More than 73 years ago, three Lions from Detroit, Mich. had a dream that they could build a school to train dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Lions from all over the world helped this dream come true. Over 14,500 people have left Leader Dog, walking proudly, safely and independently with a Leader Dog harness in their left hand full of Lion love in the form of a guide dog.
It is upon us, the “holiday season.” That time of hustle and bustle of finding that special gift for that special someone. The time to spend with family and friends sharing the fellowship of the holidays.
As we sit back with our stomachs full from our Thanksgiving dinners and all of the leftovers, you might not know that one in seven children in our State struggle with hunger. Lions across the world are banning together during December and January to help relieve that problem.
It’s the time of year when happiness prevails, joy and peace are in the air and when most take time to stop, look around and take a deep breath. The children dream of twinkling lights, beautifully wrapped presents under the tree and a warm meal with their loved ones. This is such a cheerful thought and the wish of most adults, to keep the magic of Christmas alive in the memories of our children.
Time seems to fly by faster each year. It seems like yesterday we were playing baseball and football, hosting a rodeo, having family picnics and getting together to celebrate our independence at the Eagle River Lions Park.
World Diabetes Day is held on November 14 each year. The day aims to increase an awareness of the effects of diabetes and its complications amongst the general population and professionals in a range of sectors. It is also hoped that the increased awareness will lead to more resources to fight the causes of diabetes and help fund research into improved treatment options.
Thanksgiving will come early this year to the wounded warriors stationed in the Wounded Warriors Transition Barracks at JEBR. Over five years ago the Chugiak Lions asked their commander what the club could do for our local heroes. To the Lions’ surprise, the answer was a “home cooked meal.” This started an annual tradition of providing the wounded warriors a Thanksgiving Dinner and another dinner at Easter.
I write this fresh off the USA/Canada Forum training, and it’s hard to appreciate how fun and exciting a forum is unless you are there. Some 1,500 plus Lions packed the beautiful San Juan Convention Center. They roared with gusto when speakers rhetorically asked “Can we do it?” or “Are we up to the challenge?” The power of a crowd, of a group of people with a shared purpose, is inspiring. I am confident each Lion at the forum is now willing and able to serve more capably and enthusiastically.
World Sight Day is celebrated worldwide on Oct. 9. Lions International Officially marks Lions World Sight Day in Reykjavik, Iceland on Oct. 14.