Sixteen years ago, Eldon Weber had a desire to teach children the importance of the agricultural industry, including how we get our food and the impact agriculture has on our economy. While employed at Iowa State University, he developed the Pizz-A-Thon experience. Over the sixteen year period his program continued to grow. By working closely with teachers and their students in Iowa and the Quad Cities, he was able to adapt his objectives and goals to follow the Core Learning Standards required by the State Departments of Education. Eldon was able to expand the program in 2000 to middle schools in North Carolina.
What is the Pizz-A-Thon?
Students work in teams to create a pizza by determining the ingredients they will use and identifying the food stages by way of tracing the ingredients back to the soil. They are also required to come up with a marketing campaign and must “sell” their pizza through a presentation to the judges. At the time Eldon was on faculty at Iowa State University, the winning team represented its school at a state competition which was held in May at the University. Students were given a tour of the ISU grounds –visiting the greenhouse, dairy and more. Although they do not have a state competition currently, he hopes to develop one in the future with after school clubs.
Enter the Lions
In 2013, Eldon invited the Ames Breakfast Lions Clubof Iowa to host the program. Prior to their hosting, while Eldon was president of the Ames Breakfast Lions, the club assisted in testing the program with the Boys & Girls Club of Story County –a success that gave them confidence that it would be a good program to use in connecting with youth and families. As Past President of the Ames Breakfast Lions Club and active member, Eldon tweaked the program to fit Lions Clubs goals of benefitting our youth.
Making an Impact
Together as a Lions Club, they reached 150 youth in Ames, Iowa this year. Between 1998 and now, over 5,000 children have participated in the Pizz-A-Thon program. More than halfway to their goal, Eldon and the Ames Breakfast Lions are striving to reach 10,000 children by 2016.
Interested in learning more about the Pizz-A-Thon program or how to start a branch in your community? Visit their website for more information.
The Baggao Lions Club in the Philippines organized a coastal clean-up activity. This “Protecting Our Environment” project not only helped clean up the beach, but also raised awareness for the importance of having clean coastal areas.
Lions all around the world are working towards a common goal of serving 100 million people by 2017 through youth, vision, health and environmental projects as part of the Centennial Service Challenge. In order to keep track of how many people we are serving, we ask that Lions record their activities on MyLCI. Don’t forget to upload pictures from you project on social media and use the hashtag #LIONS100 so that other clubs can see the impact you are making in your community.
How is your club Protecting Our Environment?
Do you want to help empower and build an accepting community for people with intellectual disabilities? Get involved by chartering a “Champions” Lions Club! “Champions” Lions Clubs focus on projects that serve Special Olympics athletes. Many Lions clubs are involved in this initiative to support these athletes.
Take for example the Whittier Special Olympics SOLA Lions Club. Over 50 members of the Club have had the opportunity to empower persons with intellectual disabilities, show the world the skills and talents of a group often overlooked in today’s society and work with a great organization. The club’s activities include providing sporting events, equipment and uniforms to athletes along with providing volunteers and hearing tests at the fall and summer games each year. The SOLA Lions Club continues to make a positive impact on the Special Olympics movement in Southern California.
Also, congratulations to the Nairobi Fosok Champions Lions Club who recently chartered in support of Special Olympics. This is the first “Champions” Lions Club in Africa and is dedicated to working with persons with intellectual disabilities.
Invite a Special Olympics Athlete
If you are already a Lion, consider inviting a Special Olympics athlete to become a member of your Lions club. Provide them with the opportunity to give back and help others in the community.
Today’s guest blog post comes from the Lions of Multiple District 103 France and their events from World Sight Day. Follow the Lions Clubs of France on Facebook for more information on their recent activities.
More than 300 Lions Clubs stand up for World Sight Day throughout France. Around one third of French Lions volunteered to organize vision screenings in 196 places. The event has been launched on a national level before spring, and thanks to practical tools and appropriate training, Lions realized how easy it was to get involved. Lions could either organize simple tests with the help of opticians and orthoptists, or more accurate vision screenings with ophthalmologists.
Lions raised public awareness of the importance of a healthy vision and disseminated information about eye diseases and prevention. It was also a great opportunity to get Lions Clubs International and its actions better known.
Nearly 9,000 people benefitted from vision screenings and advices given by experts. Lions also collected hundreds of eyeglasses which will be recycled by French Eyeglass Recycling Center Medico Lions Clubs and shipped to people in need. Partnerships with Essilor Vision Foundation, other foundations and local authorities helped Lions organize these events. The Lions of France show they can make a difference in their community and that they are part of the “Sharing the Vision” Campaign within the Centennial Service Challenge
We are proud to be Lions and are looking forward for World Sight Day Oct 8, 2015!
Held at the UN Headquarters in New York City, the 37th annual Lions Day with the United Nations is celebrating 70 years of partnership. Since our collaboration in 1945, Lions and the UN have worked together on many humanitarian projects such as the SightFirst program.
This year’s theme is “Children In Need.” Lions are encouraged to join the UN in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by addressing important humanitarian needs such as eradicating poverty and hunger, providing access to education, combating diseases and ensuring environmental sustainability. LDUN gives the opportunity for Lions to learn how, together with the UN, we can continue to help those in need on a global level.
This year’s Lions Day with the UN takes place on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Space is limited, so mark your calendars and register today. We hope to see you there!
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