The Start of the Little League World Series


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close up photography of four baseballs on green lawn grasses

Photo by Steshka Willems on

There’s no better time to grab some peanuts and Cracker Jack. All of you baseball fans out there know that are nearing the end of the season, but today, is the start of an extraordinary period, the Little League World Series.

From now until August 25, young athletes from all over the globe will compete to earn the coveted World Series Trophy. The tournament includes eight US teams and eight international teams. The series kicks off today with four games, featuring the following regions: Australia, Caribbean, New England, Southeast, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Midwest and Great Lakes. The remaining regions, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest, Southwest, West, Canada, Europe-Africa, Japan and Mexico will get their start tomorrow. See the complete schedule.

If you’re not overly familiar with little league baseball, you may be interested to learn about its rich history. The league was first formed back in 1938 by Carl Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Eight years later, the league had not gained a lot of traction as there were only 12 active leagues. Many believe World War II deterred its growth because many fathers had enlisted in the military. The following year, the board of directors decided to organize a tournament for all known programs and named it the National Little League Tournament. It was changed to the Little League Baseball World Series later on.

Over 2500 visitors came to Williamsport to watch young stars play in the first championship game. Its publicity spread throughout the county, and Little League Programs began forming in every US start. Today’s LLBWS includes seven tournaments played in various divisions.

Many modern-day Major Leaguers got their start in Little League Baseball; some names you may even recognize. Charlie Hayes, Jonathan Schoop and Gary Sheffield were all Little Leaguers who went on to play in the MLB with brief period as Milwaukee Brewers.

Hawaii took home the trophy in the 2018 LLBWS, so it will be interesting to see if they can do it again! Will you plan on watching the 2019 Little League World Series? Let us know in the comments below.

On behalf of Lions Pride, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all of the athletes participating in this year’s LLBWS. Let’s play ball!


Fun Facts about Elvis


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black vinyl record playing on turntable

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns on

This week, we’re thinking about a famous musical artist; let’s see if you can guess the musician based on a few word associations. Ready? Jet black hair, blue suede shoes and record sales. If you guessed Elvis, you’re right!

Tomorrow marks the start of Elvis Week. Each August, fans gather at Graceland to celebrate the music, movies and legacy of Elvis Presley. For the next eight days, music lovers will enjoy concerts, panel discussions, dances, a candlelight vigil and other traditional events dedicated to the King of Rock n’ Roll.

We know that it is likely too late to book a last-minute trip to Memphis, so we’ll celebrate Elvis right here in Wisconsin with a list of fun facts:

  1. In 1954, just before getting famous, the King auditioned for a role in a gospel quartet band but was rejected.
  2. Although he is often associated with Memphis, Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  3. Despite the fact he wanted a bike for his 11th birthday, he received a guitar.
  4. Elvis recorded over 600 songs but didn’t actually write any of them.
  5. A total of 15 songs contain the word, “blue” in the title.
  6. He never toured outside North America; in fact, Elvis only played five concerts outside the United States during a three-day tour in Canada.
  7. It took him 31 attempts to record “Hound Dog.”
  8. Elvis’ infamous black hair was dyed. Rumor has it that he first started using shoe polish to modify the color.
  9. At the age of 18, he paid $4 to record his first album, which he gave as a gift to his mother.
  10. He was drafted in the Army in 1957 and served in Germany until 1960.
  11. During his time in the military, Elvis became very interested in karate. He was awarded a black belt, just before returning home.
  12. When he died in 1977, there were approximately 177 impersonators. Today, there is an estimated 250,000.

Elvis certainly lived an exciting life. Do you know of any fun facts that we missed? Share with us in the comments below.

Happy Elvis Week from Lions Pride!

Stuff the Bus Collection Drive


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back bus education school

Photo by Pixabay on

The start of a new school year brings out a lot of emotions for children. Some kids may be happy to see all of their friends again, nervous about entering a new grade level or disappointed that they will soon need to say goodbye to the hot, lazy days of summer. Many parents may be happy to get their children back in a normal routine, nervous about the money they will need for back to school shopping or disappointed that they’re not more excited to get them back to school.

