ArborGen partners with Lions Club

Arbor_Gen_Lions_ClubArborGen, a world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees for wood, fiber and energy, has partnered with The Summerville Noon Lions Club, District 32-B and donated 100 pine seedlings for the Azalea Park in Summerville, SC. The seedlings will be planted during the town’s annual Flowertown Festival on March 30th. ArborGen recently moved its corporate offices to Ridgeville, but it maintains strong ties with the Summerville community, which was home to the company for over ten years.

“Summerville is known as ‘Flowertown in the Pines’ and has been named a Tree Town USA for 30 consecutive years. Recently, Dr. Tam, Lions Club International president, challenged Lions Club worldwide to plant one million trees to help turn around our environment, and I in turn have challenged our 34 clubs to plant a total of 250 trees,” said District Governor George Jenkins of Lions Club District 32B. “Partnering with ArborGen has been a true pleasure and we are thrilled to plant these 100 pine seedlings in Azalea Park in time for the annual Flowertown Festival which draws about 200,000 visitors each year. Since the Lions motto is ‘We Serve,’ volunteering within our community is very important to the Lions Club, so it’s great to work with another local organization in serving our community.”

The Lions Club is the global leader in humanitarian services, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

“The Lions Club is one of the most well respected organizations in the world, serving and volunteering in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers, working hands on to make our communities and world a better place,” said Nancy M. Hood, director of public affairs and sustainability of 2011 Broadbank Court Ridgeville, South Carolina 29472 ArborGen.

“We were thrilled to team up with The Lions Club by donating these seedlings to ensure there will always be greenery in the ‘Flower Town in the Pines’.” Starting in 1972, the town of Summerville has hosted the annual Flowertown Festival. It is held the first weekend of April in the Summerville Azalea Park, this year it will be occur from March 30-April 1, 2012.

This nationally acclaimed festival is South Carolina’s largest Arts & Crafts festival and has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. This family-oriented 3-day event is a fundraising event for the Summerville Family YMCA and is held each spring set against the backdrop of blooming azaleas in Azalea Park. In 1925, Summerville’s Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan “Flower Town in the Pines” because of the abundance of azaleas in the town.

Pine trees are one of the most valuable and versatile commercial trees because they are a source of wood, fiber and energy and they are grown across a wide range of soil types and geographies. The Southeastern United States is the largest market for planted trees in the United States and pine is the most widely planted species for commercial applications. The Pine species most commonly used for commercial purposes in the Southeastern United States are Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda), Slash Pine (pinus elliottii) and Longleaf Pine (pinus palustris).

Happy 90th birthday, Montrose, CO Lions Club!

Montrose ColoradoUnder the leadership of several business and professional people with lawyer H. W. Catlin at the helm, an organizational meeting was held at the Masonic Hall, resulting in a unanimous decision to form the Montrose Lions Club. They received their charter 90 years ago on Nov. 13, 1921, in the basement of the Methodist Church. Their first project was providing turkeys to the needy that Thanksgiving.

Each member lives by the Lion Code of Ethics and follows the goal, which is simply “We serve.” The name Lions is derived from their slogan, Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.

In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club International to become “Knights of the Blind.” Throughout the world, the challenge was accepted, with Lions Clubs providing eye exams and glasses for the needy. Some might recall the mop and broom sales held by our local club, starting around 1962, selling assorted cleaning supplies for the Industries for the Blind. The Montrose club is recognized as one of the top clubs in District 6 West, as well as throughout the state.

One of their very special projects was helping Fred Frye, an ambitious man who was blind and selling newspapers out of an orange crate along Main Street. In October, 1937, the local Lions built him a proper news stand, which helped to expand his business with the sale of not only newspapers but magazines, candy, cigars, etc. Fred made enough profit to make monthly payments to the Lions, reimbursing their initial expenses.

Charter member Dr. Fred Schermerhorn attended the state Lions convention in 1922, returning to tell the local group, “I got mighty tired of hearing delegates from the big eastern towns getting up and saying that they ought to be considered as the next convention town because they were on the main road to Estes Park … I told them I very much regretted that Montrose wasn’t on the road to Estes, but it was on the main road to prosperity and because of that it should be considered as a meeting spot.”

In 1922, the Montrose Lions recognized the need for a Tourist Park since people were starting to travel by automobile, carrying camping equipment in order to pitch a tent wherever they might be when the sun went down. The city map showed a vacant lot on North Nevada Avenue, deeded to the city from David G. Peabody in November 1889. It was full of weeds and cut up by an arroyo. With permission from the City Council, the Lions cleaned up the block, put in a driveway and parking places, and did some lawn, tree and flower planting. City water was brought to the park, and rest rooms were built. Four fireplaces for cooking and cement tables and chairs were installed with proceeds provided by Van Derber Motor Co., the First National Bank, Brown, Nichols and Bloom Service Station and Reinhold & Galloway Grocers. The new facilities were covered with rustic roofing. Camping fees were 25 cents a night.

Next, the Lions built their own clubhouse on the grounds. The foundation was laid in early 1925, and the building was completed that same year. The fireplace and cobblestones were donated by C. B. Akard. Although some material was donated, most was furnished by club members, as was the labor. The park was renamed Lions Park in 1932. Over the years, additions have been made to the building.

A very important, huge project completed by the Lions Club was that of making the nearby Black Canyon accessible by building a seven-mile road along the rim with the encouragement of members, the Rev. Dr. Mark Warner and Dex Walker. Started in 1928, the road was completed and opened in August 1930. Fast forward to the 1980s when the club once again contributed to spruce up the corner turnoff from U.S. 50 to the Black Canyon, hauling off old toilets, building new facilities, making an interpretive display, erecting a large sign and installing picnic tables and garbage cans.

