Donate School Supplies to Stuff the Bus Drive

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The start of the new school year is only a few weeks away. Parents all over the state are Yellow-Buslikely going through a number of emotions: excitement, sadness, anxiousness, and too often – dread.

Did you know that the average cost to send one student back to school is over $600? As childhood poverty increases, it becomes more difficult for families to obtain the resources they need to send their children back to school.

The need is real and greater than you might imagine. According to 2013-2014 data, 43.3 percent of Wisconsin public school students were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches. In some areas, that statistic can be as high at 91.2 percent.

To combat the continuously rising costs of school supplies, Lions and Lioness Clubs in Wisconsin are partnering with local schools to stuff the bus.

Stuff the Bus is similar to a food drive, but rather than gathering canned goods, local Lions collect new school supplies that are then sorted and donated to an area school. Supplies include backpacks, binders, hand sanitizer, flash drives, scissors and erasers. See the entire supply list handout here. The official statewide collection date is this Saturday, August 11; however, many clubs are participating all month long. Contact your area club for details on a collection site near you.

Lions Pride is proud to support the Wisconsin Lion and Lioness Clubs hosting Stuff the Bus drives in 2018. Whether you donate a single ruler or a case of paper, your donation will make a difference in the life of a child and his or her family. Together, we can help take the strain out of back to school shopping for families all around the state.

 

 

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More Enjoyable Back to School Shopping

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Ahh… sweet summertime.

frame of office supplies on white background .photo with copy space

The sun is out, the birds are signing and children all acrossthe state are loving their time away from the classroom. Although September seems like a lifetime away, it will be here before the blink of an eye, which mean it’s time to start thinking about school supplies.

Presumably, no parent looks forward to back to school shopping; it’s time-consuming, groan-inducing and expensive. In 2015, the estimated cost to send a child back to school was approximately $630. Shopping is a necessary part of the annual routine for parents. Fortunately, however, the process will be a bit easier this summer – thanks to the Wisconsin Sales Tax Holiday.

Yesterday was the start of a five-day temporary exemption period. From now until Sunday, sales of certain items will be tax-exempt, including the following:

  • Clothing – each item must have a sales price less than $75
  • Computers for personal use – each item must have a sales price less than $750
  • School computer supplies for personal use – each item must have a sales price less than $250
  • School supplies – each item must have a sales price less than $75

For a full list of tax-exempt items, please follow this link.

If our school supply estimate is correct, parents could see nearly $35 in savings, which means that now is the perfect time to stock up. After all, back-to-school shopping + no sales tax = happy shoppers.

This week, as you are planning your back-to-school shopping, consider making an impact with your extra savings. Think about buying a few extra boxes of tissues for the hard-working teachers or purchasing additional school supplies for a family in need. Together, we can help prepare our children for another successful school year with all of the necessary tools they need to learn. Remember, that even a little help can make a world of difference.

Happy Shopping from Lions Pride!

 

 

How to Observe International Day of Friendship

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If you’re lucky, you get to see your close friends often. You may get coffee, go out toFriendships dinner just an enjoy an evening together catching up on life, but do you remember the last time you told them how much you value their friendship? If it’s been a while, you’ll have the perfect opportunity on Monday – International Day of Friendship.

The origin behind the first day of friendship came from Hallmark in the 1930’s. The holiday was not viewed favorably by the public because many believed it was nothing more than a money-making exercise. By the 1940’s, the holiday had faded into obscurity in the United States.

In 1958, the World Friendship Crusade, an international civil organization, proposed the first World Friendship Day to take place on July 30, in an attempt to foster a culture of peace through friendship. Over 50 years later in 2011, the 30th of July was declared as the International Day of Friendship by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

How will you celebrate World Friendship Day? If you are struggling to find the best way to say, “I appreciate your friendship,” you’re in luck because we’ve compiled a few ways to celebrate the holiday:

