Shining Our Light on New York for One Night A tribute to Lions’ centennial, the iconic Empire State Building was lit up in Lions’ colors for one night in July. The top spire and antenna of the 102-story skyscraper in Manhattan were illuminated in gold and 25 floors were lit in blue. “Since the 1930s the Empire State Building has stood for progress and a view of the future. Lighting it up with our colors helps Lions appreciate our proud past and our bright future,” says 2016-17 International Director Robert Libin of New York. Libin and International President Naresh Aggarwal spoke at a ceremony before the lighting. The lighting was sponsored by the Long Island City-Astoria Lions Club, one of the oldest in New York and home of 1939-40 International President Alexander Wells, and the Queens Centennial Lions Club with coordination by Lion Pablo Romano. THE WUNDER YEARS Born on a farm in rural Kansas, William Wunder helped transform lives and reverse or prevent blindness in far-flung nations such as China and Sudan. Past International President Wunder, 87, died Aug. 10. A Lion since 1982, Wunder belonged to the Wichita Northwest Lions Club. He was elected international president at the association’s 78th International Convention in Seoul, Korea, in July 1995. The people he served as a Lion always remained vivid and consequential to him. He never forgot the mother in Kansas whose 7-year-old son received glasses from his club and wrote the club to explain how it turned his life around. “The mother’s letter ended with this sentence, and I’ll never forget it as long as I live: ‘Thank God for the Lions,’” Wunder told the LION in 1995. His presidency was full of accomplishment. He helped form a partnership between the Peoples Republic of China and Lions Clubs International Foundation that resulted in 1.75 million cataract surgeries in China and paved the way for establishing Lions clubs in China. He also worked with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and The Carter Center to significantly reduce river blindness in Sudan. His presidential theme was Leadership, and Wunder championed leadership during his travels to 84 nations. He also helped develop the Leadership Division at headquarters as well as introduced the Lioness Conversion Program to encourage Lionesses to become Lions. Leadership was central to his working life. He was a colonel in the U.S. Army and then president of Marymount College in Kansas. Lions Clubs Adds Another Nation Lion Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi (center) of the United Arab Emirates gathers with 2016-17 International President Chancellor Bob Corlew (right) of Tennessee and Italian Lion Augusto Di Pietro, the Coordinating Lion to the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates has become the 210th country or territory with a Lions club. The UAE Premier Lions Club was recognized just prior to the flag ceremony at the 100th International Convention in Chicago on July 2. Charter President Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi told Lions that having a family member with a serious eye disease makes his membership especially meaningful. He also noted that Lions will serve at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, the capital. A LION CONQUERS EVEREST—AGAIN Lions were on top of the world: a Nepalese mountaineer summited Everest on May 27 and unfurled a Lions flag. Dorji Sonam Gyalgen of the Kathmandu Aviyan Lions Club carried a Lions flag with the New Mountains to Climb theme of 2016-17 International President Chancellor Bob Corlew of the United States. A Sherpa who has summited Everest more than a dozen times, Gyalgen was part of a 13-member expedition. Summiting Everest is a Lions’ tradition: Lion Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the peak in 1953 along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. LIONS STAMPEDE HEADQUARTERS During the 100th International Convention this summer Lions’ headquarters was not only a regular workplace but also a packed tourist destination for Lions. More than 10,000 Lions and family members took a 30-minute tour of the building in suburban Oak Brook, near Chicago. Visitors used audio wands in the 13 official Lions’ languages to explain the operations of headquarters. On display, a loan from Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s birthplace in Alabama, were an alarm clock for the blind with a buzzer that is placed under a mattress, and “The Story of My Life,” Keller’s autobiography and the actual book used by William Gibson to write “The Miracle Worker.” Other attractions that drew crowds were the Melvin Jones Memorial Room and its lion rug, a gift to Melvin Jones from Winston Churchill; the international president’s office and the numerous gifts from Lions and world leaders; and the Peace Poster Wall, featuring the winning posters since the contest began in 1988. OVERHEARD “When I retired, I thought, ‘What am I going to do with 24 hours and nothing to do?’ You can see now that I carry an appointment book. ” —BUSY LION FRANCIS “BUCKY” NAUGLE, 80, after receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship from his club, the Conemaugh Valley Lions Club in Pennsylvania. From The Tribune-Democrat. “Whether or not Jimmy Dean wins or not, it’s not important. Well, it’s kind of important. But being part of the mission of Lions club is really cool.” —AUSTIN TELEVISION REPORTER RUDY KOSKI on his family’s dachshund competing in the Wiener Dog Race held by Buda Lions in Texas. From the Hays Free Press. “She sat there in the chair and she said, ‘I think this is just what Mamaw needs.’ She read this little prayer in there, and she said, ‘I think this will help her from being so sad.’” —DONNA FRITZ, a Pershing Township Lion in Indiana, on a nine-year-old girl who found a devotional book in her club’s Little Free Library located across the street from Fritz’s ice cream shop. Mamaw is the girl’s grandmother, whose husband had just died. From the Seymour Tribune. BY THE NUMBERS 4 Roaming hay wagons, as well as three stationary ones, selling flower baskets for the Batavia Lions’ 35th annual Plant Day sale in Illinois. 2 Price in dollars of the protective glasses sold by Brevard Lions in North Carolina to safely view the solar eclipse on Aug. 21. 170 Participants in the polar bear plunge of the New Baltimore Lions in Michigan. A team dedicated to the memory of Lion John “Jack” Hayman (“Everybody in town knew him,” says Lion Judy Gable) raised the most money—$4,000. 8,000 Hygiene kits donated by Americus and Albany Lions in Georgia to residents through the YMCA and other groups after tornadoes struck the area. 88 Cultures represented on pole banners celebrating the town’s diversity in a project of the Sharon Lions and Rotarians in Massachusetts. 822 Pairs of socks collected for senior citizens by Lexington High School Leos in Ohio. 17,294 Pairs of shoes collected by Alexandria Evening Lions in Minnesota for Soles4Souls, which provides shoes for the poor in the United States and overseas. 60 YEARS AGO IN THE LION OCTOBER 1957 In a time when paper was king and computers were practically nonexistent, two staffers at the International Office in Chicago carefully stack clubs’ monthly service activities reports. The LION presented “the inside story of the nerve center for the world’s largest service club organization” in an issue celebrating the 40th anniversary of Lions Clubs. Extra Digital Content Can you predict the future? How about if you are the leader of Lions and are prognosticating about Lions? Read “The Future of Lionism,” written by International President Edward G. Barry of Little Rock, Arkansas in the October 1957 LION, as well as the full story on the international office in the October 1957 LION.
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