Lions Tales, November-December, 2017

President’s Message

Happy Holidays Lions!

This the most wonderful time of year! And I know many of you feel the same way I do. It’s a blur of sugar, friends, family, and holiday cheer (and don’t forget the Christmas tunes). It really is my favorite time of year and I look forward to hearing about your plans and activities to celebrate. For me, this is a special time of year because we, as a society, open our hearts more at Christmas time. We stop the daily hustle and bustle long enough to count our own blessings. We take the time to consider our neighbors, our distant family members, our lifelong friends, and our community. If you ask me, this is the majority of what makes up Christmas magic – taking that time to spread cheer and goodwill toward our fellow humans. When you do that, anything is possible.

I am so proud of all the work that our Fort Collins club is doing to spread good will! From ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, to providing enough toys and home goods for 40+ boxes for Operation Christmas Shoeboxes, to sharing a toy at our annual Christmas party, as Lions, you know the importance of giving. Over the years, you Lions have taught me the meaning of giving in my community. Over the years, I will share with my own children what you all have taught me. The cycle will continue.

This holiday season, as we continue to spread joy and the message of Lions, may we all remember the mission of Lionism, “To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.” Together, we Lions can change the world.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Lion President Melody Bettenhausen
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“The Future of Peace” was the theme of the 2017-18 Peace Poster Contest.

Fort Collins winners were Maize Docstater (center) – 1st Place, Emma Johnson – 2nd Place, and
Heather Bunn – 3rd Place.

Lions Tales article dividerDIABETES COMMITTEE

On Veterans Day, November 11, our Lions Club and Ensight shared an information booth at the annual Diabetes Update, held by UC Health in Fort Collins. There were almost 200 people in attendance to learn the latest information on living a healthy lifestyle with diabetes. Our club provided a $500 grant to help support the event. The funds were used to provide cookbooks and other educational materials for gift baskets and Medical ID bracelets for newly diagnosed diabetics. Lions Judy Coker-Blaa and Wayne Crownhart, along with Ensight’s Lynda McCullough staffed the table and handed out literature for both our organizations. Our club has supported the Diabetes Update for several years.
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Veteran’s Day Celebration at the Senior Center

The annual Golden K Kiwanis Veteran’s Day Breakfast held at the Senior Center was on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 7-10 am. The food was delicious, the service prompt, decorations were colorful and the program was interesting. CSU students posted the colors at 8 am. Music was provided by Lion Kathy Connolly and her band. They played songs from all branches of service, several country patriotic songs, and then a variety of country, jazz and rock. This is Lion Kathy Connolly’s second year performing at the event.

Lion Kathy Connolly and her band performed
Lion Carrie Graves and her granddaughter having fun
Lion Carrie’s granddaughter

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Salvation Army Bell Ringers

Once again Lions helped the Salvation Army by ringing bells at the Magnolia Street Walmart on Saturday, December 2. The weather was fantastic and people were generous. We had to try to stuff the money into the kettles by the end of the day! A special thanks goes to Lion Neal Hopkins for organizing the event.


Bell ringers included Lions Wayne Crownhart, Carrie Graves, Lauren Hopkins, Neal Hopkins, Carole Kitchell, Bob Kitchell, Ray Tjalkens, Nancy Walther, and Susan and Tobey Yadon.

Bob Kitchell
Nancy Walther
Sue Yadon
Neal Hopkins and Tobey Yadon

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2017 Christmas Party – December 11, 2017 – Midtown Arts Center

Funke Trio
Funke Trio


Toys and food donations for the Salvation Army
Melvin Jones winner John Owen, Progressive Melvin Jones winners, Melody Bettenhausen, Ray Tjalkens, and Irene Toliver, presented by Lion Tom Toliver




Lions Tales, August/September/October 2017

President’s Message
Hello Lions!

From time to time, mostly in times of natural disasters, I am reminded just how big Lions Club is throughout the world. It is always humbling and exciting to think that I am a part of something so impactful. Something that makes such a difference in the world. Did you know that there are 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries around the world? All with the motto “We Serve.”

Locally, our club does an outstanding job serving. Our members work pancake breakfasts and help local organizations with events. Those who have had them know those are some darn good pancakes, too! We support our community nonprofits and initiatives with funding and volunteers. We put in hours upon hours working Bingo in Loveland so that our foundation and our club can continue to stay strong and support our community and members for many years to come. These are wonderful things. You should all be very proud of the work that we do!

