Safely Viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse


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Rosholt EclipseHave you heard the news? A total solar eclipse is quickly approaching! This Monday, August 21, the majority of the United States will have a clear view of both total and partial eclipses (for the first time in 38 years.)

Although we are also excited to witness the nighttime wonder, we have several concerns that deserve addressing. Here at Lions Pride, you likely already know that we support one of the WLF’s largest projects; early child’s vision screening. So, it should come as no surprise that we’d want to do everything we can to educate our readers on how to view the eclipse safely.

Unfortunately, in Wisconsin, we will not have the opportunity to see a total eclipse, but we will still have an out-of-this-world view. But since the sun will not be completed covered, it’s important to remember that it is not safe to view directly with your naked eye. There are several types of solar filter glasses available (not to be mistaken for sunglasses,) but even these special glasses have certain risks.

The most critical case to keep in mind that most of these glasses are made with adults in mind, will likely not fit children properly and should not be used without adult supervision. Plus, if the solar glasses do not completely filter out 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, if they are not used absolutely perfectly or should there be any manufacturing defects, this will result in permanent and irreversible vision loss.

Dr. Michael Schecter, an optometrist in Columbus, Ohio, makes another important point about viewing the eclipse with kids:

“The biggest danger with children is ensuring proper use without direct parental supervision. During an eclipse, because the moon blocks so much of its light, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun does on a regular day.Generally, if you try to look at the sun, it physically hurts, and you can’t see anything. During an eclipse, however, it is easier to stare for a bit, and even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right to your most precious central vision. With solar glasses, you can’t see anything except the crescent of light of the sun, but kids could have a tendency to want to peak around the filter to see what is actually going on up there. One failure, just one, where education and supervision fail, will have a devastating consequence.”

If you plan to view the solar eclipse on Monday, please do so safely. Sadly, one wrong move could result in a lifetime of vision loss that may not be immediately felt. If you do not have proper protection, please watch it on television. Lions Pride wants you to remember to protect and preserve your gift of sight.

Help an Area Family in Need With Stuff the Bus


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Although hard to believe, the new school year is right around the corner. Help local School Suppliesfamilies and children get ready for school by participating in Stuff the Bus 2017.

Did you know that in 2015, the cost of sending a single child back to school was estimated at $630? As childhood poverty continues to rise, it is becoming more challenging for families to find the resources to purchase necessary school supplies. You can help lighten their load by donating school supplies to a local Stuff the Bus Drive this Saturday, August 12.

We understand that time may have passed since you last purchased school supplies. Below you’ll see supplies most commonly found on area back to school lists.

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Backpacks
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Binders- 3-ring, 1 ½” to 2”
  • Binder Dividers – 5-tab set
  • Colored pencils
  • Compass
  • Crayons – 8 count, 24 count
  • Facial tissue
  • Flash drive
  • Folders – 2 pocket
  • Glue sticks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Highlighters – Yellow
  • Washable markers – wide tip, 8 colors, thin tip – 8-12 colors
  • Sharpie Ultra-fine Marker – black
  • Spiral notebooks – single subject – wide lined & college rule
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper – wide-lined & college rule
  • Graphing paper
  • Printer paper – plain white
  • Index cards (100 pack)
  • Paper towels
  • #2 Pencils
  • Pencil case – zippered for 3-ring binder
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pink erasers
  • Post-it notes
  • Ruler – 12″ with inches & centimeters
  • School box • School glue
  • Scissors – 4-5″ blunt & pointed tips
  • Small stapler
  • Staples
  • Whiteout (nonliquid)
  • Zip-lock bags – sandwich, quart & gallon

Area retailers are running great back to school sales; there’s never been a better time to pick up supplies. Whether you bring one item or handful of supplies, please know that you are making a difference for a local child by giving them the tools they need for a successful school career.

To find a drive near you, please visit your local Lions Club website or search Facebook for local events. On behalf of Lions Pride and all Wisconsin Lions, thank you for helping us Stuff the Bus!

Happy National Mustard Day

National Mustard Day

Photo Courtesy of National Mustard Museum

Summertime is prime grilling season. Whether you fancy chicken, brats or classic hot dogs, we can all agree that there is one flavor that gives all of these entrees a little more zing – mustard!

