Lions Clubs International’s 98th International Convention is only one week away!
Between dancing at the Leo Luau and marching in the Parade of Nations, be sure to swing by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) booth in the convention hall! LCIF staff will be on hand help you make donations, purchase your pins, and answer your questions about various LCIF grants and programs.
Showcasing our partnership with Special Olympics, there will be a Special Olympics bocce ball tournament on Friday, June 26, beginning at 10 a.m, in theHawaii Convention Center. You won’t want to miss this tournament! Special Olympics Hawaii athletes will display their skills in a series of live bocce ball matches. The Unified Sports© program is the Special Olympics inclusive sports model that brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together—both on and off the playing field. Lions and Leos have the opportunity to participate and volunteer. Stop by and learn more about the partnership and how Lions can get involved with Special Olympics chapters in their regions. LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer will make an appearance at the event and speak on behalf of LCIF.
To learn more about how LCIF is helping clubs to make an even greater impact around the world, plan to attend the Second Plenary Session on Monday, June 29, at 9:30 a.m. The Second Plenary will feature Hawaiian entertainment, an overview of LCIF and more! The session will be interpreted in Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish, and free digital radio translation units will be available at the Translation booth.
Of course, these are just a few of the exciting events taking place during the 98th International Convention in Honolulu, and we can’t wait to see you there!
Last week, I spent a few busy days in Colombia visiting with Lions and Leos. There was just so much to do and see — the Lions there are doing such a great job reaching out to their community! After attending the Opening Session at their Lions convention, I visited a project run by the Club Leones Antonio Narino. For the past 52 years, the Lions have been operating this project — a two-story building that provides food and health care to low income elderly and children. The facility has oscular specialist, a full dental clinic and several general medical doctors. I was also able to visit two LCIF-supported eye care facilities.
The Lions in Colombia value family involvement, and their Leo club program is one of the largest I’ve seen. I got a chance to bring in new Cubs, new Leos and new members into the Colombia Lions family, as well as charter a Campus Lions club that serves wounded soldiers.
Next up is the Lions International Convention in Honolulu! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since the last convention. I hope to see you all there!
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is proud to partner with Special Olympics. The partnership began in 2001 and was meant to provide vision screenings to athletes at Special Olympics sporting events. Since then, the partnership have evolved and expanded.
Recently, Past International President and Past LCIF Chairperson Clem Kusiak represented LCIF at the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America in Washington, D.C. This relay brings the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to each of the 48 continental United States. The three legs of the relay will meet in Los Angeles to kick off the Special Olympics World Games on July 25.
PIP Kusiak noted that passing the torch was symbolic of “giving support on behalf of 6,000 Lions clubs and more than 1.4 million members in 207 countries.”
The newest piece of this exciting partnership is Mission: Inclusion, which brings unified sports to Leos and Special Olympics athletes around the world. Mission: Inclusion is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
Our Special Olympics partnership provides free vision screenings at select Special Olympics sporting events worldwide, but that’s just the beginning. Athletes also receive diagnoses for vision-related problems, corrective and protective eyewear, and are taught how to take better care of their eyes.
A successful collaborative effort, the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program relies on thousands of volunteer Lions, doctors, vision specialists and educators. More than 350,000 athletes have been screened, with prescription eyewear provided to 110,000 athletes. More than 20,000 volunteer eye care professionals have participated in the program. More than 20,000 Lions volunteers worldwide have offered their time and talents for this true team effort that has been active in more than 70 nations.
The above Public Service Announcement shows how Lions all over the world respond during emergencies and disasters. Providing food, clean water, clothing, rebuilding schools and homes are just a few of the many ways Lions provide immediate and long-term relief following tragedies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and more. Download the PSA from our website and share it at your next club meeting or service event!
Make a difference! Find a club near you.
Today’s post is written by 2nd VDGe Lion Mike Kerek of the Reynoldsburg Lions. Learn more about baby Rodrigue, his illness and how you can help by following his family’s Facebook page.
I received an email from our MDS on May 7, 2015, who had received it from a Lion half a world away. Her message to the other elected district officers and myself was, “Not sure what to do with this, but it could be a good zone project”:
I’m Yannick Bonnefond, President of the Lions Club Reunion Sud France Australe located in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean). Here, we are close to the family of 7-month-old Rodrigue, who has a serious genetic illness called Werdnig Hoffman (Amyotrophie spinale).
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, USA, has selected Rodrigue to test a new experimental treatment. His parents, Jean-Francois and Cecile Cadet, and Rodrigue will fly from Reunion Island in 10 days and are expected in Columbus on May the 10th. They don’t know anybody there.
Can you tell me if you know somebody in your Lions club who might help them? They will be certainly lost and far from friends and family.
Thank you very much for your response and your help to this family.
Best regards from Saint Pierre in Reunion Island
President 2014 – 2015
By this point there were only three days before the Cadet family was to arrive, and we had no information at all to work with except this sole email.
Through email and later Facebook, Yannick and I were able to work together and obtain the flights, times and needs of the family with a couple of hours to spare before they were due to arrive. District 13-F DGe Lion Ben Cosgray and his wife (Plain City), PDG John Fischer (Columbus Southern Pines), French-speaking Lions Vanne Ganziami, Lavie Koubaka, and Rennes Adiwenyaga from Reynoldsburg, along with myself, were all on hand to greet the travel-weary family with smiles, gifts and a warm welcome. We were able to get them to the hotel and settle in with contact information that let them know they had a support system here in the United States. Jean-Francoise and Cecile are not Lions, and were amazed at the response their friends in Reunion provoked, simply by reaching out to fellow Lions and asking for help…even to Lions on the other side of the world.
I’ve been a Lion for 16 years, and for the first time I understood the power of 1.4 million Lions. People I have never met and likely never will, unless I am very fortunate, needed assistance and got it because we were all part of the same organization that lives the motto, “We Serve.” I know the same would hold true for me, should I need it.
It’s an amazing knowledge that regardless of where I am in the world, whatever my concern or need may be, there will be a Lion there to help.
Jean-Francoise and I are staying in touch, and he’s keeping me informed. Little Rodrigue has not yet been accepted into the program he needs, but there is still a possibility. I hope and pray that Rodrigue gets the treatments he so desperately needs. I’m just glad that I could be a part of his life, if only fleetingly, and know that I touched his life and his family’s in a positive manner. It’s the only reward I need to reach out the next time.
2nd VDGe Lion Mike Kerek
The January 2014 issue of Lions Quarterly includes a segment that features Lions in Wisconsin and their first-ever statewide project. The Stuff the Bus project collects school supplies…
Dear Lions Family, Celebrate Family and Friends Month in April by taking part in the Lions World Lunch Relay on April 4th. It’s a 24-hour international event that…
Are you on Instagram? Not only is the smart phone app a great way to post quick, fun images of your club’s activities, but now you can also…
The Relieving the Hunger Global Service Action Campaign is still going strong, and we’re sharing stories of how Lions everywhere are feeding their hungry neighbors. The video above…