Say “Happy Sweetest Day” Without Flowers

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Saturday is National Sweetest Day! We can guess what you are probably thinking, “Isn’t that just an October version of Valentine’s Day?” Although this particular holiday may sound eerily familiar to its winter cousin, it has a sweeter origin story.

Legend says Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy store employee from Cleveland, was the original creator of Sweetest Day. In the year 1922, he decided to bring happiness to those who were feeling forgotten with thoughtful gifts. He and a team of people brought candy and small gifts to orphans, shut-ins and others to show they cared.

The concept caught on. By the 1930’s, celebrities became getting involved in the event. Sweetest Day grew to include loved ones, coworkers, acquaintances and friends. Today, it is most celebrated in the Great Lakes region.

It seems that sending flowers is the most popular way to celebrate the unofficial holiday, but there are other touching ways to say, “Happy Sweetest Day:”

  1. Give candy or sweets

Get back to the roots of the occasion by giving someone a box of their favorite candy. Of course, if you’re in a baking mood, you could always substitute with other homemade baked goods. You’re not limited in the sweets you send.

  1. Send a heartfelt note

Sweetest Day is, without a doubt, a big card-sending holiday. We know that everyone enjoys receiving cards, but often times, the best part about a card is the note. Consider making a homemade card with a genuine message about how much the person means to you. With the drastic increase in digital technology, we can safely assume that your recipient will appreciate the kind gesture.

  1. Do something nice

There’s no reason a gift for Sweetest Day requires a trip to the store. Rather than purchasing a physical gift, think about completing a kind gesture for your loved one. Perhaps, you’d like to check an item off their mile-long To Do List, pick up dinner or treat your special someone to a night out on the town. We are confident that no matter what you choose to do, your act of kindness will be well-received.

  1. Donate in his or her name

It’s no secret that donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization as it helps them continue on their mission. When celebrating Sweetest Day, consider giving your recipient’s favorite organization in his or her name. When you make an honorarium/memorial donation to Lions Pride, we’d be happy to send an acknowledgment card to your loved one. All gifts go toward creating a lasting legacy for future generations at the Wisconsin Lions Camp and in other WLF projects.

Sweetest Day may have gotten its start with candy, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to celebrate. We believe the idea behind the unofficial holiday is to celebrate with small acts of kindness. How will you celebrate?

Happy Sweetest Day from Lions Pride!

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Celebrating Wisconsin Farmers

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“Small family farmers are the only things that can save us because they take care of the land. Future Farmers of America are going to be our heroes…” -Willie Nelson

When’s the last time you really thought about where your food comes from? If you are a regular grocery shopper, it can be easy to forget about the farmers behind the produce. After all, you’re likely busy scouring prices trying to get in and get out as quickly as possible. The focus is a little more front and center when you and your significant other are strolling through a farmers’ market on a sunny, Saturday morning.

Farmers are the backbone of America. They rise before the sun, willingly participate in back-breaking labor and battle every unpredictable obstacle that could be tossed a person’s way. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without dedicated farmers.

Saturday, October 12, is National Farmers Day; an unofficial holiday created for some of the hardest working individuals. Let’s get a head start by highlighting agriculture in our own state, courtesy of the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:

  • Although Wisconsin is commonly known as the Dairy State, we produce more than just milk and cheese. Our state ranks first nationally for snap beans (for production,) cranberries, ginseng, mink pelts, dry whey for humans, milk goats and corn (for silage.)
  • There are nearly 65,000 farms located on 14.3 million acres in the state.
  • Approximately 62 percent of the nation’s cranberry crop comes from Wisconsin.
  • The dairy industry annually contributes over $45.6 billion to Wisconsin’s economy on its own.
  • Nearly 1200 licensed cheesemakers produce over 600 types, styles and varieties of cheese.
  • Wisconsin is listed as #12 among all states in the nation for the value of agricultural exports.

It should come as no surprise to learn that 2019 has been a particularly difficult year for farmers across America. Between excessive flooding, international tariffs and low prices, many family farms are left making extremely difficult choices. Some have decided not to plant any crops, while others have had to let go of businesses that have been part of their family for generations. Small family farms need our support more than ever before.

As you begin to wrap up your week, keep these farmers in your thoughts. If you see a farmer out and about while running your errands this weekend, be sure to say, “thanks!”

On behalf of the Lions Pride Staff and Board, we’d like to do a special shout-out to our Wisconsin Family Farmers. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to the agricultural industry. We don’t know where we’d be without your passion.

Happy National Farmers Day!

