Youth are graduating all over Alaska, but some receive a different kind of recognition for their efforts. Volunteers of America are the sponsors of ARCH Home, which is located in Eagle River and is an alcohol and substance abuse program to rehabilitate youth from all over Alaska and teach them a better way of life.
With summer upon us there are going to be endless opportunities to get out and fish, hike, and play in the great outdoors we call our back yard. As we all settle into our summer routines and prepare for our summer adventures, if you are looking for something a little different, think about spending an afternoon volunteering in the community.
It happens every once in a while, a moment that makes you sit back in your chair, and reminds you just how lucky you are. Recently, a member of the Eagle River Rotary Club came to a Lions meeting and gave a presentation about a project that will be underway in Eagle River this summer. The presentation was short, and there were no fancy props, bells, or whistles. It was just a person with a message. The message: let’s give every child the opportunity to be included.
It’s official: We have survived another winter of snow, ice and wind.
A Chinese proverb advises us to keep a green tree in our hearts and perhaps a singing bird will come. As we reach the last few months of this Lions year, I can say with certainty that we Lions have planted millions of green trees, our hearts and minds are full of belief and good will towards others, and “singing birds” in the form of beautiful landscapes, purer air and protection of soil and wildlife will descend on all corners of the globe. The trees we have planted are the result of the power of “We Believe.”
Another Easter has come and gone. Some of us had the opportunity to spend the holiday season going to church services and then a grand dinner with friends and family. However, this is hard to do if you are a wounded warrior and living in Alaska when the rest of your family is thousands of miles away. Although JBER provides holiday dinners at the chow hall, it is somewhat problematic for bandaged soldiers and those using crutches or walkers on the ice.
The Annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted at the Eagle River Lions Park each year has doubled since 2009. This year's event was no different, bringing happiness to approximately 1,500 youth and their families.
Service to your community is a widely accepted American concept.
Twelve years ago, Pat Mahoney and the Eagle River Lions sponsored a free fishing derby for kids in the local area.
In 1984 during a Lions convention in Las Vegas, I was honored to see Lions Clubs International make their first research donation to the American Diabetes Association. That was also my first week as an employee of the ADA here in Alaska!