Friday, December 27, 2013

Night Flight Pictures

First I need to thank Jill Lingle for taking pictures during our Night Flight event.  I also apologize for taking so long to get these on the blog....  Tis the season to be busy.... but hopefully things will quiet down!

Nothing more needs to be said about our Night Flight other than it was a great memory for not only those who showed up to support our event, but for those of us who hadn't participated in this event in prior years.

These are some great pictures!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We Rang the Bell

A few of us participated in the Salvation Army's "Ringing the Bell" yesterday.  It was fun.  Nothing like Night Flights but I'd do it again.  I think doing it with a partner would be more fun.  You could have more fun.

Lions Mike and Nancy took the first shift.  
I played Christmas music from my i-phone.... but all my music somehow disappeared and I only had two songs to play over and over and over!  There were other songs, but they were more mellow and not as known.  So we listened to Here Comes Santa Clause and Rudolph for 2 hours!  

I think Lion Tommy had the most fun!  He's always in party mode!  And I'm sorry to say I didn't get a picture of Lion Joe but he was on the same shift.  Sorry, Lion Joe

Lions Bob and Donna took the last shift.  Notice Bob's apron says "I am a Lion Bell Ringer."  Their buckets were filled to the rim by the end of the day!  

Way to go, Lions!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Night Flights

Twas the eve of Night Flights
  when all through the valley,
  not a person was stalling
    not even my ex-spouse.
The copters were fueled 
  and ready to climb...
All the people showed
ready for a good time.
The men were bundled up.
The women were merry
cause they didn't have to be out in the sub-zero weather....
When what to the wondering eyes should appear,
but Santa arriving on the first flight of the eve.
The children they giggled.
The parents they smiled.
And the rest of the evening
was simply just wild.

Okay, enough of that!  But I have to say, that last night -- Night Flights -- was simply the most fun I've had in a long time!

It started like this:

Keep in mind this was taken at 4:01 p.m.  Our flights didn't start until 4:30.  We arrived at the airport at 3:10 and already had people waiting!  Do you think people look forward to this event every year?!

Lion Donna giving the scoop.

The boys are all bundled up, ready to go.  It's 12 degrees out so you know they've layered!

One more example of "We Serve."  

We had a surprise visitor who arrived on the first helicopter!  Santa!  

The kids were thrilled to see Santa!  He handed out candy canes and ho ho ho'd.

Lion Becky giving the safety speel.  Every precaution was taken to keep our passengers safe.

Part of the crew that works hard to keep everyone safe.  

Getting ready to escort another group out for their ride.

I worked the door with Mary Francis.  We had fun sizing the group up, deciding who would sit up with the pilot.  Course ALL the young boys, and some of the older, wanted to!  One lady was flying by herself and we thought she was nervous.  She goes, "no!  This is on my bucket list!"  
Lions Ted, Tommy, and Allen

I don't know who these kids were, but the one on the right is the birthday boy.  We had great fun with this group and even got the whole airport to sing Happy Birthday to him!  I think we made his birthday night!

Escorting another group out.  

Each copter had a group of 5-6 people.  They left with smiles on their faces and even bigger smiles when they returned!

We connected with old friends.  Made new friends.  

When I showed these pictures of Santa to my granddaughter, her eyes lit up and she was absolutely CERTAIN this is the REAL Santa!  I agree!

People milling about while they wait for their number to be called.  We had 62 or 63 groups, or flights.  Maybe 64.  We'll have all the numbers in a few days.  

None of this evening would have been possible without Coastal Helicopters.  Because of them, some people had the experience of a lifetime.  Some were able to check an item off their Bucket List.  And others faced their fears head on.  And for others, this is an annual event.  

The only complaint we heard was that they didn't want the flight to end!

The sky was clear.  The stars were out.  The Christmas lights turned on.

Did I mention it was 12 degrees?

It's great how so many different people come together to make this a success--non-Lions, friends, a Lion from the Juneau Club, family, not-yet-but-almost-new Lion members.

I believe Night Flights is simply the best event ever.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ringing the Bell

I've always wanted to "ring the bell...."  The Salvation Army bell, that is.

Did you know the Salvation Army started using the kettles in 1891 in San Francisco, in part to raise money for earthquake victims?  Yea, me neither...

