Making an Impact in Pittsburgh The New Alexandria Lions Club’s Demolition Derby can add national TV to the list of things its crushed. The club’s event was featured on an episode of the CNN show “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain.” The October 22 “Parts Unknown: Pittsburgh” episode featured chicken paprika at Jozsa Corner in Hazelwood, bocce in Bloomfield, and Westmoreland County’s own demolition derby run by the New Alexandria Lions Club. The Lions were eager to accommodate the show, seeking out a venue where they could control the crowd. The derbies are the largest fundraising event for the New Alexandria Lions and are typically held throughout the summer at the Lions grounds. Proceeds are dispersed among 50 different charities and community resources. Lion Fred Lydick says funds raised during the filming went to the Lions Club Lunchables Backpack program, which provides weekend meals and snacks for local schoolchildren. “We thought it would be a little free advertising, if you will,” Lydick says. “The more money we raise, the more we can give.” The episode itself received mixed reviews, with a lot of Pittsburgh locals less than pleased at the focus on the city’s collapsed steel industry, lack of diversity, and concerns over whether the growing tech industry will increase the cost of living and force out long time residents. Lydick, however, is diplomatic. “I think he was trying to show the contrast from the past to where it’s headed,” he says. Contest Winner Focuses on Childhood Cancer The Medan Stallion Leo Club from Indonesia is the winner of this year’s International Leo Day Video Contest, with their short film, “They Need Us,” focusing on childhood cancer and the devastating impact it has on families. The Medan Stallion Leos aim to better educate the medical community to get earlier diagnoses, and help dispel the myth that cancer is contagious. They serve their local community by bringing parents and children together through entertainment and play. “Peace” Tree Showcases Lion Contest Participants The Milpitas Executive Lions Club was one of nine organizations invited to decorate a Christmas tree to be displayed in Bob McGuire Amphitheater at the Milpitas Civic Center in California. Their tree was themed “PEACE,” and showcased the Peace Poster Contest winners throughout the years, including 2009 Grand Prize winner, Yennie Schu, who was sponsored by the Milpitas Executive Lions Club. It was displayed for the month of December and was seen by more than a thousand people at the December Tree Lighting Ceremony and December Milk and Cookies with Santa event. Eyeglass Drive Nets 14,000 Pairs and One Eagle Scout A Boy Scout in Tennessee collected 14,180 eyeglasses during a three-month Eagle Scout service project. John Boyle, 15, a sophomore at Creek Wood High School in Charlotte, started with a goal of collecting 250 to 300 eyeglasses to donate to the local Lions club. However, a pair of windfall donations—1,200 from Keith Lawrence and 2,100 from Patsy and Larry Petty—made him reach for a new goal of 10,000. Word of his drive quickly spread and John was soon receiving donations well beyond Dickson County. Michael Redman, a retired U.S. Army veteran in New Mexico began collecting glasses for John and mailed him more than 400. John was also contacted by several people from various Tennessee towns, including Nashville. One woman from Cookeville reached out with a “tub of glasses” that she drove to Nashville where John met her to receive the donation. “I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement,” says John. “It was always so exciting to go and pick up a donation, but what I really enjoyed was all the interesting people I met along the way.” The local sheriff’s department and Dickson Police Department were also big supporters of John’s campaign. Sgt. David Cole, John’s lead advisor to the Dickson Law Enforcement Explorers, commended John for his dedication. “John is an outstanding young man. I wish all young people would work as hard as he does to do great things and to make our county a greater place,” Cole said. He had researched several projects, but chose the eyeglass drive after a presentation to the Dickson Tennessee Lions Club in late July. “We were honored that John chose to conduct an eyeglass drive,” says Mark Cook, Past District Governor and member of the Dickson Lions Club. “John has a true passion for people and is making a difference, not only in Dickson County, but in the world.” John passed his Board of Review on December 7, 2017 and is now an Eagle Scout. By the Numbers 4 Number of laundry baskets filled with food each local veteran or working family went home with at Thanksgiving thanks to the Fitchburg Lions Club in Massachusetts. 924 Enchiladas assembled for the 3rd North Enid Lions Club Enchilada Project. 2 Tons of non-perishable food items collected by the Mount Dora Lions Club during their 57th Annual Christmas Parade. 12,000 Pieces of candy given away at the Jackson Lions Club 54th Annual Halloween Parade in California. 259 Shoeboxes filled with small gifts, school supplies, and hygiene items given to needy children by Operation Christmas Child with help from the Chambersburg Lions Club in Pennsylvania. 450 Dollars paid for a painting created live on stage by live art entertainer Amy Burkman at a La Mesa Lions Club fundraiser. 950 Dash plaques awarded in the Morris Lions Club annual car show in Illinois. 60 Coats purchased for kids from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch by members of the Texas Panhandle Lions Club. 54 Years Ago in the Lion FEBRUARY 1964 Past President Albert H. LaVine felt local clubs could use a little help with their PR. He encourages them to play nice with local papers—even if reporters ditch the event they were supposed to cover—pay their vendors, and know the customs of people in their community, among other things. The common denominator, he says, is the Golden Rule. Extra Digital Content Read PIP LaVine's article
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