The Celebration of United Nations Day

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Earlier this month, we celebrated Mental Health Day and World Food Day. What do these holidays have in common? Besides both falling under categories playing a significant role in personal health, they are also international days currently observed by the United Nations. We’re keeping the trend moving by celebrating one more international day in October, United Nations Day.

After World War II had ended, the world wanted peace. United Nations Day or UN Day marks the anniversary of its presence in the world on October 24. In June 1945, 50 countries met in San Francisco to create the UN Charter. The document was ratified by a majority of signatories, including the five members of the Security Council (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.) Nearly four months later, the United Nations officially came into existence. Read more about the history.

Today, the United Nations is made up of 193 Member States. The goals of the UN are simple; however, that does not mean they are easily achievable:

  • To maintain international peace and security
  • To protect human rights
  • To deliver humanitarian aid
  • To promote sustainable development
  • To uphold international law

There’s no question that the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations comes during a time that many of us have never experienced first hand. The entire world has seen great disruption due to the global pandemic, including serious economic and social impacts. However, the United Nations believes that challenging times can also become an opportunity for positive change and transformation when we all work together.

In a typical year, the UN would celebrate its anniversary with a concert held at the General Assembly Hall. Of course, due to the pandemic, the concert will be prerecorded and screened today, October 22, at 12 pm EST/11 am CST. The theme of this year’s concert is called “Reimagine, Rebalance, Restart: recovering together for our shared humanity.” The concert will also be screened live on the UN YouTube Channel as well as its other social media platforms.

The United Nations believes that art and culture have an unbelievable ability to bring people together through connection and common understanding. Today’s performance will leverage the power of both “music and dance to capture the world’s collective commitment to cooperation, multilateralism and global solidarity.”

If you plan to attend the concert, be sure to stop back and let us know your thoughts about the event.

Happy United Nations Day from Lions Pride!

The Pandemic’s Effect on Hunger & World Food Day 2020

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As residents of planet Earth, we all have certain necessities that we need to satisfy to survive. We bet it wouldn’t take long for you to list these items. We all need shelter, water, air and, of course, food. Unfortunately, just because these needs are necessary doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed for us all.

According to 2016 data from LCI, over 815 million people around the world are impacted by hunger. Sadly, as the world continues to face the negative impacts of the pandemic, this number has likely increased. And, unless we take immediate action now, we all risk a worldwide food emergency that could have lingering effects on hundreds of millions of our global neighbors.

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a step back with some terminology, starting by defining hunger. When people face food insecurity, they are not able to meet their food requirements or consume enough calories for a normal, active life. This long-term struggle unquestionably leads to ongoing, future implications for these individuals. Learn more about the challenge COVID-19 presents for both food and agriculture.

The evidence has become clear, although there is enough food on our planet for everyone, too many of our neighbors are battling hunger. That’s why the timing of the next UN international holiday couldn’t be more fitting – World Food Day.

Each year on October 16, the United Nations celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Like all major events in 2020, the 75th anniversary will be different than events in years past.   

On Friday, FAO Special Ambassadors, heads of the Rome-based UN agencies and other keynote speakers will meet virtually to ensure everyone is able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and access to healthy and nutritious food. You can join in by watching the webcast.

Naturally, we are always looking for new ways to make the world a better place. Although we may not be a direct line in the global food chain operation, there are still ways to make a positive impact. Remember that consumers also play an important role. How will you choose to make a difference?

Happy World Food Day from Lions Pride!

World Mental Health Day

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How are you feeling these days? If you’re like many of us, the continuing pandemic may be invoking lots of unfamiliar emotions. Due to the social distancing guidelines, you may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, sadness, despair, or even depression. It’s critical to remember that as global citizens, we are all going through an unprecedented period of time, so, of course, it is taking its toll on overall mental health.

This Sunday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day, a day to bring increased awareness and investment to the importance of mental health. You may be interested in learning that, according to the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, mental health is considered one of the most overlooked areas of public health.

