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 prideoffice@lionspride.org.

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.

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Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers

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black cruiser motorcycle

Photo by Stitch Dias on Pexels.com

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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Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

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 Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

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 Pexels.com

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!

The 12th Annual Lions Pride Shoot

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Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 7.21.07 PM3, 2, 1… Shoot! We know that it may be hard to believe, but we are only days away from our biggest event of the year. Each year for the past 12 years, we’ve held the Lions Pride Shoot at Milford Hills in Johnson Creek.

Our sporting clays fundraiser has become our most popular event that takes place on the second weekend in June. Both Lions and non-Lions come together to enjoy a day out in the beautiful rolling hills of Southern Wisconsin to support Lions Pride.

The day begins with an early lunch, followed by a challenging course with games and door prizes. After shooters have finished the course, they wind down from their action-packed day with cold beer, a live auction and delicious dinner. The Pride Shoot is one of the most, unique and successful fundraisers that take place for the Lions Pride Endowment Fund.

Although the Lions Pride Shoot is a one-day event, the staff has actually been planning for months. A lot of tiny details go into the overall preparation of the fundraiser, including recruiting participants, finding sponsors, collecting both door prizes and auction items, coordinating all of the day’s events with the Milford Hills staff and recruiting volunteers. Now, like the blink of an eye, the final week is upon us.

We’re continually being reminded of Dewey Carl’s spirit, but it’s even more present in the day leading up to the shoot because it was an event that he always looked forward to attending. In honor of our late chairman, we have always challenged ourselves to make each year’s fundraiser even better than the last.

As we diligently work to finish up the last details of the event, we’d like to take a moment to thank our donors, sponsors, shooters and volunteers. We know first-hand that it takes a village of people to create an enjoyable event, and we don’t know where we’d be without their support.

See you on Saturday!

Wisconsin Lions Camp Summer 2019

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Lions Lake

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

It’s time to start packing your bags because kickoff to camp begins now! The summer staff has now reported for duty, and we are only 10 days away from the start of the 2019 camping season. Each year, nearly 1300 special campers with vision, hearing, intellectual disabilities and Type 1 and Type II Diabetes travel to Rosholt, Wisconsin, for a week of camaraderie, adventure and fun.

See the 2019 schedule below:

Block One

June 9 – June 14                     Adults who are Blind or Visually Impaired

June 16 – June 21                   Children with Type 1 & 11 Diabetes

June 23 – June 28                   Children with Type 1 & 11 Diabetes

June 30 – July 5                       Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism

July 7 – July 12                        Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism

July 14 – July 20                      No campers at camp; staff transition week

July 18 – July 19                      All staff teambuilding & training

Block Two

July 21 – July 26                      Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

July 28 – August 2                   Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

August 4 – August 9                Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

August 11 – August 15            Adults 18-25 with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism (by invitation only)

August 19 – August 23            Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The Wisconsin Lions Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association. The property is 440 acres in size and includes a 45-acre private lake, which is the center of several camping activities. During the summer months, Lions Camp employs approximately 48 counselors, so the camp can maintain a staff to camper ratio of 1:6.

The goals of Lions Camp are to assist each camper in development of self-confidence, interdependence, social skills, outdoor recreational skills and environmental awareness, but most importantly, to provide the space for the child to have a fun, safe and memorable experience. Wisconsin Lions Camp is proud to give special children the resources, skills and knowledge that will serve them long beyond their childhoods.

Many people may be surprised to learn that when the camp was first debuted, it was funded primarily by Lions Club donations. Sadly, in the last decade or so, expenses for Lions Camp and all other WLF statewide projects have increased exponentially. Annual club contributions remain essential but now account for less than half of all yearly WLF operating expenses. Combatting rising costs was actually the primary reason for the creation of our organization. Read the entire story here.

Today, Lions Pride is proud to support the Wisconsin Lions Camp maintain and expand their operations. We work alongside generous Lions and non-Lions alike as it is the power of individual and organization gift commitments that will preserve the projects of WLF for current and future generations.  Last year interest earned from your donations covered the cost of one week of camp.

