The 2019 USA/Canada Leadership Forum

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Leadership Forum 2019.pngForum week has arrived again! For the past 43 years, Lions Club Members from all over North America have been meeting for three days of motivation, education and leadership development. From September 19 to September 21, Lions and Lionesses will gather in one of America’s greatest riverfront cities, Spokane.

During their time in eastern Washington, Lions will take part is over 77 seminars spanning a wide variety of topics, including:

  • making change stick
  • using technology for more impactful marketing
  • creating synergy through action
  • enhancing mental health and well-being
  • how to captivate the attention of a younger audience
  • the ins and outs of cyber clubs

See the entire seminar schedule. Of course, there will be no way for one person to attend them all of the seminars. The biggest challenge you may faces is deciding which topics to focus on.! We’d suggest talking with fellow club members and divvying up the seminars. You can always follow-up, later on, to talk about the highlights.

Other special events will be taking place over the weekend. Lions will also have the opportunity to participate in the Strides Walk, observe a Lions University graduation and hear from incredible keynote speakers. If you enjoyed listening to Michelle Ray’s presentation at last year’s forum then you’re in luck. She’s back by popular demand! She’ll be challenging you to become a better leader by changing your personal attitude.

Lastly, we hope Lions will have the opportunity to explore Spokane. Attendees are encouraged to come early and stay let to allow the local experts to guide them through the Inland Northwest. The city is chock full of historic landmarks, breathtaking parks and lakes as well as unique attractions. Browse through all of the available tours, courtesy of Group Coordinators.

The USA/Canada Leadership Forum has something for everyone. Will you be attending the forum next weekend? If so, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

Here at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish all leadership forum attendees safe travels as they make their way to Washington. We look forward to hearing about your experiences when you return.

Bon voyage!

 

Rounding Up Summer Checklist

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If your Facebook feed looks anything like ours, you’ve likely seen lots of back to school pictures this week. You know the ones, photos of smiling children dressed in their new clothes holding up their handmade signs. All of these pictures have us asking, “Where did the summer go?”

It’s important to remember that, although the kids are back in school, the season isn’t over just yet. Fall does not officially start for 2 ½ more weeks, so there’s still time to get out and enjoy all that Wisconsin has to offer. To get you started, we’ve put together a few ideas to help round out your summer:

  • Pitch a tent and sleep outside – even if it’s just in the backyard
  • Build a campfire and roast a marshmallow or two
  • Visit a local or state park
  • Count the stars
  • Get out the rod and reel and spend the afternoon fishing
  • Host an end of summer cookout
  • Pick a bouquet of wildflowers and bring the outdoors in
  • Eat an ice cream cone
  • Buy a ticket to the ballpark
  • Pack a picnic lunch and spend quality time with a loved one
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert
  • Remember Lions Pride

The end of summer may always be a bittersweet moment, but do you remember the old saying? All good things must come to an end. Just think, if we experienced summer all year long, would we really give it the attention it deserves? More than likely, no; only because, it would become the everyday normal. That’s why summer only comes once a year, so we make the most of the season. And, of course, it will be back again!

What items would you still like to complete on your personal checklist before the summer rounds out? Let us know in the comments below.

In approximately 408 hours, we will be approaching the Autumnal Equinox, but that means there’s still plenty of time to have the best summer ever. Go out and make the most of the remainder of the season!

person holding ice cream with cone

The Benefits of Charity Work

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There are many ways to describe acts of charity. Merriam-Webster defines the idea as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering,” and Lexico defines the concept as “the voluntary giving, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” Meanwhile Dictionary.com says charity is “an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” All of the definitions mentioned above may have similar themes in common, but they all have some significant differences.

We believe the primary reason for the discrepancy is that the idea of charity can have different meanings to different people. Your personal definition is dependent on your experience level and your motivation.

Thursday, September 5, is International Day of Charity. The United Nations created the holiday to sensitize and mobilize people, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from around the world with the common goal of helping others through volunteer work and philanthropic activities. The fifth day of September was selected to honor the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing. It should come as no surprise to learn the organization choose to commemorate Mother Teresa of Calcultta as she is often the first person who comes to mind when thinking about charity.

Charity can be a powerful way to make a difference in the world around you. It can contribute to the creation of inclusive societies, diminish the terrible impacts of humanitarian crises, help supplement public services and assist in cultural advancement, but did you know that it can also benefit you personally?

Studies have shown there are several positive outcomes when people choose to get involved in charity work. We’ve compiled just a few reasons to consider becoming an active volunteer or organization supporter:

  • Charity work makes people happyWe, as humans, are programmed to help one another. Scientists found from measuring hormones and serotonin levels that giving delivers great pleasure. In fact, the more we give, the happier we feel.
  • Volunteering keeps people connectedVolunteering allows people to stay connected to people, especially those in their communities. Through volunteer work, individuals can increase their communication skills, meet new people and strengthen relationships.
  • Charity can help find people find a sense of purposeLife can be busy and throughout the hustle and bustle, it can sometimes be difficult to remember one’s own purpose. Volunteering has been known to help people find their way and get more out of life. People who choose charity work can keep their minds occupied, get more mental stimulation and add most flavor to their lives.

As we previously mentioned, everyone has their own definitions of the idea for charity, which means you can serve a cause however you choose. Whether you prefer to put in an afternoon of community service or would instead prefer to send the gift of money to your favorite nonprofit, your acts of charity make a difference.

What is your favorite way to practice the act of charity? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Please consider Lions Pride in your giving plan, you make a difference today while we work to secure tomorrow. Happy International Day of Charity!

Wisconsin County Fairs

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Does anyone happen to know where summer went? It seems like only yesterday we were anxiously awaiting Memorial Day Weekend, and now we’re hot on the heels of Labor Day. We guess it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun (enjoying the beautiful summer weather.)

We think any proud Wisconsinite would agree that one of the best parts of summer is all of the county fairs. Is there anything better than walking around admiring the prized livestock, hearing the sounds of children in the distance while indulging in the sweet, sugary taste of a funnel cake? If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Wisconsin county fair, there still may be an opportunity. There are a few fairs taking place from now until Labor Day. We’ve compiled a list for you to check out:

Waupaca County

The Waupaca County Fair kicked off yesterday at 3 pm. Attendees saw entertainment from Wayne the Wizard, Pleasure Valley Pig and Duck Races and a 3 of a Kind Concert. The fun continues all weekend long. Highlights include a large and small animal market sale, pedal pull competition, wood carving auction and Hollywood Motorsports Demolition Derby. One-day family admission is $10. See the entire fair schedule.

Shawano County

The Shawano County Fair will take place next Wednesday, August 28, to Monday, September 2. Over the course of five days, fair attendees can view dozens of exhibits, participate in auctions and watch lots of compelling competitions including rooster crowing, chicken flying and human crowing. There will also be musical entertainment and bingo games happening all weekend long. Daily gate admission is $5 for adults and children ages 12 and up; Senior Citizen Day is Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm, those 62 and older can receive $2 admission. View the complete schedule of fair activities.

Sheboygan County

The Sheboygan County Fair begins on Thursday, August 29, and will run until Monday, September 2. Fair attendees can visit the Ag-Venture Tent, a free educational space for children ages 3-10 to learn about the agriculture and dairy industry. Other fair activities include Granpa Cratchet, DockDogs shows, IRA Sprint Car Races (featuring Tony Stewart and PDTP 360 Sprints,) extreme bull riding and barrel racing. You can purchase a daily pass for adults at $6, children 10-14 at $2 and kids under 9 are free. See the daily entertainment schedule.

Calumet County

The Calumet County Fair, also known as the Biggest Little Fair in Wisconsin, is happening in Chilton from Friday, August 30, to Monday, September 2. While at the fair, you can catch great music and showcase exhibits, plus exciting competitions including the Skid Steer Olympics, Catch a Pig Contest, Horse Promoters Speed Show and Rib Grill-Off. General admission ranges from $4 to $6. Don’t miss out on the entertainment!

Summer may be quickly winding down, but there’s still time to take advantage of the summer fun that Wisconsin has to offer. How do you plan to spend the rest of the season?