I am using the word “we” very broadly. Truth be told, I could certainly help our club more. I could help more with recruiting members and I could help more at Bingo. We all know that the hard workers at Bingo are in desperate need of some help. A handful of members work most of the shifts.

I am making this pledge to you, my fellow Lions, and I hope you may consider taking this pledge, as well. I will pick up at least one shift for Bingo each month. I will bring one new person to club each month. This isn’t a lot, I know, but it’s my starting place. Join me in my pledge, and together we can SERVE to the best of our abilities.

Be well Lions and may peace be with you.

Lion President Melody Bettenhausen
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Saturday, December 2
Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army at Walmart on Magnolia.
See Lion Neal Hopkins to sign up for a time slot.

Monday, December 11
Lions Club Christmas Party at Midtown Arts Center.
5:30 pm – Social Time followed by dinner and a program
Bring toys to donate to the Salvation Army
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Certificate of Appreciation

Lion Wayne Crownhart was recognized for his service as Foundation Trustee and past president. Thank you for your service to our club and foundation! President Melody Bettenhausen received a certificate and pin from LCIF in recognition of the growth in membership of our club during her term as president.

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Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Diabetes Committee is again supporting the UC Health Diabetes Update program on Saturday, November 11. Ensight will also be there with us. Lions Clubs International encourages clubs to have special projects during this month and we are proud to be involved with UC Health for their great update program.  Diabetes is one of the largest contributors to vision loss in adults.

We will have a table with Club membership and project information, such as the Lions Train at City Park.

Our club representatives will be meeting with City of Fort Collins Parks folks in November for an update on City Park redevelopment and better information on our Train component. We have printed small hand-outs which are available to assist with our fundraising, if any member knows of a store or business that would be willing to have a pad of these to be available for their customers.

It is also a great time to push membership and our other projects, such as the Lions Train at City Park. If any of you would like to join us at our table, please let Lions Judy, Carrie or me know.

Lion Wayne Crownhart
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Final Pancake Breakfast for 2017

On Sunday morning, September 10, the Fort Collins Lions Club had a successful pancake breakfast for the Walk with the Warriors/No Barriers program. The event attracted military veterans, friends and family of military veterans and future military members. A special program and 5K Walk was held to support the Veterans Community and in remembrance of lives lost on 9/11.

I want to thank Shari, Faye, Denise, Melody, Sue, Aida, Jack, Tobey and Mike for making the pancake breakfast successful.

This was the last hosted pancake breakfast for the year. The Lion’s Club hosted five pancake breakfasts in 2017 in support of community organizations. We have already received request to hold pancake breakfasts in 2018. All members can sign up to volunteer to support and take part in any of the pancake breakfasts!

A Special Thanks to Lion Ray for his work at the beginning of the year.

“We Serve”
Lion Dale Edwards

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Lions Club Exchange Program

Tobey and I hosted two exchange students this summer through the Lions Club International Camp program. Art, from Estonia, and Dominik from Germany, spent 2-1/2 weeks with us, then a week at the Lions Camp in Woodland Park. We were on the go most days with a camping trip at Jack’s Gulch, a day at Water World, seeing a Rockies baseball game, touring the Capitol in Denver, and a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Families in our area hosted 26 students and we planned many activities together so the students had an opportunity to interact not only with the host families, but with the other students in the program. It is a great opportunity to learn more about another culture while sharing ours. I would encourage you to consider hosting a student during the summer of 2018 – usually at the end of July into the first couple weeks of August. Lion Rachel Preece of the Windsor Lions is the coordinator for the program. Contact us if you want more information about being a host family.

Lion Sue Yadon
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We have had a great line-up of programs at our meetings and we would encourage you to invite guests to join us. They can enjoy lunch, the program, and learn more about what we do as Lions.

The Fort Collins Police K-9 Unit (handlers & dogs) presented a demonstration for us and answered questions about what they do on the force at our October 26th meeting.
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First Class Scholars

On October 14, Lions Denise Clynes, Dale Edwards, and Tobey Yadon attended a luncheon at UNC in Greeley honoring this year’s group of First Class Scholars. The students will be the first generation in their families to attend college. The 2017 First Class Scholarship program was judged by former Colorado State University football coach and representative for Public Service Credit Union Sonny Lubick, retired teacher Carol Ann Hixon, and retired teacher and Fort Collins Lions Club representative Judith Coker-Blaa. Our club has committed to donating $1000 to each of the students who earn a 3.0 GPA in their freshman year of college and are registered for their sophomore year. These students will begin their college path in the fall of 2018. First Vice-President Denise addressed the luncheon and we are happy to share her speech with you.

