Easter: A Time of Hope and Faith

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We, along with the rest of the world, were devastated to learn the fate of the Notre Dame earlier this week. At 6:20 pm local time, a fire alarm sounded, and the cathedral was evacuated; only twenty minutes later, security spotted flames in the wooden framework of the attic. The cause of the fire is not yet clear, but many believe the restoration construction likely played a part.

Approximately two-thirds of the roof was destroyed, and three large interior holes remain. Sadly, the famous 295-foot tower burned and fell during the fire. The timing of the event, the week leading up to Easter, makes the situation much more tragic.

In today’s world, it can be tough to remain positive when we know war divides dozens of countries, hatred can quickly lead to violence and unexpected disasters can bring about terrible sadness. Fortunately, as we mentioned earlier, we have an upcoming holiday, which should bring a bit of optimism back.

This Sunday, many of us will likely be surrounded by a sea of Easter lilies, which symbolize virtue, hope and faith. In Christian traditions, the white lily signifies a time of rebirth and a new beginning, which is why they are also sent as sympathy gifts. Stories say that these beautiful flowers rose up in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus wept in the last hours before being betrayed, nothing short of a miracle.

The Easter Season gives us all an opportunity to put our negativity aside and instead to look ahead to a bright, hopeful future. A few years ago, leaders of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem spoke the following words, which we feel still rings true in 2019:

“There are indeed signs of darkness around us, which make this a painful time to live through, but the darkest part of the night is often shortly before the dawn. The joyful proclamation of the Resurrection at dawn on Easter Sunday assures us that the last word lies not with violence and inhumanity but with God’s purpose of love, justice and hope which runs like a thread throughout history and will find its ultimate fulfillment in the coming fullness of his Kingdom.”

During this Easter Season, choose hope. We know that life can be challenging, but remember that the Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt and brighter days are ahead. From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish you and your family a blessed Easter Sunday.

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Shining Light on Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Did you know that autism is now prevalent in one in every 59 children in America? Over the course of the past 50 years, its occurrence has grown by nearly 35 times. To help bring knowledge to the growing and greatly misunderstood disorder, April has been marked as National Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Autism is a complex, cognitive disorder that impacts a person’s ability to communicate and engage with others. It can be present right away at birth but can also form early on in a child’s life (typically within three years.) At this time, there is no one known cause to the disability.

As its name states, Autism is a broad spectrum disorder. It’s essential for us to note that no two people will have an exact set of symptoms, but there are common characteristics, which include:

  • Trouble interacting with other people
  • Difficulties expressing empathy
  • A dislike of physical contact
  • Adverse to sudden changes in their environment
  • Struggle with speech

Autism is a lifelong disability, but thankfully, it is treatable. Studies have shown that early detection can change the lives of both the individual and family. You can learn more about development milestones by visiting the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” site.

Since ASD has become much more common, chances are you know someone who is impacted by the disability. Fortunately, with more occurrences comes more opportunities to serve. Today, there are thousands of resources available to help families manage autism. In fact, the Wisconsin Lions Camp, debuted a new program for children with autism. Campers have an opportunity for a comprehensive program designed to help a child in the development of self-confidence, interdependence, social skills, outdoor recreational skills and environmental awareness. Thanks to the generous support of donors, summer camp participation is free of charge. Your gift to Lions Pride, designated for Lions Camp will have a lasting impact on future generations of children.

The Wisconsin Lions Camp is holding a New Camper Open House on Sunday, May 12, 2019, from 9 am to 3 pm. The program was designed to introduce new or potential campers to camp before the summer season. Attendees can try camp activities, enjoy lunch and take tours of the building (weather permitting.) If you know a special child who might enjoy a fun-filled week at camp, consider submitting a registration form today.

As we continue to make our way through the month of April, we encourage you to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder. The more knowledge we have, the more we can pass on to others. Together, we can help create a more empathetic and supportive environment for people with autism.

The Personal Advantages of Volunteering

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If you are familiar with nonprofit organizations, you know that, often times, they are run by small teams. In addition to the Board of Directors, you’ll see an Executive Director as well as an employee or two. Because of the limited staff size, many rely heavily on the support of their volunteers.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to back a cherished organization, but did you know there are also several personal advantages to be gained? Next week is National Volunteer Week (April 7 – April 13,) in honor of the event, let’s look at a few of the benefits of volunteering together:

  • Grows Your Network

It should come as no surprise, but when you volunteer, you have the opportunity to meet other people who share your interests. Of course, the more frequently you volunteer together, the more you can build on your personal relationship.

  • Increases Your Happiness

Studies from the London School of Economics had shown that participants became happier when they volunteered more often. Researchers found that volunteering created a personal sense of accomplishment that, in turn, lead to other beneficial effects. Learn more.

