It is with an extremely heavy heart that I report tragic news out of India.
Over the week-end, Lions and family members from Sambalpur Lions Club – district 322 C2, were enjoying a picnic at the nearby Hirakud dam. While transiting back to shore, their boat capsized, resulting in the loss of many lives. Early reports indicate that as many as 15 Lions and 15 family members have drowned in this tragedy.
I ask you to join me in prayer for those who lost their lives and their surviving family members, as well as all the Lions throughout India who are only now coming to grips with the reality of what has happened.
I will post more information as it becomes available.
Barry J. Palmer
When Marsha Burgett, an instructor at the Community Kids Preschool in Winona, Minnesota, USA, reached out to Lions for a development stairs and bridge for the school, the Lions answered. Three clubs in the area — the Winona Lions, the Rivertown Lions and the Sunset Lions Club — organized the Lions City Wide Pancake Breakfast to help raise the necessary funds.
The Community Kids Preschool is an inclusionary program that teaches children with special needs. Above is a photo of Adam, who was diagnosed with a retinal degenerative disease last year, using the stairs and bridge donated by Lions.
Yet another touching story that shows how Lions everywhere are making an impact on people’s lives.
How does your Lions club respond when community members reach out for help?
December and January marked the Relieving the Hunger Global Service Action Campaign, and Lions everywhere participated by feeding their neighbors. From Lions in Malaysia distributing food packages during a local festival, to Lions in Ecuador handing out sandwiches to community members — Lions embraced the feeding campaign and worked to help end global hunger.
Thank you for serving your communities! Remember that hunger affects families and children around the world every day, so continue planning projects that feed the hungry year-round.
How did your Lions club participate in the Relieving the Hunger campaign?
Earlier this week I was in Kolkata, India, where I had the privilege of meeting the participants of the 7th Annual “Beyond Belief” Expedition Challenge. This amazing program is well-supported by Lions, and proves that people who suffer from physical challenges and disabilities are still highly capable of making their dreams come true.
The program’s challenges have included climbing mountains, crossing rivers, rafting through rapids and facing wild elephants! It has been showcased as a case study in motivation and team building — providing participants with the strength and support to integrate into mainstream society. The biggest reward is that since the program began seven years ago, 45 participants of different abilities have found new meaning in their lives.
This year’s participants rowed boats nearly 300 kilometers down the Ganga, from Murshidabad to Kolkata, which is only a prelude to their sea voyage to Paradip. I flagged them in as they completed their four-day journey. These young men are truly an inspiration!
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