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).

Cooper County farmer wins $2,500 for Bunceton Lions Club

by: Boonville Daily News

Bunceton —

Keith Bail of Boonville has been selected as a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which gave farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations.

The Monsanto Fund sponsors the program, and winning farmers designate a local nonprofit organization to benefit from the donations. Bail has designated Bunceton Lions Club Building Project, located in Bunceton, to receive the donation.

Bail said he is very excited to have been selected as the winner for Cooper County. “We’re excited that we can better our rural community through the Grow Communities program.”

Brian Emde, Bunceton Lions Club President, said, “Being in a small rural community, the Bunceton Lions Club has to have many fundraising events over several years to provide funds needed for a major project. These funds will be used to help us provide handicap access to our facility, so we can be an even greater community resource. Our thanks to the Monsanto Fund and Keith Bail who provided the opportunity. The Bunceton Lions Club is both honored and grateful.”

The $2,500 donation was awarded at a ceremony held April 11 at the Bunceton Lions Club.

In more than 1,200 eligible counties, farmers can win $2,500 for their favorite community non-profit. The Monsanto Fund expects to invest more than $3 million in local communities. Previous Grow Communities projects resulted in the donation of nearly $1.2 million in 477 counties in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and South Dakota. In total, more than $320,000 has been donated to nonprofits in Missouri.

The America’s Farmers Grow Communities program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by helping them grow their local communities. To date, more than 60,000 farmers participated in the program, which is designed to benefit nonprofit groups such as ag youth, schools and other civic organizations. Visit to view a complete list of winners.

Lions Club leaders challenge members to charge ahead

Sun Journal

Dana Biggs, the Lions International directorDuring the current economic recession, Lions Club members should push to help the community more, several of the organization’s international leaders said Saturday.

About 400 Lions Club members from Burlington to Southport were in New Bern for the organization’s annual midwinter convention. On Saturday afternoon, almost 100 members had a chance to ask Dana Biggs, the club’s international director, questions during a “town hall” meeting at the Sheraton New Bern Hotel.

Warren Schmidt from Cary and Donna Gavette from Mount Olive listened well and took notes. Other Lions asked how to find membership pins and register for conventions on the Internet. Lions from Cape Fear, North Raleigh, New Bern and other clubs participated.

Biggs’ husband, Bill, told the members that they should find more money during the recession because communities need more help than ever.

“It’s not a time to pull our horns in,” he said. “If you have 10 projects, don’t say you can fund five and can’t find money for the other five. Find a way to fund all 10 projects.”

Dana Biggs said almost 1.4 million people in one of 206 countries belong to Lions clubs. Almost 70 people belong to the two Lions clubs in New Bern. Biggs is from the Fresno, Calif., area and joined the club because she saw a lot of women were joining the formerly all-male organization.

She said she also liked that the Lions participate in a lot of different projects.

“You could build a gazebo in a handicapped park or help a cancer society,” she said. “It’s just anything the community needs. That’s what makes this club so unique.”

Theresa Matthews of Denton said many Lions in North Carolina help blind people get jobs. She said some companies manufacture products like brooms, and 75 percent of the employees must be blind. Lions clubs sell the products the blind people make to help pay for community projects.

Tom Behm of Wilmington asked Biggs how his club could find brooms for a fund-raiser. He said several of the manufacturing companies have recently closed, which has made it hard to find the products.

“Some people seem to think brooms are synonymous with Lions,” Behm said. “So the brooms are very important to what we do.”

Biggs told Behm to talk to other people during the convention to find places to buy the brooms. She said Lions in California do not sell the brooms. Lions members from other clubs told Behm several organizations in Western North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia sell the brooms.

Biggs told Behm and the other Lions to support new clubs and members. She said the organization’s membership is rapidly expanding in Eastern Europe and China.

“There’s a place for everyone here,” she said. “Especially right now.”