  • Builds Your Skillset

You may not be looking for a new job, but volunteering can give you a reason to try something new. You can explore interests in passions that you may not find in your typical job. You will also practice teamwork, problem-solving and task management – great skills for anyone to expand upon!

  • Helps Lead to a Longer Life

Yes, it’s true! Volunteering does more than put you in a good mood. Volunteers have been found to have longer longevity and less frequency with heart disease; additionally, they may be at a lower risk for memory loss.

With all of the personal advantages behind volunteering, why not give it a try?

Each year, Lions Pride hosts a sporting clays fundraiser, and we’re always in need of volunteers. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 8, at Milford Hills Hunt Club in Johnson Creek. Our volunteers have a wide range of tasks, including registering shooters, selling raffle tickets and working the stations. We’ve seen volunteers come back year after year because they enjoy participating in the events. In 2019, we’d love for you to join us. To get signed up, please contact us at prideoffice@lionspride.org.

Happy Volunteering!

The History of April Fools’ Day

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Watch your back! April Fools’ Day is right around the corner. Monday, April 1, is arguably the most light-hearted day of the year when people try to prank others with silly hoaxes and extravagant tales, but did you know the exact origin remains unknown to this day?

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According to the History Channel, there are a couple of theories to explain the day of pranks. Some historians have been said to believe that All Fools’ Day goes all the way back to the late 16th Century. In the year 1582, Pope Gregory XIII announced that France would be replacing the Julian Calendar with the Gregorian Calendar.

Although the news was made public, there were several people who either didn’t get the message or refused to make the change. With the old calendar system, the New Year was celebrated on April 1, so those who were still recognizing April as the New Year were mocked by others.

The largest prank at that time was done by placing a paper fish on a gullible person’s back and calling them “poisson d’Avril” (April fish) to symbolize their character as similar to that of a young, easily-caught fish.

The second most well-known theory refers to the idea of April Fools’ Day falling near the Vernal Equinox. Many explain that the calendar may say that its spring, but Mother Nature is playing the biggest joke on us all with unpredictable, changing weather.

In today’s world, people, companies, and even governments, go to extreme lengths to pull off April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Below are three of the most notable pranks over the past century:

  1. In 1957, BBC ran a news segment announcing to the world that Swedish farmers were achieving great success with their spaghetti harvest.
  2. In 1985, Sports Illustrated featured a story about the fastest pitcher of all-time, Siddhartha Finch, who could throw 168 miles per hour. Observant readers immediately noticed that the first words of the second headline read “Happy April Fools’ Day.”
  3. In 1996, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads announcing their recent purchase of the Liberty Bell. The company had made plans to rename the historic treasure to the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

Do you find yourself participating in All Fools Day pranks? Tell us about the greatest prank you’ve ever been pulled off in the comments below.

Happy April Fools’ Day from Lions Pride!

Celebrate National Puppy Day with Adoption

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Let’s play a game! We’re going to describe a creature; see if you can guess. This fellow typically has a wagging tail and a wet nose, has been known to be clumsy and receives the title of man’s best friend. What is it? A puppy, of course.

This Saturday, March 23, is National Puppy Day, and we don’t think there’s a better time to celebrate your favorite, furry companion.

National Puppy Day was first established in 2006 when Colleen Paige decided to dedicate a special day to honor “the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives.” But even more importantly, it’s a day to bring awareness to dog adoption.

Did you know that approximately 6.5 million US companion animals enter animal shelters each year? Of those animals, about 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. The ASPCA estimates that 710,000 animals that enter the system as strays are returned to their owners, and approximately 3.3 million are adopted. But that still leaves over 2.5 million animals in the shelter.

If you have room in your heart and in your home, we’d encourage you to consider adopting a dog. We’ve compiled a list of a few reasons to adopt, rather than shop:

  1. You’re saving not one life, but twoWhen you decide to adopt from a shelter, you are providing your dog with the second chance he or she deserves. Consequently, you are also allowing the next animal the opportunity to receive care from the shelter until he or she finds their furever home.
  2. Adoption fees are typically less than those from a breederCostHelper has found that purchasing a puppy can cost anywhere between $300 and $1500, compared to adoption fees, which can fall between $70 and $300. Additionally, when you choose to adopt, you will find that many follow-up expenses will be covered in fees – vaccinations, spaying/neutering and microchipping.
  3. Find nearly any breedMany dog lovers have preferences when it comes to dog breeds and assume that they can’t be found within a shelter. You may be surprised to learn that nearly any breed can be found in a shelter, including purebreds and young orphans. Start with a simple online search – you’ll never know who you’ll find.

There you have it! Just three of countless reasons to adopt your best friend. If you are an advocate of adoption, why did you choose to rescue your pet? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy National Puppy Day from Lions Pride!

Early Signs of Spring

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Do you smell spring in the air? May, not quite yet, but believe it or not, it is right around Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 5.51.46 AMthe corner. Next Wednesday, March 20, marks the beginning of the vernal equinox.

As you may already know, the equinox is a moment in time when the sun positioned directly above the equator, so night and day are of (approximate) equal length. We know that it may not yet feel like spring, but if you would consider yourself to be a skeptic, we have some additional signs to help you see the light:

  • The snow is disappearing slowly but surely. February brought in record-breaking amounts of snow. In fact, the city of Wausau set a new personal best with 39.1 inches of accumulation, well exceeding their previous record of 28.4 inches set back in 1964. Understandably, it will take some time to get rid of the snow banks completely, but we are making progress.
  • Mother Nature is celebrating with well-above average temps. Today, we are expected to reach 52 degrees here in Rosholt, which will feel like a treat. But we’ll need to stay tuned because it appears that 50-degree temperatures will become the new normal in the upcoming weeks.
  • The birds are back in town. Sparrows and sandhill cranes are making their way back home, and the robins will get back to their usual routines.
  • The days are getting longer. We may have lost an hour of sleep last week due to Daylight Saving Time, but we are now getting more sunlight. We’re looking forward to seeing a little bit more of our old friend, Mr. Sun.
  • It’s almost time to play ball! The 2019 MLB will open on its earliest day ever. All 30 teams will play on March 28, excluding international openers. The previous earliest opening day was only last year on March 29, 2018.

There are many ways to show us that spring is almost here. From now until June 21, 2019, we will be witnesses to the rebirth of the beautiful, Wisconsin landscape. What is your favorite part of the new season?

Happy Spring from Lions Pride!

Sleeping Tips for Surviving DST

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Didn’t it seem like only yesterday that we were setting our clocks back and excited for an extra hour of sleep? It may be hard to believe, but Sunday marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST.)

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Understandably, most of us do not look forward to the end of Daylight Savings, like we do at the beginning. According to sleep.org, the average person sleeps 40 minutes less on the night following Daylight Saving Time then they would on a typical night. Many people feel adjusted to the change by Wednesday, but other unlucky individuals may struggle for weeks.

Anyone who has experienced a rough night of sleep will likely tell you that it can have several negative impacts on the following day. To prepare for Daylight Savings, now is the perfect time to audit your regular nighttime routine. Keep these following tips in mind as you plan to spring ahead:

  • Gradually transition into the time change

Ideally, you would already be going to bed a little earlier than usual. If not, it’s not too late to get started. For the next couple of nights, make an effort to go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier. If you are well-rested before Saturday night, you will help minimize the effects of DST.

Remember that different people need different amounts of sleep. Make an effort to determine how much sleep you need.

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake

Alcohol and caffeine, which can be found in coffee, chocolate, tea and pain relievers, can disrupt your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid these stimulating substances for four to six hours before bedtime.

  • Don’t schedule nighttime workouts

Moderate exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. When done regularly, aerobic exercise can help improve your quality of sleep, but the timing is important. For some, working out too close to bedtime can hinder sleep. Rule of thumb, if you don’t often sleep well, think about exercising earlier in the day.

  • Establish a digital curfew

When using smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices at bedtime, you are unknowingly delaying your internal clock. These devices suppress the release of melatonin and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Create a digital curfew for you and your loved ones in which you all turn off electronic devices for the night. Consider setting the limit 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed. The earlier you in the evening you power down the electronics, the better.

  • Commit to a regular sleeping schedule

Finally, for the best night’s sleep, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (yes, even weekends.) By sticking with a schedule, you can help your body regulate its sleep pattern and maximize the hours you sleep.

Here at Lions Pride, we may not exactly be excited about losing an hour of sleep, but Daylight Saving Time means that spring is right around the corner and brighter days are ahead. Don’t forget to enjoy the changing of the season!

15 Little-Known Facts About Dr. Seuss

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more

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places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 2, is Read Across America Day, a one-day celebration that encourages children to read 365 days a year. The date was selected to commemorate the birthday date of, arguably the world’s most popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss.

2019 would be Dr. Seuss’s 115th birthday. To honor the occasion, we’ve compiled 15 fascinating facts that you might not already know about Theodor Seuss Geisel.

