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It’s that time again! If you’ve looked at a calendar sometime in the last month, you’ve probably noticed an extra day at the end of this one. Every four years, February gains an extra day as we ensure our calendar stays consistent with the planet’s rotation around the sun, most often known as a Leap Year.
This particular year feels especially symbolic to us as we take a leap of faith into the final phase of the Lions Pride Endowment Fund. But, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look back at how our organization began.
It all started with one name that we hope is not new to you – Dewey Carl. Back in 1974, Dewey joined the Manawa Lions Club. From that point on, he became a dedicated member of the Lions Organization, holding numerous positions at the local, state and international level. From 1986 to 1987, Dewey served as the Wisconsin Lions Foundation President. He later served as the District Governor and Council Chair from 1990 to 1991.
During that time, he recognized an unmet need. Expenses for Lions Camp and all WLF projects had tremendously increased, but the ever-important annual Lions Club Donations were not keeping up. He knew that many Wisconsin residents came to rely on these programs, so an additional financial source was crucial to keep them running.
He began establishing a donor-directed endowment fund. Then, in May of 2005, the Lions of Wisconsin voted to approve the campaign at the State Convention (again, following a Leap Year.) Since that time, the Lions Pride Board and Staff have been working tirelessly to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all statewide projects.
To date, the Lions Pride Endowment Fund has raised over $8.5 million to further the mission. Now, we are looking to unite our efforts to reach $10 million by the 2021 State Convention. Attaining this goal will provide more than $300,000 a year in perpetuity to the Wisconsin Lions Foundation in support of Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects, sunsetting the campaign.
Lion Dewey showed us that there is nothing more important than working to improve the lives of others. His spirit lives on as we progress towards our end goal. With your continued support, we can raise the last $1.5 million to financially assist the Wisconsin Lions Foundation indefinitely. We hope you’ll consider including Lions Pride in your annual giving by making your donation today.
It’s been a wild ride, and we feel so fortunate to have our donors by our side. We cannot adequately express our gratitude for what your support has meant to us over the years. Let’s work together to achieve this milestone.