Donation to help fund animal surgical table

By JESSI SMITH

Sarasota Lions ClubBecause of a donation from the Sarasota Lions Club, an ophthalmic surgical table will be purchased for the Southeastern Guide Dogs’ veterinary facility in Palmetto.

Members of the Lions presented the $5,000 donation during a luncheon Oct. 3 at the Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Discovery Center in downtown Sarasota.

The donation came after the Lions Club Council of Governors visited the Palmetto facility, where dogs are bred and trained to eventually be matched with a visually impaired person.

During the visit, Southeastern Guide Dogs CEO Titus Herman challenged the Lions to fund an eye clinic at the Palmetto facility so the puppies’ vision could be screened at various stages during their training.

“We had recently taken a group of dogs that were ready to be matched with their new owners to the vet for a final checkup,” recalled Helen Arnold, community outreach coordinator for Southeastern Guide Dogs. “During the visit, we discovered that three of the dogs had cataracts and couldn’t be placed. Sophisticated equipment could have prevented that.”

In response to Herman’s challenge, Arnold said, the International Lions Club agreed to match 50 percent of the funds generated by the Florida Lions to put toward the clinic.

The Sanibel-Captiva Lions presented Southeastern Guide Dogs with a $10,000 for ophthalmological equipment, staff training and reference material for the clinic’s prescreening room.

The $5,000 that the Sarasota Lions donated will fund the purchase of a surgical table for the clinic, said Dr. Jerry Edington, director of Breeding and Veterinary Services at Southeastern Guide Dogs.

“Prior to this, we had no place to conduct the eye exams,” Edington said. “We had to do them on the floor.

“Thanks to the Lions’ generous donations, we now have a specific place to do the eye exams. Now that we have a much more controlled setting, we no longer run the risk of missing anything or damaging the equipment.”

Edington said the table also will be suitable for physicals and dental procedures, making it an important multipurpose addition to the veterinary facility.

Locally, the Lions were one of the first organizations that helped Southeastern Guide Dogs get off the ground, Sarasota Lion Bill Riley said.

The Lions also have made several contributions to Paws for Patriots, a Southeastern Guide Dogs program that pairs veterans with guide dogs, veteran assistance dogs and therapy dogs.

The money provided for the eye clinic and surgical table is some of the first to be donated by the Lions for a specific purpose, Riley said.

“Historically, the Lions have always been great supporters to guide dog schools,” said Marjorie Singer, a Lions Club member and the outreach coordinator at Southeastern Guide Dogs. “What they do is absolutely paramount to the future of guide dog organizations everywhere.”

Crosby Lions, Leos organize Rebuilding Together Houston project

By STEPHEN THOMAS

Crosby Lions, Leos organize Rebuilding Together Houston projectEvery time that Tracee Jackson leaves and returns to her Crosby home, she sees the difference that Lionism makes.

Through the Rebuilding Together Houston program, the Lions and Leos of the Crosby Lions Club coalesced dozens of volunteers who on Saturday, Oct. 15, refurbished Jackson’s Melville Drive home.

Volunteers scraped the loose green paint and replaced it with a beige coat complemented by white newly attached trim and fresh paint under the roof overhang. They also secured or replaced siding as necessary, caulked voids to seal the structure from the elements, and built a wooden front porch, complete with railings.

The team performed interior roof repairs and renovated a bathroom to make it handicapped-accessible.

This is not an exhaustive account of the post-Hurricane Ike renovation.

A 20-year resident, Jackson was away during some of the volunteers’ work, which was carried out under the auspices of the Rebuilding program, a community outreach organization that repairs and renovates homes at no cost to the qualifying need-based homeowners.

When the homeowner returned, she picked up a paint brush and helped.

Having worked side-by-side with volunteers, Jackson insisted that she be called upon to volunteer on the next project, which would improve someone else’s home.