Enjoy the last vestiges of summer,
Lions Pride Staff & Board

The Start of the Little League World Series

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There’s no better time to grab some peanuts and Cracker Jack. All of you baseball fans out there know that are nearing the end of the season, but today, is the start of an extraordinary period, the Little League World Series.

From now until August 25, young athletes from all over the globe will compete to earn the coveted World Series Trophy. The tournament includes eight US teams and eight international teams. The series kicks off today with four games, featuring the following regions: Australia, Caribbean, New England, Southeast, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Midwest and Great Lakes. The remaining regions, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest, Southwest, West, Canada, Europe-Africa, Japan and Mexico will get their start tomorrow. See the complete schedule.

If you’re not overly familiar with little league baseball, you may be interested to learn about its rich history. The league was first formed back in 1938 by Carl Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Eight years later, the league had not gained a lot of traction as there were only 12 active leagues. Many believe World War II deterred its growth because many fathers had enlisted in the military. The following year, the board of directors decided to organize a tournament for all known programs and named it the National Little League Tournament. It was changed to the Little League Baseball World Series later on.

Over 2500 visitors came to Williamsport to watch young stars play in the first championship game. Its publicity spread throughout the county, and Little League Programs began forming in every US start. Today’s LLBWS includes seven tournaments played in various divisions.

Many modern-day Major Leaguers got their start in Little League Baseball; some names you may even recognize. Charlie Hayes, Jonathan Schoop and Gary Sheffield were all Little Leaguers who went on to play in the MLB with brief period as Milwaukee Brewers.

Hawaii took home the trophy in the 2018 LLBWS, so it will be interesting to see if they can do it again! Will you plan on watching the 2019 Little League World Series? Let us know in the comments below.

On behalf of Lions Pride, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all of the athletes participating in this year’s LLBWS. Let’s play ball!

Fun Facts about Elvis

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black vinyl record playing on turntable

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This week, we’re thinking about a famous musical artist; let’s see if you can guess the musician based on a few word associations. Ready? Jet black hair, blue suede shoes and record sales. If you guessed Elvis, you’re right!

Tomorrow marks the start of Elvis Week. Each August, fans gather at Graceland to celebrate the music, movies and legacy of Elvis Presley. For the next eight days, music lovers will enjoy concerts, panel discussions, dances, a candlelight vigil and other traditional events dedicated to the King of Rock n’ Roll.

We know that it is likely too late to book a last-minute trip to Memphis, so we’ll celebrate Elvis right here in Wisconsin with a list of fun facts:

  1. In 1954, just before getting famous, the King auditioned for a role in a gospel quartet band but was rejected.
  2. Although he is often associated with Memphis, Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  3. Despite the fact he wanted a bike for his 11th birthday, he received a guitar.
  4. Elvis recorded over 600 songs but didn’t actually write any of them.
  5. A total of 15 songs contain the word, “blue” in the title.
  6. He never toured outside North America; in fact, Elvis only played five concerts outside the United States during a three-day tour in Canada.
  7. It took him 31 attempts to record “Hound Dog.”
  8. Elvis’ infamous black hair was dyed. Rumor has it that he first started using shoe polish to modify the color.
  9. At the age of 18, he paid $4 to record his first album, which he gave as a gift to his mother.
  10. He was drafted in the Army in 1957 and served in Germany until 1960.
  11. During his time in the military, Elvis became very interested in karate. He was awarded a black belt, just before returning home.
  12. When he died in 1977, there were approximately 177 impersonators. Today, there is an estimated 250,000.

Elvis certainly lived an exciting life. Do you know of any fun facts that we missed? Share with us in the comments below.

Happy Elvis Week from Lions Pride!

Stuff the Bus Collection Drive

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The start of a new school year brings out a lot of emotions for children. Some kids may be happy to see all of their friends again, nervous about entering a new grade level or disappointed that they will soon need to say goodbye to the hot, lazy days of summer. Many parents may be happy to get their children back in a normal routine, nervous about the money they will need for back to school shopping or disappointed that they’re not more excited to get them back to school.