To all of our donors, we’d like to express our sincere gratitude. Like all of the campers, we too look forward to the start of summer. We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help create positive change in our world and couldn’t do it without your ongoing support. Thank you for allowing us to continue on in our mission to preserve, protect and provide for Wisconsin Lions Camp and all statewide WLF projects.

National Missing Children’s Day

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black and white blank challenge connect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, 612,846 reports of missing persons were filed in 2018. Of those reports, nearly 85,000 remained active by year end; sadly, youth accounted for 34.8 percent of all active records.

Since 1983, May 25 has been known as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice holds a ceremony to honor the efforts of agencies, organizations and individuals who work to protect children. At the annual presentation, awards are presented to various individuals. Honors include the Attorney General’s Special Commendation, Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award, Missing Children’s Child’s Protection Award and Missing Children’s Citizen Award.

Additionally, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) holds a poster contest, in which fifth graders from all over the country are invited to complete a drawing that illustrates the theme, “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” See this year’s award winner. The contest creates a unique opportunity for schools, law enforcement and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with youth, parents and guardians.

We are incredibly appreciative to all agencies and people who work to protect children from harm. In honor of Missing Children’s Month, we’d also like to spread the word by sharing a few helpful pieces of information to teach your child. Many of these tips will not likely be new but will ideally act as a refresher that you can share with your loved ones.

Importance pieces of information to teach your child:

  1. Their first and last name
  2. The full names of their parents, address and phone number
  3. How to identify trusted adults
  4. How and when to call 911
  5. The power of the buddy system

Missing Children’s Month is dedicated to encouraging all parties, including parents, guardians, caregivers, neighbors, teachers and all concerned individuals, to make child safety a priority. Lions Pride hopes these suggestions help keep you and your children safe. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Armed Forces Day + Ways to Thank a Veteran

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flag of america

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

If you were tasked with brainstorming symbols to characterize each month of the year, what would they be? January might be a party hat, February would be a traditional red heart, March could be best described as a tulip (buried under a foot of snow,) April might be a raincloud and May would be an American Flag.

The fifth month of the year is an especially patriotic time in the United States. At the end of the month, we’ll celebrate veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day, but we have another chance to say “thank you for your service” before then.

This Saturday, May 18, is Armed Forces Day, a holiday that is always observed on the third Saturday in May. The holiday was created to help pay tribute to people of the Armed Forces. Unbeknownst to many, up until 1949, there were single day celebrations for each branch of the military. After the branches were unified under the Department of Defense, leaders thought it best to commemorate them all on one day.

For those of us who have never been involved in the military, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine what time in the service must be like. Members of the military put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, so how do you genuinely say, “thank you?” The best way to get started is with a handshake, but we think we can go above and beyond when it comes to expressing our gratitude. We’ve compiled a few thank you ideas to begin the brainstorming process, with the help of Military.com:

  1. Donate your frequent flyer miles to the family of a veteran

    If you’re an avid traveler, consider donating those extra miles to a family in need. The Hero Miles Program gives airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill service members as well as their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center. Learn how to donate your miles.

  2. Hire a veteran to speak at your next event

    To say a veteran learned a few valuable lessons during their time in the military would likely be an understatement. These individuals have incredible insight about leadership, team work and persistence. The next time you are looking for a speaker, bring in a veteran for the job.

  3. Shop from a veteran-owned business

    Did you know that over 2.5 million businesses in the United States are majority-owned by veterans? Choose to support these entrepreneurs by visiting their facilities or adding them to the supply chain of your company.

  4. Invite a veteran to join you and your club

Veterans have experience turning plans into actions, leading groups and brainstorming new and innovative ideas, and many want to get involved in local service work. They are just a natural fit into the Lions community. Invite a veteran to attend your next club meeting.

These are only four of an infinite number of thoughtful ways to say, “I am so grateful for your service.” How will you thank a veteran? Let us know in the comments below!

The Lions Pride Board and Staff would like to wish all military service members and their families a Happy Armed Forces Day!

 

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