Stow-Munroe Falls Lions Club is sponsoring its 17th annual Mother’s Day Flower Sale

Hanging baskets and potted plants (Rieger begonias, impatiens, petunias, fuchsias and more) — from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 in front of Eddy’s Bike Shop, 3707 Darrow Road, Stow; and Fifth Third Bank, 911 Graham Road, Cuyahoga Falls.

This year’s event and future flower sales are dedicated to late Lion Harry Boos, whose vast knowledge of plants greatly benefited the club.

Proceeds from this and other Lions Club’s fundraisers go to the Ohio Lions Pilot Dog Program, two local eye banks, scholarships to local graduating seniors, donations of holiday baskets and other contributions within Stow and Munroe Falls.

For information about the Stow-Munroe Falls Lions Club, please contact membership chairman Tony Cocozzo at 330-688-9850 or visit http://smflions.com.

Lion’s Clubs host student speech competitions

By Laura LaVelle
Lake of the Pines columnist

Another Lion’s Club undertaking that benefits a wide range of students is the District 4C-5 74th Annual Lions Student Speaker Contest. This competition provides scholarship money totaling over $103,000 for student speakers from Placer, Nevada, Sacramento, El Dorado, Sierra, and Yolo counties.

On April 3, four local high school students competed at the Higgins-Diggins Lions Community Center on West Combie Road in the Donner Region of competition. These students were sponsored by individual clubs.

Claire Newman, a senior attending Bear River High School, was sponsored by Grass Valley Host Lions Club; Michael Collver, a junior at Bear River, was sponsored by Higgins-Diggins Lions Club; and Christina Keyes, from Colfax High School, was sponsored by the Colfax Lions Club. Niraj Amalkanti, Sunday’s winner, was sponsored by Rocklin Lions Club. He is a senior attending Rocklin High School.

Niraj is a seasoned competitor in extemporaneous speaking and is planning to pursue an engineering degree after graduating from high school. He edged out his competitors with a well-organized and succinct presentation.

He skillfully combined the use of relevant supporting evidence and citation, which he seamlessly incorporated into his speech. He spoke with confidence, conviction, and clarity.

All of the student speakers handled this year’s topic very well; the controversial topic was “Enforcing Our Borders: State Versus Federal Rights.” Before hearing the speeches, past Higgins-Diggins Club President Donna Prince read the contest rules and officiated over the proceedings.

At the end of the presentations, the judges’ final scores proved the competition was intense. All of these talented students had already won two contests to be able to compete at this level.

As winner of this competition, Niraj, received $150 in prize money and will go on to compete in the 4C-5 District Level on Tuesday, April 26, at the Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento. The winner there receives a $4,500 prize before going on to compete for a total of $21,000 in cash and scholarships.

North surrey group ready to roar into fundraising action

North Surrey LionsThe North Surrey Lions have joined the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 100 Days to Give campaign by pledging $110,000 to support a new integrated health-care centre in the Fraser Valley. From the time the hospital first opened its doors, the Lions have given their time and effort for the betterment of their community. Donations for the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre will be matched to help buy state of the art medical equipment for the new facility and to attract the best and brightest doctors to the region. The 100-day countdown is now on. Get involved in this community effort to make quality health care a priority. Every single donation counts.

When it comes to helping those in need, there’s no task too big or small for the North Surrey Lions Club, a group that is long committed to serving its community.

The club’s latest effort is the Mile of Toonies campaign that aims to raise $110,000 for the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation in support of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre to open in June. A mile of toonies, they figure, would actually add up to their fundraising goal for the much-needed expansion of hospital space in Surrey.

“The Lions Club supports many different charities and things,” says North Surrey Lions Club president John Moralek. “If we raise a certain amount of money, some of it will go to the international level, some of it will be used locally and some of it to small, little things like building a wheelchair ramp for somebody who needs to get in and out of a house.

“Just recently we had a child and the elevator that got them in and out of their house broke down. We paid for the repairs for it. This is the type of thing that we do.”