Would you believe that the average cost to send a child back to school amounts to about $630? Between school supplies, new clothes and shoes as well as electronics, the costs add up quickly. Studies have shown that children are more likely to be in compared to the rest of the population. A 2017 American Community Survey reports that in Wisconsin alone, approximately 1 in every six children is living in poverty compared to 1 out of every eight people in the state population.

Childhood poverty is still on the rise, which makes it difficult for families to find the resources they need to send their children back to school. This summer, you can help reduce the strain for parents by participating in an area Stuff the Bus Collection Drive.

Getting involved is easy. On your next shopping trip, take a walk down the school supplies aisle and purchase a few items to donate. Remember, retailers know that the new school year is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of sizzling sales. Below you’ll find supplies most commonly found on area lists:

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Backpacks
  • Binders – 3-ring, 1 ½” to 2”
  • Binder Dividers – 5-tab set
  • Bookbag
  • Colored pencils
  • Compass
  • Crayons – 8 ct, 24 ct
  • Facial tissue
  • Flash drive
  • Folders – 2 pocket
  • Glue sticks
  • Graphing paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Highlighters – Yellow
  • Index cards (100 pack)
  • Sharpie Ultra-fine – black
  • Paper
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper – wide-lined & college rule
  • Paper towels
  • Pencils – #2
  • Pencil case – zippered for 3-ring binder
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pens – ballpoint
  • Pink erasers
  • Printer paper – plain white
  • Post-it notes
  • Ruler – 12″ with inches & centimeters
  • School box
  • School glue
  • Scissors – 4-5″ blunt & pointed tips
  • Stapler – small
  • Staples
  • Spiral notebooks – single subject – wide lined & college rule
  • Washable markers – Wide tip – 8 colors, Thin tip – 8-12 colors
  • White out (nonliquid)
  • Zip-lock bags – sandwich, quart & gallon

Then, find a Lions Stuff the Bus Drive near you. The official statewide collection drive is Saturday, August 11, but several clubs are running events throughout the month. We’d suggest talking with area Lions, visiting local club websites and searching Facebook for nearby events.

Lions Pride is a proud supporter of local Lion and Lioness Clubs hosting Stuff the Bus Collection Drives. Whether you donate a pack of loose-leaf paper or an armful of supplies, please know that your generosity has a huge impact for Wisconsin families. Thank you for helping us stuff the bus!

 

 

The 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival

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two white garlics

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Everyone has a favorite ingredient that they want to add to every meal. Many of us love butter, others adore pepper and lots of us cannot get enough garlic. If you’re looking for the last group of people, you will likely find them at this weekend’s garlic festival.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the most well-known summer food festivals in the country. Attendees enjoy full days of food and drink, live music and, of course, cooking competitions. The fun kicks off tomorrow Friday, July 26, at Christmas Hill in Gilroy, California.

One of the most notable parts of the festival is the world-famous Gourmet Alley. Visitors will have the chance to witness a smoking hot, flame-up show as the “Pyro-Chefs” prepare garlic-laced calamari and scampi in large iron skillets. They can then sample the final product, which also includes pasta con pesto, pepper steak, sausage and shrimp. Everyone knows the festival would not be complete without garlic bread and garlic fries.

If you think Gourmet Alley is the only place to find food, you are mistaken! Attendees will be able to find snacks all over the festival grounds. The committee thoroughly vets all vendors to feature the very best variety. Delicacies include garlic ice cream, quesadillas, kettle corn, ribs, corn on the cob, top sirloin and more. See the entire list of food and merchandise booth vendors.

Visitors can also watch exciting cooking competitions and expert food demonstrations. Celebrity chef appearances include Tom Colicchio, Gerron Hunt, Eddie G and Teresa Giudice.

The garlic entertainment will continue all weekend long with live music, shopping, the Miss Gilroy Festival Queen Pageant and art poster contest.

The Garlic Festival is put on each year by 4000 volunteers throughout the Gilroy area. Their efforts go to show what a passionate group of people can achieve when they work together. We witnessed similar magic last month at our Lions Pride Shoot. It’s truly amazing how events can come together after months of planning and preparation.

