near town. The San Marcos Lions Club in Texas presented 100 $50 gift cards to the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District to help teachers purchase classroom supplies. Past President Pat Morrell of the Warwick Lions Club in Virginia was youth coordinator for the John M. White International Lions Camp where 29 youths from 17 countries participated. Mountain Grove Lion Mike Elam leads the way as the conductor on “Toots,” the club’s popular train that is making the circuit at festivals and fairs in rural Missouri. Toots was donated to the club by a friend of Lions, and although the train schedule fills quickly, it appears by invitation at other Lion events throughout the state. The Easley Lions Club in South Carolina held a pancake breakfast fundraiser, assisted with construction of a new playground for those with disabilities, helped with restoring a primitive school, provided a protective jacket for a police dog and helped returning veterans through Upstate Warrior Solutions. The Ottertail Lions in Minnesota donated $25,000 to the city of Ottertail to be used for fire equipment. The Brandon Lions Club in Manitoba, Canada, has been active for more than 75 years. Members have done everything from sponsor the purchase of an ambulance for the city to building a baseball park. They raised money for a non-profit senior complex known today as Lions Manor where they serve breakfast to residents once a month and are involved in numerous community events. The Bellmore Lions Club in New York participated in the Service Project Letter Campaign where more than 400 students wrote letters describing service projects that would benefit their community. Lions chose four ideas that included a community cleanup, a coloring book collection for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a DVD collection to benefit medical facilities. The Francis Scott Key Lions in Maryland initiated a new service project, Operation Blue Thank You, to honor local police officers. The Lions invite an on-duty patrol officer to be their guest for dinner as an expression of appreciation. The Random Lake Lions in Wisconsin provided the funds for the Village of Random Lake to purchase 14 hanging flower baskets and mounting brackets to fasten to utility poles, beautifying the downtown. Four clubs in Texas, the LaGrange Noon Lions, the La Grange Evening Lions, the La Grange Bluebonnet Lions and the Smithville Lions, purchased a screening machine and trained several club members on its use. Many children have been screened. The Knowlton Lions in Quebec, Canada, contributed $1,000 to La Maison Au Diapason, an organization offering free palliative care and psychological and spiritual support to terminally ill patients and their families. After years of preparing catfish and shrimp on plywood supported by sawhorses, the Canyon Lake Noon Lions in Texas recently purchased like-new stainless steel commercial kitchen equipment to use for the club’s fundraising fish frys and shrimp fests. The Springfield Lions in New Jersey helped host “Union County Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil” to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness. Thirty-three names were read and candles were lit to remember homeless people who died over the year. The Stanwood Lions Club in Washington surprised one of its members, Jim Bonnifield, with a portable reading camera that scans text and sends the images to a computer where other software allows the computer to read the pages out loud. Bonnifield, a longtime Lion, has a rare genetically inherited disease that gradually decreased his ability to see. Harlan Lions and the Harlan-sponsored Leos responded to a tornado that struck Indiana, destroying farm buildings and homes and sending debris through fields of corn and soybeans. Many came to remove debris from about 30 acres of soybeans that had to be cleared before the crops could be harvested. The Bolingbrook Lions in Illinois provided a local college student, Aubrey Millar, with new hearing aids. She was born deaf and received her first hearing aids at seven months. Aubrey sent a letter to thank the Lions, saying, “I hold the Bolingbrook Lions near and dear to my heart because they have helped so many children and people like me.”
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