 

National Taco Day

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Hola amigos! Do you have all of your plans for the rest of the week? If not, we have a suggested entrée to add to your family’s menu – tacos.

October 4 is National Taco Day, and we’re celebrating in our favorite way, with a compiled list of fun facts that you may not already know about the popular Tex-Mex dish. Let’s get started!

  • The word “taco” is seen as the English equivalent to the word “sandwich.”
  • The origin of the word is relatively unknown, but according to Taco Expert Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the word comes from the small explosives used in Mexico silver mines in the 18th The sticks of dynamite were made from pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder that were placed in the holes of rock.
  • The taco, of course, is made from a flour or corn tortilla, which is then wrapped and folded around a protein-based filling such as beef, pork or fish.
  • Tacos first came to the United States in 1905, thanks to the Chili Queens of San Antonio.
  • We don’t have to tell you that there are dozens of variations of tacos. The most popular version in Mexico is called the Taco al Pastor, which means shepherd’s style taco. This type of taco is made of spiced pork cut in slivers from a vertical spit over an open flame.
  • The biggest taco ever created was made in Queretaro, Mexico, on November 20, 2011. It was made with carnitas filling and was a massive 246 feet long.
  • Many believe that Taco Bell pushed the nationwide popularity of tacos. The chain was first founded in 1962 in California and has served over 2 billion customers in the US alone.
  • Food trucks are often seen as a new form of fast food, but the first truck was opened over 50 years ago. In 1966, two housewives opened a taco truck in New York; the truck did not have an entire kitchen but was available for catering.
  • In 2018, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos, which equates to 490,000 miles.

What is your favorite type of taco? Let us know in the comments below.

There’s no better time to enjoy everyone’s favorite Mexican dishes. Happy National Taco Day from Lions Pride!

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Fun Facts About Beer

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Are you looking for something to do this weekend? If so, you might be interested in finding out that Saturday, September 28, is National Drink Beer Day. We weren’t able to track the origin of the unofficial holiday, but we’re sure that many Wisconsinites would agree you don’t need an excuse to enjoy an ice-cold pint of your favorite brew.

To celebrate National Drink Beer Day, we thought we could come into the weekend with a few fun facts about the world’s oldest beverage of choice:

  • Beer brewing and drinking predates human history.
  • Beer Soup was a typical breakfast choice for people in medieval Europe.
  • Although there are hundreds of different kinds of styles of beers, they all fall into two primary categories, ales and lagers. Their differentiating factors come back to the type of yeast and how it ferments during the brewing process.
  • Munich’s most popular event, Oktoberfest, originally began as a celebration of the 1810 marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig.
  • Beer is the third-most popular drink in the world, following water and tea. It is worth noting; however, the most popular alcoholic beverage of choice.
  • Although Wisconsin is often known as the top drinking state, is actually #5. The most beer drinking per capita takes place in New Hampshire (as of 2017.)
  • If you’re looking for a craft beer, you will be happy to learn that most Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewery.
  • The most expensive state to buy a beer may be Tennessee, which has the highest state excise taxes in the country.
  • Milwaukee is known as the beer capital of the world, as its home to a few of the most significant American brewers – Miller, Schlitz, Pabst and Blatz. The city also has a large German population.

If you plan to observe National Drink Beer Day this Saturday, please remember to do so responsibly. The Lions Pride Board and Staff would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Fall Planning Checklist

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Have you noticed trees in Wisconsin starting to change?  We know that it seems early, but the time has officially arrived. The first day of the Autumnal Equinox is happening this Monday, September 23.

If you thought summer went fast, you don’t want to let this beautiful season pass you by, too. In many ways, we think fall actually goes quicker because once the snow starts to fly, winter unofficially begins (even if it’s only October!)

To take advantage of the most colorful season of the year, we’ve put together a fall planning checklist for you and your loved ones to check off together:

  • Enjoy an afternoon drive, taking in the beautiful hues of yellows, oranges and reds. The best way to stay on top of the changing fall colors is by regularly visiting Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report. Find the best locations for viewing fall colors on their comprehensive peak fall foliage map.
  • Cheer on your local high school team at a Friday night football game. Be sure to bundle up because the temperature cools drastically when the sun goes down.
  • Visit a local orchard and pick a bushel of apples. Once you have those red beauties home, you can treat your family to their favorite apple dessert. Visit the Wisconsin Orchards Directory to find an orchard near you.
  • Rearrange your closet. We know this isn’t exactly a fun way to commemorate the new season, but it’s time to put the shorts away and dig out those warm, cozy sweaters.
  • Decorate with gourds and pumpkins. Whether you choose to decorate with fruits of your labor from the garden or stop at a nearby farm stand, there’s no better way to welcome fall.
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest. Since we live in the state of Wisconsin, we all know there are plenty of festivals to attend this season. Honor our state’s German heritage with beer, sausage and pretzels. Find an upcoming event near you.
  • Have a bonfire. If you didn’t have time to enjoy the warmth of a campfire during the summer months, it’s not too late. Many prefer fall fires as observers don’t need to sit so far away from the coals. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Lots of Wisconsinites gladly welcome fall. It’s the best to time to cozy up and enjoy the changing colors. What are you most looking forward to doing in the new season?

