Saturday, August 31, 2013


"To me, dreams are not visions that arise in sleep but plans that don't let you sleep." 
Barry Palmer
International President
This year's International President's theme is Follow Your Dream -- identify what your dream is, plant the seed, and let it grow.  He suggests we find inspiration and guidance from other clubs and LCI. 
What are some new dreams we can challenge the club with?  A new project?  How to increase membership growth? 
Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." 
Is it really that simple?
And we're all familiar with, "I have a dream...." by Martin Luther King. 
What do these people know that we don't?  What do they have that we don't have? 
The answer would be nothing.  Realizing a dream takes a belief that anything is possible.  It takes that first step.  That is all.... 
If you haven't already, be sure to read the July/August 2013 issue of the Lion magazine and learn more about International President Palmer's dream. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Recycle Your Old Eyeglasses

North Pole is famous for which of the following:
  • The home of Santa Clause.
  • A famous reindeer.
  • The Aurora Borealis Lions Eyeglass Recycling Vision Center 
Yep, all three!  Course only if you believe in famous reindeer.  :)

Did you know that Lions around the world collect approximately 30 million used eyeglasses each year?  Once they're collected, eyeglasses are sent to an eyeglass recycling center.  There's 10 recycle centers in the U.S., and we have one right here in Alaska--the Aurora Borealis in North Pole!

The Capital City Joint Sight Committee, which consists of members from both the Juneau Lions Club and the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club, collects eyeglasses and cases throughout the community as an ongoing Recycle For Sight Project. They have collection boxes at all eye glass offices in town where people can drop their used glasses off.  Lions pick up glasses every few weeks. 

We collect any and all glasses and cases.  Single lens, double, tri-focals, sunglasses, readers, prescription and non-prescription.  They can be tinted or have protective coatings.  The cases can be hard or soft case.  The frames can be broken or the lens scratched and unattached.  Any type of eyeglass can be recycled and redistributed to someone in need.  What's so cool is they can be redistributed to someone right here in Alaska, maybe even your neighbor! 

Once the glasses are collected, lions package them and ship them off to the Aurora Borealis Recycling Center.  Once there, they're cleaned, fixed, cataloged, and stored until there's a need.  The need could come from anywhere around the world. 

If you know someone in need who can't afford to purchase eyeglasses, direct them to a Lions Club who can walk them through the steps for getting assistance.  

Here's the big question:  When was the last time you looked through your drawers, your bedside table, your medicine cabinet, your boat, your rv, end table, on the kitchen table, the glove compartment of your vehicles, that junk drawer, or your cabin up the river to see if you have any old glasses and cases that haven't been donated yet? 

Your unwanted or unneeded eyeglasses can make a difference in someone's life.  They can give sight to a young child or an adult and help a child to read and learn. Right here in Alaska!

Spread the word!  When you spend time with family and friends, ask them if they donate their used eyeglasses and cases and, if not, this is a perfect time to spread the word.

May is Recycle for Sight month.  Let's plan on participating something big next year! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Field Trip to the Empire

Today Mike and I went on a field trip.... to the Juneau Empire. 

It may not sound like a big thing, but as our club knows, we've had more than our share of frustration working with them over the years.  Today we met the new Publisher, Rustan Burton (sounds like "Justin") who has been hired to save a floundering newspaper. 

Will he do it?  Yes, I believe he will, absolutely.  He has a good handle on not only what went wrong, but why, and changes needed to improve relations between the Empire staff and the rest of us.  It's not going to happen over night and it's going to take a lot of baby steps but he's meeting with people of Juneau, listening, and taking notes.  More importantly, he has a vision for a better newspaper and I think we owe it to him, to the Juneau Empire, to get re-engaged. 

Here's how we can help:  If you aren't subscribed, or have stopped your subscription (like we did), re-subscribe to the paper; give them our total support. Don't judge harshly but know that Rustan is trying really hard to make the Empire a better newspaper for you and I. (Watch for less typos!) Juneau needs this newspaper for many reasons, and if Rustan Burton can't turn it around, where will we turn for local news? 

We had a good meeting.  We told him about the Mendenhall Flying Lions and how we're helping people in the community and Southeast, and he offered the Empire's backing and support not only in advertising but involvement, hands-on involvement. 

So as we move ahead with our seasonal projects and fundraisers, let's ask the question:  How can the Empire be involved?  We mentioned the 4th of July concession booth and he thought that would be a great opportunity for the Empire to offer free newspapers to the participants in the staging area. 

I want to thank Rustan for taking time out of his busy day to visit with Mike and I.  He also took us on a tour of the facility, walked us through the process of getting the newspaper printed and to our doorstep, and then gave us free reign to walk through the building to look at all the art work.  Incredible. 

