Saturday, July 26, 2014

Litter Pick Up

One of our on-going projects is litter pick up.  We get the honor of doing a 1.5 mile strip of road that takes you to the Mendenhall Glacier.  You can only hope the weather is halfway decent on these days.

Tracy and Ellis Gottschlich, Lion Mike Norton, Blaine, Lion Steve Byers and Susan, and Lion Nancy Norton (not shown)
And today was perfect!  We dressed for rain and layered up and didn't need any of that.  There wasn't much trash although we did find one baby sock.... then another.... no baby though!  We found the usual McDonald's litter and bottles and cans, and other items we can't mention.  A lot of cigarette butts were picked up, too, but it really wasn't too bad.

A huge thanks to Lion Steve Byers, his friend Susan (and soon to be Lion!) and her son Blaine, Tracy Gottschlich and her daughter Ellis (who says she's going to be a Lion when she grows up!) and Lion Mike Norton for making it an enjoyable day.

We have one more cleanup before winter sets in.

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

"He" became a Lion on July 21, 2010, and "she" became a Lion on August 1, 2001.  Together "they" have made a great Lion Team!  Who are they....?  Lions Joey and Chad Ausel!  Lion Chad just celebrated his 4 years as a Lion and Lion Joey will be celebrating 13 years in a few days.

Lion Joey has been a Lion practically her entire life, learned all about Lionism as a member of the Kodiak Lions and the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions Club after that where she was a member and served as president.  She then came to Juneau with top-notch skills, ready to serve.  Lion Chad is a dedicated Lion doing whatever he can whenever he can, but the Army National Guard often took him away.  We appreciate his service to our country and his service to our club.  

Although the Ausels are still members of the Mendenhall Flying Lions, they recently relocated to Anchorage. I hope they look for another club where they can be happy and call home.  

Best of luck, Lions Chad and Joey!  And thank you for all your service to our home town.  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lions Day With Campabilities

By Lion Karen Burns
Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions Club
Eagle River, Alaska

For the 9th year, Lions across the area came out for Lions Days at Mountain View Lions Park on July 14th for Camp Abilities. There were about 85 Lions, campers, their families and volunteers showing up on a perfect day to be outside.  We had seven past District Governors and one current 2nd Vice District Governor attend the event for a total of about 28 lions.  This is one on the many projects that is very special to your local lions.  

The Spenard Lions Club donated $10,000 to the 2014 camp and challenged all other local Lions' clubs to meet that challenge.  We provide for the camp in various ways from finanical support, volunteering our time as cooks, or volunteering during camp.  Campers do not pay to attend the camp through donations from Lions and other sponsors.  Each year the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions provide the campers on their final night with a dinner of pizza and bananna splits with lots of extra toppings.  The tradition was started by Willow Lion Jess Sharp.  After his passing, the SLML promised to keep this tradition in his memory.  The experienced campers look forward to that treat each year.

You ask what is Camp Abilities Alaska?  It is a fun sports camp for children and youth who are blind, or visually impaired. The camp is located in Anchorage each year at venues donated by sponsors such as UAA, or local churches.   Athletes and volunteer coaches alike share a week that gives memories and friends for a lifetime.  The camp is a one-week developmental sports camp for children ages 9 to 19 who are blind, or visually impaired. The camp is set up to provide a one-on-one instructional situation for each child. 

During the week, children develop sports skills and gain confidence to become more independent in their daily lives. It empowers children with sensory impairments to be physically active and productive members of their schools, communities and society. This camp experience teaches children what they CAN do in the area of sports and recreation, which is often overlooked in their education and home environments.

Throughout the week, athletes participated in a long list of physical activities including swimming, goalball, beep baseball, tandem biking, track and field events, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, archery and more. Each physical activity has a detailed task analysis for each skill. Assessment sheets are completed daily and are sent to parents and physical education teachers at the conclusion of camp to encourage continued physical activity throughout the year.

After the campers were full of pizza and ice cream, we were serenaded with two songs the campers had prepared for us that just made you tear up as they don't perceive their loss of sight as a problem.  I was able to video tape them, so look for some special commerical time on TV as we are going to put together some air segments.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jocelyn Hojnowksi from Fairbanks. She immediately stole my heart with a big smile and hug. Jocelyn walked me through her day from breakfast to bed time.  She loved each moment of her day.  I just marvelled at this little girl's love of people and life.  I don't think I have met a more cute and precocious child in my life.   She informed me that she is 10 years old and in 5th grade.  She has a ferret named "Seffie" and this is her first year to attend camp.  Jocelyn was very open about her "disabilities".  Not only is Jocelyn blind in her right eye but she has Nystagmus and a growth hormone deficiency, or GHD as she explained to me as a doctor would!  Nystagmus is the continuous involuntary eye movement, which is acquired in infancy but can occur later in life too.  With her GHD, which is a problem arising in the pituitary glands, she looks about five years old in stature.  However, she attends a local elementary school that makes concessions for her disabilities, which by the way are not to this very active 10 year old.  She proudly told me that she wore her camp counselor out on the lazy river at H2 Oasis.  She ran the river instead of resting on the tube.  By the way this was her favorite activity next to "goalball" which Jocelyn tells me emphactially is one word, not two!.  (She watched my writing very closely so I got her story right and spelled all the names of herself, her ferret and her "disabilities".)  