Happy Autumnal Equinox from Lions Pride!

 

The 2019 USA/Canada Leadership Forum

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Leadership Forum 2019.pngForum week has arrived again! For the past 43 years, Lions Club Members from all over North America have been meeting for three days of motivation, education and leadership development. From September 19 to September 21, Lions and Lionesses will gather in one of America’s greatest riverfront cities, Spokane.

During their time in eastern Washington, Lions will take part is over 77 seminars spanning a wide variety of topics, including:

  • making change stick
  • using technology for more impactful marketing
  • creating synergy through action
  • enhancing mental health and well-being
  • how to captivate the attention of a younger audience
  • the ins and outs of cyber clubs

See the entire seminar schedule. Of course, there will be no way for one person to attend them all of the seminars. The biggest challenge you may faces is deciding which topics to focus on.! We’d suggest talking with fellow club members and divvying up the seminars. You can always follow-up, later on, to talk about the highlights.

Other special events will be taking place over the weekend. Lions will also have the opportunity to participate in the Strides Walk, observe a Lions University graduation and hear from incredible keynote speakers. If you enjoyed listening to Michelle Ray’s presentation at last year’s forum then you’re in luck. She’s back by popular demand! She’ll be challenging you to become a better leader by changing your personal attitude.

Lastly, we hope Lions will have the opportunity to explore Spokane. Attendees are encouraged to come early and stay let to allow the local experts to guide them through the Inland Northwest. The city is chock full of historic landmarks, breathtaking parks and lakes as well as unique attractions. Browse through all of the available tours, courtesy of Group Coordinators.

The USA/Canada Leadership Forum has something for everyone. Will you be attending the forum next weekend? If so, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

Here at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish all leadership forum attendees safe travels as they make their way to Washington. We look forward to hearing about your experiences when you return.

Bon voyage!

 

Rounding Up Summer Checklist

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If your Facebook feed looks anything like ours, you’ve likely seen lots of back to school pictures this week. You know the ones, photos of smiling children dressed in their new clothes holding up their handmade signs. All of these pictures have us asking, “Where did the summer go?”

It’s important to remember that, although the kids are back in school, the season isn’t over just yet. Fall does not officially start for 2 ½ more weeks, so there’s still time to get out and enjoy all that Wisconsin has to offer. To get you started, we’ve put together a few ideas to help round out your summer:

  • Pitch a tent and sleep outside – even if it’s just in the backyard
  • Build a campfire and roast a marshmallow or two
  • Visit a local or state park
  • Count the stars
  • Get out the rod and reel and spend the afternoon fishing
  • Host an end of summer cookout
  • Pick a bouquet of wildflowers and bring the outdoors in
  • Eat an ice cream cone
  • Buy a ticket to the ballpark
  • Pack a picnic lunch and spend quality time with a loved one
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert
  • Remember Lions Pride

The end of summer may always be a bittersweet moment, but do you remember the old saying? All good things must come to an end. Just think, if we experienced summer all year long, would we really give it the attention it deserves? More than likely, no; only because, it would become the everyday normal. That’s why summer only comes once a year, so we make the most of the season. And, of course, it will be back again!

What items would you still like to complete on your personal checklist before the summer rounds out? Let us know in the comments below.

In approximately 408 hours, we will be approaching the Autumnal Equinox, but that means there’s still plenty of time to have the best summer ever. Go out and make the most of the remainder of the season!

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The Benefits of Charity Work

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There are many ways to describe acts of charity. Merriam-Webster defines the idea as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering,” and Lexico defines the concept as “the voluntary giving, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” Meanwhile Dictionary.com says charity is “an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” All of the definitions mentioned above may have similar themes in common, but they all have some significant differences.

We believe the primary reason for the discrepancy is that the idea of charity can have different meanings to different people. Your personal definition is dependent on your experience level and your motivation.