Formed in 1957, the group of 35 to 40 volunteers is part of the Lions Clubs International, which currently has more than 1.3 million members in 202 countries.

Moralek explains that while the North Surrey Lions Club raises funds for local issues, including cancer research, Alzheimer’s, diabetes education, the Special Olympics and The Centre for Child Development, their efforts are also part of the international network providing support for disaster relief globally.

Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation president and CEO Jane Adams describes the Lions as a hard working group of volunteers who have regularly given to the hospital over the last two decades.

“They raise money at a real grassroots level. For example, they were out at an event in February on one of the coldest mornings of the year selling pancake breakfasts to raise money. That’s dedication,” she said.

The Lions will raise funds for the new health centre through a variety of local events with the mindset that every little bit counts, that raising a mile of toonies happens with one toonie at a time.

So far, the campaign has also included a food sale at the Mayor’s Cup Soccer Tournament over a weekend in March at Newton Athletic Park.

“We raised about $1,000 toward that goal, which isn’t a lot of money, but if we do that every time we do an event, it won’t take too long, I hope,” Moralek says.

Lions reach out to family

By Cheryl Keenan Editor

FAYETTEVILLE — “We Serve.”

That motto is familiar in communities around the world as the motto of the local Lions Club.

Lions Clubs are most well-known for their support of sight programs, adopted in 1925 following a challenge from Helen Keller. According to Lions Club’s International’s website at www.lionsclubs.org, “Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, and challenged Lions to become ‘knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.’ Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.”

Beyond their efforts to aid those suffering from vision loss, however, each local Lions Club supports a number of other philanthropic programs.

Locally, the members of the Fayetteville Lions Club recently adopted a crusade that’s near to their hearts: raising funds to support a local family whose 4-year-old son has cancer.

“We’re trying to help out what we can,” said Lion Gary Holliday.

“We do stuff for lots of people,” said Lion Steve Tyra, “so here’s a face we can put on it that’s familiar to our community.”

Dustin Moore has an inoperable tumor in the brain stem/spine area, according to Tyra, and the youngster is required to take extensive radiation treatments to keep the tumor from growing.

“They’re just regular middle income folks with insurance,” Tyra said, “but the bills are running the family in the hold just trying to keep up with it.

“Mom and Dad have both used up all their time off to go to Morgantown for treatment, and the grandparents are helping. When we learned about it, we knew we had to do something.

“It was almost like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney getting together and saying, ‘We’ve got a place; I’ve got some costumes. Let’s put on a show!’ Before we knew it we had people donating items and we didn’t have anywhere to store them.”

The ‘show’ is set for Saturday, April 2 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Fayetteville Church of God activity building and will include an auction, a flea market and a barbecue sale.

“When you tell the story, people are quick to help,” Tyra said. “They say, ‘How much do you need?’ or “What can I do to help?’”

Among the items donated thus far for the auction are two special celebrity items. Rock musician Alice Cooper has donated a new black Fender guitar which he autographed, and West Virginia University and Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend Jerry West sent the Lions a #44 West Virginia cap in blue and gold, which also is autographed.

Besides the celebrity items, though, the Lions have a number of high-end items up for auction, including an electric hospital bed, solid gold coins, a brand new tree stand, exercise equipment, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, a grandfather clock, compound bows and more.

Several area companies are providing support to the Lions and the Dustin Moore Fund, including Pepsi, which will be providing all the drinks for the day, and Gumbo’s, which will donate 10 percent of its sales for the day to the fund.

“We also have a number of collection canisters up around the area,” Holliday said.

For those who would like to make a donation to the Dustin Moore Fund, Tyra said, you may do so at any Fayette County National Bank branch.

But Tyra said even those who wish to make a donation also should join in the activities on April 2.

“We just really want a good turnout to help this family,” he said.

Highland Heights Lions Club celebrates 50 years of helping others

By Jeff Piorkowski, Sun News
Highland Heights Lions ClubThe Highland Heights Lions Club has been an important part of the city’s past, stretching back to the time when Highland Heights was a village.

And, for the service club’s 50th anniversary, it has offered to help with formulating a portion of the future.