This Saturday, August 5, mustard lovers from near and far can celebrate their favorite condiment by participating in National Mustard Day. You have the choice of celebrating informally by whispering sweet nothings to your mustard bottle or by heading to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, for their annual event.

For the past seven years, the National Mustard Museum has hosted the event to help honor the King of Condiments and create the World’s Largest Mustard Challenge. The full day event features activities for the whole family including, music, games and entertainment complete with hot dogs, brats and free mustard samplings. (Did you know that there are over 20 different varieties?)

Proceeds from the day’s events go towards a local charity, this year the goal is to help raise awareness of the need for pediatric cancer research. The National Mustard Museum has joined forces with French’s Mustard and No More Kids with Cancer to support the Mustard Challenge. The challenge encourages participants to film themselves eating a spoonful of mustard, sharing the video with their friends on social media and donating to All of the donations will go towards pediatric cancer research and be matched by French’s.

There you have it! If you were looking for weekend plans, why not take a road trip to Middleton? Enjoy a full day event that supports a worthy cause. How do you plan to celebrate the famous yellow condiment? Please tell us in the comments below.

Happy National Mustard Day from Lions Pride!

The 2017-2018 Council of Governors Meeting


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The days continue to fly by this summer, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already time for the new district governors to meet. The entire MD27 Council of Governors is scheduled to meet this Saturday at the WLF Office here in Rosholt.

The first meeting of the 2017-2018 Lionistic Year will be chock full of information. The morning will begin with the call to order, introduction and opening remarks, the approval of agenda and 7/3/17 minutes, followed by the ratification of all previous action and minutes.

Next, the District Governors will hear brief reports from all of the district chairpersons:

Alert ChairLI We Serve
International Convention Chair
Diabetes Chair
Environmental Chair
Global Membership Team (GMT) Coordinator, Specialists and Team Members
Global Leadership Team (GLT) Coordinator
Global Service Team (GST) Coordinator
Hearing Preservation, Awareness & Action Chair
Information Technology Chair
International Relations Chair
LEO Chair
Lions Quest Chair
Lions Services for Children Chair
Pediatric Cancer Chair
Protocol Chair
Public Relations Chair
Reading Action Chair
Vision Chair
Youth Camp & Exchange Chair
Centennial Chair
LCIF Coordinator
MyLCI Expert Coordinator
Affiliate Club Liaison
Stuff the Bus Coordinator
USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum
State Bowling Chair
State Curling Chair
State Elections Chair
State Resolutions, Constitution & Bylaws Chair
State Research & Long-Range Planning Chair
State Pin Trader Chair
State Convention Chair

(Remember, they only meet four times a year so they have to fit everyone in!)

The DGs will then hear from various committee members and break for lunch at Lions Camp.

The afternoon will begin with MD27 and state committee reports. The DGs will hear from 18 committees, including Lions Pride. Our newest board member DG Fred Gebhart and Office Assistant Katy Bailey will report.

The remainder of the afternoon will contain presentations from Lion-supported initiatives, a state convention update, miscellaneous committee reports, a finances report, policy committee discussion, DG Team Travel dates and other business. Talk about a full day!

We know that Saturday will be a terrific start to the year ahead. On behalf of Lions Pride, we’d like to extend a note of appreciation to the new DGs. We are looking seeing what you have in store for the new year. Thank you for your service!

Celebrate National Junk Food Day


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Most of us would already consider Friday Donutsto be the best day of the week, but this Friday(July 21) is even more special because it’s National Junk Food Day! Although we weren’t able to find the origin of this obscure holiday, we think it’s safe to assume a health conscious individual or group wanted a day to indulge without guilt.

The definition of junk food varies, depending on whom you ask. Dietitians will say junk food is any food with little to no nutritional value. Other people will say any food with high levels of salt, sugars or fat would fall under the umbrella. We think that we can all probably agree that the general term, “junk food” refers to anything that tastes good.

Here in America, we have our fair share of junk food readily available. After all, we are known as fast food nation. We have plenty of options for pizza, burgers and fries, ice cream and potato chips, all within arms reach and at all hours of the day. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try something new.

