As the frosty crisp air has begun to tingle our noses, the children rush through the park filled with anticipation for a bright Christmas.

The bright lights that encircle the large pine tree in Town Square are turned on indicating it is the time to be joyous in the Winter Wonderland of Chugiak-Eagle River.

Families and friends gathered together in Town Square for the annual Winter Wonderland Walk. The celebration began with young carolers from our elementary schools singing those Christmas classics.

Imagine you bring your child to a routine eye appointment and the doctor turns to you and says there is a problem with your child’s eyesight. Not just any problem; she is blind in one eye, known as “lazy eye.”

This is a personal experience for myself and daughter. I was devastated. Being uninformed, I was worried how my child would be able to function, how would she be able to learn and function in school.

Hence, the development of my passion for being of Lion and screening as many children as possible throughout the year.

People considering joining their local Lions Club often ask, “Why should I become a Lion?” Here are just a handful of reasons:

1. Serve the community.

Lions are committed to partnering with local leaders and organizations, identifying the unique needs of their communities and surrounding areas, and planning service projects that address those needs. From community cleanup projects to food drives to fundraisers, Lions help people in need who are close to home. We serve!

2. Make a difference in the world.

BOZEMAN – Noelle Coniglio of Eagle River and Grant Klug of Anchorage are among 12 National Merit Scholars who have enrolled at Montana State University for the fall semester.

Coniglio is majoring in exercise science and Klug in chemical engineering.

The students had scores that were in the top 1 percent of all initial entrants in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Last week Leos and Lions had the pleasure of meeting Leo Othmar from Austria, who is an Omega Leo. In the United States was have Alpha Leos. The difference is their ages: Alpha Leos are 13-18 and Omega Leos are 19-30. There are a few Omega Leo clubs in America but the standard is Alpha Leos who are under a Lions club that sponsor them.

Omega Lions stand on their own and have their own projects and bank accounts. They are not governed by a Lions Club. He is traveling to 50 countries and documenting what Leo are doing around the world.

Local Boy Scout Kaulani Napoleon has earned his Eagle Scout Award and was recognized during a Court of Honor on Oct. at the Alpenglow LDS building.

Kaulani has been able to earn this prestigious award in four short years achieving all of his ranks here in Alaska. For his final service project, he led a donation campaign of education supplies for refugee children coming to Alaska.

As Lions we are challenged this Centennial Year to organize legacy projects in our communities. Lions of Multiple District 49 answered that challenge.

A legacy project is one that will bring longterm benefit to our community such as the Eagle River Lions Park.

Lions did it again. There was a need that could not be solved by any other organization. As background, the land at the village of Newtok is slowly getting eroded away.

Students from throughout Chugiak-Eagle River came together for a rally at Community Covenant Church in Eagle River Sept. 25 in preparation for gathering around their school flagpoles in prayer Sept. 28 at area See You at the Pole events.

About 150 elementary, middle and high schoolers representing Chugiak, Eagle River and Anchorage schools and homeschool programs participated in the rally to build anticipation for SYATP.

Alliance Christian Fellowship Youth Pastor Josh Talbot encouraged participating students to pray for their teachers and schools.

Credit Union 1 is pleased to announce that Tiarra Gustin has been promoted to the position of branch manager at the credit union’s Eagle River Branch.

Originally hired in 2007, Gustin began as a teller and was later promoted to the positions of accountant, member service officer, member service representative, member service supervisor, assistant branch manager, and most recently branch manager, the position she held prior to this promotion.

In her new position, Gustin will be responsible for the daily operations of Credit Union 1’s Eagle River Branch.

The time-weathered road angling up the mountainside was quickly narrowing. Hiking slightly under an elevation of 3,000 feet, I was literally following the footsteps of gold seekers from the last century.

I soon came upon an open adit, or tunnel, where gold ore was taken from the mountain. From this point the raw ore was loaded onto a tramway that transported it about 1,000 feet down the mountain to milling equipment.