  1. Seuss was born as Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904. Throughout his lifetime, he used many pen names include Theo LeSieg (Geisel spelled backward), L. Pasteur, D.G. Rossetti ’25, T. Seuss and most famously, Dr. Seuss.
  2. Most people pronounce “Seuss” incorrectly. “Zoyce” is the German pronunciation of Seuss.
  3. His love of rhyme came from his mother who would entertain him with verses she used to sell pies at a bakery.
  4. Contrary to his most popular pen name, Dr. Seuss was not actually a doctor. He adopted the prefix because his father always hoped he would practice medicine.
  5. Theodor attended Dartmouth College from 1921-1925, where he was voted “Least Likely to Succeed.”
  6. Before writing children’s’ books, Dr. Seuss spent some time in the advertising industry. He started creating books for kids because it was one of the few creative projects that was not prohibited in his contract.
  7. His debut book, “To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” was rejected 27 times before it was published.
  8. The book, “Green Eggs and Ham” was written based on a dare. His publisher bet him $50 that he could not write a book with only 50 words. Dr. Seuss, of course, delivered.
  9. The inspiration behind “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” was Seuss himself.
  10. Seuss was credited with inventing the word, “nerd,” which appeared in “If I Ran A Zoo” in 1950.
  11. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” was the last book he published. The book has become one of the most popular gifts for graduates.
  12. During his lifetime, he published 44 picture books.
  13. He kept a closet of wacky hats. Whenever he was feeling the twinge of writer’s block, he would find a hat that would help the words flow.
  14. Seuss was the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize for writing children’s books.
  15. In 2010, Dr. Seuss was listed in Life Books’ list of “100 People Who Changed the World.”

It should come as no surprise that an exciting author would also have an interesting life! What was your or your child’s favorite Dr. Seuss book? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Read Across America Day from Lions Pride!

A Brief History of the Academy Awards

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What’s the first topic that comes to mind when you think about the Academy Awards?

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We bet we can guess! More than likely, you think about the red carpet, elegant dresses and the prized Oscar statue. You know that the Academy Awards is a night to feature Hollywood’s elite, but do you know the origin behind the ceremony?

The Academy Awards have an extensive history. Believe it or not, when the academy was first founded in 1927, “Awards” was one of several committees. Although an awards presentation was considered, the group was focused primarily on labor problems and making a strong effort to repair the damaged reputation of the film industry. In May of 1928, the academy approved the committee’s proposal to present Academy Awards of Merit in 12 categories.

In 1930, the number of categories was brought down to seven, and two major film awards were combined to create Best Picture. Throughout the last 90 years, the academy has made multiple changes to the rules, categories and procedures.

Today, winners are chosen in 24 categories. To be eligible to win an award in a given year, a film must be “publicly exhibited at a commercial theatre in Los Angeles County between January 1 and midnight of December 31. Only members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may nominate and vote for candidates.

It should come as no surprise, but an Academy Award can play an important role in the success of a major film. As for actors and directors, the designation often brings a higher salary, more media attention and better film offers.

At one point, the Academy Awards was a ceremony with an audience reaching millions of worldwide viewers; however, viewership has been declining since the late 2010s. We’ll be interested to see how viewers tune in this Sunday!

Do you get excited to watch the Academy Awards? Who do you think will take home the Oscar for Best Picture? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Oscar Watching from Lions Pride!

Happy Birthday Geri

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There are several events taking place in February. Of course, today is 33298584_10156156990905999_7597001671436140544_n.jpgValentine’s Day, which is then followed by President’s Day and the start of the Winter Olympics. But, arguably, the most important event taking place is the 34th Anniversary of Geri Schlender’s 39th Birthday, happening on Sunday, February 17.

To celebrate Geri’s date of birth, we thought it would be fun to learn a bit more about our executive director with random interview questions:

  1. What is your favorite color? Blue
  2. Would you rather have the ability to fly or become invisible? Fly
  3. What do you bring with you everywhere you go? My American Express Card. I don’t leave home without it.
  4. Do you have any pets? One dog, a Shih Tzu named Ming LI
  5. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl? Night Owl
  6. Where did you last travel to? Toronto
  7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Pizza
  8. What does your perfect weekend consist of? Antiquing
  9. Do you prefer movies or books? Movies
  10. What do you feel is the best invention in the past 50 years? Cell Phone
  11. What do you wish you had more time for? Family
  12. Where is the most beautiful place you have ever visited? Greece
  13. What is your favorite time of the year? Fall
  14. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Italy
  15. What three words best describe you? Funny, trustworthy, loyal
  16. What personal goals do you have? Become a Certified Trainer for Lions Clubs International
  17. Why did you decide to join Lions Pride? I saw the passion in Pride Chairman Dewey Carl and knew I wanted to be a part of his dream.
  18. What do you like best about your job? Observing the generous hearts of Lions and non-Lions alike who share our vision. Also, the Lions Pride Shoot that is held every second Saturday in June.

There you have it! Eighteen fun facts about Executive Director Geri Schlender. Now, here’s one fact that you already know: Lions Pride would not be the organization it is today with her  continued leadership and dedication. We appreciate all of her efforts in preserving, protecting and providing for Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects.

Please join us in wishing Geri a very happy birthday!