Two hours, that's all it takes, to make a difference in many people's lives.  People who may otherwise not have food on their tables. 

Ringing the Bell is a major fundraiser for the Salvation Army and their hope is to bring in $30,000 over the "holiday season." 

A few of us Lions will be at the Nugget Mall this coming Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m..  Please stop by and help us fill the bucket.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

District Governor Visits Juneau Club

Neither rain nor sleet nor blizzards will keep the District Governor from visiting Juneau as was apparent by yesterday's visit. 

Lion Mike and myself joined the Juneau Club at their regular monthly meeting and greeted District Governor Lewis. 

He brought with him some good news:
  • 49A was up 51 new members!
  • DMV is taking orders for Lions license plates now.  Only $50.  This would be a great Christmas present for your spouse!
  • There's still openings for the Leadership Academy in January.  Think of it.... two and a half days in warm and sunny North Pole....  He's offering a $400 grant to two people who want to go.  This is open to Lions and non-Lions.  If you're interested in details, contact Zone Chair Lion Mike Norton.
  • There's a new club in Bethel; the Winterhouse Program.  It's not chartered yet but the papers are signed.  I believe this is a house for people who don't have a place to sleep and the Lions run it.  What a great concept. 
  • The district's web page is being revamped and we can expect to see a new, improved website by the end of June.  They've opted to use the e-clubhouse template. 
  • Specialty Clubs are often more about their specialty than "serving."  He's working hard at getting the mindset changed to Lions first, then racing (or whatever the specialty is).  This is a good thing.
It was a good visit.  Maybe he'll visit again soon. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Night Flights

Christmas is almost upon us.... you know what that means.... It's time for Night Flights!  Or Light Flights as it's sometimes called.  Maybe the name is Light Flights and I just call it Night Flights....
Anyway, this Friday night, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Coastal Helicopters will be taking Juneauites over the Mendenhall Valley to oohhhh and aaaahhh over Christmas lights!  So don't be late!  Be sure you get there early!
Unfortunately, the wait might be long.... People will start to line up at 3:30 and wait as long as they need to.  But is it worth the wait?  I suspect if you ask those who keep coming back year after year, they would say "yes!" 
Lion members and volunteers will go through a safety training session so they know how to properly buckle people into the helicopters.  We've not lost any passengers yet and don't want to start now! 
This year Santa will visit and hand out candy canes to all the good little boys and girls.  If it was up to me, I'd have Christmas music or carolers!  Who doesn't love singing along to Jingle Bells after all!  But I don't want to spoil any of the surprises so you just need to show up Friday night to see what all we have planned! 
We couldn't do Night Flights without Coastal Helicopters.  They provide the ride, the pilots, AND the fuel.  For them, a huge thank you!

Disclosure:  These pictures are from previous years.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We Serve!

Many of the newer members might not realize how involved the Mendenhall Flying Lions have been in the community over the past 30 years.  Here's a partial list of some of the activities, projects, and fundraising we've done over the years.   

Planted trees along Yandukan Drive
Helped in Spring Fishing Derby
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
KTOO Telethon Phone Answering
$10K Raffle
Holly Sales
Purchased Wheel Chair for St. Ann's
Youth Fishing Day at Twin Lakes
High School Student Recognition Awards
Mendenhall River Elementary School Reading Program
and Breakfast
Cut Brush from Twin Lakes
Blood Drives
Youth Exchange (4 youth to Japan)
Youth to Mac McCarthy Leadership Camp
Handicapped Ski Program
Del Reeves Concert
Assisted Juneau Lions Club with Gold Medal
Barbecue and Auction for Snowbird Air Show
Airfare for a Member to Obtain a Leaderdog
Purchased a Computer for a Vision-Impaired Sitka Youth
Tour de Cure for American Diabetes Association
Paper Recycling Program
Meals on Wheels
Lions Mints Sales
Vials of Life
Food Bank Drive
Recycled Bicycles
Cooked Meals at Ronald McDonald House
Planted 6 Green Ash Trees at Skate Park
Helped Fund Exercise Equipment for a Women
in Need in Hoonah
Hoonah Food Drive
Most of these projects/activities were done before our time and I'm not certain what they all involved, but it sure gives us an indication of how busy the club has been serving not only our community but that of Southeast. 
This also gives us something to think about in terms of future projects we might want to take on.  It's been said that new members join the club to serve..... to do activities.  They aren't interested in the "political" side of the club, the history, "training," or any of that.  So if that's the case, then we need to make sure we have at least one activity scheduled for every month of the year so when we bring in a new member, we can get them involved right away.    
I went through our calendar for 2013 and this is what I found:
March:  Assist Juneau Club with Gold Medal
April:  Litter Pick up
June:  Garage/Plant Sale
July:  4th of July Concession Stand, Litter Pickup, Food Drive for Food Bank
September:  Community/Volunteer Day, Litter Pick up
October:  White Cane Day, Recycle for Sight Drive, Hoonah Food Drive
November:  Barbeque and Auction, Lions Packs, Assist Food Bank
December:  Night Flights, Bell Ringing