Would you believe that the average cost to send a child back to school amounts to about $630? Between school supplies, new clothes and shoes as well as electronics, the costs add up quickly. Studies have shown that children are more likely to be in compared to the rest of the population. A 2017 American Community Survey reports that in Wisconsin alone, approximately 1 in every six children is living in poverty compared to 1 out of every eight people in the state population.

Childhood poverty is still on the rise, which makes it difficult for families to find the resources they need to send their children back to school. This summer, you can help reduce the strain for parents by participating in an area Stuff the Bus Collection Drive.

Getting involved is easy. On your next shopping trip, take a walk down the school supplies aisle and purchase a few items to donate. Remember, retailers know that the new school year is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of sizzling sales. Below you’ll find supplies most commonly found on area lists:

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

Then, find a Lions Stuff the Bus Drive near you. The official statewide collection drive is Saturday, August 11, but several clubs are running events throughout the month. We’d suggest talking with area Lions, visiting local club websites and searching Facebook for nearby events.

Lions Pride is a proud supporter of local Lion and Lioness Clubs hosting Stuff the Bus Collection Drives. Whether you donate a pack of loose-leaf paper or an armful of supplies, please know that your generosity has a huge impact for Wisconsin families. Thank you for helping us stuff the bus!



The 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival


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two white garlics

Photo by Isabella Mendes on

Everyone has a favorite ingredient that they want to add to every meal. Many of us love butter, others adore pepper and lots of us cannot get enough garlic. If you’re looking for the last group of people, you will likely find them at this weekend’s garlic festival.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the most well-known summer food festivals in the country. Attendees enjoy full days of food and drink, live music and, of course, cooking competitions. The fun kicks off tomorrow Friday, July 26, at Christmas Hill in Gilroy, California.

One of the most notable parts of the festival is the world-famous Gourmet Alley. Visitors will have the chance to witness a smoking hot, flame-up show as the “Pyro-Chefs” prepare garlic-laced calamari and scampi in large iron skillets. They can then sample the final product, which also includes pasta con pesto, pepper steak, sausage and shrimp. Everyone knows the festival would not be complete without garlic bread and garlic fries.

If you think Gourmet Alley is the only place to find food, you are mistaken! Attendees will be able to find snacks all over the festival grounds. The committee thoroughly vets all vendors to feature the very best variety. Delicacies include garlic ice cream, quesadillas, kettle corn, ribs, corn on the cob, top sirloin and more. See the entire list of food and merchandise booth vendors.

Visitors can also watch exciting cooking competitions and expert food demonstrations. Celebrity chef appearances include Tom Colicchio, Gerron Hunt, Eddie G and Teresa Giudice.

The garlic entertainment will continue all weekend long with live music, shopping, the Miss Gilroy Festival Queen Pageant and art poster contest.

The Garlic Festival is put on each year by 4000 volunteers throughout the Gilroy area. Their efforts go to show what a passionate group of people can achieve when they work together. We witnessed similar magic last month at our Lions Pride Shoot. It’s truly amazing how events can come together after months of planning and preparation.

How do you feel about garlic in your food? Whether you love it or hate it, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great weekend,
Lions Pride Staff & Board

Lions Pride 2019 Annual Meeting


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Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 6.04.27 AMHappy (Lionistic) New Year! We’re not sure how it happened, but July has arrived once more. If you’re familiar with Lions Club International, you know that they finish out the organization’s fiscal year with the International Convention. Lions Pride follows a similar tradition by also hosting an important event. Our annual meeting will take place this Friday, July 20, at the Lions Pride Office. The meeting starts at 1:30 pm.

Our board members are stationed all over the state; they get together four times a year but do not usually have the chance to meet with the general public. Annual meetings are an incredible opportunity to talk with members outside of the organization about the current financial standing of Lions Pride.

The annual meeting will directly follow the third board meeting of the year. The agenda will include a discussion of the year’s activities, fundraising efforts and overall financial position. We’ll also hear a statement from LPEF President Sam Kochel and have the chance to thank our donors in person.

