The History of Mother’s Day

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Think back to your last online shopping experience. Do you happen to recall any ads that you saw? We obviously can’t know for sure, but more than likely you saw something related to flowers, chocolates or other gifts, which can only mean Mother’s Day is upon us. To help commemorate the upcoming holiday, we thought we’d go through a quick history lesson. Without further ado, let’s get started!

The first celebrations of mothers go back to ancient Greece. Festivals were held to honor the mother goddesses known as Rhea and Cybele. The most modern version of the holiday was known as “Mothering Sunday,” in which adult children were encouraged to attend mass at their hometown church, then spend the day with mom. The custom eventually faded in popularity until merging with today’s holiday.

The celebration that we know today was created by Anna Jarvis. Her mother, Ann Jarvis, cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War and became a community activist. As a child, Anna heard her mother say a prayer, hoping that one day there would be a Memorial Day for mothers to honor their good deeds. After Ann passed, Anna became making plans for the official holiday.

On the second anniversary of her mother’s death in 1905, Anna held a special church service in her honor. After a successful event, she took part in a fierce letter-writing campaign, in which she worked to persuade newspapers and politicians to add the holiday to the national calendar. By 1912, many states, towns and churches were already observing Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Finally, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson officially recognized the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

Today, children all over the world shower their mothers with gifts, but the original idea was to simply spend the day together. Anna hoped that families would be able to attend church in the morning and visit in the afternoon. Gifts didn’t come until later on, and much to her dismay.

This Sunday, rather spending a lot of time and energy on finding the perfect flower arrangement or extravagant box of chocolates for mom, consider giving her a more thoughtful gift, the gift of quality time. Ask her how she would like to spend the day and shower her with attention. We can guarantee that a day together will be the ultimate gift.

Happy Mother’s Day from Lions Pride!

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Wisconsin’s Gone Fishin’

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Pack your fishing rod, tackle box and bait because the fishing season has nearly arrived!

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This Saturday, May 4, is opening day for Wisconsin fishing.

Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States. According to the 2018 Outdoor Industry Special Report, more than 49 million Americans enjoyed recreational fishing in 2017. During that year, approximately 16.5 percent of the US population went fishing at least once.

The sport’s popularity has not come by accident. In addition to just being an enjoyable pastime, fishing also brings several important health benefits. If you’re looking for an excellent reason to get out on the water this weekend, we’ll give you five:

  1. Reduce your blood pressure

    Studies have shown that spending time in nature helps to lower blood pressure, but the exact reason is not yet known. Additionally, you don’t have to spend all day outdoors to enjoy these benefits, 30 minutes per week is enough to improve blood pressure and overall health. But remember, the more time outside, the better!

  2. Unplug and unwind

    We live in a noisy world. Let us set the scene to see if you can relate. You start the day with a cup of coffee in front of the morning news, drive to work with the radio blaring, spend the day in front of a computer and constant interruptions before finally heading home to spend the evening watching digital screens. We all need some time away from the modern world and fishing poses as the perfect solution, a time to unplug and appreciate only the sounds of nature.

  3. Stand up

    Too many Americans spend the day sitting. Research has shown that the average person sits about 12 hours each day. This inactivity, which has become known as “the sitting disease,” is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Fortunately, fishing gives anglers an opportunity to stand up.

  4. Keep your brain sharp

    As people age, cognitive abilities will typically decline, and memory problems can take place. The best way to keep your brain healthy is to challenge it with mentally stimulating activities. According to Harvard Health Publications, to stay sharp, people should continue learning, use all of their senses and have confidence in oneself – all of which would fall in line with fishing.

  5. Spend time with family and friends

    Most would agree that there’s no better way to spend time, then with friends and family. Fishing is a great way to pass the morning or spend the day. Of course, you may need to make a few adjustments when fishing with others, especially those who wouldn’t consider themselves to be experienced anglers.

As you may already know, hook and line fishing for many fish species on several Wisconsin waterways begins on opening day, but season dates are often specific to fish species as well as the body of water. The best way to start planning your fishing trip is to download the DNR 2019-2020 fishing season dates.

Before heading out on the water, be sure to purchase your fishing license. Registration is available online, in various sales locations and at one of the DNR Service Centers.

The staff at Lions Pride would like to wish you luck out on the water this season. Happy Fishing!

Easy Ways to Celebrate the Planet

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Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

We’ve had Mother Nature on our minds this week. On Monday, we celebrated Earth Day, and tomorrow marks the 147th annual Arbor Day. With so many unofficial planet-related holidays, the month of April gives us a fantastic opportunity to think about our role as living creatures on Planet Earth.

We have great admiration for organizations who choose to make Mother Nature a primary focus in their everyday operations. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the birth of successful eco-conscious startups, as well as many large companies (such as McDonald’s and SC Johnson), adopt more sustainable business practices. As we began brainstorming green organizations, another one immediately came to mind; an organization that is a little more local and very close to our hearts. We’re talking about the Wisconsin Lions Camp, of course!

As you likely already know, Lions Camp is located on 440 acres of land centered around Lions Lake in Rosholt, Wisconsin. During the summer months, the camp acts as the temporary home of weekly campers. During their week away, attendees spend the majority of their time outdoors, so it probably isn’t surprising to learn that they have a grand respect for Mother Nature.

While assisting the children with self-confidence, interdependence and social skills, the Wisconsin Lions Camp staff focuses on providing campers with strong environmental awareness. Campers are strongly encouraged to sign up for programs to learn about different areas of the environment. A few of the activities include nature hikes, animal tracking and water studies. They also have the opportunity to hear nature’s stories, first-hand, and play animal trivia. The ultimate goal is to teach the children to leave the environment in better condition than it was found.

As individuals, we can learn a lot from these organizations like Lions Camp by finding ways to show our respect for Planet Earth. Here are a few easy ways to “go green” at home:

  1. Plant a tree
  2. Opt-in to paperless billing options
  3. Dry your laundry on a clothesline
  4. Unplug appliances and charges when not in use
  5. Combine errands into one trip
  6. Use reusable bags instead of plastic
  7. Shop at your local farmer’s market
  8. Fix leaky faucets
  9. Collect rainwater for your houseplants and the garden
  10. Reuse scrap paper

At Lions Pride, our job is to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all other WLF projects. We think those three words can also apply to our responsibility as conscious citizens.

By taking small steps towards greener living, we can all make a big difference to the world we live in. Let’s work together to celebrate the planet every day.

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.

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!