The club’s vice president, John Graves told City Council members and Mayor Scott Coleman that as its main project for its golden anniversary year, the Lions want to help the city improve the property on Highland Road where a church building was recently demolished.

“We will do what we can do in conjunction with (the city) to improve the site,” Graves said.

“Instead of doing something for ourselves, like having another (commemorative) dinner like we did at our 25th anniversary, we thought why not do something that can help the city?” said club president Richard Eisenberg, a Lion of 46 years.

Part of an international organization dedicated to helping the visually handicapped and as well as those with hearing difficulties, the Highland Heights Lions Club has long played a part in the city’s direction.

In the 1960s, the club purchased what is thought to be the first jaws of life apparatus in the area for the local fire department at the time when Interstate 271 was built and it was thought high-speed accidents would be on the rise.

It has for decades played a part in the city’s Memorial Day remembrances, Home Days parades and establishment of the peace memorial that stands in front of the fire department.

Club members have raised money to provide playground equipment at Whiteford Park, worked to make safer after prom events at Mayfield High School and provided food for the needy.

The Highland Heights club also organized and oversaw the first three countywide high school all-star football games dating back about 40 years.

Club history

Eisenberg, a Highland Heights councilman in the early 1970s and now a Mayfield Village resident and lawyer, said the club first held its meetings at the old Eastgate Coliseum in the Eastgate shopping center.

“We then held our meetings at the Holiday Inn on Euclid Avenue (in Wickliffe), then a restaurant at Richmond Mall, in the back room of Denny’s (on Wilson Mills Road) before the PT Cruiser Club wanted the room — and they had more members than us — and now at Manhattan Deli (in Willoughby Hills).”

City history

“Bill Brennan was mayor in the 1960s and ‘70s,” Eisenberg said. “He’s the man who made Highland Heights what it is today.”

Eisenberg recalls Brennan’s efforts leading to the acquisition of the Highland Heights Community Park, the founding of Alpha Park and Alpha Drive which led to big taxpaying businesses moving to the city, and bringing the Front Row Theater to Wilson Mills Road in the ‘70s.

“In the 1960s, Highland Heights was still pretty much rural. So rural, I can remember a babysitter once coming to our house on horseback,” Eisenberg said.

Because council members and mayors were Lions Club members, and because the club met regularly on Monday evenings, the story goes, council meetings were moved to Tuesday nights, a day on which they are still held.

Why be a Lion?

Service clubs were more popular in the post World War II years and up through the 1970s.

“At our peak, we probably had 24 members in the late 1970s,” Eisenberg said. “We probably have 13 or 14 now.”

Both Graves and Eisenberg note while the club’s median age is older than 50, there are signs young people want to be more involved in such clubs that do good for others.

The club now has a couple of members in their 30s, while its youngest member is Craig George, 27, who is the same age Eisenberg was when he joined.

“When you can help 500-600 people a year get the eyeglasses they need like we do through our program at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and as we have done since 1961, it’s a good feeling.

“I haven’t accomplished too much in life, but if I’m helping someone see better, that’s a good thing.

“I also know that as a Lion, I can go to any corner of the world and know I’ll have a friend there because we are all over the world.”

Graves has been a member about 10 years and has served as club president.

“Why did I join?” he said. “First was helping people, and second is the camaraderie.”

And, while other service clubs elsewhere may be suffering from dwindling numbers, the Highland Heights Lions remain strong.

Said Eisenberg of his years of service, “I couldn’t imagine not being a Lion.”

Lions auction to help boy’s family

Buckley Lions ClubBy Cheryl Keenan For The Register-Herald

“We Serve.”

That motto is familiar in communities around the world as the motto of the local Lions Club.

Lions Clubs are most well-known for their support of sight programs, adopting in 1925 a response to a challenge from Helen Keller. According to the Lions Club’s International’s website at www.lionsclubs.org, “Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, and challenged Lions to become ‘knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.’ Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.”

Beyond their efforts to aid those suffering from vision loss, however, each local Lions Club supports a number of other philanthropic programs.

