Leo Latin America Forum: Bolivia 2017

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In August, Leos from Latin America gathered in Bolivia at the 37th Leo Latin America Forum.  Forum organizer Leo Janeth Pedriel shares her thoughts on what made this event so special.


What was great about this event?

Something great for us was the large participation of Bolivia. It made us feel very happy to see our goal fulfilled, which was to motivate Leos and Lions to participate as much as possible in our great event for Leos of Latin America and the Caribbean.


What inspired you to lead this event?

We were inspired by service. First, to carry out an activity together and have the whole district work together along with other Leo and Lions districts to provide a great ELAC for all the Leos of Latin America and the Caribbean. And at the same time, to raise awareness of Bolivian Leos and bring this great event back to Bolivia after 10 years.


What was the most memorable part of the event?

The most memorable part for us was our service activity and leadership training workshops. With our service activity, we spent the day at a senior center and were able to help many elders to brighten their day with our presence and bring them things they need. With our leadership workshops, we were able to learn more and motivated each other to continue with our leadership development.


Don’t miss out on upcoming international Leo events! For a list of events near you, check out the Leo events webpage.



Touchstone Story–Fighting Breast Cancer

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Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world, and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed kind of cancer in women. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, but early detection can help save lives.

Brenda Tibbetts Lund of the Cayman Islands was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. At the time, there was very little information about breast cancer available in Cayman, so Lund worked with the Tropical Gardens Lions Club of the Cayman Islands to establish an awareness program. The efforts of Lund and the Lions led to the area’s first annual 5K walk-run and awareness campaign, which was launched in 1997.

Carmin Godfrey of the Tropical Garden Lions Club said that the breast cancer awareness campaign “became our signature project, because it is an issue that is very dear to our hearts.”

Lund passed away in 1998, and the annual event was renamed the Brenda Tibbetts Lund Memorial 5K Walk/Run in her honor. Hundreds come out every year to support the event, support their community and feel empowered to make a difference.

“When I first found out I had breast cancer, I was very scared,” cancer survivor Becky Ebanks said. Finishing the 5K Walk/Run for the first time gave her a great sense of accomplishment. “My family walked with me. That was very important.”

The 5K is a visible sign of outreach, but it’s the conversations about cancer screening and awareness that happen because of the walk/run that really make the difference. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Tropical Gardens club organizes community forums every October in all seven districts on Grand Cayman. Topics covered in these forums include breast health, self-exams, mammograms and risk factors. The Lions provide vouchers for free mammograms to as many as 600 women a year who otherwise could not afford the cost of the screening.

Since the program’s launch, “the frequency at which you find advanced breast cancer has dropped tremendously,” said Dr. Steve Tomlinson. “Most we’ve seen now are stage 1, stage 2 cancers, with a higher cure rate.”

In addition to local efforts, the Lions Clubs International Foundation has supported cancer-related grants with donations totaling more than US$4 million. About 13,000 women in Venezuela received breast cancer screenings after an LCIF grant provided a mammography machine for District E-1 in Venezuela. In Lebanon and Jordan, Lions helped to equip three clinics that screen approximately 10,000 women every year.

“Education is key,” said Ebanks. “Women need to know they can take control of their health.”

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. Don’t forget to share these stories with new members so they gain an understanding of Lions history!


Unveiling of Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Oak Brook

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Lions Clubs International President, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal, with the Consulate General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan and Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairperson of Redberri Earth Foundation, unveiled a larger than life size bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi at the world headquarters of Lions International in Oak Brook, Illinois on October 30, 2017.

Donated by Dr. Kant Vyas, the Gandhi sculpture is 5.1″ high. It is made of bronze and has been designed by world renowned artist Philip Jackson. The statue sits atop a white marble pedestal. The total height of the sculpture is 7.1″ and its total weight is about 2200 lbs. The Consulate in coordination with Redberri Earth Foundation and Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas family Foundation is planning for permanent installation of the sculpture at an appropriate location in Chicago to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairperson of Redberri Earth Foundation, and Consulate General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan

Mahatma Gandhi is fondly called the “Father of the Nation” in India. He was a legendary figure who led India to independence through peace and non-violence . Albert Einstein had once said about him “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” Mahatma Gandhi had inspired several world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. His philosophy has been a beacon of hope and peace around the world.

The Gandhi Statue will be on display at Lions Clubs International for the next several months before making its way to a yet-to-be-named permanent location downtown Chicago.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with over 1.4 million members in 200 countries or geographic areas. Lions are devoted to serving the underserved in areas such as vision and blindness prevention, hunger relief, improving the environment, youth services, and diabetes prevention and awareness.


1st USA/Canada LEO Leadership Forum

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For the first time, Leos from Constitutional Areas I & II participated in a Leo Area Forum in New York, New York USA.  Lion Pablo Romano led efforts to organize the forum and shares his thoughts on what made this event so special.


What was great about this event?

The best part of this event was the friendships that were made by Leos. These Leos arrived not knowing a soul in the room and made connections with Leos from other parts of the country.


What inspired you to lead this event?

As a former Leo, it was always my dream to develop an event where Leos from throughout the region could gather to learn, interact and have fun.



What was the most memorable part of the event?

The most memorable part of the event was the UN Women training that Leos received. Just to hear these young leaders talk about global issues was inspiring.


Check out this video which highlights the 2017 event.


Don’t miss out on upcoming international Leo events! For a list of events near you, check out the Leo events webpage.



Charity Navigator Four Star Banner

LCIF Receives 6th Consecutive 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is pleased to announce the receipt of our sixth consecutive 4-Star Charity Navigator rating, the highest possible rating awarded.  Only 5% of evaluated organizations achieve six consecutive four-star ratings, which means that LCIF exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities serving similar causes.  Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized charity evaluator in the United States. Charity Navigator examines the financial health, accountability and transparency of charities to determine its ratings.

LCIF’s 4-star rating indicates that it consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.  For many years, it has been LCIFs board policy that all administrative expenses be covered by income generated from investments.  In practice, LCIFs investment income covers both administrative and fundraising expenses.  This means that 100% of donations received by LCIF go directly to the causes we serve.  LCIF receives no portion of Lions Clubs International club dues.

For more information, we invite you to review Charity Navigator’s analysis of LCIF here.


Donate to LCIF

Since LCIF’s founding in 1968, more than US$1 billion in grants have been awarded.  This has been made possible because of the generosity of Lions and partners, and due to LCIF’s fiscal responsibility. Donors can be confident that funds entrusted to LCIF will support initiatives that impact communities and change lives.



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