If you already have plans and are unable to attend, you can still request a copy of the annual report, which will be available next week. You can send your request for an electronic or printed version (please note supplies are limited) by emailing us at

As we continue to prepare for this week’s meeting, we can’t help but look back on the previous year with fond memories. It was another year filled with success and gratitude. We feel fortunate to be able to work with such a generous group of people. Thank you for helping us carry out our mission to preserve, provide and protect for the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. We know there are lots of outstanding organizations out there to support, and we feel so grateful that you continue to choose ours.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers


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black cruiser motorcycle

Photo by Stitch Dias on

Saturday, July 12, is National Motorcycle Day. What better way to celebrate Wisconsin motorcyclists than by reviewing essential safety tips?

There are several precautions that motorcyclists can take when out on the road, including wearing a helmet, following traffic rules and riding defensively, but we as non-motorcyclists, can help make their job a little easier when traveling out and about. Read through these five ways to become a motorcycle advocate:

  1. Keep grass clippings off the road

Safety begins at home. When you are mowing your yard this summer, be sure your clippings stay off the road. Believe it or not, large clumps of grass can pose a dangerous threat to motorcyclists and is actually illegal in most Wisconsin municipalities. When grass clippings come between a motorcycle’s tires and the pavement; it can be extremely challenging for the driver to maintain control. Be a consider homeowner by keeping your grass off the road.

  1. Encourage passengers to speak up

According to safety advocate and motorcycling enthusiast, Darwin Stephenson, motorcyclists are most vulnerable when you’re not aware of your presence. When traveling with others, encourage your passengers to speak up when they see a motorcycle on the road. People in the back seat will likely have a different perspective from the driver, so a quick warning could be the difference between an accident and a safe trip.

  1. Keep the volume turned down

If you are traveling alone, you will have the sole responsibility in keeping motorcyclists safe. In addition to being aware of your surroundings, you may be able to acknowledge a motorcycle on the road by listening for the familiar purr of the engine. Remember to keep the volume of your stereo turned down to hear motorcycles before actually spotting them.

  1. Give some extra space

It can be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed and distance, especially if you’ve never driven one yourself. The general “following” rule of the thumb is to keep a distance of at least two seconds between you and the car ahead. Consider increasing that distance to three to four seconds when following a motorcycle.

The easiest way to estimate the distance from the car ahead of you is to conduct a simple test. Find a distinct object such as a road sign or tree and wait for the rear end of the vehicle ahead to pass. Then, count to yourself until you also pass the object. This method will help you determine whether or not you are following at a safe distance.

  1. Slow down when going through intersections

One of the most common places for collisions between cars and motorcycles occurs at intersections. Unfortunately, a driver may fail to notice the presence of an oncoming motorcycle. To account for the increased risk, exercise caution and slow down when driving through intersections.

As we gear up for the Annual Friendship 100 taking place on July 24, we hope you’ll consider these safety tips when you’re traveling this summer. Together, we can all help make Wisconsin roads a safer place for all types of vehicles.

Happy National Motorcycle Day from Lions Pride!

102nd Lions Clubs International Convention


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man riding horse monument

Photo by julie aagaard on

We’re going to start listing a series of distinguishing features about a city; see if you can guess the location. Ready? This place has a Mediterranean climate, originated back in 400 BC and is known as the fashion capital of the world. If you guessed Milan, you are correct! By this tomorrow, men and women from all over the globe will begin gathering in the second largest city in Italy for the 102nd Lions Club International Convention.

The event will officially start on Friday with convention registration and self-guided tours of the exhibition hall, followed by the District Governor-elect Celebration Banquet.

On Saturday morning, the fun will begin with the International Parade. This year’s parade backdrop will take place down Corso Venezia, and feature centuries-old cathedrals and other historical landmarks. The Business Session will start at 3 pm local time and the evening will wrap up with the International Show, “That’s Italia!” presented by the Lions of Italy.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be filled with plenary sessions, certification and voting as well as various seminars. See the entire event schedule here.

Throughout the convention, Lions are invited to team up with other club members from around the globe to participate in special service projects. Lions will be visiting La Nostra Famiglia Hospital, Opera Cardinal Ferrari, Monte Stella Park and more. See all the available service projects.

If you are attending the convention, we hope that you will also find some time to explore the area. Milan is rooted in history and home to dozens of high-end shops, top of the world restaurants and several noteworthy attractions. If you want to look outside of Milan, cities like Florence, Rome and Venice are just a high-speed train ride away.