Locally, the members of the Fayetteville Lions Club recently adopted a crusade that’s near to their hearts — raising funds to support a local family whose 4-year-old son has cancer.

“We’re trying to help out what we can,” said Lion Gary Holliday.

“We do stuff for lots of people,” said Lion Steve Tyra, “so here’s a face we can put on it that’s familiar to our community.”

Dustin Moore has an inoperable tumor in the brain stem/spine area, according to Tyra, and the youngster is required to take extensive radiation treatments to keep the tumor from growing.

“They’re just regular, middle-income folks with insurance,” Tyra said, “but the bills are running the family in the hole just trying to keep up with it.

“Mom and Dad have both used up all their time off to go to Morgantown for treatment, and the grandparents are helping. When we learned about it, we knew we had to do something.

“It was almost like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney getting together and saying, ‘We’ve got a place; I’ve got some costumes. Let’s put on a show!’ Before we knew it we had people donating items, and we didn’t have anywhere to store them.”

The ‘show’ is set for Saturday, April 2, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Fayetteville Church of God activity building and will include an auction, a flea market and a barbecue sale.

“When you tell the story, people are quick to help,” Tyra said. “They say, ‘How much do you need?’ or ‘What can I do to help?’”

Among the items donated thus far for the auction are two special celebrity items. Rock musician Alice Cooper has donated a new black Fender guitar that he autographed, and West Virginia University and Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend Jerry West sent the Lions a No. 44 West Virginia cap in blue and gold, which also is autographed.

Besides the celebrity items, though, the Lions have a number of high-end items up for auction, including an electric hospital bed, solid gold coins, a new tree stand, exercise equipment, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, a grandfather clock, compound bows and more.

Several area companies are providing support to the Lions and the Dustin Moore Fund, including Pepsi, which will be providing all the drinks for the day, and Gumbo’s, which will donate 10 percent of its sales for the day to the fund.

“We also have a number of collection canisters up around the area,” Holliday said.

Massillon Lions Club’s ‘Catch a Wave’ opens Friday

MASSILLON —

Spring is on the way and next weekend the Massillon Lion’s Club presents its 68th annual show based on the California beach and drag racing scene of the ’50s and ’60s.

Tickets are on sale for all six performances of “Catch a Wave” at the Lions Lincoln Theatre, 156 Lincoln Way E: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday and March 27; 8 p.m. April 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. April 3.

Tickets range from $7 to $10 and may be purchased at local businesses including the Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce office, The Independent, Massillon Senior Center, Bill Lindsey’s Sweeper Mart, Demmer Hardware, Flowers by Pat, Emmert’s Market and the Massillon School Employee’s Credit Union.

Club members also have tickets for sale and tickets may be purchased at the door, subject to availability.

All proceeds from the family-oriented comedy show support the Massillon Lions Club and its fight against blindness.

Lions Club ‘No Foolin’ Krispy Kreme Donut Sales

The Bowling Green Lions will be calling local businesses this week to offer to deliver donuts to them on Friday April 1, 2011.  The donuts are $7/doz.  The public may purchase them by prepaying for their order to John Veach or Ryan Bibb at the Mudd-Veach Funeral Home.
Public may receive their orders on Friday, April 1 between 7:30-9:30 am at the Super 8 Hotel.
The Lions are the oldest international civic organization of their type in the world with 1.3 million members in 44,500 clubs in 206 countries  and focus mainly on eyesight and eye research.  The local Lions Club collects eyeglasses that are then evaluated and used in other countries where the need is the greatest, donate to eye research and assist individuals locally in getting eyeglasses.
The club also purchased a bench to assist in the development of the Cancer Park and most recently donated a sports batting cage at the Bowling Park Baseball Fields that will soon be installed.  They also donated to Kids in Motion, Project Prom, Back to School Fair, Veterans Honor Flight, Bowling Green Library, Hope Center and several families at Christmas. The club also gives an education scholarship, helps sponsor the local Special Olympics and hosts a car show at Heritage Days.  They also have sent band students to be a part of the Missouri Lions Band at International Conventions.  The club shows American pride by sponsoring a flag program where the club places flags at businesses on most holidays.
The club hosts several fund raisers a year to carry out these projects such as Krispy Kreme Donut Sales, Candy Days, Heritage Day BBQ and Car Show, pie and cake pan sales along with having several gum and candy machines in several of our businesses.

