Lions, I am excited to announce the news that our float from last year’s Rose Parade, “Lions Built Matteo’s Dream,” won the Tournament Special Trophy! This trophy is presented for having exceptional merit in multiple classifications.
This year, our “Inspiring Challenges” float features Lions providing recreational activities for the blind and visually impaired. The activities that will be displayed on the float are the Bling Fishing Derby, Blind Surfing, Blind Buddies Gold Challenge, Bling Bicycling and the Miracle League Blind Beep Baseball.
Make sure you visit the Lions Rose Float website and Facebook page for more videos and pictures of our past floats. I look forward to seeing this year’s float and getting to greet our fellow Lion friends in California! Be sure to watch for Joni and me on our “Inspiring Challenges” Rose float on January 1st.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.
The Milagro Melvin Jones Lions Club in Ecuador organized the third version of their hunger and literacy project –providing 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students with food and books. Students enjoyed story time, a healthy snack and were able to get their face painted. It was another great success for those in the community.
We encourage Lions all across the globe to participate in the Centennial Service Challenge by organizing youth, vision, hunger and environmental projects. These projects count towards our goal of serving 100 million people by 2017. Lions, report your activities to MyLCI and share pictures on social media sites using the hashtag #LIONS100. That way other clubs can see how you’re making an impact in your community.
How are you feeding children in your community?
The Lions Club of Bloomfield, New York received an irregular result during one of their vision screenings at the local elementary school. Brianna Leitten was one of 11 students who got an irregular result. But as a result of more testing, the Leittens discovered a cancerous tumor in their daughter’s eye. Thanks to the vision screening camera the Lions used, Brianna’s life was saved.
Through their yearly vision screenings, the Bloomfield Lions Club is able to help test the eyesight of preschool and kindergarten children. “Oftentimes young students have no idea if they’re having trouble with their vision,” says Mary Sue Bennett, principal of Bloomfield Elementary. Students who struggle with their vision will have a hard time succeeding in school, which is why it is important to screen at an early age.
Within 30 seconds of taking a picture, the camera can determine whether the child has passed or needs to be referred for further testing. Mike Bartle, the Lion who screened Brianna, said, “The camera has a set of criteria. And so if it detects anything that’s out of the tolerance levels, it’ll come up and it’ll say either refer or pass if everything is adequate.”
It is estimated that about 19 million children are visually impaired. Lions work to improve sight by screening hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Below, read advice and tips from the Bloomfield Lions to help you get started and plan a vision screening in your community.
Brianna, her mother and Lion Mike Bartle will be on the panel discussing this year’s theme, “Children in Need,” at the Lions Day with the UN on March 7th, 2015. Join us as we celebrate 70 years of partnership!
Lions’ long history of improving vision is what helped William Wildhack decide to become a Lion 20 years ago. “What attracted me to Lions is the emphasis on sight and what we as Lions do for those in need. Without corrective lenses, I am about 20/1000. Eye sight has always been very important to me, probably because mine isn’t so good,” Wildhack explained.
Wildhack, an attorney and IRS agent, understands just how important combating vision loss is, as well as how treatable it is for the majority of the world’s people with sight problems. It is this understanding that prompted Wildhack to first become a Melvin Jones Fellow (MJF) with a US$1,000 donation, and then a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow (PMJF), with subsequent US$1,000 donations. “I became a PMJF because I know that every minute of every day, someone goes blind, and 80 percent of all blindness is preventable. The need is great, and one way I can help is through LCIF.” Wildhack serves as a passionate ambassador for Lions clubs and LCIF in his community; he has even persuaded several non-Lions to become Melvin Jones Fellows.
Wildhack’s Lions club became very involved with supporting SightFirst with the first fundraising campaign, and continued raising funds for Campaign SightFirst II (CSFII). “Through CSFII, we raised funds by meeting with individuals or other groups face to face, through local cable TV, speaking to Lions clubs, other groups and especially my clients,” said Wildhack.
And for Wildhack, the rewards of supporting LCIF and Sightfirst keep paying off: “It feels really good to know that by raising US$57,000 for SightFirst, our Lions club saved more than 9,500 individuals from blindness. In fact, I still get choked up when I read or hear updates about the individuals reached through our SightFirst program.”
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
Leos all over the world celebrated International Leo Day on December 5th by organizing projects such as food drives, book donations and even making picture videos showcasing projects they have done throughout the year. In celebration of International Leo Day, two Leo Clubs from District 305-N1 Pakistan organized youth and environmental activities.
The Multan Galaxy Leo Club set up an activity day for children at a local orphanage. Leos provided food and participated in fun activities, such as painting and sports games.
The Kasur Royal United Leo Club celebrated their day with a tree planting project inviting members of the community to join in the festivities. Throughout the day, Leos planted trees, watered plants and sprayed herbs in their Leo Club Nursery and Sports Ground. They called their project, “Plant a Tree, To Clear Environment and Green Pakistan.”
No matter where they were or what project they organized, Leos celebrated International Leo Day by showing their dedication to service. Share your activities with us! Follow the Leo Club Program on Facebook.
How did your club celebrate Leo Day?
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