As you are packing, please consider including items to support the Lions New Voices Initiatives and Milan communities in need. The group will be collecting men’s and women’s underwear, men’s undershirts, men’s and women’s socks and unopened feminine hygiene products. Please note the club will be only donating new items and all sizes are needed. A collection bin will be available in the Exhibit Hall during the convention.

There’s no better place to make new friends and reunite with acquaintances than by attending the Lions Club International Convention. Everyone has at least one thing in common, a passion to serve. All attendees have the opportunity to learn about other club and district projects while also making lasting connections.

Will you be attending the convention? If so, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

Lions Pride would like to wish safe travels to all of our convention-attending friends. We hope you have a fantastic trip to Milan. Ciao!

National Camera Day + Tips for Taking Good Photos


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collection of gray scale photos

Photo by on

When was the last time you sat down with a loved one to look through a treasured photo album? If you’re like many of us, it’s probably been a while. This Saturday, June 29, is National Camera Day, and we think there’s no better time to celebrate the magical history of photography as well as cameras themselves.

You may be surprised to learn that the cameras have an extensive history. The device first made its debut in the Middle Ages. A physicist named Alhazen discovered the idea of Camera Obscura, the act of reproducing an image with color and perspective preserved. This discovery led to the invention of history’s first pinhole camera.

Over the years, many scientists experimented with photography, developing different types of cameras, but the tools didn’t become accessible to amateurs until George Eastman began producing and manufacturing film in 1955. He later created a brand that we all surely recognize, Kodak.

Of course, the whole industry was turned on its side when Steven Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1975 while working at Eastman Kodak. Unfortunately, the discovery was not given the recognition that it deserved. At that time, the company was afraid that digital products would compete with their film products and did not pursue the venture. The digital camera became available to the public in the early 1990s.

Nearly 30 years later, we don’t have to tell you that times have changed. Unless you are an aspiring photographer, you probably don’t have a high-tech camera; you simply rely on the device that can be found beside you.

Smartphones have allowed everyone to become a photographer. We now all have the ability to take a picture, edit it and share it with the world in mere minutes. The problem; however, is that many of our photos never actually see the light of day. We may scroll through them occasionally when we want to take a quick stroll down Memory Lane, but they rarely get a permanent home in a photo album for future generations to see.

In honor of National Camera Day, we challenge you to start taking pictures with the intention of printing and preserving. These four easy tips can help you take your best photos yet, even if you are only using your trusted smartphone:

  1. Clean the lens

    We know, this is a simple one. You can take the sharpest images by staying on top of dust and grime. Use a clean, microfiber cloth to get the job done.

  2. Use natural lighting

    Did you know that the word “photography” effectively translates into “painting with light?” You may have noticed that professional photographers often have more tools to play with lighting. Remember this when taking your own pictures. When possible, be sure to have the primary source of light shining on the subject.

  3. Avoid using zoom

Again, you may see many professionals utilizing the zoom function, but smartphone cameras do not work the same way. Rather than actually zooming in on the subject, the camera just crops the image. Instead of using the zoom, just try moving closer.

  1. Turn on the grids setting

A common rule in photography is “The Rule of Thirds,” the idea behind the rule is to break the image into thirds to create a well-balanced and interesting shot. Learn more here. You can imagine the grids themselves, or you can find the setting on your device.

Just think of where we’d be if we didn’t have cameras in our life. We likely wouldn’t recognize many elder family members, look back at history or have the chance to relive the most important memories of our lives. Make sure to keep this in mind as you think about photographs in today’s world. Your great-grandchildren will want to see pictures of you!

Are you a smartphone photo gallery scroller, or do you still print many of your photographs? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy National Camera Day from Lions Pride!



How to Beat the Cool Summer Blues


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Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, but in case you haven’t noticed, the weather hasn’t felt very seasonal. If we look at the city of Madison, the average temperature range in June is 75 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, rarely falling below 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Madison Temperatures

Source: Weather Underground

This year, however, we’ve experienced some abnormalities in terms of weather. Only half of our days have been in the average temperature range, and we’ve only seen three days reach the 80-degree mark. Days have been gloomy and rainy, making it challenging to stay optimistic about the season ahead.

