FUTURISTIC GARDENING METHOD CELEBRATES LIONS’ PAST President Andrea Thomas (left) and Treasurer Linda Caruso are proud of their club’s innovative Legacy Project. The bok choy was grown in a month without soil or pesticides in a community garden. “I didn’t think I’d like it. I loved it. It wasn’t bitter. It tasted fresh,” says Lion Andrea Thomas whose club made possible the innovatively grown produce. Lake Worth Lions in Florida paid for the $1,600 hydroponic system for the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden as a Legacy Project to mark Lions’ centennial. So far, more than 13,000 Legacy Projects have been reported to Lions Clubs International. Projects run the gamut: a new reading space at the library thanks to Landrum Lions in South Carolina, a renovation of a historic farmhouse in Massachusetts by Easton Lions and an outdoor exercise facility by Kenora Lake of the Woods Lions in Ontario, Canada. Lake Worth Lions choose a forward-looking gardening method to celebrate the past. The Gray Mockingbird Garden was established “to show there are different ways to grow food,” says Brian Kirsch, who runs the garden. The plot accommodates aeroponic gardening, reliant not on soil but on pumped nutrient-boosted water; wicked beds, a kind of self-watering pot; raised beds; a wheelchair-accessible area; fruit trees and bee hives. The hydroponic system is “my favorite type. It uses about 10 percent of the water normally used to grow food,” says Kirsch. The system consists of hoses, pipes, pumps and 10 containing trays that look like rain gutters. In a 6- by 12-foot space 180 plants can grow. The Lions provided “an excellent gift,” adds Kirsch. CLUB CLOSES CIRCLE Dorothy Borkenhagen of Minnesota never forgot how Lions provided her with glasses when she was young. She grew up in a singleparent household during the Depression, and her mother struggled to pay the bills. Her vision was so bad that she was legally blind, and, despite being bright, she did poorly in school. “When you think about back then, social services didn’t really exist, so for the Lions to step in and fix her problems is pretty neat,” her daughter, Beth Sieg, told the Faribault Daily News. “Otherwise, she would have just kept flunking out of school. Because of the Lions, she was able to graduate [Faribault] high school and get a great job at Northwestern Bell.” Borkenhagen died in November. But in her will she left $500 for the Faribault Lions Club. The club knew exactly what to do with the donation. A teacher happened to let the club know about a student who is from a single parent household and began to wear broken glasses to school. President John Battles says the club will use the rest of the money also to buy glasses for someone in need. Timothy Shriver of Special Olympics speaks at Lions Day with the United Nations, held for the first time in the General Assembly Hall. U. N. DAY ATTRACTS A RECORD CROWD Lion Timothy Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics, hailed the role of sports at the 39th Annual Lions Day with the United Nations in March in New York. “We can heal the world through sport, through play. It’s the first classroom of all learning,” said Shriver. Lions Clubs International is a staunch supporter of Special Olympics. Health and Inclusion was the theme of the Lions Day, which drew a record crowd of more than 800 Lions, Leos and guests. The day before the gathering, Somers Leos from New York played floor hockey with the USA World Games team of Special Olympics. In 1945, Lions helped formulate the non-governmental section of the U.N. charter. Highlights from U.N. Day: • Lions Clubs International signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations to work together to end gender-based inequalities and discrimination. • The winners of the Lions International Essay and Peace Poster contests were announced: Charlie Bruskotter of Delaware, Ohio, and Lakkana Meepara of Thailand, respectively. (The winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of the LION). • Mina Fernan Baghat, a 26-year-old refugee from the Middle East and a Special Olympics athlete, shared his story. A panel discussion on helping refugees followed. • International President Chancellor Bob Corlew and Maher Nasser of the U.N.’s Department of Communications and Public Information also spoke. Past International President Al Brandel of New York, the Lions’ representative to the United Nations, hosted U.N. Day. Too many pancakes result in this. 17,000 ENJOY PANCAKES—AND 72,000 SAUSAGE LINKS Yes, they do things bigger in Texas. The 65th annual pancake festival of the Lubbock Lions in February drew more than 17,000 patrons. That required 6,000 pounds of pancake mix, 72,000 sausage links, 23,000 slices of bacon and 41,000 ounces of pancake syrup. The event also catered to children (and in some instances the young at heart): 2,000 face tattoos, 2,000 bags of cotton candy and 4,000 pieces of bubble gum. The epic event was held at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. “It’s a good way for us to get together as a club,” Terry Holeman, co-chair of the event, told the Lubbock Avalanche- Journal. “It’s a good way for us to get together with the community.” Even with 330 members, the club relies on hundreds of volunteers including Boy Scouts to stage the fundraiser. The club raised $123,000 from the event last year and expects to make about $140,000 this year. Funds raised go to many concerns including the Texas Lions Camp, Meals on Wheels, Boy Scouts, eyeglasses and a children’s health clinic. Extra Digital Content Learn more about the Lubbock Lions Club, for years the largest in North America. Overheard “I like helping others because I want others to have what they need. It makes my heart go ‘boom, boom, boom’ really fast.” —Jaydin Fox-Lenhart, 7, who led a stuffed animal drive for the Louisiana Lions Camp. From the American Press. “It was funny, the first year, an elderly lady came up and actually asked when we were going to sell the white elephants.” —Kevin McWilliams, a Fairfield Lion in Montana, on his club’s annual White Elephant Auction. From the Great Falls Tribune. “I caught a girl cheating my first year teaching here [Bridgton High School], and I was told the principal wanted to see me. I thought, ‘Gee, word travels fast in this place.’ So I went down to see him, and his opening comment was, ‘Would you like to be my guest Monday night at the Lions club meeting?’” —Al Glover, a Bridgton Lion in Maine for 58 years. From the Bridgton News. By the Numbers 14,000 Gallons of water poured for the 40-by-100-foot ice rink installed for their community by Barkhamdsted Lions in Connecticut. 350 Blue ribbons tied on trees and light poles by River Grove Lions and others in Illinois to honor police and first responders. 1.24 Flight range in miles of the drone donated to the sheriff’s department by Camdenton Lions in Missouri to aid in missing persons searches, crowd control and documenting crime scenes. 37 Hearing aids given out by Sterling Lions in Colorado since they began their Hearing Aid Bank Project in 2013. 800 Children with special needs who attend the Special Kids Picnic, a 58- year tradition held by Grand Island Lions in New York. 10,000 Mammogram vouchers distributed (and redeemed) by Grand Canyon Tropical Garden Lions in the Cayman Islands. 100 Types of wines imbibed at the annual wine tasting sponsored by Shelby Township Lions in Michigan to benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind. 48 Length in feet of a sidewalk from a parking lot to a pavilion built by Bismarck Lions in Illinois to make the park accessible to those with disabilities. 61 Years Ago in the LION MAY 1956 Bethel Lions in Oregon hold a baseball school. Over three days, after paying a nominal fee of $15, boys eat and sleep baseball and learn the fundamentals from such professionals as former Boston Red Sox Bobby Doerr and former New York Yankee Bill Bevens. Digital LION Read the full story.
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