After this morning's meeting, I feel a little closer to the Empire, a sense of ownership.  I understand a little more about the dynamics and what they're going through and the changes they're making and hope to make.  I wish Rustan luck and look forward to good things to come.   


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Upcoming Vision Screening

Our vision screening is starting to gear up!  Here's what we have on the horizon at this time:

Community Day/Meet the Candidates
September 7, Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Nugget   Mall
Lead:  Lion Allen.  Lions Mike and Nancy to assist with the table materials, i.e., display boards, 30 year book, brochures; Lions Mike and Becky to help too.
Early Learning Fair
September 19, Thursday
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Harborview School; Contact Grace Lumba
Lead:  Lions Chad and Neil
HCCMCA (Health Care Cost Management Corporation of Alaska)
October 5, Saturday
8 a.m. to noon; set up at 7:30
Centennial Hall
Lead:  Lion Mike
Alaska Health Fair / White Cane Day
October 12, Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Nugget Mall
Lead:  Lion Joe
Halloween Carnival
October 26, Saturday
12:00 to 4 p.m.
Nugget Mall
Carnival game – ring toss with prizes.
We also have Raven Home Schooling checking dates and a request to head to Skagway in the Spring to assist at their Health Fair and School District. 
If you want to volunteer for any of these events, please contact the person who’s in charge. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

1st Cabinet Meeting

We had our 1st Cabinet meeting of the year this past weekend.  While some members were providing vision screening at the Back to School Fair, I was in Anchorage attending the meeting. 

Here's a recap of what we covered: 
  • The Blood Bank announced a new project which is a $51 million building that will make it so blood won't have to be sent south for testing. For more information go to the Blood Bank of Alaska web site. 
  • The District Governor's motto is, “Just Ask” which appears on his pin and is an emphasis on membership and retention.  I encourage everyone to use the Just Ask booklet and ask that each member sponsor at least one new member this next year. 
  • Next year's International Convention is in Toronto, Canada (2014-15).  In 2015-16, it will be in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Hope to see you all there!
  • Mid-Winter Convention will be held November 8-9 in Anchorage at the Embassy Suites.  I would encourage as many members to attend so we can share with District all the wonderful things our club is doing. 
  • The Global Membership Team (GMT) will be holding an Extension Training Workshop in Anchorage in October.  Anyone interested in increasing membership is welcome to attend. 
  • Leader Dog is looking for donations.  Perhaps our club would consider donating and presenting at the Parade of Checks at Mid-Winter. 
  • The District Governor plans to increase public awareness for Lions around the state with his Public Relations plan. 
  • I've been pushing members to attend the Leadership Academy in January since it was going to be held here in Juneau.  I learned at the cabinet meeting that they've switched locations and it will now take place January 19-21 in Fairbanks.  Members are still invited to attend.  This will be some of the best training you will receive and not only will your Lions life benefit, but your personal and work. 
  • Lions themed license plates will be available for purchase through our local DMV some time in November.  Either go to the DMV office or go on-line to purchase.  This will be great publicity for the Lions.
  • The Aurora Borealis Eyeglass Recycling Center has put together a Cash Calendar with payouts starting in October and going through December.  If you’re interested in purchasing or selling a ticket for ABERC, they cost $20 each and you can contact Lion Scott Leppert at for information.  This is the North Pole’s website:
  • DG Lewis is encouraging clubs to help with the Special Olympics in any way we can.  Contact Nicolle Egan at 1-907-222-7625 extension 629 or 1-888-499-7625 extension 629 or
  • The Last Frontier Honor Flights is raising funds to send veterans of WWII back to D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial.  These vets are in their late 80s and 90s and most have not had an opportunity to visit the memorial.  To sponsor one vet will cost $2,000.  They have a one-on-one chaperone.   Information on this project is as follows:
The Last Frontier Honor Flights
PO Box 520116
Big Lake, AK 99652-0116
toll free:  1-877-560-8542
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact me.
Mike Norton
Zone Chair

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School Fair

Several members provided vision screening at the Back to School Fair on Saturday. Thanks to Lion Allen for spearheading this screening! 

Lion Becky had the tables set up looking nice with one table dedicated to information about the club--the bulletin board, club brochures, and donation can. 
We tried enticing kids to our table this year by offering a piece of candy if they had their eyes checked!  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  
Members spend a lot of time providing vision screening and often times the participation is minimal.  It could be because we're put in a bad location--a dark room, an out-of-the way location--but the other part is making the booth pop so people want to come closer to see what we're all about.  
Lion Allen has suggested having the Boy Scouts sell/exchange cotton candy if they get their eyes checked.  That's a great idea!  Another idea is to give a helium balloon in exchange for an eye exam.  What kid doesn't love to carry around a balloon, after all?  We tried candy this time and it seemed as if it attracted kids.  