  • Get back to the root of the first day of friendship by sending a card. Write a heartfelt message on why you feel fortunate to be his or her friend.
  • Send a small gift of flowers, chocolates, or cookies to let a friend know that you are thinking about him or her.
  • Put together a photo collage of special memories of you and your friend, then frame to give an extra special gift.
  • Call your local radio station and dedicate a song to International Friendship Day and your friends.
  • Make new friends by becoming a doer of Random Acts of Kindness. Follow this link to find ideas to get started.
  • Write a post on one of your social networks to brag about your best friends. It could be as in depth as how you first met or as simple as saying, “thanks for being my friend!”
  • Honor a friend with a donation to their favorite nonprofit organization. Might we suggest designating to the Lions Pride Endowment Fund and designate your gift for Lions Camp, the place where hundreds of friendships are made each year?
  • Make it a point to call or text your friends to let you know that you’re thinking about them and feel so lucky to call them friends.

Friendships are one of life’s greatest blessings. How empty would life feel without the camaraderie of great friends? Be sure to tell your friends how much you care about them and how thankful you are to have them in your inner circle.

Happy International Day of Friendship from Lions Pride!

The Lions Pride 2018 Annual Meeting

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Happy New Year! No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu, and we’re not losing our minds! If Annual Reportyou are familiar with Lions, you know that July is the official start of the Lionistic New Year. Each year, Lions Club International finishes off the year with the international convention. Lions Pride has a similar tradition by hosting the organization’s annual meeting.

The board meets four times annually to discuss financial activity, upcoming events and the organization as a whole. But this Friday, July 20, is a bit different because, after the regularly scheduled board meeting, Lions Pride will hold the annual meeting, in which everyone is invited – donors, volunteers and advocates. At this meeting, the board will have the chance to speak directly to the general public on the organization’s current standing.

During the meeting, we will be discussing the 2017-2018 activities, fundraising efforts, donors and donations as well as the overall organization standing. We’ll also hear from our President Sam Kochel and get the opportunity to thank our donors in person. And, if we’re lucky, we may even get to treat ourselves to a couple of Geri’s famous chocolate chip cookies.

If you are able to attend, please notify the Pride Staff by calling 715-677-7000. If you aren’t able to make it to tomorrow’s meeting, the annual report will be available online early next week. If you’d like to receive an electronic or paper copy (supplies are limited), you can request one by emailing us at prideoffice@lionspride.org.

As we diligently prepare for the annual meeting, we can’t help but take a trip down Memory Lane. The 2017-2018 Lionistic Year was another exceptional one filled with achievement and gratitude. We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people and never tire of saying “thank you.” We truly appreciate your continued support.

We’re excited about celebrating the year’s successes while brainstorming new ideas for the year ahead. We hope you’ll consider joining us. See you then!

History of Friday the 13th & How to Increase Your Luck

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Beware of black cats, ladders and mirrors in the coming days because Friday the 13th isLuckyClover.png upon us! For centuries, many have harbored the idea that this particular brings with it spouts of bad luck. Although it’s exact origin remains a mystery, there are a few clues that could teach us where paraskavededkatriaphobia stems from.

Our western culture has long considered 12 as the perfect number as it shows a sign of completeness. There are 12 days of Christmas, 12 months in a year and two 12-hour increments in a single day. Since the number 13 follows so closely on the heels of the ideal number, it is found to be lacking and unusual and often signifies a fear of the unknown.

Arguably, the most famous story for the unlucky 13 comes from Christianity. According to biblical tradition, Jesus was accompanied by his 12 apostles on Maundy Thursday. The next day, Good Friday, he was crucified. The seating arrangement is believed to have given rise to the longstanding superstition.

If you are one of the estimated 21 million Americans who suffer from fear of Friday the 13th, we have a few interesting ideas to increase your luck in the next 24 hours.

  1. Think positive thoughts

    Studies have shown that optimism can relieve stress and help you live longer. Have you ever noticed when you wake up in a bad mood, negative effects often ensue? Try thinking positively from the moment you get up, and we can bet a good day will follow.

  2. Use a lucky charm

    You have likely talked to someone who swears by a lucky charm. Whether it’s a rabbit’s foot or favorite pair of socks, a lucky charm can help you feel luckier, happier and more optimistic – find one that works for you.