It is estimated that nearly 3 billion people are living with a mental disorder, and now as we mentioned, the mental health of billions more have been negatively affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, the topic itself remains highly stigmatized and quality mental health services are only available to relatively few people You may be surprised to learn that only an average of 2 percent of a country’s health budget is dedicated to mental health. Through studies constantly show a positive return in the form of both improved health and productivity. Read more in this recent news release.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we thought it would be important to clarify the term. Mental health encompasses a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. It has a significant impact on how you think, act and feel as you work through life.

Don’t underestimate the importance of mental health as it plays a pivotal role in our capability to deal with the normal stressors of life, stay physically healthy, maintain meaningful relationships and more.

There are several activities that can help improve your mental health, such as:

  • Staying physically active
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Maintaining a positive outlook
  • Learning how to meditate
  • Perfecting relaxation techniques

Though, we must acknowledge that these activities are simply no substitute for professional help. If you currently dealing with mental health issues, you may be interested in reviewing the resources available from the World Health Organization and have a conversation with your primary doctor.

In 2020, let’s all work together to break down the stigma associated with mental health.

Happy World Mental Health Day from Lions Pride!

Fun Facts to Celebrate National Taco Day

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Hola amigos! Have you been struggling to come up with what to plan for dinner each night? Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant and hospitality industry has suffered a downturn in activity, which has, sadly, brought a whole slew of issues to its workforce. Additionally, it poses extra challenges at home, including asking repeatedly asking your housemates, “What should we make for dinner?”

If you’ve also been challenged with coming up with a new meal each night, let us suggest a favorite entrée to add to the menu – tacos. Sunday, October 4, is National Taco Day, and we think it’s worth celebrating an easy supper win. We’ve compiled a list of fun facts to share with your family about the popular Tex-Mex dish:

  • Experts in the field believe that the invention of the taco was first created between 1,000 and 500 BC. Though, the early days, the taco anywhere near in the form we know and love today. Instead, it was believed to have been used as an edible spoon to rake in other food.
  • Thanks to the Chili Queens of San Antonio, tacos first came to the United States in 1905.
  • The world’s most expensive taco would set you back a whopping $25,000. The deluxe taco was made with Kobe beef, beluga caviar and served on a gold flaked taco.
  • Taco John’s was the first to trademark “Taco Tuesday” in 1989. Thirty-one years later, the company still has some claim to the phrase.
  • Part of the beloved nature of tacos is due to their great versatility and variety. A taco can be made with several different fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood and more
  • In 2018, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos, equating to 775 million pounds.

What is your favorite type of taco? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

This weekend is the perfect time to enjoy everyone’s favorite Mexican dish. Happy National Taco Day from Lions Pride!

2020 Fall Foliage Report

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The local meteorologist may be tricking us into thinking summer is back again, but there’s no question that fall has officially arrived. Parents and children are starting to find their back-to-school routines, assorted pumpkins are being placed on front porches, seasonal flavors have returned to coffee shops and, of course, the greatest indicator of them are the changing fall colors.

If you would consider yourself an autumn enthusiast, you’re likely visited Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report. If not, there’s no better time to become familiar with an outstanding state resource.

Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism provides the latest updates for finding the best fall colors. Regardless of your mode of transportation (hiking, biking or riding), you have the opportunity to see all of the changing leaves that your heart desires.

According to the latest report, counties around the state appear to be evenly split between beginning and moderate peak colors. Expectations show that northern counties will reach their peak in the first or second week of October, while southern counties will follow in the second or third week of the month. If you’ve been longing for a road trip, now is the time to start planning – with as much or as little effort as you’d like!

Travel Wisconsin put together a guide for 11 scenic drives to take advantage of when the leaves are turning. We were excited to see that one drive is not far from the Wisconsin Lions Camp. Did you know that three of the state’s highest points are right here in Central Wisconsin? Take in the fall foliage from a different perspective by driving along the Hilltop Tour.

If you don’t consider yourself to be a follower, you can always come up with a fall foliage trip of your own. Our state is chock-full of scenic highways and rustic roads, so we are confident that finding a unique journey shouldn’t be a trying task.

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Wisconsin. Don’t forget to open your eyes and take all of the beauty in. From all of us here at Lions Pride, enjoy your seasonably warm fall weekend!

Autumnal Equinox 2020

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Photo Credit to the Wisconsin Lions Camp

We don’t have to tell you that the days are getting shorter and the temperature has been getting much crisper. (Yes, we’ve already seen frost advisories over the course of a few nights!) Although the changing weather is evident, it may still be hard to believe that this upcoming Tuesday, September 22, officially marks the first day of fall and the Autumnal Equinox.

If you’re anything like us, you may be wondering, “What is an equinox?” We know that it was probably an important lesson in middle school, but we all have a lot to remember. So, how about a lesson refresh?

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the word “equinox” is derived from the Latin word aequus, which means “equal” and “night.” During the equinox, day and night are roughly the same lengths of time or equal.

Equinox, of course, happens twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. The Earth orbits on the tilt of its axis at 23 ½ degrees. On the day of the equinox, at approximately 8:31 am CST, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will trade places in receiving the sun’s light more directly. We don’t have to tell you that starting next week, the sun will begin to rise later, and dusk will come sooner.

Fall seems to be a season favorite for Wisconsinites because it means the return of football, cool, crisp weather and pumpkin spice everything. We especially love this time of year because we always enjoy watching the changing leaves that surround the Wisconsin Lions Camp.

What is your favorite part about fall? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Autumnal Equinox from Lions Pride!

Celebrating the Grandest Generation

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Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane. Close your eyes and think back to a few of your greatest childhood memories. Are there a few people who play recurring roles? We’re guessing, yes. More than likely, you’ll see your siblings, parents, cousins and, of course, your grandparents. Sunday, September 13, is Grandparents Day, a day to celebrate the grandest generation.

We know what you’re thinking: another day that I have to remember to put a card in the mail? Not exactly. Believe it or not, this observation was not created to help inflate the sales of flowers and greeting cards. Marian Lucille McQuade, the community leader behind the holiday, wanted Grandparents Day to be focused on family; a day to connect the generations.

There are three main purposes behind the observance:

  1. To give people a day to honor grandparents
  2. To allow grandparents an additional opportunity to show love to their children’s children
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance that elders can offer

She wanted Grandparents Day to be a family day. She envisioned family reunions and community event participation, but she probably didn’t imagine a pandemic.

2020 has certainly been a challenging year for celebrating holidays as we’ve seen many special days come and go. However, it is still possible to honor your family lineage while protecting those closest to your heart. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Schedule a story hour

We all loved bedtime stories as children, but does anyone truly outgrow a good story? Schedule a time to talk over the phone or video chat with loved ones to talk about the family’s matriarchs and patriarchs. Take turns sharing your favorite moments together, whether they were tender or hilarious. Give your story hour participants a heads up, so they have time to think back on the best moments.  

  • Recreate a famous family recipe

Every family has one secret recipe. The weekend is the perfect opportunity to dust off the cookbook and look back at the entrée or dessert that everyone still talks about to this day. If you’re feeling extra generous, you may want to share the dish with friends or other family members. After all, who doesn’t love homemade goodies?

  • Start building a family tree

What better way to celebrate than by piecing together your family history with your immediate members? Share unforgettable memories of those who have passed and talk about how family members’ lives have changed over the generations. Visit PBS to start building your family tree today.

  • Celebrate those who have left too soon

Sadly, not all of us are lucky enough to have living grandparents, but everyone can celebrate their memories by reliving the good times by paging through old photo albums or visiting their memorial sites. If you are active on Facebook, consider temporarily changing your profile picture to one with a grandparent.

National Grandparents Day is a wonderful opportunity to honor legacy and show gratitude to a truly grand generation. How will you celebrate the occasion?

Happy Grandparents Day from Lions Pride!

Ways to Appreciate the End of Summer

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We probably don’t have to tell you that Monday, September 7, 2020, (Labor Day) is the unofficial end to summer and the beginning of autumn. There’s no question that these cooler days have been feeling quite fall-like, but this year has been different than those we have experienced in the past. There were days in 2020 that felt like they were never going to end, yet the summer seemed to fly by, leaving many of us wondering, “Was I able to get out and enjoy it?”

You’re not alone in this feeling, but believe it or not, there is still time to get out and make the most of the fleeting season. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy all that summer has to offer:  

  • Take a hike at a state or local park
  • Create a bonfire and toast a marshmallow
  • Enjoy an afternoon fishing at your favorite river or stream
  • Watch the sunrise or set (depending on whether you’re an early bird or more of a night owl)
  • Grab a blanket and pack a picnic lunch
  • Stay up late and catch a firefly light show
  • Take off your shoes and walk barefoot through lush green grass
  • Sit outside and admire the stars. There’s nothing quite like a clear night sky to remind us about the big, beautiful world we live in

The forecast shows that aside from a small chance of isolated thunderstorms on Sunday, it’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend. We’d like to remind you to get out and enjoy the unofficial end to the Wisconsin summer, but always remember that it will be back again in no time at all.

Our office will be closed on Monday, September 1 in observance of the holiday. From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

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Photo Credit to Dave Hoefler

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

-Author Unknown

If you’ve lost a beloved animal, you’ve likely seen heartfelt poem aptly named Rainbow Bridge. Tomorrow, Friday, August 28 is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. What better day to commemorate the animals we’ve loved and lost?

Anyone who has connected with a cherished animal knows that humans and animals can endure an unbreakable, indescribable bond. Our furry companions are always there when we need them most, hold no judgment, and have a natural ability to provide loving support.  If you’re looking a way to honor your special pet, might we suggest these ideas:

  1. Pass the time looking through photos

    Whether you have a printed photo album or just an extensive media library on your mobile device, look through your photos to remember the good times you two shared together. You may want to consider printing one your favorite pictures to always have the memory nearby.
  2. Help another animal

    If you’ve lost a pet sometime in the recent past, consider helping another animal. This may mean adding a new member to your family or volunteering at your local animal shelter. Remember that welcoming a new furry member into your life doesn’t mean that you are trying to replace an old friend – it just means that your heart has more love to give.
  3. Tell a story about one of your favorite memories

    One of the best parts of creating a blog is having the option to engage directly with our readers. And, we can all participate with this celebration idea. We’d love to hear a story about one of your dear pets. Tell us about the special connection you and your animal shared in the comments below.

Those of us who have had the privilege of loving a pet know firsthand how tough it is to lose them when the end inevitably comes. That’s the trouble with animals; the time together is just never long enough. But don’t forget that their memories will always live in our hearts.

Happy Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day from Lions Pride!

No Fans at Indy 500

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Many of us will agree that summer 2020 is unlike any summer in recent memory. Although we may still be able to go out and soak up plenty of Vitamin D, there’s likely a lot of people we’d like to see and various events we’d love to attend.

The latest national event seeing drastic changes is the Indianapolis 500. There were six times in history where the race was cancelled due to war, but the first time, no fans will be in attendance watching the race in real-time.

The Indy 500 originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, was postponed. In June, Indianapolis Motor Speedway made plans to reschedule the event for August and drop the maximum capacity down 50% (approximately 175,000 fans.) They were hoping the situation wouldn’t change, but the pandemic had other plans. Since the June 26 announcement, Marion County in Indiana has seen positive cases of coronavirus triple and positivity rates double.

Penske Entertainment Corp president and CEO Mark Miles says that he hopes fans know that they’ve done everything possible to continue the race with an audience. Still, they were committed to putting the health and safety of the community first for the very beginning.

Officials recently concluded that the 2020 race happening on Sunday, August 23, will be closed to the general public. Fortunately, those who had purchased tickets will be credited for the 2021 race and retain their seniority.

We’ve seen it time and time again this summer, but coronavirus has been the ultimate party crasher. Here at Lions Pride, we’ve had to cancel or postpone our favorite events like the Sporting Clays Fundraiser, our annual meeting and the Friendship 100.

What events and activities have you personally been missing this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

We know that 2020 has anything but a typical year but remember that we’re all in this together, and we will get through the uncertainty in due time. Hang in there!