All in all, it was a good day for screening.  We talked to a lot of people about the benefit of having this screening done.  We screened 60 children and adults and had 5 referrals. 

Thanks to Lions Allen, Mike A., Becky, Bruce, Neil, and Nancy for taking the time to help with vision screening. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Today is a day to celebrate Lionism in Alaska!  The Juneau Club is celebrating their 69th year as a Club.  It's a good day to reflect on all the good they've done in the community and SE Alaska, not to mention around the state and world with their various contributions.  It would be interesting to know how much the Gold Medal has brought into their club over the years, and distributed back out into the communities of Southeast Alaska in the way of scholarships.  You have to wonder what happened to all those families they helped at Christmas time with their good will. 

The Juneau Club has serviced our community well and we're proud to call them Lions.  Congratulations! 

Helen Keller

What did Helen Keller challenge the Lions to become?

In 1925 Helen Keller addressed the Lions at the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio.  It was there that she challenged Lions to be "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." 

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1880.  At a young age of 18 months, she developed a fever that left her blind and deaf. 

With the help of her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, Helen Keller learned sign language and braille.  A few years later she learned to speak. 

As an adult, Helen Keller became an advocate for people with disabilities.  She attended the International Convention in 1925 and challenged the Lions to become knights of the blind.  The Lions accepted her challenge and ever since have included sight programs, including  eyeglass recycle and vision screening, aimed at preventable blindness. 

In 1971, the Board of Directors of LCI, declared June 1 as Helen Keller Day.  Lions are invited to implement sight-related service projects on June 1 in honor of Helen Keller.  June 1 is a long way off, but I bet if we put our thinking caps on, we can come up with a project to celebrate Helen Keller's birthday in June of 2014. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why Are We Called Lions?

Do you ever wonder why something is called what it is?  How did we come up with the names that we call things?  Take Lions.  Why are we Lions and not Ducks? How was the name selected out of thousands of possibilities? 

Well, because Melvin Jones was convinced that the lion stood for strength, courage, fidelity, and vital action. 

In 1919 there was a move to change the lion symbol, but a young attorney Halsted Ritter, stated "The name Lions stands not only for fraternity, good fellowship, strength of character and purpose, but above all, its combination of L-I-O-N-S heralds to the country the true meaning of citizenship:  LIBERTY, INTELLIGENCE, OUR NATION'S SAFETY.

Or L-I-O-N-S. 

This is our Slogan:  Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety.

The emblem consists of two Lion profiles facing away from each other -- our past and our future -- showing both pride of heritage and confidence in the future.

The lion symbol has been a symbol of Fidelity.  It stands for loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a principle, loyalty to a duty, and loyalty to a trust. 

Always wear your Lions emblem pin proudly. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013


What do you know about e-Clubhouse....?  Is it:
  1. A clubhouse where men and women gather to talk about Lionism?
  2. An on-line chat board where members can discuss issues of interest?
  3. An on-line web page?
  4. A web page template that is offered by Lions Clubs International for creation of a club web site?
If you answered #4, you'd be correct.

Lions Clubs International offers two different template designs for clubs to choose from as they create their own web page.  LCI offers five features that clubs just fill in the blanks, sort of speak:
  1. Home page where we introduce visitors to our club.
  2. Calendar of club events.
  3. A list of our club projects.
  4. A photo gallery of members serving their community.
  5. The Contact page offers every option for contacting us.
Although these are fixed templates as far as they're a fixed part of our web page, we can add anything we want, make it pretty, make it whatever we want. 

We also have five additional pages available where we can showcase anything we want.  So far we've included:
  1. A listing of club officers
  2. Club news.  Right now we only have links to 49A web page, The Flying Lion, and Facebook, but as we get published in the Empire, links and stories will be added here.
  3. Meet our Members.  This page will showcase individual members, a personal look at who they are.  So far we only have a couple but hopefully others will be willing to share a glimpse of their life when asked. 
It's important that we keep e-Clubhouse current and interesting because if someone is interested in finding us, learning about us, wanting to join our club, this is where they will go.  They'll go to their computer and search for Juneau Lions.  They can't find us in the phone book, we don't have a store front, and we're not listed in the local papers. 

So help keep us visible and interesting to those who don't know us!  Let me know your thoughts on e-Clubhouse:  Ideas for new pages, layout changes (keep in mind I'm limited as to what I can actually do here), fresh ideas.  This is a club web page, it's about all of us.  I appreciate any and all suggestions, comments, and ideas.