  3. Increase your karma

    Remember the age-old guideline of “what goes around, comes around.” If you do good for others, luck will follow by returning the good back to you.

How do you feel about this unlucky day? Do you have any rituals to prepare you for the upcoming day of terror? Tell us in the comments below.

Happy Friday the 13th from Lions Pride!

The Origin of the Dog Days of Summer

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Doggone it, the temperature is hot out there! But they don’t call it the Dog Days of Canis MajorSummer for nothing, right? Here at Lions Pride, we thought it would be interesting to find out what this common phrase has to do with man’s best friend.

The official Dog Days of Summer take place from July 3 to August 11. Many people assume that the common phrase comes from the sluggish behavior that dogs exhibit during this six-week stretch, but the real meaning comes from astronomy.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the phrase originated in reference to the fact that at this time, the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of the planet and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog.

During the summer, the sun rises and sets with Sirius. July 23 is a particularly significant date because the star becomes incredibly bright. In fact, the ancient Romans believe that it acted as an additional heat source, increasing the sun’s warmth. As a result, the Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and after Sirius’s alignment with the sun.

Of course, this period may very well be the hottest stretch of the summer, but it doesn’t anything to do with the brightest star. The heat of the summer comes from the position of the Earth’s tilt. The tilt of the Earth causes the sun’s rays to hit at a more of a direct angle and a more extended period of time during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere – meaning hotter, longer days than we experience the rest of the year.

We know that miserably hot, muggy days are not always pleasant, but it’s the perfect time to participate in water activities like boating, swimming and relaxing. Remember, we live in Wisconsin, so it won’t be long until there’s snow on the ground.

Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer and stay cool out there!

LCICon: 2018 Las Vegas

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LCICon

Time flies when you’re having fun! By this time tomorrow, thousands of Lions will be inLas Vegas preparing for the 101st Annual Lions Club International Convention. It seems like only yesterday that we were gathered in Chicago for the centennial celebration.

This year, Lions will be meeting in the Entertainment Capital of the World – Las Vegas. The convention offers, hands down, the best setting to make new friends and reunite with acquaintances to talk about all things Lions. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about other club and district projects while also making personal, lifelong connections.

The event will begin tomorrow with registration and self-guided visits of the exhibitor hall and convention services, followed by the District Governors-Elect Celebration Banquet.

Attendees will hit the ground running on Saturday morning for the International Parade. Later that afternoon, convention visitors will have the option of participating in the business session and viewing the International Show, an exceptional performance by Cirque Dreams’ “Jungle Fantasy,” featuring jaw-dropping acrobatics, music and more.

On Sunday, attendees will be busy with the opening plenary session with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the returning Levi Krauss and Angelica Hale. The afternoon will fill up with certification and voting as well as afternoon seminars.

Monday will begin with the second plenary session with 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush, Michael Cavanaugh and One Voice Children’s Choir, followed by the Melvin Jones Luncheon. Seminars will again be held that afternoon, and the Lions Cirque Cabaret will close down the third day.

The International Convention will wrap up on Tuesday with the final plenary session featuring Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, in addition to the installation of the new International President and District Officers as well as the UN Flag Ceremony. See the entire list of events here.

We know that LCICon: 2018 will be another outstanding convention filled with education, inspiration and celebration. The annual convention is always a fantastic way to wrap up the Lionistic year and start preparing for the next.

Are you planning on attending the 101st Annual Lions Convention? If so, what is your favorite part? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish safe travels to all of our convention-attending friends. Enjoy Las Vegas!

Four Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice

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Get ready because summer is officially here! This morning, the sun rose at 5:12 am and Sunsetwon’t set until approximately 8:46 am. That adds up to 934 minutes of daylight. And we think that’s cause for celebration (especially after the dreary week we’ve had.) Here are a few enjoyable ways to celebrate the summer solstice:

  • Bask in the sunshine

    You might be surprised to learn that vitamin D is one of the important vitamins for the human body, but many of us aren’t getting enough. Its primary job is to store the right amount of calcium and phosphorous in your blood to keep your bones strong. The best source for vitamin D? The sun! Studies show that if your skin is exposed to 10 to 15 minutes of the summer sun, then you are probably getting enough. Keep in mind; however, when you put on sunscreen, it will prevent your skin from soaking up the rays so there truly is a balancing act.