Updates from Lions in Japan

Lions have shared the following stories about the disaster in Japan and their ongoing disaster relief efforts.

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In the area where I live in Sendai City, the power finally came back on March 17, 2011, and I could start communicating with Lions leaders in the area. Lions of MD332 have created a distribution center for the evacuation locations. Please donate, it doesn’t matter how large or small in quantity. The evacuation period will be long, and we expect shortages of water, non-perishable food, blankets, disposable diapers, baby formula and sanitary items. All other daily household items are also welcome.

Lions will make sure that all items delivered to the location below reach the people in need. We are happy to accept shipments from friends outside of Japan.

Shipping address:

To: Shiga Sekizai Ten   Attn: Mr. Shigenobu Shiga
4-3-1 Kitahama, Shiogama-shi, Miyagi, ZIP 985-0003, JAPAN
Contact person: PDG Shigenobu Shiga Phone: 81-90-1931-4253

Please note, to fill out a shipping form, please use the above phone number. However, please avoid making direct phone calls to PDG Shiga in English.

The earthquake and tsunami heavily damaged the first floor of PDG Shiga’s office, but he can stay upstairs. He also offers his yard as a distribution center of our efforts, and has been leading our efforts. I want everyone know of his spirit.

I directly spoke with the Executive Administrator of Lions Clubs International the other day. The full support from Lions Clubs International and our friends all over the world encourage me a great deal. Thank you very much.

Tsugumichi Hata
Past District Governor

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In District 330-C, Saitama, Lions will provide bath service for 3,000 evacuees in Saitama Super Arena. Lions are opening four hot spring facilities to 500 people each day from March 23 to March 30. The district will pay for transportation and entrance (bathing) fees with funds collected from all clubs in the district. Thirty volunteers from some of the clubs in the district will also serve on site each day.

Most of the evacuees are from Fukushima near the nuclear plants. They only have cold shower facilities at Saitama Super Arena. The district hopes to relieve their stress by providing hot baths.

Lion Yasuhisa Nakamura
Member of Omiya Kita Lions Club

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On March 16, 2011, Kinomoto Lions Club (335-C) brought a 10-ton-truck full of emergency supplies to Fukushima (332-D). The truck included 3,500 servings of instant noodles, 2,400 2-liter bottles of beverages, 5,000 diapers, 1,650 boxes and 1,000 pocket packs of Kleenex, 1,500 disposable hand warmers, 400 cans of food, 300 servings of instant miso soup, 12,000 pairs of disposable chop sticks, as well as buckets, blankets, kerosene and more.

In response to the earthquake, Club President Hidekazu Ohashi suggested sending supplies on March 13, 2011, and the board approved the project the next day. The truck left immediately after our regular meeting on March 15, 2011, and we were able to deliver our relief supplies to 332-D District Governor Kazuo Yamaguchi early the next morning.

Within a short time, club members gathered supplies and arranged transportation. Due to the current situation, every store is limiting purchases, so it was very difficult to collect the necessary supplies. But each member made great efforts, and asked for help from others too. One of a member’s friends donated a large amount of Kleenex. And when I saw my employers going to buy some food during their lunch break, I almost cried. I am so happy that Lions inspired the community and drove them to help others.

We were able to load the truck full. I am proud to be a part of this activity. View photos.

Lion Masahito Hirai
District 335-C, Shiga

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Just today, I became able to be in direct contact with PCC Y. Takahashi of MD332. According to PCC Takahashi, PDG Maiya (08-09,332-B) who is from severely suffered Rikuzen Takada City, 25 miles north of Minami Sanriku City, is safe. Also is PDG Taneichi (09-10, 332-B Kamaishi). I have attached (D332-C,08-09) PDG Shiga’s company building photo taken by our fellow Lion who was delivering rescue goods in the area. We do not yet know if Shiga is all right or not.