She could not believe the impact of Lionism and the broader display of community service. Upon examining the work, all Jackson knew was that these volunteers were good people; they were her kind of people.

“It overwhelmed me for them to show that much love toward someone that they didn’t know,” Jackson said. “Even though they didn’t know me, we did have common ground, and that was with Jesus.

“I know they had the love of God in them, for them to do something like that for a person they didn’t know — to sacrifice the time that they could have been spending with their families. To come and help me, a person in need, was very overwhelming.”

Volunteers were practically coming out of the woodwork, so to speak. Lions and Leos were joined by members of Crosby Boy Scout Troop 1411, the values-based citizenship of which is consistent with the 1917 founding humanitarian pillar of Lions and Leos.

Lions Clubs are known for their eyesight conservation initiatives and aid to people who suffer from vision loss. They sponsor eye exams, to include preschool vision screening, and collect recyclable eyeglasses strictly for overseas distribution.

Leo is a Lions Clubs community service organization focused on providing “leadership, experience and opportunity” to its youth and young adult membership.

The East Harris County Empowerment Council also was among the organizations represented.

The scope of volunteerism impressed and encouraged organizers.

“You always take a shot in the dark and hopefully everybody says, ‘Yes,’” Crosby Lions Club President Marcus Narvaez said, during the volunteers’ work day. “You hope for the best. Everybody can’t always make it. But this was a great turnout. Some of the people I didn’t even expect to come.

“I think it is fun to do this. To see all the people here gives you more fuel to just keep on working on the house.”

Lions and Leos praised the exemplary team spirit.

“My gosh, it’s awesome,” said Brenda Quintanilla, sponsor of the Crosby Leo Club at Crosby High School, who was painting under the roof overhang on the home’s east side. “Everybody is working together. If you walk around the house, you can see that so much work is getting done because we have so many people who came to volunteer. The Boy Scouts showed up! They are all helping, and it is really a great effort. We’re doing a great job, I think.”

Lionism is an everlasting doctrine, which is a reason Crosby Lions and Leos, whose Facebook page is www.facebook.com/crosbylionsclub, plan to continue helping people and improving neighborhood aesthetics through the Rebuilding program.

“We would like to do more Rebuilding projects,” Quintanilla said. “We are always looking for houses that we can help folks with. One of the biggest challenges that we found, so far, is finding people who would like our help. Sometimes folks don’t really want to step up and say, ‘I need the help.’

“So, if there is anybody out there who would like us to come by with Rebuilding Houston — there are some qualifications they have to meet — we would love to do more jobs like this.”

Jackson was an ideal choice for the project.

“I’ve met her,” Narvaez said. “She is well-deserving.”

Volunteers have been very proud to sacrifice a Saturday for Rebuilding Together Houston.

“I feel good about us fixing the old ladies’ houses,” said Boy Scout Jonathan Bliek, a member of Crosby Troop 1411. “I feel good for painting all of the fences; make her feel better.”

While Jackson was away, Troop 1411 Boy Scout Jacob Peña said that he had hoped the homeowner would return and be “surprised and happy that we helped her with her house.”

Trying to Save the New Hyde Park PAL

By Brett Hunter Spielberg

Trying to Save the New Hyde Park PAL The New Hyde Park Police Athletic League is in dire need of renovations. To raise funds and awareness the  New Hyde Park Lions and New Hyde Park North Lions clubs held a dinner, raffle and more at the Elks Lodge on Sunday afternoon.

A spring that consisted of heavy flooding has done serious damage to the multi-purpose floor at the PAL. Due to the county and statewide clampdown on spending, it has been very difficult to secure a grant. Activities for children ranging from basketball to volleyball are impossible to participate in with the currently damaged facilities.

“We are trying to put together a nucleus of community groups who all want to help raise money for the PAL,” said President of the New Hyde Park North Lions Dolores Carolan. “The Elks Lodge and Lakewood Bakery have donated all the food for the event.”