Denise’s speech:

“The Fort Collins Lions is pleased to be here today and involved in and with the First Class Scholarship program. We congratulate all of the scholarship recipients!!

Fort Collins Lions is part of Lions International. Lions, with a membership of over 1.4 million members, is the largest service club in the world. We have 46,000 clubs throughout the world. In 1925, Helen Keller charged Lions to be Knights of the Blind all over the world.

Lions clubs, all over the world, are made up of local people who are service-minded men and women working to stregthen communities. Our motto…”we serve”. Lions raise money for worthy causes. One fact that we are very proud of is that all funds raised by Lions, from the general public, are used for the charitable purposes. Any administrative costs, are paid by Lion members, with the general funds remaining strictly separate. One example from Fort Collins Lions…we sponsor Bingo games twice a week. With part of those funds, last month we donated $5,000 to help with recovery efforts from hurricanes Harvey and Irma here in the U.S., along with other natural disasters throughout the world.

Our areas of service include: Diabetes, Environment, Hunger Relief, Pediatric Cancer and Child and Adult Vision. We’re changing lives and improving communities by engaging in service programs all over the world. We believe in engaging our youth as recipients and as partners. This is one of the first steps for them to become leaders in service to their community.

Fort Collins Lions interact with youths in numerous ways. Every year we test thousands of children (ages 3-16 years of age) free of charge, for 6 different vision problems, sponsor a nationwide speech contest for high school students. Last year’s topic was, “What Is Your Passion and How Will It Contribute to a Changing World?” an international Peace Poster Contest for junior high students, and provide pancake breakfasts for various school groups as achievement awards.

So as you can see, our energies and this scholarship program fits right into our commitment to today’s youth who are tomorrow’s adults. This is why we are proud to be part of First Class Scholarships. Fort Collins Lions is committed to help the students here today. We wish you the very best! Keep up your hard work, commitments and requirements and when there is a need as a college sophomore, there will be Lion.

Good luck!”
Content information/quotes comes from:

Denise Clynes, First Vice President
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Halloween Bingo

Bingo was a bit spooky on October 31, our regular Tuesday night session! Our workers dressed up and had fun with our players who were treated to candy goody bags, cookies, and candy pretzels. If you haven’t worked at Bingo, you are missing the fun!

Lions Tales, June/July 2017

President’s Message

Hello Lions!

I have survived my first couple of months as your President of the Fort Collins Lions Club! I want to thank each and every one of you for this opportunity at leadership. I first met the Lions Club back in 2000 when my mother, Lion Denny, introduced me to a small group of friends she had recently made through Lion Aida. As a young snarky teenager, I had no idea what a positive influence this club would have on me. I have been blessed with mentors, friends, and family through the Lions. I have learned public speaking and watched how to run meetings. The skills that I’ve acquired are because I’ve had the opportunity to watch you all on action for the past 17 years. For that, I am grateful.

I wanted to give just a brief background on myself. I am 34, a mom of two adorable and rambunctious children, and the development director at the Ensight Skills Center where I’ve worked the past eight years. I am a Colorado State Alumni and proud of my CSU Rams! When I was 12 years old, my parents moved from the south suburbs of Chicago (Go White Sox!) and it was the best decision they ever made! Colorado is an amazing place to grow up!  The last thing I want to share is that my mom, Lions Denny, is the reason I have such a drive for service. She leads by example and taught me at a young age about hard work and giving to my community.

Lions, you are the best to serve with and I know that this year will be outstanding. Roar!!!

Lion President Melody Bettenhausen
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Pancake Time to benefit Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

On June 24 part of our trusty pancake crew was at Bath Nursery flipping and serving pancakes to help raise money for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program. Our crew served about 80 people.

Our next event is Saturday, July 29. Our club will provide a Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Poudre Fire Authority Fire and Life Safety Education Fund on July 29 from 8:30 to 10:30. The breakfast is located east of the Poudre Fire Authority Station Three, 2000 Mathews Street. Come out and bring your friends!  September 10 we will be serving another breakfast. Watch for details!
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Lions Train at City Park

Focus on Fort Collins, by Kevin Duggan
Taken from the Fort Collins Coloradoan   06/25/2017 – Page A03

“A little train that entertained Fort Collins City Park visitors for decades just might ride again.

The City Park Railway was shut down in 2010 over safety concerns. It probably didn’t help that the city manager was a passenger on the train when it derailed.