Consider perusing the list of 100 Must-Eat American Foods to get your mouth watering. If you’re a lifelong Wisconsin resident, you’ll recognize a couple of staple items such as cheese curds and frozen custard, but there are 98 other foods that might not see everyday. There were even a few on the list that we never heard of before including hot water cornbread, pickled watermelon rind and geoduck. What’s your go to junk food? Please share with us in a comment below!

While we wouldn’t condone eating junk food every day of the week, we do think everyone deserves an opportunity to indulge. Just remember, moderation is key; you’ll thank us on Saturday when you’re not curled up on the couch, regretting your Junk Food Day celebration.

Happy National Junk Food Day from Lions Pride!

Lions Pride Annual Meeting – July 2017


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It’s that time again! This Friday, July 14, Lions Pride will host the 2017 Annual Meeting.

Annual Report

If you’re not already familiar with nonprofit organizations, you may not know that annual meetings are important events. While it may just seem like another meeting, this one is a bit different. Our board members meet four times a year, but they don’t always have a lot of opportunities to talk directly with the general public on the organization’s financial standing – that’s where the annual meeting comes into play.

The annual meeting will directly follow our third board meeting of the year at the Lions Pride Office. During the meeting, we will be discussing the 2016-2017 activities, fundraising efforts, donors and donations as well as the overall financial position. We’ll also hear from our President pro tem Sam Kochel and get the opportunity to thank our donors in person. After all, without you, Lions Pride wouldn’t be possible.

We’re looking forward to taking one last trip down the 2016-2017 Lionistic Year and celebrating the year’s successes while brainstorming new opportunities for the year ahead.

If you are unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting, the annual report will be available early next week. You can request an electronic or paper copy by emailing us at

We’ve said it once, we’ve said it again and we’ll never get tired of saying “Thank you!” to all of our volunteers, donors and advocates for another phenomenal year. We are so appreciative of your continued support and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

The 8th Annual Friendship 100 Ride


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Friendship 100 Riders

As you know, the Wisconsin Lions Camp gets special visitors all summer long, but in less than a week, we’ll be receiving a group of guests that won’t arrive in big, yellow buses – but rather roaring hogs!

We’re happy to announce that Open Road HD of Fond du Lac will be once again partnering with Lions Pride to hold the 8th Annual Friendship 100. The invitation-only ride was started back in 2009 and has raised over $30,000 for Lions Camp.

To participate, the riders raise a minimum donation of $100 before the event. Then together, the group takes a beautiful 100-mile ride from Fond du Lac to Rosholt. This year’s ride will be held on Wednesday, July 12.

After arriving, the riders will enjoy lunch at the recreation center, followed by a tour to experience the day in the life of a Wisconsin Lions Camper before making the trek home.

Year after year, we look forward to the Friendship 100. A unique part of our job is that we work with both Lions and non-Lions to support WLF projects, and there is nothing that we love more than taking part in activities that support the cause.

To all of the participating riders, we’d like to extend a special message for your continued support. Because of your generosity over the last eight years, you have guaranteed several camper spots in perpetuity, and we cannot say thank you enough for your support. See you soon!

The 100th Anniversary International Convention


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The countdown is on! It’s hard to believe, but the International Convention is only hoursChicago 100th away. The 100th Anniversary stopwatch started its count at 365 days but has now made its way down to one.

This year, more than 20,000 Lions from 120 countries will come together to celebrate the club’s 100th Anniversary. It should come as no surprise that the celebration would take place in Chicago, the birthplace of Lions.

The International Convention is the ideal location for Lions to network, learn and serve. The excitement begins tomorrow, June 30, at 9 am with self-guided visits to the exhibitor hall and convention services, followed by seminars and the DGE Celebration Banquet.

Attendees will be up and at ‘em on Saturday for the International Parade. Later that afternoon, convention visitors will have the option of participating in the business session and viewing the International Show, featuring “The Beach Boys”!

Sunday will fill up with the opening plenary session, certification and voting as well as afternoon seminars.