Thursday, September 5, is International Day of Charity. The United Nations created the holiday to sensitize and mobilize people, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from around the world with the common goal of helping others through volunteer work and philanthropic activities. The fifth day of September was selected to honor the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing. It should come as no surprise to learn the organization choose to commemorate Mother Teresa of Calcultta as she is often the first person who comes to mind when thinking about charity.

Charity can be a powerful way to make a difference in the world around you. It can contribute to the creation of inclusive societies, diminish the terrible impacts of humanitarian crises, help supplement public services and assist in cultural advancement, but did you know that it can also benefit you personally?

Studies have shown there are several positive outcomes when people choose to get involved in charity work. We’ve compiled just a few reasons to consider becoming an active volunteer or organization supporter:

  • Charity work makes people happyWe, as humans, are programmed to help one another. Scientists found from measuring hormones and serotonin levels that giving delivers great pleasure. In fact, the more we give, the happier we feel.
  • Volunteering keeps people connectedVolunteering allows people to stay connected to people, especially those in their communities. Through volunteer work, individuals can increase their communication skills, meet new people and strengthen relationships.
  • Charity can help find people find a sense of purposeLife can be busy and throughout the hustle and bustle, it can sometimes be difficult to remember one’s own purpose. Volunteering has been known to help people find their way and get more out of life. People who choose charity work can keep their minds occupied, get more mental stimulation and add most flavor to their lives.

As we previously mentioned, everyone has their own definitions of the idea for charity, which means you can serve a cause however you choose. Whether you prefer to put in an afternoon of community service or would instead prefer to send the gift of money to your favorite nonprofit, your acts of charity make a difference.

What is your favorite way to practice the act of charity? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Please consider Lions Pride in your giving plan, you make a difference today while we work to secure tomorrow. Happy International Day of Charity!

Wisconsin County Fairs

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Does anyone happen to know where summer went? It seems like only yesterday we were anxiously awaiting Memorial Day Weekend, and now we’re hot on the heels of Labor Day. We guess it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun (enjoying the beautiful summer weather.)

We think any proud Wisconsinite would agree that one of the best parts of summer is all of the county fairs. Is there anything better than walking around admiring the prized livestock, hearing the sounds of children in the distance while indulging in the sweet, sugary taste of a funnel cake? If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Wisconsin county fair, there still may be an opportunity. There are a few fairs taking place from now until Labor Day. We’ve compiled a list for you to check out:

Waupaca County

The Waupaca County Fair kicked off yesterday at 3 pm. Attendees saw entertainment from Wayne the Wizard, Pleasure Valley Pig and Duck Races and a 3 of a Kind Concert. The fun continues all weekend long. Highlights include a large and small animal market sale, pedal pull competition, wood carving auction and Hollywood Motorsports Demolition Derby. One-day family admission is $10. See the entire fair schedule.

Shawano County

The Shawano County Fair will take place next Wednesday, August 28, to Monday, September 2. Over the course of five days, fair attendees can view dozens of exhibits, participate in auctions and watch lots of compelling competitions including rooster crowing, chicken flying and human crowing. There will also be musical entertainment and bingo games happening all weekend long. Daily gate admission is $5 for adults and children ages 12 and up; Senior Citizen Day is Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm, those 62 and older can receive $2 admission. View the complete schedule of fair activities.

Sheboygan County

The Sheboygan County Fair begins on Thursday, August 29, and will run until Monday, September 2. Fair attendees can visit the Ag-Venture Tent, a free educational space for children ages 3-10 to learn about the agriculture and dairy industry. Other fair activities include Granpa Cratchet, DockDogs shows, IRA Sprint Car Races (featuring Tony Stewart and PDTP 360 Sprints,) extreme bull riding and barrel racing. You can purchase a daily pass for adults at $6, children 10-14 at $2 and kids under 9 are free. See the daily entertainment schedule.

Calumet County

The Calumet County Fair, also known as the Biggest Little Fair in Wisconsin, is happening in Chilton from Friday, August 30, to Monday, September 2. While at the fair, you can catch great music and showcase exhibits, plus exciting competitions including the Skid Steer Olympics, Catch a Pig Contest, Horse Promoters Speed Show and Rib Grill-Off. General admission ranges from $4 to $6. Don’t miss out on the entertainment!

Summer may be quickly winding down, but there’s still time to take advantage of the summer fun that Wisconsin has to offer. How do you plan to spend the rest of the season?

Enjoy the last vestiges of summer,
Lions Pride Staff & Board

The Start of the Little League World Series

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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!