A few Lion friends, connected through our closed unofficial SNS, have been moving forward. We have already provided or have arranged over 10,000 cases (six 2 liter bottles each) of mineral water and thousands of emergency food supply to D332-C (Miyagi), D332-D (Fukushima), D332-B (Iwate) and D333-E (Ibaragi).

Ryuichi Goto
Past International Director, Lions Clubs International

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As a director of the biggest private hospital in Gifu prefecture, I have been working hard to deliver relief and medical supplies. I also dispatched a Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which includes doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals from my hospital to the devastated areas in response to a request from the Japanese government. More than 20,000 people may have died and performing their autopsies is also our duty.

I do not think more earthquakes or tsunamis will occur, but we are facing a very serious situation because of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. It is said that the situation could reach the same level of danger as the Chernobyl accident. The Japanese government has asked people who live within 30 kilometers of the plant to evacuate. Some radioactive materials have been detected on some people. I think things will worsen and there will be much to do as a doctor.

Japan Lions are appealing for a donation of 500 million yen, initiated by the 8 council chairpersons from the 8 MDs and ID Furo and ID Yamaura. I should add that I am worried about the members of MD 332 who were severely affected.

I believe that Japan has the power to stand.
I also believe Japan Lions are sturdy.
Japanese people can work together in this hard time.

Jitsuhiro Yamada
Past International Director, Lions Clubs International

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On March 15, 2011, a few members of our club, Tendo Maizuru Lions Club, came up with the idea to go to Miyagi and have a soup-run. We called our members. Some members immediately agreed to join the team, and others who could not make it brought rice, water, and ingredients for stew. As soon as we finished packing, five of us headed to Miyagi on the same day. At a gas station, we explained we were going to Miyagi for disaster relief, and were able to buy gasoline.

Past Club President Suzuki, of our “sister club” Rifu Lions Club, provided a place to cook and serve more than 100 servings of Japanese traditional potato stew, along with rice balls, apples, beverages and other food that members of Tendo Maizuru Lions Club donated. Evacuees appreciated our efforts, and I was once again reminded that hands-on service is what being a Lion is all about. I am glad and proud to be a Lion. View photos.

Lion Junichi Sagae
Member of Tendo Maizuru Lions Club, 332-E, Yamagata

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Lions on LionNet Japan united to send 6,000 two-liter bottles of water and packs of energy-supplement food to Hitachi City in Ibaraki (333-E), one of the earthquake/tsunami affected areas. Two days after the catastrophe, Lion Masamitsu Kitamura, club president of Hitachi Sakura Lions Club, visited the city’s emergency relief headquarters to see what the most urgent needs are, and the Mayor advised that food and water are needed. He passed the information on to Lion Takumi Onogi (334-B, Gifu) on LionNet Japan, who relayed it to Lion Ikuo Hashimoto (335-A, Hyogo).

Lion Hashimoto immediately posted a call for help on LionNet, and more than 32 members responded with generous donations and words of encouragement. Water bottles and food were provided below cost by LionNet member Takao Kotani (331-C, Hokkaido) who owns a mineral water company. The project started with 3,000 bottles, and then added another 3,000 in response to news that villagers around the nuclear power plants are evacuating into Hitachi. The project will continue to help the countless areas that have less media coverage, and thus less attention, but have still been devastated.

Lion Masamitsu Kitamura
President of Hitachi Sakura Lions Club, 333-E

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On the day the earthquake occurred, the district had to cancel a charity event that had been planned for two years. The Lions made announcements to people around the event site (Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo) to remain calm, clear the road and sit down. The following video was shot after the first earthquake. In the video, First District Governor Kawai greets attendees. Then, when a second shake is felt, the emcees make announcements to calm the crowd. Watch video.

Two days after the earthquake, the 330-A cabinet wrapped up our regular meeting early and went to Shinjuku station with donation boxes in our hands. Soon after we started asking for donations, a young woman came to us and said, “This is for the earthquake in Miyagi, right? I haven’t been able to contact my friend. Please pass this on (onegaishimasu).”  She put 1,000 yen in the box with tears in her pleading eyes.

