Charlie Bruskotter reads his essay at Lions Day with the United Nations in March. OHIO BOY WINS ESSAY CONTEST Charlie Bruskotter, 12, plays the piano and drums, listens avidly to science podcasts and reads popular books. He also is a gifted writer. Charlie, who lives in Delaware, Ohio, is the grand prize winner of this year’s Lions International Essay Contest for visually impaired youth. He has ocular albinism, a genetic condition that affects his vision. Both of Charlie’s parents and two grandparents are Lions. His essay asserts that peace will come if we are friendly to others, open to new ideas and accept one another’s differences. “By accepting differences, we can get to know people that we would never know if we judged them by how they looked or acted,” he wrote. Charlie will receive $5,000 and be honored at the 100th International Convention in July in Chicago. The award was announced in March in New York at Lions Day with the United Nations. The ceremony was attended by Charlie, his parents, a younger brother, two grandparents and Michael Jones, president of the sponsoring Delaware Lions Club. Digital Content Read Charlie’s essay . ‘MAGIC GLASSES’ DO THE TRICK Holding hands with his mother, Kerri, Cross Burchett now can see well thanks to Lions. When Cross Burchett was 3, he suddenly discovered trees had needles, not “poky things on it.” Everything had been blurry until he received what he called his “magic glasses.” He started wearing eyeglasses after a Colorado Lions Kidsight screening. Now a teenager, Cross’s story is told in a “Where Are They Now” segment in the latest LQ, the Lions Quarterly Video Magazine. The April LQ also features the “Houses of Love” established for the elderly by South Korean Lions, suicide prevention efforts by Irish Lions and a new Leo club at the South Carolina School for the Bind. Be sure to “like” and share LQ on social media. LQ is available on the LCI website, YouTube, iTunes and DVD. Digital Content A LIVELY ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ VIDEO We may be 100 years old, but the latest creation from Lions Clubs International celebrating the centennial is a zippy, 105-second-long video. “Happy 100th Birthday, Lions” features Lions from various nations sending birthday wishes in their own language. It’s a fun, fast-paced evocation of the universality of Lions Clubs as well as a reminder of how Lions treasure their membership. COLORFUL CENTENNIAL STAMPS ISSUED Twenty-nine nations so far have put a “stamp of approval” on the Lions’ centennial by authorizing postage stamps honoring Lions’ 100th anniversary. The U.S. Postal Service does not approve stamps honoring nonprofits, but California Lions arranged for a private issue stamp that shows founder Melvin Jones and the Lions logo. Private issue stamps are valid stamps that sell for nearly twice the price of a regular stamp. Five years in the making, the international stamp campaign was spearheaded by Dr. Howard Levenson, a Lion from California since 1962 and a member of the Lions International Stamp Club (LISC) for nearly as long. He says it’s hard to pick a favorite among the centennial stamps: “They’re all very colorful.” Many show the Lions logo. Australia’s has the number “100” with the logo in the second “O.” Besides the logo, New Caledonia shows a canoe and a map of the nation. LISC will sell centennial stamps at its booth at the upcoming centennial convention in Chicago. The U.S/ California stamp can be purchased from Levenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Digital Content View some of the centennial stamps. Read a feature story about Lions and stamp collecting. TOP TEN: CENTENNIAL MERCHANDISE SOLD 1. COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROOF: 72,945 2. CENTENNIAL LAPEL EMBLEM PIN: 19,861 3. LIONS CENTENNIAL DECAL: 5,800 4. CENTENNIAL PIERCED LAPEL PIN: 5,358 5. CENTENNIAL PIERCED LAPEL MINI: 4,306 6. OVAL EURO STICKER: 3,042 7. 100TH ANNIVERSARY TAB: 2,811 8. CENTENNIAL MEMBER BADGE PIN: 2,588 9. CENTENNIAL BUTTON 10/PACK: 2,120 10. CENTENNIAL DINER MUG: 1,528 Overheard “They both have been extremely successful in their lives. They appreciate our country. That gets me—they are grateful. It makes my life worthwhile.” —Bob Ward, an Ocala Lion in Florida since 1964, on meeting again two women who came from Ecuador as teen-agers 37 years ago to live for three months with American families through an exchange program sponsored by his club. From the Ocala News. “Our trip … gave us a foundation upon which we built the rest of our lives. This foundation led us back to the United States in search of the American dream, a dream I feel I have fulfilled. I’m happy to say our hearts have been filled with joy and gratitude for each and every person who took part in the exchange program.” —Anita Villalta “My life after this trip changed for good, because I came to love this country and always wanted to come back and live here. It was a dream that God put in my heart and made it happen.” —Maria Elena Marquez By the Numbers 55 Firefighters served meals by Milltown Baie D’Espoir Lions in Newfoundland, Canada, as they battled arson fires that gutted a school, town hall and police station. 100 Dollars distributed to the 50 members of the Medway Lions in Massachusetts to help others as they see fit. The club was inspired by a story in the LION about Grand Junction Lions in Colorado. 20,000 Square footage of the fenced-in dog park to be built by Streator Hardscrabble Lions in Illinois. 200 American flags provided by Adel Lions in Iowa for placement around the Wall That Heals, a 250- foot half-replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. 3 Days at a deluxe cottage getaway awarded to the winner of a raffle of the Mac Tier and District Lions Club in Ontario, Canada. 12 Teams that competed in the rib cookoff of the Weaverville Lions in California. 94 Years Ago in the LION JUNE 1923 The LION encourages Lions to attend the upcoming 7th International Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Atlantic City is “the playground of the world,” its “bathing facilities are unexcelled anywhere in the world” and “for bolder spirits the whole Atlantic Ocean is available for yachts or other forms of water craft.” Extra Digital Content Read the “Call of Brotherhood” urging Lions to attend the Atlantic City convention in the June 1923 LION.
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