Lyme Disease Awareness Month

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After a long, hard winter, many of us look forward to seeing the many signs of spring. We love to hear the birds sing, the flowers start to bud and the crickets chirp the night away. However, there is one area of spring that we can almost certainly guarantee that no one looks forwards to – the return of ticks.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately 476,000 people in the US are diagnosed with Lyme Disease each year. But because Lyme Disease can be incredibly difficult to diagnose, experts believe that number may be much higher. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, so we felt it was a good time to learn more about this particularly creepy disease.

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection, primarily transmitted by Ixodes ticks (more commonly known as deer ticks.) Not every deer tick has Lyme, they get it after feeding on an infected animal such as a mouse or deer. Then, they pass it along to the next animal or person they bite.

A popular misconception is that an infected tick must be attached for 24 hours to transmit Lyme, but one report has shown that it was after only 6 hours. The risk may be low on day one, but there is still a chance of transmission.

One of the scariest parts about this disease is the fact that it can mimic symptoms of other diseases. Patients with Lyme are often misdiagnosed with conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and other psychiatric conditions.  

To prevent the contraction of Lyme Disease, work the following tips into active tick season (April through September) after being outdoors:

  • Inspect clothing and pets to find any lingering ticks.
  • Take a shower within two hours of being outdoors to help wash away any unattached ticks and conduct a tick check.
  • As previously mentioned, Lyme is commonly misdiagnosed, so educate yourself by knowing the symptoms.

Don’t let ticks stop you from enjoying the beauty of the season. Happy Spring from Lions Pride!

Celebrating the Beauty of Our Planet

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Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

You likely already know that today is Earth Day, but did you know that the birth of the modern environmental movement started right here in Wisconsin back in 1970? Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin had long been concerned about the deteriorating state of the planet, but after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, he knew that the country needed a change.

Senator Nelson was keeping a close eye on students involved in the anti-war movement and was inspired by their energy; he wanted to bring the same type of attention to the public regarding air and water pollution. He decided to bring the idea of teach-in to college campuses and recruited Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes to spearhead the effort. The team of three chose April 22 as their day of action because it was a weekday that fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.

They realized the potential to influence all Americans, so Hayes hired 85 staffers to promote events across the country, which then grew to include a wide range of organizations, faith groups and more.  

Although it may not be initially obvious, Lions Pride is a big supporter of Earth Day, stick around to find out why!

As you likely already know, we work closely with the Wisconsin Lions Camp. Each year, we are able to bring children with special needs from around the state to Rosholt for a week of fun and inspire a generation of nature lovers.

During their week away, campers have 440 acres and a 45-acre private lake to explore. They each have the opportunity for a comprehensive outdoor program. Days are filled with outdoor camping, canoeing, hiking, swimming, sailing, archery, sports and so much more. The importance of environmental awareness is rooted in each of these activities.

Once the week has come to an end, we hope they take back an appreciation of our natural world and reappears to choices they make at home. For instance, we hope that when given the opportunity they choose the great outdoors more often than modern devices such as helping their parents plant a garden rather than staying in to play on their iPad.

Our world is an incredible gift and Earth Day reminds us all to cherish it as such. How will you choose to celebrate the beauty of our planet?

Get Out and Enjoy Our State Parks

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Every April, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation team up to celebrate America’s natural treasures. This year, National Park Week will take place from April 17 to April 25. What better time to get out and explore everything that Mother Nature has to offer?

If you recall, life in April of 2020 looked quite different from what we were used to experiencing. Most of the country was locked down and Wisconsin residents were advised to follow the “Safer at Home” order. Adventure seekers were encouraged to commemorate National Park Week virtually.

Fast forward 12 months and our lives are starting to look a little more normal. As the COVID vaccine continues to rollout, many people are anxious to get out and participate in activities that may not have been easy or possible during the pandemic. Might we suggest taking a trip to take in one of three Wisconsin National Parks?

Apostle Islands

Located in Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 21 islands and one 12-mile mainland unit dedicated to preservation and public enjoyment.

Ice Age

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1200-mile trail that spans the entire state from north to south and east to west. Trailheads and access points are located in many places along the route. If you are looking to hike for a day, week or even a month, the Ice Age Trail is an incredible way to explore.

Saint Croix

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway offers over 200 miles of water surrounded by a beautiful forest landscape. Choose your mode of transportation by foot or paddle.

Although it feels like we are on the home stretch, please remember that we are not through the pandemic just yet. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the park website to verify its operating status. Masks are also required on NPS-administered lands where social distancing cannot be maintained as well as inside all NPS buildings and facilities. Follow their guidelines for recreating responsibly.

Which Wisconsin National Park would you be most interested in visiting? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy National Park Week from Lions Pride!

Déjà vu Redo the 13th Annual Lions Pride Sporting Clay Shoot

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Mark your calendars because we are 65 days away from the biggest Lions Pride fundraising event of the year. On Saturday, June 12, we are excited to host the 13th Annual Lions Pride Shoot. For those of you paying attention at home, you may have a recollection of the number thirteen, and you’d be right! In 2020, we canceled the 13th Annual Event due to the pandemic, so 2021 marks our Déjà vu Redo!

If you’re new to the idea of sporting clays, you’ll be interested to learn that this sport simulates actual hunting situations in the field. Regardless of skill level, people of all ages enjoy shooting sporting clays. It’s been estimated that more than three million people shoot sporting clays each year, either competitively or recreationally.

Our sporting clays fundraiser has become our most popular event that takes place at Milford Hills Hunt Club in Johnson Creek. Both Lions and non-Lions who enjoy the comradery, connecting with the outdoors and a day of fun while helping us make a difference in the lives of so many.

Each year the Lions Pride Shoot continues to be an exciting adventure amidst the rolling hills and deep ravines of Southeastern Wisconsin. We hope you’ll register yourself, a few friends or a full team of 5, which includes lunch, raffles, dinner and live auction.

If you’re not a seasoned shooter, don’t let that stop you from joining the event. We typically have a few folks who don’t shoot but enjoy “walking” the course to watch the activities and take in the beautiful scenery. Volunteer opportunities are also available throughout the day.

Of course, no event is successful without the support of sponsors. We’d encourage you to consider being a Station Sponsor, provide raffle prizes, auction items or door prizes. You can learn about all of the ways you can help by calling the office.

We look forward to this event year after year, but we expect the 2021 event to be even more special as we have deeply missed the smiling faces and generous hearts of our loyal supporters. To sign up or receive more information, contact the Lions Pride Office at 715-677-7000 or email us at prideoffice@lionspride.org.

We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Autism Acceptance Month

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Did you know that the prevalence of autism has increased drastically over the past decade? from 1 in 125 children in 2020 to 1 in 54 in 2020. April once was known as National Autism Awareness Month but is now being transformed to Autism Acceptance Month to help increase the awareness of signs and symptoms.

Autism is a complex, cognitive disorder that impacts a person’s social skills, communication, relationships and self-regulation. It can be present from 18 months of age but can also form early on in a child’s life (usually within the first three years.)

Autism is a broad spectrum disorder, which means no two people will show an exact set of symptoms, but early signs have been identified, including:

  • Speaking later than typical or not at all
  • Atypical nonverbal communication such as avoiding eye contact, giving only a few facial expressions or having a monotone
  • A preference of solitary play rather than cooperative play with other children
  • Adverse to sudden changes in their environment
  • A strong, perpetual interest on a specific topic, part of a toy or item

At this time, there is no individual cause for this lifelong disability, but early detection can help a person receive necessary support and services. You can learn more about development milestones by visiting the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” site.

Because ASD has become much more common, it is likely that 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 2019, the Wisconsin Lions Camp rolled out 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. With the generous support of donors, summer camp participation is free of charge. A gift to Lions Pride, designated to Lions Camp will have a lasting impact on future generations of children.

As we enter the month of April, we encourage you to learn more about Autism because the more knowledge we have, the more we can pass on to others and start productive conversations. Together, we can help create a more caring and supportive environment for people with autism.

A Palm Sunday Primer

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Regular churchgoers know certain services stand out during the liturgical year: Easter, Christmas and the upcoming celebration. Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, is this Sunday, March 28. The concept behind the church holiday remains the same year after year except, of course, in 2020 when many churches were closed due to the pandemic. To prepare you for this Sunday, here’s a primer on the celebration.

Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Lent and the official start of Holy Week. During the service, palm branches are distributed to parishioners as they commemorate Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, which took place before the crucifixion and resurrection.

In the story of John, people in the streets graciously met Jesus because they believed he would overthrow Rome. They greeted him by waving palms and laying them as a path. Palm Sunday is celebrated in several churches, including Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Reformed Christian and Roman Catholic.

It’s important to remember that the palm branches from Palm Sunday are sacramental, and therefore, cannot be thrown away after the service. Many churches will collect them to be burned on Shrove Tuesday of the following year and used as the following day’s Ash Wednesday services.

Others keep their palm as a reminder of Jesus’s triumphant ride into Jerusalem. They are commonly displayed near a crucifix or tucked into a bible. If you are looking for a more unique way to use your palm, you’ll want to see these beautiful craft ideas.

Do you like to keep your palm after Passion Sunday Service? If so, let us know how you use it in the comments below.

Happy Palm Sunday from Lions Pride!

The Return of Spring

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Mother Nature may have been giving us mixed signals this week, but we are only days away from the Spring Equinox. We know that the fresh powder on the ground makes it seem like we are a long way off, but here’s how we know the new season is fast approaching:

The Sound of Birds

As we write this post, we are being serenaded by the sound of chirping birds. Yes, we may have seen cardinals and robins during the cold, winter months, but we can now look forward to seeing the ducks, sparrows, songbirds and other feathered friends again.

The Upcoming Forecast

Although today’s blustery weather makes it feel colder than it actually is; however, we are currently experiencing above normal temperatures. Local meteorologists are calling for sunny weather and over 50-degree temps. If this trend continues, March will definitely be going out like a lamb.

More Daylight

Many of us don’t much care for the turning of the clocks, but once Daylight Savings Time arrives, we need to remember that we are gifted with more sunlight and longer days. Tonight’s sunset is scheduled for 7:08 pm.

Baseball Season is Back

There’s no question that COVID-19 impacted all areas of life last spring, including sports. The baseball season didn’t start until late July 2020, but this year appears to be back on track. Spring training is well underway, and the MLB is planning a full 162-game season starting on April 1.

The Continued Rollout of the Vaccine

We’ve all been anxiously waiting for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, so we can all return to some sort of normalcy, and it sounds like we are on the homestretch. As of 3/16/21, over 2 million shots have been administered in the state of Wisconsin. At this rate, it won’t be long until we can enjoy the company of friends and family in the beautiful spring weather.

We know that winter in Wisconsin is usually challenging, but this one was especially trying due to the pandemic. However, many evident clues are signaling the return of the spring.

Which signs of spring do you look for each year? Let us know in the comments below.

All of us at Lions Pride would like to be the first to say, “Happy Spring!”  

Preparing for Daylight Saving Time

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Believe it or not, this Sunday at 2 am local time, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in most of America. If you find yourself dreading the idea of springing ahead, you are certainly not alone. According to a poll conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, approximately 70 percent of Americans strongly dislike DST.

There are, of course, several benefits to adjusting the time twice a year, but most of us do not like the idea of losing an hour of sleep in the spring. Sadly, like it or not, the change is coming so we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help prepare for springing ahead:

  • Start going to bed earlier

The simplest way to adjust to the upcoming change is to make your bedtime earlier. In the perfect world, we all would have been preparing for weeks, but it’s not too late to start now. From now until Saturday, consciously try to go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than usual. If you approach Saturday night well-rested, you will help minimize the effects of Daylight Savings.

  • Create and enforce a digital curfew

Have you fallen prey to the notorious blue light? Many people don’t realize that using electronic devices before bed can delay your internal clock. Create and enforce 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. Set a reminder if you must! Remember that the earlier you power down your devices, the more likely you are to experience a good night’s sleep.

  • Establish a relaxing routine

Get your mind and body ready for a good night’s sleep by taking the time to relax. Start turning down the lights, read a book, enjoy a warm cup of (non-caffeinated) tea. Do whatever you need to do to make sleep your focus.

  • Audit your sleeping allowance

The amount of sleep you require changes throughout your lifetime. Some people may only need a mere 6 hours while others require closer to 9 hours. Take Daylight Saving Time as an opportunity to determine how much sleep you need to thrive. Use this sleep calculator to find your ideal bedtime.

Here at Lions Pride, we may not exactly be excited about the prospects of losing an hour of sleep, but we are trying to remain positive. To us, Daylight Savings means spring is right around the corner. The next few weeks of adjustment may be challenging, but we know brighter days are ahead.

How do you prepare for Daylight Saving Time? Let us know if you have additional tips in the comments below.

Wishing you and your family a smooth DST!

Oreo Cookie Fun Facts

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Photo Credit to LoveTheseRecipes.com

Saturday, March 6, is National Oreo Cookie Day! If you’re anything like us, you’ll celebrate with a pack of Oreos, tell yourself that you’re going to have a few, then finish a whole sleeve. (Don’t worry, we don’t judge!) In honor of milk’s favorite cookie, we’ve compiled a list of interesting facts you might not know about the sandwich cookie:

  • The origin story of the brand name remains a mystery. Though fans have many theories of their own.
  • It takes nearly one hour (59 minutes to be exact) to make an Oreo.
  • Many unknowingly believe that Hydrox is a copycat cookie, when in fact, they were introduced 4 years before Oreo.
  • The first Oreo flavor was lemon creme, which debuted in the 1920s but was later discontinued.
  • The name Double Stuf Oreo is deceiving. A high school math class in upstate New York determined that these cookies only have 1.86 times the amount of filling compared to the originals.
  • Women are more likely to twist off the wafers of their Oreos before indulging.
  • Oreos became kosher in 1997 when they removed lard from their recipe.
  • The wafer color of Oreos is either dark brown or black, depending on who you ask. According to Oreo, they do not have a color assigned.

There you have it – a handful of fun facts about Oreos to match a handful of cookies. Did any of these fun facts surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.

You may think an Oreo Cookie on its would be enough of a dessert, but if you’d also like to showcase your love of Lions Pride, you can turn them into adorable lions with the help of some orange sprinkles and melting chocolate. Click to see the recipe.

Happy Oreo Cookie Day!