The Sleeping Lady Lions provided the campers with pizza and ice cream sundaes. Mt. View Lions provided the place for the "party", the drinks along with other lions providing financial support to make this a fun day for the campers.  After a full stomach, we hung out for music and singing by the campers, then on to the much anticipated game of beep baseball. If you had vision, you were blindfolded to play — what an amazing experience.  The evening left the campers and lions ready for bed. Oh and me too!!!  

If you want to learn more about being a Lion, visit, or Give me a call, Karen @ 242-1129. Check out the Camp Abilities website at

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Plan....

Lion President Mike Norton's goal this next year is to strengthen our club.  District Governor Cindy Beardsley's theme is, Each One Teach One.  International President Joe Preston's theme is Strengthen the Pride.  

We all got the email from International President Joe Preston, but in case you didn't read it.... here's what it said:  

It is truly an honor to serve as your new international president of Lions Clubs International.  With my 40 years of service as a Lion, I know that we are much more than volunteers.  We're an international family working together to strengthen our communities and the clubs we love.
Being a Lion has meant so much to me, but I wouldn't be in the position to serve this great association if someone hadn't asked me to become a Lion.
I was just a 21-year-old starting a career when a local businessman invited me to lunch. He didn't tell me where we were going, but he took me to a lunch hosted by my local Lions club.  It was such a great experience, and the club invited me back to the next meeting...and the meeting after that.  And before long, I was a Lion.
As Lions, it's our mission to serve, but it's also our duty to ask new members to join our clubs.  I hope you will join me in strengthening our membership and our service throughout the year.  Together, we can strengthen the pride!
Together in service,

Joe Preston

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Another Lion year has come and gone....  I hope it was a good year for you and your club!

Here's some highlights from the Mendenhall Flying Lions during 2013-14:
  • Started the Lion year with 21 members and ended with 21; we added three and dropped three.  
  • July 4:  Set up a concession booth for the parade participants, providing coffee, water, and pastries for $1.00 each.  We made about $400 on that day.  
  • July 25:   Litter pick up.   
  • July 27:  Food Drive at Super Bear for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.  We brought in over 639 pounds of food items!  
  • August 10:  A couple of us went to Prince of Wales with the District Governor to induct a Branch Club!  It was an honor to be there!
  • August 17:  Back to School Fair providing free vision screening.  
  • September 7:  Participated in our first Community Service Day where nonprofits and candidates came together.    
  • September 25:  Litter pick up.
  • October 12:  Alaska Health Fair
  • October 19:  Recycle for Sight Drive at the Nugget Mall.  We collected 155 pair of used glasses!  
  • November 2:  Barbecue and Dessert Auction.  We sold 306 pounds of ribs and made about $4,200! 
  • November 16:  Lions Packs Drive.  This was our debut project.  We asked the community for help and they donated over 100 gently-used backpacks!  
  • November 23:  Helped out at the Food Bank.
  • December 20:  Our annual Light Flight event!  We made approximately $11,410!  
  • December 21:  Ring the Salvation Army Bell. 
  • January 25:  Social at Lion Neil's home.
  • March 8:  Juneau Community Health Fair.
  • March 15:  Our first New Member Orientation with Lions Tommy, Soapy, Steve, and Nancy.  
  • March 22:  Helped the Juneau Club with Gold Medal.  
  • April 11-12:  Skagway Child Find and Health Fair vision screening
  • April 18:  Gustavus vision screening
  • April 26:  Yakutat vision screening
  • May 16:  Our debut Bicycle Safety Rodeo.  Great fun! 
  • May 28:  Litter pick up.
  • Provided vision screening to 1,323 with 209 referrals!  This included health fairs, preschool and kindergarten classes, as well as villages in Southeast.  We did most of the screenings ourselves, but we also loaned our PlusOptix out to trained public health nurses and others in the community.  
We also designed our first club pin since 1996!

I hope I didn't miss anything as every single project, good deed, and humanitarian effort has value and helps our community.  Keep up the good work, Lions!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy