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!

The 10th Annual Lions Pride Shoot Preparations


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If you’ve been keeping up with us at any point in the last decade, you know that early9th Annual Shootsummer is an especially busy time of the year for our staff. On the second Saturday of June for the past ten years, we’ve traveled to Milford Hills in Johnson Creek for the annual Lions Pride Sporting Clays Shoot.

Despite the fact that it is a one-day event, the staff has spent months preparing – registering shooters, enlisting sponsors, collecting door prizes and auction items, coordinating the day’s activities with the Milford Hills staff and recruiting volunteers. Now that the final week is upon us and all of our participants are signed up, we can work on the last details of creating signage and finalizing all of our station games and activities.

At the beginning of the year, we knew that this event would be different from past years without Dewey, but the fact has become ever clear throughout all of our preparations. It’s been impossible not to think of him as we continue to assemble the various elements of his favorite fundraising event. The Pride Shoot was his favorite fundraising event and something that he looked forward to year after year. This year’s event will be dedicated to his memory, and we know that he will be with us in spirit on Saturday.

Although we still have a lot to accomplish before the weekend, we know that everything will get done – it always does! We’d like to thank all of our donors, sponsors and volunteers in advance for all of your support. It truly takes an army to create and implement a successful event, and the Pride Shoot would not be what it is without all of your help.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to get back to work!

See you on Saturday,
Lions Pride Staff

2017 Council of Governors Orientation Weekend


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June has arrived! The trees are blooming, the birds WI Lions Campare singing and winter feels like nothing more than a cold, distant memory.

While we may only be halfway through the year of 2017, the 2016-2016 Lionistic Year is coming to a close; that means it’s time for our current Council of Governors to start handing the reigns to our the DGEs. Saturday marks the first full weekend of the summer at Lions Camp. The DGEs will be gearing up for their new roles at this weekend’s orientation.

The fun starts on Friday afternoon at 4 pm with initial Council Chair Training presented by CC Shawn Redington, IPID Karla Harris and PID Mark Hintzmann. Immediately following, the elected officials will receive a camp tour and meal from the WLF Directors. The night ends with WLF orientation history and current project overview.

On Saturday, the District Governor Elects will learn about the training at the International Convention and receive more information about the several projects happening within Wisconsin Lions. They will hear from Lions Club International Foundation, the Global Members Team, Wisconsin Lions Eyebank and, of course, Lions Pride.

The day will then wrap up with the council meeting schedule, locations, format and committee action items. The next two days are going to move quickly for the incoming Governors and will begin to prepare them for the year ahead.

Lions Pride is looking forward to seeing all of the District Governor Elects this weekend, and sharing our message about Pride. We’d like to wish all of the new DGEs a nice weekend; we know you are going to be great in your new roles!

Honor Flight to Washington DC


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Memorial Day may only Memorial Day Cemetarybe four days away, but a group of our state’s heroes has gotten a head start on the celebration.

Ninety Wisconsin veterans received the opportunity to fly to Washington DC on Sunday, May 19, with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. This flight was the second of three scheduled for the spring of 2017.

The group left Mitchell Airport early at 7 am to fill in a full day of site seeing. Upon arrival, our veterans visited the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Iwo Jima/Marine Corps Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall. The group also got to witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The heroes arrived back in Milwaukee at 9 pm that evening and were graciously welcomed home by family, friends and community members.

Although many of us may celebrate the holiday with a classic barbecue with loved ones, it’s important to remember the true meaning of the holiday.

As reminded by the SSHF, “Memorial Day isn’t a ‘thank you for your service day’ for our living veterans or active duty military. It’s a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and were denied the privilege of growing old.” Read the entire excerpt here.

It’s so easy to lose sight of the origin of Memorial Day, appreciating those who sacrificed themselves for our country and freedom. Consider spending some time on Monday, to visit a cemetery and saying “thank you” to our nation’s greatest heroes.

The Lions Pride Office will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of the holiday. We’d like to wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day!

The History of Graduation Traditions


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Bom bombombom bom bom… bom bombombom bomHappy Graduates

Wow! It’s hard to believe but another school year has come and gone (although students may or may not agree with our sentiment). This weekend, thousands of students across the country will be putting on their caps and gowns and preparing for the next phase of their lives as graduates. To celebrate their enormous accomplishment, we thought it would be fun to compile a few interesting facts about the graduation ceremony:

  • Pomp and Circumstance

Sir Edward Elgar composed the famous commencement tune, also known as “Land of Hope and Glory” in 1901. At its England premier, the conductor proclaimed, “The people simply rose and yelled. I had to play it again – with the same result…” Today, this piece is played at graduation ceremonies all over the words as processionals and recessionals.

  • Caps and Gowns

The traditional graduation outfit is, of course, the cap and gown. Its use first began in the 12th Century. At that time, heating systems had not been created, so graduates were forced to try and keep warm during the ceremony. Scholars began wearing long robes with hoods to preserve their warmth. Before long, the century gown became the official attire of academics.

  • Throwing of the Caps

Anyone familiar with graduation ceremonies knows that once all of the graduates receive their diplomas, they proceed to throw their caps in the air – but why? It runs out this tradition was started in the Naval Academy in 1912. Prior to graduation, academy graduates had to serve two years in the fleet before being commissioned as Navy officers. The graduating class of 1912 was commissioned during their commencement ceremony and received their officers’ hats. Since their midshipmen hats were no longer needed, the graduates threw their hats into the air without having to worry about getting them back. The tradition caught on at other institutions and the action is now regarded as a symbolic gesture to signify the ending of a monumental chapter.

Our Lions Pride office intern, Kirsten, will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a degree in business management. She spent nearly two years with our organization and will miss her dearly, but know that she has a bright future ahead. We’d like to wish her and all upcoming graduates congratulations and best wishes in all future endeavors. You did it!

3 Ways to Express Your Gratitude This Mother’s Day


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We hope that we’re not the first ones to Happy Mothers Daytell you that Mother’s Day is only 48 hours away. While this may seem to be another obvious greeting card holiday, don’t fall for the deception! Mother’s Day is a holiday that honors motherhood and takes many forms all over the globe. In America form of Mother’s Day was created in 1908 by Anna Jarvis, and became an official US holiday in 1914. (She later tried to denounce the commercialization of the holiday and spent much of her lifetime trying to remove the holiday from the calendar, but that’s a story for another day!)

There’s no question in our minds that parenthood, and motherhood, in particular, is one of the most challenging jobs that comes with its own share of sacrifices. Mother’s Day is a wonderful holiday that gives us all an opportunity to show the moms in our lives how much they mean to us.

Often, this gratitude comes in the form of gifts, but gifts don’t necessarily need to include the typical card and flowers. This Mother’s Day, think about giving a more creative present to the moms in your life with a few ideas:

  • Giving your time: Rather than giving a physical present, say, “I love you” with the gift of your time. In this day and age, it’s easy for time to get away with us. Spend Sunday doing the activity of her choice like going to church, seeing a movie or just spending the afternoon catching up. We are confident that mothers will agree that there’s nothing better than spending precious time together.
  • Taking on her usual duties: In life, we all have responsibilities that we don’t much care for. Whether it’s scrubbing toilets, washing dishes or eliminating loads of laundry, take one or all of those duties to give her a chance to put her feet up and relax. After all, how often does that actually happen at home?
  • Giving a gift that keeps on giving: It’s very likely that Mom has a special cause that she cares about. Help that organization carry on in their mission by giving a gift in her honor. If your mom is a Lions Pride supporter, consider giving an honorarium donation to help us continue preserving, providing and protecting for the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. Click her for a memorial/honorarium form.

Remember that the best gifts in life don’t always come packed with ribbons and bows. This Mother’s Day, say “thank you” to the most important moms in your life with a present that she won’t soon forget. How do you plan to express your gratitude?

From all of us at Lions Pride, Happy Mother’s Day!

The 2017 Wisconsin Lions State Convention


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We’re on the road again – this time, we’re Where Theres a Needheaded to Western Wisconsin for the 2017 State Lions Convention, hosted by the La Crosse and Onalaska Lions, at the La Crosse Convention Center.

This year’s convention will be a bit different than past events as there are many changes and several fun events in store. Our hosts plan to infuse our Centennial Celebration with a little local history as well as other fun additions, such as the Lions Centennial Torch, and special guests.

The fun kicks off today with a golf tournament at Forest Hills, tours of the St. Rose Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Dahl Auto Museum as well as the first hospitality night.

We’ll hit the ground running on Friday as the morning begins with board meetings and myLCI Training. We’ll then have our pick of informative seminars throughout the day. The day will end with business meeting awards, a community ice cream social with Ranison Ice Cream Shop and second hospitality night.

Saturday will begin with a Strides Walk, eyeglass sorting and third block of seminars. District meetings will commence at 10:30 am, followed by a noon luncheon and last block of seminars. The afternoon will continue with a Centennial Celebration, WLF Annual Meeting (with a special award presentation); followed by voting, our last hospitality night and anniversary ball.

For those planning to spend the night, Sunday will begin with a church service, brunch cruise and tour of the Historic Hixon House Museum. There is truly something for everyone this convention weekend.

We’re looking forward to another fun weekend filled with lots of great information and even better company. Be sure to stop and see the Lions Pride table when visiting the exhibitor hall to pick up a little gift from us. See you in La Crosse!