  • Host an impromptu party

    We know, we know, you can’t just throw a party on a whim – but the truth is you can! Rather than spending weeks planning, preparing and cleaning every surface of your home, consider inviting a few close friends over for a get-together. Encourage everyone to bring a dish to pass and just enjoy the company. We bet you won’t miss the usual summer party stress.

  • Practice yoga or meditation

    Did you know that June 21 is also International Day of Yoga? We can’t think of a better way to honor the lasting sun than with a few sun salutations.

    To celebrate the summer solstice, The Times Square Alliance recently introduced a counterpart to New Year’s Eve (the winter solstice,) by creating “Mind Over Madness Yoga.” Today, thousands of yogis from all over the world will travel to New York City to participate. Of course, we’re not in NYC, but everyone can still participate through webcast.

  • Watch the sunset

There may not be anything different about tonight’s sunset versus any other night of the year, but we think tonight would be the perfect evening to watch the beautiful sunset and reflect on all of life’s blessings.

It’s not every day that we have the chance to enjoy over 15 hours of sunlight. How will you celebrate the longest day of the year?

Happy Summer Solstice from Lions Pride!

 

The History of Father’s Day

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Fathers Day GiftsThink about the last show you watched on TV. Do you remember any of the commercials? More than likely, it was something related to home improvements, gadgets or men’s clothing, which can only mean Father’s Day is near. This week, we thought we’d celebrate dear old dad with a short history lesson and a few popular gift ideas, so let’s get started!

Believe it or not, the inspiration for the Father’s Day was Mother’s Day. A common story recounts that the creator of the event was named Sonora Smart Dodd. One Sunday morning, the young woman was listening to a church sermon about Mother’s Day when we thought that her father was equally deserving of a day filled with praise.

Her father, William Smart was a Civil War veteran and widower. Sadly, his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. William went on to raise his children on a small family farm in Washington. Sonora wanted to show her appreciation for William love and support with a day dedicated for him and other dads around the world. The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.

For the next half-century, Father’s Day was celebrated at a local level in communities around the United States. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as the official Father’s Day, but it was officially recognized as a national holiday until the Nixon administration in 1972.

Today, children all around the world celebrate their dad with fun gift ideas. The most common presents are as follows (courtesy of MarketWatch):

  1. A special outing such as dinner or a sporting event
  2. An electronic gadget
  3. Clothing
  4. A gift card or gift certificate
  5. Home improvement and gardening tools

With Father’s Day only three days away, there isn’t much time to find the perfect gift! If you are still searching for a thoughtful, meaningful gift, consider donating to Lions Pride in honor or memory of your father. Your gift will work to help preserve, protect and provide for Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects.

Happy Father’s Day!

The 11th Annual Lions Pride Shoot

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Ready, aim, fire! We know it’s hard to believe, but we are only days away from thisTichigan Lions week’s 11th Annual Pride Shoot, happening once again at Milford Hills Hunt Club in Johnson Creek.

Sporting clays shooting is often called “golf with a shotgun,” but unlike golf, shooting sporting clays is as fun for beginners as it is for seasoned experts (we’re sure golfers would agree!)

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

The day consists of an early breakfast followed by a challenging 22-round course with games and door prizes. After shooters have finished the course, they celebrate with beer, auction and delicious supper. The Pride Shoot is one of the most, unique and successful fundraisers that takes place for our organization.

Although we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we are eagerly anticipating Saturday’s arrival. We are always reminded of Dewey’s spirit, but it’s even more present this time of year as he so looked forward to the annual shoot. We feel we have a personal responsibility to make the upcoming event even more rewarding than the last.

We’d like to thank all of our donors, sponsors and volunteers for all of your support – both leading up to, during and after the shoot. We know firsthand that it takes a village to create and implement a successful event, and the Pride Shoot would not be what it is without all of your help.

See you Saturday!