We also did many health fairs and vision screenings throughout the year, but these fairs may be going by the wayside as we start screening children only.  Too, vision screening often takes place during the school hours when many volunteers are at work. 

I guess what I'm suggesting is that we find one or two little activities or projects that we can do every month in addition to what we already have on the calendar.... They don't have to be big or time consuming, just something to get new members involved from the beginning.

We lost a couple projects recently (holly sales and peace poster contest) so we need to at least replace those with something new. 

Here's some thoughts for additional projects: 
  • We have our Bicycle Recycle project that is idle.  We had a few requests for bicycles recently that we had to decline; maybe it's time to get that up and going again. 
  • What about participating in a food drive every quarter?  We could set up a committee to look into the needs; maybe it isn't always the Southeast Food Bank.  It might be Hoonah or the Glory Hole or Angoon.
  • After my sister lost her husband, she was surprised to see a local Lion deliver a Christmas stocking filled with nuts, candy, and some fruit; for the last three years.  How kind and considerate of that club.  How difficult would it be to do something like this? 
  • How about a car wash as a fundraiser?
  • Or helping during elections?
  • We could do Christmas in July for Ronald McDonald House or cook a meal.  We STILL have little Remedy Carte who is a Juneau resident going through radiation treatment there....
  • Who doesn't love pancakes?  We could do a pancake feed at Gold Rush Days or a Veterans Day event or a Memorial Day festivity. 
  • What about having a table at Gold Rush Days just to get our face out there?
We may not do any of these.... but I think if we had a brainstorming session, we could come up with several new ideas.  What do you think?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tonight's Guest, Miss Alex

Meet Alexandra Azlin Ausel, daughter of Lions Chad and Joey Ausel.  Born November 26, 2013. 

She's the little one. That's Lion Donna holding her.
Miss Alex attended her first Mendenhall Flying Lions meeting tonight (at 8 days old!) and was quiet as a mouse while we tended to business.  She's a cutie for sure. 

Miss Alex, Lions Chad and Joey....  welcome home. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

13 Years of Service

Today we're celebrating Lion Donna's 13 years of Lionism!  I don't know about you.... but as a newcomer, I'm in awe of every year a Lion has spent serving their community. 

You think of the meetings they've attended.... the events they've helped with.... the ideas they've come up with.... the hours they've spent serving.... 
Thank you, Donna, for all your years of service to our community. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Packing Party

It seems like forever since our collection drive on the 16th.  Since then, a lot has happened. 
More donations have been dropped off....
All the donations have been cleaned, sorted, categorized, organized....
And organized some more....
Which brings us to today.
Our Packing Party. 
Where a few of us got together to fill backpacks with donations so generously given by the Juneau community.
Coloring Books.
Stuffed Animals.
Hair Brushes and combs. 
Lions Tommy, Becky, Joe; Jill; Lion Mike N. and Ellis in front.
 It took us just about 2 hours to individually select items to go into 98 backpacks.
Items carefully picked with love.
A pile of 98 backpacks!
A few of us will deliver the backpacks on Tuesday, December 3. 
Then we'll start all over again in about 10 months!  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Donations

And the community just keeps giving and giving and giving....  Here's the latest donations:

stuffed animals:  60
hair brush:  11
puzzles:  4
pencils:  4 packs
colored pencils:  3
watercolors/paint:  4
crayons:  3
markers:  5
glue sticks:  6
rulers:  2
note cards:  2
toothbrush:  4
toothpaste:  3
notebooks/notepads: 7
shampoo:  12
conditioner:  7
hand lotion:  19
soap/body wash:  24
lip gloss:  15
deodorant:  3
mouthwash:  2

I hope you all join us for our Packing Party on Saturday, 1:00 p.m. at the Nortons! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lions Packs Hits Backpack Goal

The Juneau Empire.... the gift that keeps giving.... 