We understand that it can be disappointing to see another cloudy day. Unfortunately, the weather is one of those areas that no one can control. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy the first part of June, even if it is a bit cooler than usual. We’ve compiled a couple of ideas to get you started:

  1. Participate in activities where warm weather is not essential

When you think about summertime, you probably think about activities like swimming and boating, but there are other ways to get outside. Rather than relying solely on the weather, consider taking part in other fun activities such as fishing or kayaking. If you wouldn’t consider yourself to be much of an outdoorsman, you can always plan trips to the farmers market, a local festival or outdoor concert. You might even enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee to keep your hands warm. How of you have that opportunity in June?

  1. Bring your parties indoors

Many people look forward to June because they have an excuse to get out and socialize with friends and neighbors after a long, cold winter. We know it may be easier to host an outdoor barbecue, but there’s no reason why you can’t bring everyone inside for a small get-together. Invite everyone over for a potluck-style dinner, so all of the responsibility isn’t left on one person. We can almost guarantee you will be thanked immensely for being the volunteer host.

  1. Appreciate your layers

Are you familiar with the term, ‘sweater weather?’ Typically, at the end of September, a transformation happens in Wisconsin; pumpkin is added to everything, and people take out all of their sweaters and sweatshirts. We know that it might be a little too early for pumpkin season, but you can give all of your layers an escape from the back of the closet – at least temporarily.

  1. Plan a weekend getaway

Just because it is chilly here in Wisconsin does not mean that you’re going to find that weather everywhere. Cities like Des Moines and Chicago are expected to see beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday. Even if it’s too late to pack your bags for a spontaneous weekend away, consider planning a vacation for some time this year. Studies have shown that planning a trip can make you happier than actually taking it. Remember, time away is good for you!

People of the Midwest have mixed feelings about summer. Some adore the warm, humidity that Wisconsin brings while others prefer to stay in with the air conditioning turned up. If you don’t much care for summer due to the heat, think of the cooler temperatures a gift. If you long for the warm, 80-degree days, try to stay patient and know they are coming (just look at the 10 day forecast.) Until then, try to appreciate the unpredictably of Mother Nature. How do you plan to take advantage of the cooler weather?

Madison 10 Day Weather

Happy First Day of Summer from Lions Pride!

Thoughtful Father’s Day Gift Ideas


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baby sitting on man s shoulder

Photo by Maria Lindsey on

He showed you how to ride your first back, taught you how to change a tire and how to take pride in your work. Of course, he did more than teach you essential life skills, he also provided for his family and gave endless amounts of support as you transformed from a young child to a responsible adult. This Sunday, June 16, is Father’s Day. How will you honor dear ole dad?

Without giving it much thought, you know that there are a few gifts that have become Father’s Day staples; gifts like power tools, ties and wild socks (that will likely take up permanent residence in his drawer.) Rather than relying on one of the traditional presents, consider giving dad an out-of-the-box gift that we know he’ll love:

  • A helping hand: Unfortunately, adulthood typically includes responsibilities that we aren’t always pleasant. For dad, it may be mowing the grass or cleaning up the basement. Help lighten the load by offering to pitch in. You know what they say, “Many hands make for light work,” and we can bet that he’ll love the company.
  • A day together: Do you recall the last time you spent quality time with your father? If you have to think too hard, that means it’s been too long! Allow dad to spend Sunday with the activity of his choice. He might want to get out on the lake, hit the back nine or just soak in the sun for a lazy afternoon together. We know that life can get busy, so keep in mind that a raincheck is always an option.
  • A gift that gives back: If there is an organization close to dad’s heart, think about giving a donation in his honor. As you likely already know, nonprofits wouldn’t get very far without the help of their supporters, as donations as the lifeblood of the organization. It’s not too late to make an honorarium donation to Lions Pride. Your donation will help us continue to preserve, provide and protect the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. Learn more about memorial/honorarium donations.

Remember, the best presents in life don’t come wrapped in ribbons and bows.  Show your appreciation for dad with a gift from the heart.

Happy Father’s Day from Lions Pride!