How do you feel about garlic in your food? Whether you love it or hate it, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great weekend,
Lions Pride Staff & Board

Lions Pride 2019 Annual Meeting

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Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 6.04.27 AMHappy (Lionistic) New Year! We’re not sure how it happened, but July has arrived once more. If you’re familiar with Lions Club International, you know that they finish out the organization’s fiscal year with the International Convention. Lions Pride follows a similar tradition by also hosting an important event. Our annual meeting will take place this Friday, July 20, at the Lions Pride Office. The meeting starts at 1:30 pm.

Our board members are stationed all over the state; they get together four times a year but do not usually have the chance to meet with the general public. Annual meetings are an incredible opportunity to talk with members outside of the organization about the current financial standing of Lions Pride.

The annual meeting will directly follow the third board meeting of the year. The agenda will include a discussion of the year’s activities, fundraising efforts and overall financial position. We’ll also hear a statement from LPEF President Sam Kochel and have the chance to thank our donors in person.

If you already have plans and are unable to attend, you can still request a copy of the annual report, which will be available next week. You can send your request for an electronic or printed version (please note supplies are limited) by emailing us at prideoffice@lionspride.org.

As we continue to prepare for this week’s meeting, we can’t help but look back on the previous year with fond memories. It was another year filled with success and gratitude. We feel fortunate to be able to work with such a generous group of people. Thank you for helping us carry out our mission to preserve, provide and protect for the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. We know there are lots of outstanding organizations out there to support, and we feel so grateful that you continue to choose ours.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers

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Saturday, July 12, is National Motorcycle Day. What better way to celebrate Wisconsin motorcyclists than by reviewing essential safety tips?

There are several precautions that motorcyclists can take when out on the road, including wearing a helmet, following traffic rules and riding defensively, but we as non-motorcyclists, can help make their job a little easier when traveling out and about. Read through these five ways to become a motorcycle advocate:

  1. Keep grass clippings off the road

Safety begins at home. When you are mowing your yard this summer, be sure your clippings stay off the road. Believe it or not, large clumps of grass can pose a dangerous threat to motorcyclists and is actually illegal in most Wisconsin municipalities. When grass clippings come between a motorcycle’s tires and the pavement; it can be extremely challenging for the driver to maintain control. Be a consider homeowner by keeping your grass off the road.

  1. Encourage passengers to speak up

According to safety advocate and motorcycling enthusiast, Darwin Stephenson, motorcyclists are most vulnerable when you’re not aware of your presence. When traveling with others, encourage your passengers to speak up when they see a motorcycle on the road. People in the back seat will likely have a different perspective from the driver, so a quick warning could be the difference between an accident and a safe trip.

  1. Keep the volume turned down

If you are traveling alone, you will have the sole responsibility in keeping motorcyclists safe. In addition to being aware of your surroundings, you may be able to acknowledge a motorcycle on the road by listening for the familiar purr of the engine. Remember to keep the volume of your stereo turned down to hear motorcycles before actually spotting them.

  1. Give some extra space

It can be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed and distance, especially if you’ve never driven one yourself. The general “following” rule of the thumb is to keep a distance of at least two seconds between you and the car ahead. Consider increasing that distance to three to four seconds when following a motorcycle.

The easiest way to estimate the distance from the car ahead of you is to conduct a simple test. Find a distinct object such as a road sign or tree and wait for the rear end of the vehicle ahead to pass. Then, count to yourself until you also pass the object. This method will help you determine whether or not you are following at a safe distance.

  1. Slow down when going through intersections

One of the most common places for collisions between cars and motorcycles occurs at intersections. Unfortunately, a driver may fail to notice the presence of an oncoming motorcycle. To account for the increased risk, exercise caution and slow down when driving through intersections.

As we gear up for the Annual Friendship 100 taking place on July 24, we hope you’ll consider these safety tips when you’re traveling this summer. Together, we can all help make Wisconsin roads a safer place for all types of vehicles.

Happy National Motorcycle Day from Lions Pride!