Unique May Holidays Worth Celebrating


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Although it may be hard to believe, May Chalkboard WritingMay is already right around the corner! By this time next week, we will be a few days into the fifth month of the year. While we are well aware of the traditional holidays such as Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, there are several other official and unofficial fun holidays worth celebrating:

May 1 – May Day

Considered the first unofficial day of summer in many countries around the world, May Day allows friends to get out and celebrate the new season. Learn more about the origins of the holiday.

May 4 – Star Wars Day

A relatively recent holiday created specifically for a play on words, “May the Force (4th) be with you!” Star Wars Day is the perfect excuse to bring out the original trilogy.

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken for the celebration of Mexican independence (September 16), but in actuality, is the recognized holiday to acknowledge the day when the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo has come to signify Hispanic and Mexican pride as well as a time to celebrate the rich heritage.

May 9 – National Teachers Day

May 9 is the day to celebrate the hardworking, patient and kind people who choose to be teachers. We don’t have to tell you the impact that teachers have on children from kindergarten through college.

May 12 – International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day happens on the last day of National Nurses Week and provides a day to recognize nurses for their commitment to quality healthcare. May 12 was selected as the official date because it’s the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

May 12 – Military Spouses Day

A day to recognize and honor the backbone of the armed forces, Military Spouses Day gives civilians an opportunity to say “thank you” for their sacrifice.

May 13 – Birth Mother’s Day

Birth Mother’s Day is a day to recognize the birth mothers of adopted children. Birth mothers create the holiday to educate, remember and cope.

May 14 – Mother’s Day

May 15 – Police Officer’s Memorial Day (An excellent time to thank your area police officers for a job well done.)

May 16 – Wear Purple for Peace Day

May 18 – International Museum Day

May 19 – National Bike to Work Day (Don’t forget to wear a helmet!)

May 20 – National Armed Forces Day

National Armed Forces Day is a day to celebrate all branches of the United States military, which protects our country and us. Up until 1949, each branch had their own day of celebration.

May 26 – Sally Ride Day

Sally Ride Day honors the first American woman who went into space. On June 18, 1983, Dr. Ride accomplished this challenge aboard STS-7, the second flight of the Space Shuttle “Challenger.” Celebrate her success by learning more about the United States space program.

May 27 – Sunscreen Protection Day

Summertime is almost here – you know what that means? We’ll be seeing our old friend, The Sun, more frequently than we have in recent months. Don’t forget to protect yourself and your loved ones from harmful UV rays with sunscreen on May 27 and every day! Read more about why you should make applying sunscreen part of your daily routine.

May 29 – Memorial Day

Memorial Day, not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, is celebrated on the last Monday of May and commemorates the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the military. Learn more about this important holiday.

As you can see, there’s a lot to celebrate next month! What holiday will you add to your calendar?

Happy May from Lions Pride!

Centennial Eyeglass Challenge Travels to Green Bay


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Centennial Eyelgass Challenge

Who’s ready for some… eyeglass recycling? If you’ve been following the Wisconsin Lions Centennial Challenge, then you already know that Lions are on a mission to collect used eyeglasses and deliver them for processing at the Eyeglass Recycling Center, here in Rosholt. But what you might not know is that the goal has increased.

Previously, Wisconsin Lions were aiming to collect 100,000 pairs of glasses (in honor of the Lions 100th year) from October 1 to May 6, but the goal has recently been updated to 250,000 pairs. If you have an extra pair of used eyeglasses sitting around the house, you can help us hit the target!

Eyeglasses can be donated in a couple of different ways:

  1. By donating to a local club. Many clubs are participating in area eyeglass recycling and will then deliver or shipped directly to the recycling center.
  2. By catching the WLF trailer during the Centennial Bus Tour. There are only 17 more stops left on the tour. You will likely see the trailer in area grocery stores, retailers and one other in fairly well known location to football fans in Green Bay – Lambeau Field Parking Lot.

    If you’ve been looking for an excuse to take a road trip to see the Packers Hall of Fame, you’ve got one. The WLF trailer will be parked in the Lambeau Field parking lot on Thursday, April 27, from 9 am to 3 pm. Consider donating your used glasses and then exploring Green Bay at your leisure.

    Can’t make it next week? Check out the rest of the Eyeglass Tour locations here.

Time is running out. The Centennial Eyeglass Challenge ends on Saturday, May 6. Keep in mind that all glasses will be sorted, cleaned and categorized before being distributed to someone in need; whether your eyeglasses are dirty, broken or a season behind in the fashion world, or look as good as new, we want them all.

Your pair of eyeglasses may be the pair that allows a father to improve the life of his family or helps a child to see and learn. Consider donating yours today!