LIONS NEWS BRIEFS. MOBILITY CARTS GAIN FOOTHOLD More Lions are adopting PETs. The Personal Transportation Vehicles, handcranked carts for people who lost the use of their legs, are made by PET International, a nonprofit group based in Columbia, Missouri. Since December of 2007, Lions clubs have partnered with PET to deliver 1,000 carts for children and adults in El Salvador, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Zambia. Altogether, PET has delivered 20,000 carts in 84 nations since 1996. The Mt. McKinley Lions Club in Alaska sponsored a booth for PET at the international convention in June in Sydney. 15,130 AND COUNTING R. Colin VanBlerk vowed he would collect 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses and bettered that by a single pair. “Don’t sell a Dutchman short,” a fellow Lion quipped. The Lion from the Okanagan Falls Lions Club in British Columbia now has collected 15,130 since June 2006 and plans to collect 20,000 before June 2011. “I’m a very fortunate individual,” says VanBlerk, 70, retiredFrom managing the welding shop of a public transit operation. “Where would we be without eyesight? I want people to see the beauty of the world, the beauty of other people. Maybe somebody can get an education or read a book.” VanBlerk sets up collection boxes in schools, stores, eye clinics and hospitals. He grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and traces his desire to serve to viewing The Miracle Worker when young and also assisting his mother in her health work with lepers. OLYMPIC INFLATABLE BOUGHT BY CLUB Remember the giant inflatable Mounties, moose, hockey players and beavers at the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Vancouver? Lions in Kitchener, Ontario, will help keep that memory alive. They purchased for $7,500 one of the 16-foot-high beavers. The club will lease the inflatable for the local Oktoberfest, televised nationally. The club runs a popular festhall at the event. TheClub also enters in the parade its 18-foot-high Lion inflatable and displays in its Santa Claus Parade a 26-foot snowman and a giant reindeer and Santa Claus. LCI HAS BLOG What’s black and white and read all over–on the Internet? The Lions’ blog. Lions Clubs International’s blog features interesting stories, tips and photos (which actually are in vibrant color) of interest to Lions. The site is updated a few times per week. Go to www. Lionsclubs.wordpress.com. WELCOME TO THE CLUB!. It’s said that everyone is born with a hidden talent. Illinois resident Geoff Bevington, 47, of suburban Chicago has a not-so-hidden artistic gift, which he’s put to use in a variety of creative ways. Whether he’s designing signage for the Glen Ellyn Lions Club’s annual Arts Fest or using cartoons to promote literacy and arts advocacy, this marketing and creative director’s every sketch and creation is hard at work. LION: Geoff Bevington, 47 CLUB: Glen Ellyn Lions Club, Illinois HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CLUB: We’re a fun group of people who are passionate about our community – a group of true volunteers, committed to spending our time and energy to make Glen Ellyn a better place. WHY YOU BECAME A LION: I was asked to help create artwork for the posters and advertising of our Glen Ellyn Lions Club Arts Fest, now in its 41st year. I really enjoyed lending my illustration and design skills to the club and was immediately welcomed. When I understood the Lions’ mission of sight and sound, and how it related to the Arts Fest and other activities, I decided to become a member. WHAT MY CLUB DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT ME: I once was a toy maker. A business partner and I came up with different moving, talking dolls that were manufacturer in China and sold to different stores. Some of our hits include Pull My Finger Fred, which we’ve sold 500,000 of. We also came up with holiday items like moving ghosts, Shake Your Booty Santa and Valentine’s Day singing stuffed dogs. FAVORITE TELEVISION PROGRAM: I don’t often watch television, but when I get the chance I like to watch MythBusters to see things explode and Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel to live vicariously for a few minutes. FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT: Hong Kong. It’s an incredibly complex, beautiful city with a blend of so many different cultures, foods, voices, art and music. When I’m in Hong Kong, I definitely know I’m not at home. FAVORITE FOOD: If I had to pick just one food, it would be my wife Lisa’s homemade carrot cake. It’s so incredibly rich and thick, with more than one pound of icing and two pounds of carrots and nuts. It’s something that we don’t have often, but when we do, it disappears very quickly. PROJECTS I’D LIKE TO SEE MY CLUB TAKE ON: I’d like to see our club take on more projects that provide exposure for the Lions, possibly adopting a park, so that the community can see how much enjoyment and reward there is in serving. CLUB TITLE: Darien Lions Club FOUNDED: 1971 COMMUNITY SERVED: Darien and surrounding communities. Darien is a Chicago suburb that’s about six square miles with a population of 22,800. MEMBERSHIP: 141 active Lions. All of this group’s Lions are men, but spouses actively participate in fundraisers and the group has several meetings and meals for spouses. The club adds between five and 10 new Lions each year by remaining active in the community and inviting friends to join. MEETING MATTERS: The club has monthly business meetings and board meetings, along with periodic dinner meetings, an annual steak fry meeting, a holiday dinner meeting with spouses and an annual golf outing. The group also gets together for a night at the races event in nearby Maywood Park. FUNDRAISING EFFORTS: The club raises more on Candy Day in Illinois than any other club in the state. The club has a participation rate of about 90 percent and raises between $30,000 and $40,000 each year. Members collect money at 10 to 12 busy intersections during the course of three days, and older Lions who may not be able to participate collect donations at grocery stores or work on the logistics of the weekend. The Lions also hold various raffles along with a pancake breakfast, a Fourth of July Parade and Picnic, and a Bids for Kids Autism Fundraiser. In 2009, the club packed holiday food baskets for 180 families in need. Families were identified by the Darien Park District and businesses as well as individuals contributed. Each family received some fresh food and gifts for their children, if applicable. CLAIM TO FAME: Because of its success on Candy Day, the trophy awarded to the highest fund raiser each year has been renamed the Darien Trophy. Another trophy has been established for the second-place fundraiser. WHY BE A LION: “The club is a great opportunity to give back to the community and make your community a better place to live.” —Lion Mark Kiwiet. BYTHE NUMBERS. Gallons of blood donated since 1949 by Charles Zuckerman, a member of the Winchester Host Lions Club in Virginia since 1953. He is believed to be one of the top donors in the nation. 128,500 Pounds of food recently distributed during two days to needy families by the Shelby Lions in North Carolina. The food was valued at $102,628. 105 Bulbs and fixtures replaced on a hilltop star-cross structure by the Holmen Lions in Wisconsin. The club bought the property from the village in 2008. 75 Boxes of treats and toys for military dogs and personal items for their handlers packaged at the Lyons- Muir Lions Club in Michigan and sent to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Michigan Search and Rescue and 4-H clubs coordinated the care packages. 13,000 Motorists served tea, coffee or sausage by members of two Lions clubs and other groups between Christmas and New Year’s Day at the Mundoonan Driver Reviver Site near Yass, Australia. 73 Age of Cheri Ann Schear, the winner of the Ms. Senior Sweeetheart Pageant in Fall River, Massachusetts. Schear is a former symphony orchestra soloist from Missouri. The pageant began as a Lions’ fundraiser in 1978, and Fall River Lions receive proceeds from the concessions. 42 Businesses represented on Abingtonopoly, a board game fundraiser based on Monopoly and produced by Abington Lions in Massachusetts.
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