Photo of three Leos

Leo Club Awareness Month – Let’s hear a roar for Leos!

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April is Leo Club Awareness Month — an opportunity for Leos and Lions to raise awareness about the importance of engaging young people in the community through the Leo Club Program. In observance of Leo Club Awareness Month, Leos and Lions can:

  • Invite community members to learn, serve and celebrate with their clubs
  • Plan joint Leo-Lion Protecting Our Environment activities such as beach cleanups or tree plantings
  • Host a celebration for Leos, Lions and community members
  • Increase online exposure and demonstrate the impact of Leo clubs within your community using the hashtag #LeoRoar on social media

Be sure to check the Leo Club Program Facebook page for more information about the Leo Club Program and other opportunities to promote and celebrate Leo clubs.

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LCIF Provides Emergency/Disaster Relief Grants in March 2015

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When natural disasters strike, Lions are there to offer help and support. In times of need, Lions are able to rely on disaster relief grants and funds from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).

In March 2015, LCIF provided 12 emergency and disaster relief grants totaling US$113,600.

These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Tanzania, District 411-B
$10,000 for flood relief

Wisconsin, USA, District 27-E1
$8,600 for disaster preparedness

Australia, District 201-Q4
$10,000 for fire relief

Argentina, District O-1
$10,000 for flood relief

Vanuatu, District UND
$10,000 for cyclone relief

Mexico, District B-4
$10,000 for flood relief

Macedonia, District 132
$5,000 for flood relief

Brazil, District LA-1
$10,000 for flood relief

Peru, District H-3
$10,000 for mudslide relief

Chile, District T-1
$10,000 for flood relief

Oklahoma, USA, District 3-H
$10,000 for tornado relief

Oklahoma, USA, District 3-O
$10,000 for tornado relief

*Emergency grants listed by date approved.

Emergency Grants provide up to US$10,000 for districts impacted by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis. Lions district governors may apply for disaster relief funds to help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. LCIF typically awards more than US$2 million in Emergency Grant funding each year.

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Protecting Our Environment Centennial Service Challenge Campaign

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During the month of April, Lions are encouraged to get involved in their communities through participation in the “Protecting Our Environment” Centennial Service Challenge Campaign. We will be highlighting environmental projects such as:

  • Planting trees or starting a community garden
  • Organizing a beach or riverbank clean-up
  • Sponsoring a nature camp to teach youth about environmental preservation
  • Volunteering at a recycling center

Lions all across the world are working towards serving 100 million people by June 2018 through the Centennial Service Challenge by participating in youth, vision, hunger and environmental projects. Our special environmental goal is to plant 10 million trees, so be sure to record your activities on MyLCI and post photos on your club’s Facebook page and other social media sites. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #LIONS100 so that other clubs can see the impact you are making in your community!

What projects does your club have planned to protect our environment?

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Kemba Inaugurazione 1105

A New School Provides Opportunity for Children in Kemba

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Valuing education but lacking resources, parents in Kemba in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) built a one-room schoolhouse with mud and straw. Those raw materials proved to be less than ideal. The walls crumbled. The school lacked windows, desks, chairs and bathrooms. Rain poured through the holes in the roof. Its 140 students learned amid dismal conditions.

Aware that the literacy rate is about 30 percent in the DRC and illiteracy dims work prospects and limits even access to health care, the Acqui Terme Host Lions Club in Italy set out to help Kemba parents. The club teamed up with the Kinshasa Bondeko Lions to build a new primary school.

The Acqui Terme Host Lions drew up plans for a school that would encompass four buildings: two with 12 classrooms each, one to house four staff offices and a library, and a separate building for restroom facilities. The Lions held a gala to raise funds to support the project and received help from other local Lions clubs. The Acqui e Colline Acquesi, Cortemilia e Valli, Nizza-Canelli and Carpentras Comptat Venaissin clubs donated time, money or materials.

The Lions then turned to Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) for a US$35,750 Standard Grant to raise the remaining funds needed to build and equip the school. LCIF’s most common grant, Standard Grants provide matching funds from US$10,000 to US$100,000 for large-scale Lions humanitarian efforts. Standard Grants generally provide capital funding for equipment and infrastructure needs. Typically funded are mobile health units, hospices, medical equipment, blind and disabled centers, eye clinics and schools in developing countries.

Drawing up the plans proved to be the easy part of the project. Located approximately 137 miles southwest of the capital city of Kinshasa, Kemba does not have a strong roadway system. Most Kemba residents get around on foot, so the streets are not equipped to handle heavy vehicle traffic. The main thoroughfares in the area are rivers, but there isn’t a river close to Kemba. So building materials were brought downriver by boat and then taken via trucks to their final destination.

The Lions persevered and the new school is now up and running, providing a safe place for students and teachers alike. Lions expect this new school to serve up to 240 students when children from nearby villages start attending. The roof does not leak and the floor is made of concrete, not dirt. There are wooden doors and shutters on the windows. Students and teachers now have desks and chairs.

The work of the Acqui Terme Host Lions did not end once the school was built; they have pledged to send books, notebooks, pencils and other supplies to the school for the next five years. Thanks to Lions, Kemba now has one more tool to use in the fight against illiteracy and poverty.

To find out more about LCIF Standard grants, visit and search for “standard grants.”

*This story is adapted from the original article in the April 2015 edition of LION Magazine.  

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Beeping Egg Hunt

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Lion Michelle Ballard –mother of Jalen, the 2014-15 Essay Contest Winner –coordinated the very first beeping egg hunt for blind and visually impaired children in her community of Sylvania, Ohio. With the help of the Toledo Police Department Bomb Squad, approximately 85 eggs were made for the event.

It was at the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles, California last year where Michelle learned of “The Rachel Project” and met David Hyche –the father behind it all. “He told me how they donate the materials to make beeping eggs to local groups. I requested our area be put on the list and we were approved!” Michelle announced in her event invite on Facebook.

March 21st was an exciting day for everyone. David was there in support of Sylvania’s first beeping egg hunt, as well as the fire department, a representative from the Ability Center  with an assistance dog, and even their local baseball mascot, Muddy the Mudhen was in attendance. There was a great turnout and even the weather cooperated with them to be able to hold the egg hunt outside.

Since the children were able to hear the eggs beeping, they didn’t need help from anyone to guide them to the eggs. Michelle described it as an “awesome independent experience” during her interview with their local town newspaper, The Blade.

Have you hosted a beeping egg hunt for children who are blind or visually impaired in your area? Share your story with us!

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