Monday will begin with the second plenary session, followed by the Melvin Jones Luncheon. Seminars will again be held that afternoon, and none other than legendary “Chicago” will close the house down.

The International Convention will wrap up on Tuesday with the final plenary session, which will include the installation of the new International President and District Officers, honoring the Humanitarian Award recipient and the UN Flag Ceremony. See the entire list of events here.

Since the convention ends on July 4, visitors have a rare opportunity to celebrate Independence Day in one of America’s greatest cities. And you’ll be glad to know that McCormick Place is less than five miles away from the Navy Pier, where the hottest fireplace display takes place. Keep in mind; however, that there may be a 100,000-person capacity, but seating does fill up hours before the 9:30 pm show.

We’re looking forward to another great convention, filled with education, fun and celebration. We’re excited to see what the next 100 years bring.

From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish safe travels to all of our convention-attending friends. See you in Chicago!

Upcoming District Governor Elect Seminar in Chicago


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Can you believe only eight days remaining in the  2016-2017 Lionistic Year? It feels likeCurrent DGEsonly yesterday that we were welcoming the upcoming district governors. Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, our DGs made their way through their terms and added “Outgoing” to their titles.

Now, it’s time to welcome a new group! Next week, our DGEs will be meeting in Chicago to complete their intensive training seminar where they will learn about their new roles and responsibilities as leaders. The group will then participate in the highly anticipated 100th Annual Lions Club International Convention.

The seminar unofficially begins on Tuesday, June 27, with registration, a DGE and companion photo shoot, single district orientation and a welcome reception at Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Wednesday morning will kick off at 8:30 am with the opening ceremony followed by a general keynote session from Nick Vujicic, an Australian motivation speaker who was born with a rare disorder called tetra-amelia syndrome (the absence of arms and legs). Afterward, the group will take part in a companion session and three classroom sessions.

On Thursday morning, our DGEs will hear from First Vice President Dr. Naresh Aggarwal as well as Sister BK Shivani, an Indian spiritual teacher and inspirational speaker. The day will then hold another companion session and three more classroom sessions.

Then on Friday morning, the group will take part in general sessions about LCIF and New Service Framework, followed by the closing ceremony, classroom and goal setting sessions and the celebration banquet.

On behalf of all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish all of our DGEs well on their journey to Chicago and their upcoming term. We know that you have an exciting and fulfilling adventure ahead. Thank you for your service!

The Father of Wisconsin Lions Camp


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Roll out the barbecue – it’s time to celebrate Dad!

Lion Ray Hempel

Sunday marks the day to honor the men in our lives with a day dedicated just to him. With Father’s Day right around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect excuse to honor an exceptional man in the Wisconsin Lions community – Ray Hempel, the father and originator of Wisconsin Lions Camp.

You may have already heard this story a time or two, but it’s one that we think can always be retold. The year was 1952; Lion Ray Hempel was visiting with two 12-year old boys at an area hospital. He asked them if they had ever attended a camp. One boy replied, “Blind kids can’t go to outdoor camp and stuff like that.”

Others may have just acknowledged the response, apologized and changed the subject, but Lion Ray was not that man. Instead, he took those words to heart and began visualizing a camp that would provide an outdoor experience for those two boys and others like them.

His background in Lions and Boy Scouts, as well as his love of camping told him exactly what he needed to do. He needed to persuade the Wisconsin Lions to start a camp for blind children.

A few years later, Lion Ray and the Poy Sippi Lions petitioned the District Governors for a permanent camp location at the 1955 Wisconsin State Convention. At the 1956 convention, a 240-acre property was purchased in Rosholt, and the Wisconsin Lions Camp was born. Lion Ray served as the first camp director and was proud to be an integral part of its development

Today, the camp has expanded to serve even more children with special needs, including vision and hearing impairments, mild cognitive disabilities and Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, all at no cost to their families.

With the first week of summer camp starting on Monday, we think there’s no better time to reflect on the man who started it all. Who knew a chance comment would lead to such big change. Since its inception Lions Camp has offered the week of a lifetime to nearly 70,000 campers. There’s no question in our minds that Ray Hempel was the epitome of a Wisconsin Lion.

Happy Father’s Day from Lions Pride!