For two hours, we raised our voices as if we were trying to wipe out our own sad feelings. So many people, most of them young, pulled out their wallets once they realized what we were raising funds for.  When we said “thank you,” many people said “onegaishimasu” (meaning “please pass this on”), “we count on you” or simply “thank you.” Some of them were crying. One young woman who donated also joined our fundraising efforts. Watch video.

Lion Junichi Kayashima,
Member of Tokyo Edogawa Higashi Lions Club, 330-A, Tokyo

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The cabinet of 330-C, Saitama, posted an announcement about district-wide fund raising activity to general public. They also created posters, flyers and activity instructions for clubs within the district to use.

Lion Takuya Yagi
330-C, Saitama

Lions Providing Immediate Relief in Japan US$5 Million from Foundation Supporting Lions’ Efforts

In the case of disasters, Lions volunteers are often the first to respond, and continue to help for as long as it takes until all work is done. As volunteers of the world’s largest service club organization, Lions live in the affected communities, so they best know the needs of the community and are able to respond quickly and efficiently. They share a passion for rebuilding their communities.

Lions distribute food to elderly.With more 107,000 Lions in Japan, they are already mobilizing to provide immediate relief. Lions Clubs International Foundation is providig US$5 million to support Lions’ relief efforts. This includes grants as well as donations from Lions around the world.

The Foundation has established a designated fund for donations for disaster. Donations can be made in confidence, for 100 percent of every donation will go directly toward disaster relief. The Foundation has more than 40 years of experience in disaster relief, and all funds are administered by local Lions in the area.

“On behalf of all Lions of Japan, we wish to thank all of you for your support,” said Lions Clubs International Director Yasumasa Furo. Lions are appreciative of the immediate response of the Foundation and Lions’ worldwide.devastation in Hitachi

The Tohoku Region Pacific Ocean Coast Earthquake is the worst earthquake to hit Japan in over 100 years. Following the earthquake was a powerful tsunami and fires. The death toll continues to rise, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced, and many Lions have also been personally affected. March 14 members were finally able to make contact with some Lions in the hardest hit areas, but remain concerned for the health and safety of many. The electricity and communications finally returned to the area on March 17.

Already, Lions have established two relief command centers in the affected areas, as well as one in Tokyo at the Lions Office. The Kinomoto Lions Club drove a 10-ton-truck full of emergency supplies to Fukushima . The truck included 3,500 servings of instant noodles, 2,400 2-liter bottles of beverages, 5,000 diapers, 1,650 boxes and 1,000 pocket packs of Kleenex, 1,500 disposable hand warmers, 400 cans of food, 300 servings of instant miso soup, 12,000 pairs of disposable chop sticks, as well as buckets, blankets, kerosene and more.In devastated Miyagi, Lions served homemade stew to 100 elderly. These are just a few examples of the many stories of Lions’ exemplary service. Lions in Kobe are helping lead these relief efforts, utilizing their expertise in earthquake relief and recovery from the 1994 disaster. They have created a map to coordinate how Lions have been affected, as well as how they’re helping.

Staff spoke to Lions on March 15: “The damage differs from place to place. Lifelines are mostly restored, but there is a gas shortage. I can’t travel far in my car to assess the needs and damage,” said Lion Tsugumichi Hata, who lives in Sendai.”During the middle of the call, a 6.0 earthquake struck in Tokyo and was felt in Sendai. “This disaster hasn’t stopped; it’s still ongoing,” said Hata.

“I just returned from Christchurch, New Zealand, and I thought I had seen it all, but this is unbelievable. Looking to the extraordinary dimension of this earthquake and tsunami, Lions and our Foundation are committed to providing immediate and long-term relief. Lions of Japan are often the first to respond to other disasters, and I ask all Lions of the world to show their solidarity and help the Japanese Lions during their time of need,” said Eberhard J. Wirfs, Chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation.