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Let’s play a game. Imagine you are six years old and it is December 21, 19XX (you fill in Magic Santathe blank), can you remember how you felt this time of year? Let’s see if our description matches your imagination: you knew that Christmas was only days away, so you were on your best behavior because Santa was watching. As December 25 crept closer and closer, you could hardly contain your excitement. Soon enough, Christmas Eve would arrive. You would put out some milk and cookies, brush your teeth and get to bed quickly – only to spend the night watching the clock. You just couldn’t wait for Christmas Day.

Sadly, as adults, the magic of Christmas seems to fade a little more each year. Santa no longer represents a symbol of joy and the celebration just becomes a season of more obligations. Fortunately, the magic does begin to reappear as we have children of our own, but then our roles change from excited child to excited parent. We also spend December 24 making preparations and barely sleeping because we are too anxious to watch our children eagerly open their gifts. We have come to discover a different kind of magic – the magic of giving. But again the cycle continues as our children grow, and the sense of wonder begins to disappear.

Luckily, as supporters of Lions Pride, we are in somewhat of a unique position. All supporters of Lions Pride get to play the part of Santa all year round. How? By giving children from all over the state of Wisconsin the gift of experience. In 2017, over 150 special children were given the opportunity to have the week of their lives out in the woods with kids just like them. They were able to sleep in cabins, roast marshmallows, learn archery, swim laps in Lions Lake and enjoy everything nature has to offer. Of course, they were also able to develop self-confidence, interdependence, social skills and outdoor recreational skills – all at no cost to their families.

The gift may not be beautifully wrapped under a bright, full tree, but we know in our hearts that it’s a gift that keeps on giving all year long. And none of these accomplishments would be possible without the help of you. Our donors are the lifeblood of our organization and we never tire of saying thank you for your support. Although our biological children may be grown, we look forward to playing Santa for many years to come. Thank you for helping us carry out 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 25, to celebrate Christmas with our families. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!