President’s Message October – December 2016
As we enter this holiday season we also are approaching the mid-point of our Lions year. We have many successes to be proud of, but we can each look for ways to help make our club better and stronger. Getting and retaining good members seems to always be our number one challenge–what can you do to help us get one new member?
Through Doug Hutchinson’s efforts and with the support from our City Manager, Darin Atteberry, we have received many ideas for a club Centennial Legacy Project. Tobey, Doug and I have met with several city employees from different departments to discuss some of the ideas the City presented. It was our feeling that supporting the reestablishment of the City Park Train was the best choice for us to pursue and I have brought this idea to both the Club Board of Directors and the Foundation Board. Both boards have encourage us to proceed with city personnel to more clearly define how we might help fund this effort and, most importantly, receive significant and ongoing recognition for the Fort Collins Lions Club.
At our most recent Club Board meeting, we also approved working with the Coloradoan newspaper to provide additional scholarship support for their “First Class” project. The Coloradoan and other supporters have provided $1000 scholarships to 12 Fort Collins students whom are the first in their family to attend college in the fall of 2017. Our scholarship would provide $1000 to each of these students who remain in school and have maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average.
Our continued success with Bingo enables us to undertake projects like these. If you are not a regular Bingo worker, please consider helping us as you are able. Many of our members work many sessions every month and we are entering a time when some workers travel or have less time to help.
At our Holiday Party, on December 12th, several members received awards from the club. First VP Melody Bettenhausen and Jaye Leazer were presented with Melvin Jones Fellowships. Faye Lockner and Sue Yadon received Progressive Melvin Jones Awards. My congratulations to these hard-working Lions.
As Christians celebrate Christmas, I would ask us to remember that in America, where we may freely worship as we wish, we are a nation made up of people of many faiths and races with heritages from around the world. At this time, when the world is undergoing changes in leadership, and moral questions are raised, let’s remember that, as Lions, we share a common bond with over 1.4 million Lions around the globe, of many different religions, who work in their communities for good through service to others and share our vision for peace and harmony among all people.
Lions Open Space Cleanup – The Environmental Committee
Thank you for helping with the buckthorn removal at the Lions Open Space on Saturday, October 22. We removed 290 stems of this invasive plant and we couldn’t have accomplished that without the generous time and hard work of the Lions Club!! Removing noxious weeds such as the buckthorn helps the native plants return and restores the ecosystem of that area. Everything benefits from these efforts!
Nancy Dadisman, Colorado State Forest Service – Volunteer Coordinator
Teresa Funke honors Lion Bill Funke as Author Visit WWII Honoree
Our club has supported Teresa Funke and her visiting author program for several years. This year, Teresa surprised Lion Bill Funke, by telling his World War II story on her website and printed materials. A copy of the flyer will also be sent to the teacher and students who receive the kit our club funds, so they can learn about the real heroes of WWII. This year we donated $1000 to assist Teresa in her visiting author program. If you would like to read Bill’s story, you can check it out at http://www.teresafunke.com/author/our-honorees.
Ensight Halloween Eyeball
Ensight’s Halloween Eyeball raised over $13,000 this year. Folks who attended had a great time – fun, food, and frightful festivities! Put it on your calendar for 2017!!
BONUS BINGO MONEY
The Fort Collins Lions finished our Isle of Capri fundraiser. Over the 6 weeks that we ran the program at our Bingo sessions, we cleared $839.50. This exceeded our goal and will allow us to provide sight exams and glasses for 12 people. During this period, we announced the Isle Casino Hotel raffle to approximately 600 people who attended our bingo sessions and sold 1839 raffle tickets. Thanks to all the Bingo workers who helped make this possible and thanks to the Isle of Capri for donating a suite at their casino and $100 to Farraday’s Steak House!
After not having a Peace Poster Contest in our Club for many years, we had a wonderful one this year. Thank you Denise for doing all the footwork, working with the schools and the Peace Posters were great. We had 24 Peace posters this year from students at the Kinard Middle school. Members had an opportunity to view the posters on Monday, October 31, at the Ensight Skills Center and vote on their favorites. Final voting was done at the meeting on November 3 among the top three posters. All of the posters were on display at the November 3 meeting.
The three top posters winners from left to right: Amanda Harmon (1st), Sara Raines (2nd) and Eva Wang (3rd). Amanda’s poster will now go to the District. Winners received $100, $75, and $75 respectively from our club.
Lions Help the PVH Foundation at the Diabetes Update Education Program at UC Health
Our Lions Club contributed $500 to the PVH Foundation to help provide support of the gift baskets and educational materials for those attending. Over 100 people attended and we had a table with Lions and Ensight information for those attending, as well. Pictured are Lions Nancy Walther and Judy Coker-Blaa at the Information Table providing information to an attendee about the Ensight Skills Center. The second picture shows a few of the many gift baskets we helped provide, and the recognition cards which we attached to each basket.
So far this year we have screened 2303 kids during our “Autumn Screening Extravaganza!” Lion Carole Kitchell has several schools lined up for screenings beginning in January. If you would like to be a part of this amazing service project, please contact Lion Carole!
Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
We had another successful year supporting Operation Christmas Child. Our club donated 24 filled boxes and $168 to cover the shipping of the boxes.
This year, Samaritan’s Purse expects to collect 12 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts that will be delivered to children in more than 100 countries.
The North Fort Collins Business Association, in conjunction with Jax, purchased Columbia coats and boots to distribute to needy children in Fort Collins. Our club donates about $1000 to this project which costs about $55 per student. Lion Jim Trupp helps coordinate this project. The program began 11 years ago at Irish Elementary after the business folks learned students from low-income families were showing up to school cold and wet on winter days and not ready to learn. This year, 22 schools and 900 kids were helped. The kids are brought in one by one and assigned an adult volunteer, who help the child select a coat and boots and make sure they fit properly. It is a fun, easy project that only takes a couple hours of your time. Consider volunteering to help next year!
Bell Ringers for the Salvation Army
Thanks to Lions Nancy Walther and her son, Michael, Wayne Crownhart and his wife, Jan Kuhnen, Irene Toliver, Vic Meline, and Tobey and Sue Yadon for braving the cold weather on Saturday, December 17 for ringing bells for the Salvation Army. This year our club was at King Soopers North and the daytime high temperature was 10 degrees F. Also, a big thanks goes to King Soopers for allowing us to set up in their entryway!
Christmas Party Fun
This year, 61 Lions and their guests attended the Christmas party held at the Midtown Arts Center. Everyone seemed to enjoy the prime rib dinner and entertainment provided by the Centennial Children’s Choir and a beautiful Christmas story read by Lion Aida Raider. Lions Melody Bettenhausen and Jaye Leazer received Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards and Lions Faye Lockner and Sue Yadon received Progressive Melvin Jones Awards. Members brought toys and food donations for the Salvation Army.