Due to the Great Depression, the club folded in November 1935, but it was re-chartered in May 1937. From that day forward, the Lions have made countless contributions to our community.

Lions Club organises free eye screening, surgery at Idi-Ayunre

Written by Seye Adeniyi

Lions Club organises free eye screening, surgery at Idi-Ayunre Over 3,000 people in Idi-Ayunre community in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State, recently benefitted from the free eye test carried out by the International Association of Lions Club, District 404B Nigeria, while over 5,000 people from nearby communities also converged at Idi-Ayunre to participate in the eye screening and the distribution of eye glasses to people with sight problem in the community.

The beneficiaries have, however, tasked Community News to encourage other humanitarian organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to borrow a leaf from the kind gesture of the Lions Club International, stressing that other organisations should join hands with the government to bring succour to the people who are in need or are looking for solution to their health problems because government alone cannot shoulder the needs of the entire members of the public.

The two-day eye screening and surgery exercise  took place at Idi-Ayunre community on the 13th and 14th October, 2011, and was organised by the International Association of Lions Clubs, District 404B Nigeria in partnership with the management of the Oluyole Local Government Area, Oyo State.

In his speech, the District Governor, Lions Club International, District 404B Nigeria, Lion (Professor) Ayoade Adesokan, explained that the association decided to embark on the health to assist people with sight problem get solution to their problem, adding that it was observed that many people in the society, especially those with health problem, could not afford the increasing cost of medical treatment and as such, many of them have defect in their sight.

In his words, “there are many downtrodden in the society who could not afford the cost of simple medical treatment. In fact, many people in the society today are going blind because of poverty. Therefore, Lions Club decided to help them by embarking on this core project,” he stated.

Ayoade Adesokan also disclosed that such a free eye screening exercise had been carried out in states like Ekiti and Osun by the club, stressing that they were happy that the caretaker chairman of Oluyole Local Government Council, Prince Ayodeji Abass Aleshinloye was quick to identify with the free eye screening and distribution of eye glasses exercise.

However, over 45 Nigerians with serious visual impairment also benefitted from the free cataract surgery co-sponsored by Lion Club International, District 404B Nigeria and Oluyole Local Government in a joint collaboration with the Opthalmological Society of Nigeria, (OSN), South-West zone.

Blind man helps promote use of guide dogs across the country

By: Ray Reed

Life changed abruptly for Bill Hadden 38 years ago, when a stroke took away his vision.

Until then, he had a successful career in the insurance business.

Since then, the Lynchburg resident has traveled over much of North America as a Lions Club ambassador who promotes the use of guide dogs for people who are blind.

“I didn’t deal with it very well early on,” Hadden said, because he was suddenly unemployed and had three children to educate. “It was kind of a devastating situation,” said Hadden, who was 46 at the time.

But now, at 84, Hadden hands out his business cards in pairs, held together with a clothespin inscribed with “make a difference.”

He travels about 80,000 miles a year, telling prospective users of guide dogs what it takes to rely on the dogs and work with them.

He’s also working to set up a local vision and hearing event the Brookville-Timberlake Lions Club is sponsoring, with a mobile sight and hearing unit that will visit Brookville Middle School and Sam’s Club on Oct. 25.

The next day, the mobile unit will set up at a health fair at the Templeton Senior Center at 225 Wiggington Road.

The club is hoping to screen about 300 children at the school for possible vision and hearing problems, Hadden said.

“We’re very excited about it,” he said.

When Hadden travels across the continent, he flies alone except for his current guide dog, a yellow Labrador named Godiva.

Hadden and his wife, Jackie – he calls her Saint Jackie – live in the Graves Mill Road neighborhood.

He credits the Brookville-Timberlake Lions Club with helping him find a door to his future, first by helping him to get his own guide dog and then setting him on to a new career as an advisor for Guiding Eyes, a dog school in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

“I was sponsored by the club to receive a dog,” Hadden said.

Even with the club’s backing, getting his first dog was no easy task.  An evaluator told him he wasn’t a good candidate for learning to work with a dog, but Hadden persevered and received his first dog, named Syracuse, in 1974. He’s had five more dogs since then.

“I’ve had one wife and six dogs,” Hadden quips. “God has been good to us.”

He needed almost two years to come to grips with losing his vision.

“I was wallowing around in self-pity,” he said, but eventually decided “I had better deal with it.”

He went to a rehabilitation program where he met people who had been blind since birth, who had never known the freedom of driving a car, and had never seen the blue of a robin’s egg.

He decided he could do something despite his own situation.

He has since been chairman of every committee in the local Lion’s club, and received the Lions Club International’s highest award, the ambassador of good will, in at a gathering of 2,000 Lions Club members 1992.

“I had no clue I was being considered for that,” Hadden said. “I had come there to talk about the dog school.”

“It was certainly overwhelming.”


India Lions Club distributes sewing machines

PATNA: Lions Clubs International, under its self-employment scheme, distributed 100 sewing machines at a function held here on Tuesday. The machines were distributed by international director, Lions Club International, Narendra Bhandari, and Ranjana Bhandari.

As many as 100 poor women from rural areas, who were trained by the SBI and the PNB training wings, but could not afford to purchase their own machines, were given machines.

Narendra appreciated the efforts of the club`s district governor. Madhusudan Kumar of the club said more such schemes would be launched in the future for helping the poor and downtrodden.

Meanwhile, the Lions Club of Patna Favourite donated tables and chairs at Balchandra, a school for the underprivileged children on Notre Dame Academy premises. Academy principal Sister Mary Tesse and prominent members of this club were present on the occasion.