While the New Hyde Park North Lions Club women were upstairs organizing the dinner and putting together prizes for a raffle, the men of the Lions Club were downstairs putting together a 50/50 of their own as well as a football-related fundraiser.

“I’ve coached at the PAL for years and it’s an important place for youth athletics in the neighborhood,” said Don Rood, a coach and teacher at New Hyde Park High School. “Many teachers at the high school have contributed money towards the fundraiser and a few even stopped by to show support.”

With support coming from across the whole community, the PAL is trying to put together the funds that they need to move forward with renovation so that they continue being an important part of the New Hyde Park community.

Halloween Parade offers way to help others

Written by Vanessa Junkin Staff Writer

halloween ParadeEach Halloween, children collect candy as they go trick-or-treating. But at Selbyville’s annual Halloween parade, residents can take part in a different type of collection by donating used eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses to those who need them.

For the second year, the theme is “Sight Night,” said Bruce Schoonover, who handles publicity for the Fenwick Island Lions Club, a co-sponsor of the event with the town of Selbyville.

Schoonover and Fran Pretty, parade chair, said members of the Indian River High School Leo Club will gather eyeglass donations to benefit those in third-world countries.

The first Halloween parade in Selbyville was more than 60 years ago, Pretty said.

“It’s just a long-lasting tradition here in Selbyville,” said Selbyville Town Administrator Robert Dickerson, who has been attending the event since roughly 1980.

Schoonover said he’s spoken with someone who remembered purchasing war bonds at the event back in the 1940s.

Pretty said the Fenwick Island Lions Club became involved four years ago, after the Selbyville Lions Club — which had served as co-sponsor for many years — disbanded.

The parade has a friendly, hometown atmosphere, Dickerson said.

“(My favorite part is) just seeing the excitement of the kids that are participating in the parade,” Dickerson said. “They really look forward to it.”

Roughly 25 floats, which can be antique cars or something else other than traditional floats, are normally part of the event, including local merchants, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, majorettes and gymnasts, Pretty said.

Performing in the parade will be marching bands from IRHS, Sussex Technical High School, Sussex Central High School and Stephen Decatur High School along with Steel the Show, a steel drum band from Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

John Syphard, a seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher at SDSA who is director and manager of Steel the Show, said the band won for “best float” for their performance last year.

Syphard said hearing the band’s name called at the judges’ booth and being with an enthusiastic crowd are highlights of performing in the parade with Steel the Show. The band includes about a dozen students, many of which are new this year.

“I like (this parade) ’cause it’s local and the crowd’s fairly appreciative of it,” Syphard said.

The parade starts off with a kid costume contest. Participants should be at Salem United Methodist Church by 6 p.m.

The Lions Club has been selling 50-50 raffle tickets for the past few months and raffle tickets will be for sale at the parade as well.

Ticket sales, at $1 per ticket or $5 for six, reimburse the school bands’ bus transportation to the parade, she said.

The Lions Club and the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Department each have food for sale.

Pretty said she enjoys working with the community and helping put on this family-oriented event.

“I think it brings the community together and it highlights what a small hometown is like,” she said.

Meet the Carmi Lions Club’s new mascot!

Carmi Times

cami lionGina Brown’s third grade class at Jefferson Attendance Center in Carmi is the winner of the Carmi Lions Club’s “Naming the Lion” contest. The club recently adopted a new pet lion and it needed a name. So the club asked the White County grade schools to help. It offered the winning class a pizza party with the pledge that their picture would be taken with the lion and published in The Times.

The class suggested the winning name: Carmion the Lion.

“Congratulations to the students in Mrs. Brown’s class for naming the lion,” said a club spokesman. “The club also would like to thank every student who entered the contest. There were a lot of great names.”

Dorchester Lions Club swimarathon raises more than £5,200

By Joanna Davis

Dorchester Lions Club swimarathon raises more than £5,200A MAYOR helped make a splash for a local appeal at a swimming endur-ance extravaganza.

Dorchester’s First Citizen Tess James recruited a team of six to swim 87 lengths of the pool at the Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre for the county town’s 29th annual Swim-arathon.

Mrs James’ team, the Mayor’s Maids, was one of 28 teams that raised £5,280.50 for local causes, with the main beneficiary being Dorset County Hospital’s Digital Mammography Appeal.

The teams swam for 55 minutes each and managed 2,803 lengths of the pool.

Organisers the Dorchester Lions Club held the event over Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Mrs James said: “I roped my friends in to do it with me and we managed about 87 lengths between us, which isn’t bad given that our average age is around 60.

“It was a really great day with all sorts of people there raising money.

“It was a real community effort.

“My team was a bit nervous before we started but they all rose to the challenge.”

Making waves for charity on the mayoral team were Mrs James, Elisabeth McLean, Anne Eccleston, Frances Anderson, Janet Hambling and Sara Clarke.

Lions spokesman Andy Rose said he wished to thank everyone who took part.

“We’d particularly like to thank the team ‘Rusty Swimmers’, who raised £577. We had all ages and abilities taking part. Some were beginners and some, like the West Dorset Warriors were regular participants who took part.

“I’d also like to thank Henry Ling, which put in three teams and are always very supportive of us,” he said.

Mr Rose urged participants to hand in their sponsorship money as soon as possible to Goulds Household Centre in South Street, Dorchester.

This 2011 event was sponsored by the Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre and the Leadbitter Group, which is currently building the new Dorchester Sports Centre on the leisure centre site.

All the teams that pledged over £100 at year’s event will also be put into a prize charity draw, with a chance to raise more money for their chosen cause.

Rockford ‘Noon’ Lions Club’s Candy Days a success

labor_Day_2008On behalf of the sight- and hearing-impaired in Winnebago County, the Rockford “Noon” Lions Club thanks the community for making our October Candy Days a success.

Special thanks to Logli’s on East State Street and Charles Street, Valli Produce and Walgreens on North Alpine for allowing our members to solicit contributions in front of their stores. We raised more than $4,000.

Proceeds fund eye examinations and glasses for needy students in the Rockford schools, provide aid to individuals with sight and hearing disabilities, and fund Camp Lions for children with sight and hearing disabilities.

The Lions of Illinois Foundation also provides a bus equipped to screen people to determine whether they have a sight or hearing disability that needs treatment.

For more information about Lions, contact President Charles Quillen at 815-985-8037.

— Albert Sicotte, Candy Day Committee, Rockford “Noon” Lions

National White Cane Safety Day

White Cane DayThe Greencastle Lions and Lioness Clubs will team up Friday, Oct. 14 to raise funds for local sight projects through the White Cane Project. Members will be located at Tower Bank, Sunnyway Foods, Sunnyway Diner, Family Restaurant and Mikie’s Ice Cream throughout the day and evening.
The White Cane concept began with James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England.  In 1921, he became blind following an accident.  Because he was uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.  In 1930, George Bonham, president of the Peoria Lions Club in Illinois, introduced the idea of a white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility.  The Peoria Lions approved the idea.  White canes were made and distributed.  The Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right of way to cross the street.
News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions Clubs throughout the United States.  Their friends, with visual handicaps, experimented with  the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by individuals, blind and sighted alike, quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special needs for travel considerations among their sighted counterparts.
Today, White Cane Laws are on the books of every state in the US and many other countries, providing a person who is blind a legal status in traffic.  The white cane now universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind.
To make the American people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane and the need for mororists to exercise special care for the person who carries it, on Oct. 6, 1964, the US Congress approved a resolution authorizing the President of the US to annually issue a proclamation designating Oct. 15 as National White Cane Safety Day.
The Greencastle Lions and Lioness clubs look forward to community support of this fundraiser. All donations received will be used toward local sight projects.