Anyway, City Park is expected to be renovated in the coming years, assuming funding is available. The train will likely be part of the refresh project.

The Fort Collins Lions Club has stepped forward to help make that happen. The club’s foundation has pledged $100,000 toward the $175,000 cost of buying a new train and track.

In addition, the club has promised to lead fundraising efforts for the project. If $132,000 is realized from the Lions, the club would secure naming rights for the train.”

Here is a little video from the Coloradoan

July 4, 2017

Lions members, along with their families marched and rode in the Fort Collins 4th of July Parade. Lions Melody Bettenhausen and Denny Moyer decorated the train engine. Lion Missy Ackerson’s company, Image 360 Fort Collins, donated the beautiful signs and flyers used to help promote awareness of our part in bringing the train back to City Park. Walkers handed out candy and flyers with the club’s website information to parade watchers. Thank you everyone who helped decorate, ride, walk, and provide goodies!!

Keep sharing the word that we are trying to make this happen. Encourage friends to go to our website and donate!

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It’s Picnic Time

Annual Lions Club FAMILY Picnic at Spring Park
Thursday, August 17,  5:30 pm
2000 Matthews Street, by Fire Station No. 3 – Accessed off S. College Ave. via Spring Park Drive (east of College)

No Cost to attend!!!   The club will provide BBQ beef and pork, soft drinks, water, coffee, and table service.  Load up the family and bring a side dish or dessert to share.

There will be a sign-up sheet at Club or contact Denise Clynes, Carole Kitchell, or Rusty Holsten with your RSVP.

Lions Tales article dividerCycle for Life Project

Work has begun on the Cycle for Life Project. The project will provide outdoor therapy cycles, which will give valuable therapy, socialization, and fun to the special needs children, wounded warriors, and wounded peace officers in Fort Collins and the surrounding communitities. The special conditions our project will address are the blind and visually impaired, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, mentally challenged, post traumatic stress, and other needs. These cycles will be kept in the homes of the recipients to be available for use 365 days per year. The physical conditioning from cycling has profound benefits for these children and adults.

There is no cost to our club other than mailing out requests, or to the recipients. We are working with Lion Joe Tarver, from Texas on this project. The Cycle for Life Project contacts other foundations on our behalf and requests grants to fund the project. The average cost of one of the special cycles is around $1,300, depending on the specifications and man-hours involved.  Currently, Susan Yadon is helping with mailing the donation request packets to possible donors identified by the Cycle for Life Project. Once we start receiving donations, a committee will be formed and we will be able to publicize the project and screen recipients for bicycles.

These are a couple websites that will give you more information about the project.
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Certificate of Appreciation

Two Lion members were recognized for their service as Foundation Trustees, Lion Joe Hamilton and Lion Wayne Crownhart. Thank you both for your service to our club and foundation!

Lion Joe Hamilton and Lion Ron Lockner, Foundation President

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Lions Week – July 16 – 22, 2017

The City of Fort Collins has proclaimed the week of July 16 as Lions Week as we celebrate 100 years of voluntary service. Council member Gerry Horak, Mayor Pro Tem, presented the certificate to club president, Melody Bettenhausen. Club member and past Fort Collins Mayor, Doug Hutchinson, also addressed the council. If you want to see the portion of the city council meeting where the proclamation was presented, click on this link.

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Colorado Lions Camp

The mission of the Colorado Lions Camp is to provide exceptional camping programs to individuals with special needs which promote independence, challenge their abilities and provide opportunity to discover his or her own potential in a safe, positive environment.

History of the Camp

1964, Lion Dr. ML Crawford offered his cabin in Steamboat Springs to be used for the very first camp session sponsored by the Lions Clubs in Colorado. There were five girls that attended that summer; each girl was visually impaired. In 1966, several Lions signed personal notes to purchase the present location of the Colorado Lions camp. At the 1968 State Convention, the Lions of Colorado voted to build a permanent camp, and forty acres were purchased from Brethren in Pike National Forest, just north of Woodland Park. In 1969, the Lions camp hosted its first year of residential camping in the newly constructed facility which serves as the Luke Lodge today. A total of 16 campers who were visually impaired attended. Today, over 350 campers with a variety of disabilities attend the summer and respite programs throughout the year.

Needless to say, keeping the camp running take effort and supplies. The camp has a wish list on their website of supplies needed.

Check it out; this is your camp, too!
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Take us out to the ballgame …

On July 19, 23 Lions members, families, and friends went to the Rockies game in Denver. It was a great day – no rain, and a big win – 18-4 over the Padres.