Saw this follow up in today's paper.  I have to say, when Katie called to see how it went, I didn't know she was going to write a story....  Me, na├»ve?  Nahhhh!  And there are a couple mis-statements, but I still appreciate her effort.   

Lions Club hits backpack goal

Posted: November 25, 2013 - 12:01am

The Flying Lions club collected 100 backpacks to donate during the fist year of its Lions Pack collection drive, where the group delivers backpacks filled with items to children living in foster homes.   Photo courtesy of Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions
Photo courtesy of Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions
The Flying Lions club collected 100 backpacks to donate during the fist year of its Lions Pack collection drive, where the group delivers backpacks filled with items to children living in foster homes.

The number of foster children in Juneau? About 95. The number of backpacks for foster children the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club collected during its drive Nov. 16?  98.

The club met its goal of providing every child in the foster care system in Juneau with a backpack filled with goodies and necessities before the holidays, event organizer and Flying Lions Club member Nancy Norton said. This was the organization’s first Lions Packs drive.  “You have this fear of is it going to be enough or is it going to be way too much,” Norton said. “We got just shy of 100 backpacks, so every child will get one.”

Besides the perfect number of backpacks, the organization also received gloves, hats, socks, books, 300 tubes of toothpaste and almost 600 stuffed animals, Norton said.
Volunteers from Juneau’s Lions Clubs sorted through the donations and the packs will be delivered to the Office of Children’s Services on Dec. 3.

“Juneau is just a great, giving community,” Norton said. “It was just a perfect day.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giving Thanks

As the holidays reach out to us, some times it's easy to get caught up in all the fuss of the holidays and forget to find the value in the moment.  Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the fuss!  I love it all! The Christmas movies that have been playing on tv for weeks now.... Christmas decorations in the store.... and you'll even find me humming Christmas carols.

But this weekend brought a different dimension to the holidays as a couple of us helped at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank during their annual 12 hour Sharing is Caring Food Drive.  Because of the generosity of Juneau, the Food Bank received over 14,000 pounds in donations.  It didn't matter if all a person could afford was one can of soup because in the end it all added up and meant others in our town would have food on their table over the holidays. 

Yesterday people showed up at the Food Bank to help unload the school bus that held all the donations.  What impressed me most were all the children.  Kids of all ages--young ones with their parents, pre-teens, and teenagers working side by side making a difference.  They weren't there because their parents made them, they were there because they wanted to help.  You could see it in their actions and their joy. 

Today I am thankful for Darin and his helpers Shane, Judy, and the others as they selflessly give their time all year long, so that our families, friends, and neighbors can have food on their tables. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lions Packs Donations

Drum roll, please.....
We're not exactly certain what to expect as far as how many children will need backpacks in the next year, let alone what age group or gender.  (Remember back to my last post where I gave the seven different categories.)  Our best guess will be less than 100.  So we're going to plan for 100 backpacks a year. 
And because I know you're DYING to learn what donations we've received, wait no longer!  We got such a huge variety of donations, but these are the basics:

Backpacks:  98
Blankets (all ages):  26
Books:  over 100
Coloring Books:  39
Crayons and Markers:  48
Deodorant (boy and girl):  71
Shampoo:  299
Conditioner:  129
Floss (for teens and toddlers):  291
Gloves:  19
Hair Combs:  63
Hats:  12
Lotion:  1,200 plus
Bath Soap:  127
Razors (boys and girls):  205
Socks (all ages):  65
Stationary:  27
Stuffed Animals:  584
Toothbrush (teens and toddlers):  263
Toothpaste:  125
Toys/Cars:  41
Toys/Dolls:  9

Cash Donations:  $548 (plus a $400 check we've not received yet!)


Thank you!