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!


Celebrate National Pizza Day


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Whether you prefer deep dish, thin crust or something in between, there’s no question

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that pizza is an American favorite. If you are looking for a reason not to cook on Saturday, we have the perfect excuse – National Pizza Day.

To commemorate the unofficial holiday, we’ve compiled a list of pizza-related trivia that are sure to get your mouth-watering:

  • The first mention of the word, “pizza” was found in a manuscript in Gaeta, a small Italian town, in 997 AD. Talk about history!
  • The first documented pizzeria was opened in Naples in the late 1800s.
  • Although the term dates back centuries, pizza didn’t become popular in the United States until after WWII. Stories say that soldiers stationed in Italy took to liking pizza and brought the idea back home to make it one of the most popular dishes.
  • The first American Pizzeria was Lombardi’s in New York City. The company started as a grocery store but started selling pizzas in 1905. This introduction led to an explosion of pizzerias around New York City.
  • Currently, there are over 9,000 pizzerias in the state of New York alone.
  • According to the USDA, a majority of Americans consume at least one slice of pizza each month.
  • Most people eat pizza on Saturday night.
  • Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping, followed by sausage.
  • Pizza delivery increase by approximately 39 percent on Super Bowl
  • According to Pizza Connoisseur Craig Priebe, 69 percent of Americans prefer thin crust pizza.
  • The world’s largest pizza was 122 feet long and 22 feet in diameter.
  • Pizzerias make up about 17 percent of all US restaurants.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend this Saturday night, consider throwing a pizza party and making homemade pizzas, or take a trip to your favorite local pizzeria. We can almost guarantee that no one will decline your invitation to celebrate.

Happy National Pizza Day from Lions Pride!

Super Bowl Super Facts


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We’re only three days away from the biggest game of the year – Super Bowl LIII. If you’re planning on inviting the crew over to watch the New England Patriots take on the LA Rams, you probably already have the drinks and snacks taken care of. Now, we’ll provide the super facts to make it a real party!

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  1. The original name for the Super Bowl was “The AFL-NFL World Championship Game; however, “Super Bowl” was used unofficially since the very first game.
  2. The Pittsburgh Steelers currently hold the record for the most Super Bowl wins. Of course, there is a chance that the New England Patriots could tie it up after Sundays’ game; they along with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys each have five Lombardi Trophies.
  3. Speaking of Lombardi Trophies, a new one is awarded each year, they are made by Tiffany & Co, out of sterling silver.
  4. The Super Bowl is measured in Roman numerals because a football season runs over two calendar years.
  5. Peyton Manning is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl Championship with two different teams.
  6. A shutout has never taken place in Super Bowl history, but there have been close instances. The Miami Dolphins currently hold the record for fewest points scored when they faced the Dallas Cowboys in 1972. The final score was 24-3.
  7. The cost of a 30-second commercial has increased by 197.02% from Super Bowl I to Super Bowl LI. A 30-second spot will reportedly cost between about $5M – breaking it down to $166,666 per second.
  8. Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second largest consumption day, following Thanksgiving.
  9. The highest rated halftime show (which had higher ratings than the game itself) was performed by Michael Jackson in 1993.
  10. In 1967, the first Super Bowl touchdown was scored Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Max McGee.

Although it’s disappointing when our Green Bay Packers don’t make it to the playoffs, it’s always fun to have an excuse to gather with friends. Will you plan to watch Super Bowl LIII?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday from Lions Pride!

Celebrate National Spouses Day


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If we were to you to name your favorite person, who would you say? You would likely

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respond with the name of our spouse. But when was the last time you expressed your gratitude for their presence?

Life is busy. We all need to find a way to balance jobs, (grand)children and other responsibilities, it can be easy to take life partners for granted. Fortunately, there is an unofficial holiday to help you celebrate your spouse this weekend.

National Spouses Day occurs annually on January 26, and that gives us all an extraordinary opportunity to express our love for our spouses. We’ve together a list of ideas to honor your partner in crime:

  1. Spend time togetherThe days may sometimes feel long, but there’s no denying that weeks and months can go by quickly. If it’s been a while since you’ve spent some quality time together, there’s no better time than the present. Plan an activity this weekend that is centered around your spouse. Make a reservation at their favorite restaurant, go see the newest movie or take a road trip. Remember, time spent together is time well spent.
  2. Take on a few of their usual tasksThere are always jobs on the To Do List that no one ever enjoys completing. (We’re looking at you, dirty laundry!) Surprise your spouse by taking on a couple of their least favorite chores like shoveling the walkway, putting away the dishes or taking out the garbage. They may only take a few moments for your complete but offer extra time for your spouse to relax.
  3. Honor them with a giftDoes your sweetie have an organization that he or she cares deeply for? If so, consider giving a gift in their honor! Donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, so a gift of any size will help them keep moving forward in their mission. Click here for a Lions Pride memorial/honorarium form.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the unofficial holiday, just be sure to tell your better half how much they really mean to you.

Happy National Spouses Day from all of us at Lions Pride.

MLK Day of Service


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“Everybody can be great because everyone can serve.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Photo Credit to Corporation for National and Community Service 

Each January, we honor and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1983, Legislation marked the birthday of Dr. King as a federal holiday. But in 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service. Each year, on the third Monday of January, we are all encouraged to look at Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthdate as a “day on, not a day off.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. In 1948, he received a BA degree from Morehouse College, at the age of 19. He was awarded a BD degree after three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary.

Shortly after, he became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He was always a strong advocate of civil rights, so he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as a member of the executive committee. In early December 1955, he accepted leadership as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott lasted a total of 382 days. On December 21, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared bus segregation as unconstitutional. From that point on, people of all races rode the bus together as equals.

In 1957, he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a newly created organization that was formed to provide leadership for the civil rights movement. In the next eleven years, Dr. King would travel over six million miles and give over 2500 speeches. Meanwhile, he wrote five books as well as several articles and led enormous peaceful protests. He may be most known for leading the 1963 march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people and delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech. During his lifetime, he was arrested more than 25 times, awarded five honorary degrees and was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1968, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, he was shot. He died on April 4.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all. The Day of Service is intended for engaging in community action that works to solve social problems. Service has an incredible ability to unite people of all ages and backgrounds while building stronger communities.

Honor the memory of Dr. King on Monday, January 21, by choosing to serve. Looking for a new service project? You need to see the Lions Club’s complete list of ideas for families. What project will you and your club start next? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy MLK Day of Service from Lions Pride!

4 Tips for Organizing Your Home


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Do you ever feel like your junk drawer contains too much junk? Do you put something away, only to forget where you left it? You’re not alone. In fact, according to Go Skills, becoming more organized is the third most common New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, the idea of organizing your entire home can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Here are four ways to get you started:

  1. Start out small
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    One common mistake that aspiring organizers make is believing everything needs to be done immediately. They start the job with high enthusiasm, but quickly burn out after realizing that the task is more extensive than they initially expected. Unless you live in a 300 square foot tiny house, you likely won’t get everything organized in an hour’s time. Rather than setting yourself up with outrageous expectations. Instead consider starting with one area or room, dedicating 15 to 20 minutes of time. Once you get started, you will either start seeing progress and want to keep going or feel accomplished enough to wait until the following day.

  2. Purge

    Use all of the boxes you collected over the holiday season to sort through all of your possessions. Necessary boxes may include: keep, toss, store elsewhere, sell or donate.

    All of the box names may be self-explanatory, but you may be wondering where you can donate all of the items that you no longer want or need. You may be surprised to learn that several charities depend on your donated items to carry out their missions. We’ve compiled a list of the following items and corresponding organizations, with some help from The Spruce:

    Clothing – Goodwill Charities, Salvation Army International or St. Vincent’s
    Cell phones – Cell Phones for Soldiers
    Eyeglasses – Your local Lions club or directly to the Eyeglass Recycling Center
    Books – Your local library or Operation Paperback
    Tools – Habitat for Humanity or other construction-focused charity

    By cleaning out and decluttering your home, you can also help an organization that is close to your heart – talk about a win-win!

  3. Give everything a home

    “A place for everything and everything in its place.” -Benjamin Franklin

    The best way to find everything you’ve been looking for is to ensure all of the items in your home have a place of their own. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Come up with a strategy where you envision all of the activities that will take place in each room and find a storage solution that will work for all of the necessary items. This task will be one of the biggest challenges, but again, start with one room at a time. See more tips for finding a place for everything.

  4. Commit to a routine

    Finally, if you plan to dedicate time to organizing your home, then you probably want your results to last. Whether you decide to spend 10 minutes each evening putting miscellaneous items away or to spend the first part of your weekend decluttering, find a routine that fits your lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be exciting to pick a different New Year’s Resolution in 2020 because you already accomplished this one?

Remember, home organization is a marathon, not a sprint! Do you plan on making organization a priority in 2019? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy organizing from Lions Pride!

National Trivia Day: Lions Pride Edition


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Are you interested in sharing and exchanging little-known facts? If so, then you’ll love tomorrow’s unofficial holiday, National Trivia Day.458432_10150689723660999_1376996678_o.jpg

Although the exact origin of Trivia Day is unknown, many people credit the game, Trivial Pursuit as the start. The creators of the game, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, wanted to play Scrabble but were disappointed to learn several of their board games’ pieces had gone missing. Rather than dwell on their misfortune, they decided to create their own game. The concept of Trivial Pursuit was conceived in a matter of hours.

In honor of National Trivia Day, we’d thought we’d celebrate with fun facts inspired by our favorite WLF service projects:

  • The Wisconsin Lions Camp was the dream of which well-known Lion? Ray Hempel.
  • How large is the camp in acreage? 440.
  • What is the ratio of staff to campers? 1:6
  • How tall is the famous Totem Pole Na-Wak-Wa? 38 feet.
  • Louie the Lion, the guardian of the Wisconsin Lions Camp, is made out of what materials? Concrete and old gun barrels.
  • The Eyeglass Recycling Center in Rosholt is one of how many worldwide facilities? 18.
  • At any given point, how many pairs of eyeglasses are available at the ERC? 125,000.
  • How many Americans are affected by hearing loss? An estimated 48 million.
  • What percentage of a child’s learning is related to sight? 80%.
  • Vision problems affect one ins how many school-aged children? 4.
  • How many children are adequately screened for vision problems in the US? Less than 20%.

Finally, did you know that your donation to Lions Pride helps us to preserve, protect and provide for all of these projects and more? What’s more, you have the ability to designate your gift to the project of your choice.

Together, we have the opportunity to reach, touch and improve lives all over the state; and we are so appreciative of your continued support.

Happy National Trivia Day!

19 Resolution Ideas for 2019


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Here we are again: the last full week of the year. It’s so hard to believe that we’ve made Depositphotos_219456322_m-2015our way through another year. As we make preparations to close out 2018, many of us are likely reflecting on the past 360 days while looking to the year ahead, perhaps brainstorming new ways for self-improvement. Yes – that means resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions have developed a bad reputation; in fact, many of us downright despise them. We can’t say that reputation is unwarranted; however. For the first few weeks of the new year, we are all bombarded with messages telling us that we are not good enough as we are, followed by pressure to make drastic changes, and burning out only weeks later – leaving us feeling bad about failure.

Call us wacky, but we think part of the reason why New Year’s Resolutions are so easy to hate is that we put too much burden on ourselves to succeed with vague, unrealistic expectations. Rather than challenging ourselves to “eat more healthy” or “get more exercise,” many of us may find success by creating less extreme, new habits.

To celebrate the beginning of a new chapter, we’ve put together a list of 19 New Year’s Resolutions to help spark inspiration for 2019 self-improvement:

  1. Read more books
  2. Be more positive
  3. Keep a journal
  4. Pick up a new hobby
  5. Take more road trips
  6. Stop procrastinating
  7. Meet new people
  8. Reduce stress
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Become more organized
  11. Drink more water
  12. Volunteer
  13. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  14. Improve your financial literacy
  15. Be more grateful
  16. Watch less TV
  17. Start being more polite
  18. Take more walks
  19. Give back an organization you care about

Will you make a New Year’s Resolution – why or why not? Tell us in the comments below.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to make an official resolution, we’d like to wish a bright year ahead. Keep in mind, the New Year is merely a poetic message, we have all year to be our best selves. May 2019 be the greatest year yet.

Happy New Year from Lions Pride!

The Magic of Giving


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Think back to your favorite Christmas memory. You were likely a small child. You can Santa is placing gift boxes under Christmas treeprobably remember your excitement as the holiday quickly approached. The days leading up to Christmas Eve, you were on your best behavior (but had good reminders from your parents and teachers.) When December 24 finally arrived, you couldn’t wait to go to sleep that night. Your mom and dad likely helped you prepare for the evening with a fresh plate of cookies and a glass of milk. You brushed your teeth and quickly went to bed, but then spent most of the night watching the clock – just waiting for an appropriate time to wake up. Then on Christmas morning, you couldn’t believe your eyes as you found a Christmas tree full of presents replaced with an empty plate. You believed in the magic of Christmas.

Sadly, things change as we grow older. Our excitement was instead replaced with stress and a To-Do list a mile long, and the spirit fades. Fortunately, the magic does reappear as we have children of our own, but our roles change – from excited child to excited parent. We also spend Christmas Eve, making preparations and not getting much shuteye because we too are eager to watch our children thrilled be opening our gifts. Then quietly smiling when they ask, “How did Santa know this is exactly what I wanted?” As parents, we come to discover a new kind of magic – the magic of giving.

But as life continues on, the cycle continues. Our children grow up, and the spirit again slightly fades.

Luckily, as supporters of Lions Pride, we have a unique role that allows us to play Santa all year long. How, you might ask? By giving special children all around the state of Wisconsin the gift of experience. This year, over 150 children were given the opportunity to spend a week in the beautiful place known as the Wisconsin Lions Camp. During their week at camp, these kids have the chance for overnight camping, canoe and hiking trips, swimming, kayaking, paddle boating, archery, crafts, sports and more. All the while, they are also developing self-confidence, interdependence, social skills and outdoor recreational skills, at no cost to their families.

This particular gift may not be beautifully wrapped under a bright, full Christmas tree, but we know in our hearts that it’s a gift that keeps on giving all year long because a child’s week at camp allows them the resources, skills and experiences that will serve them long beyond their childhoods.

Of course, none of this would be possible without you, the help of our donors, the lifeblood of our organization. We never get tired of saying thank you for your ongoing support. Although our biological children may be grown, we look forward to playing the role of Santa for countless years to come. Thank you for helping us continue our mission to preserve, provide and protect Lions Camp and all other WLF statewide projects.

The Lions Pride Office will be closed the week of December 24, to celebrate Christmas with our families. We’d like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!