Saturday, October 31, 2015

WRapping Party

I spared you all....

I was going to write a Rapping song.... you know.... wrapping.... rapping....  
Zone Chair Edward Hotch at our service!
But the tune was only in MY head so I thought it best to just TELL you about our fantastic wrapping party today!
Lions Mike Norton, Janice and Eward Hotch, Ted Burke, Soapy Lingle and Donna Hurley
Eyeglass wrapping party that is!  This is what 1,466 pair eyeglasses and cases look like!  
Lions William Andrews, Ted Burke, Soapy Lingle, Donna Hurley, Sasha Soboleff, Mike Norton, Janice and Edward Hotch
Members from the two Juneau Lions Clubs, which comprise the Joint Sight Committee, gathered fairly early this morning for a special breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and eggs, prepared and served by our Zone Chair Lion Edward Hotch.  What a great way to Serve!  
Lions William Andrews and Mike Norton
We had been accumulating eyeglasses since about April and it was time to send them on their way!
Later this week they will be put on a barge to be shipped to their destination:  the Aurora Borealis Eyeglass Recycle Center in North Pole, Alaska.  

Once there, they will be sorted, cleaned, repaired, and categorized for re-distribution around the world.  Some might even be returned to our community to someone in need.  
Lion Soapy Lingle and William Andrews

Lion Donna Hurley
The Joint Sight Committee has eyeglass collection boxes at all eyecare centers in Juneau.  We also collect from other locations around town, like the Moose Lodge, Gastineau School, and Surplus Property.  
Lion Janice Hotch

Lion Sasha Soboleff
We also have an annual Recycle for Sight collection drive in October where members of the community are invited to bring their unwanted eyeglasses for deposit.  We take single lens, bifocals, trifocals, reading glasses, sunglasses, etc.  We also collect lenses that are out of the frames as well as eyeglass cases.
Lion Ted Burke
If your place of business would like an eyeglass recycle box or have eyeglasses to donate, contact any member of either the Juneau Lions Club or the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club.

And finally..... 1,466 pair of eyeglasses/cases.... 15 boxes packed and ready to ship.... 9 Lions....  
Lions Edward and Janice Hotch, William Andrews, Sasha Soboleff, Ted Burke, Donna Hurley, Soapy Lingle, Mike Norton
A huge thank you to Lions William Andrews, Donna Hurley, Soapy Lingle, Ted Burke, Edward and Janice Hotch, Sasha Soboleff, Mike and Nancy Norton for their service today.  #Lions100

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Message from the District Governor

Fellow Lions

It’s a great feeling to be a LION.  And I would like to share some things with all of you.

My Philosophy for my year is “Opening Doors”.  Play the following youtube video.    The message is clear.  Make a decision to do something new to change where and what  you are.   As a person, as a Lion, or as a Lions club.  Be brave and try something new.  You never know what you may find. “Opening a door is more than a physical act. It's about putting yourself out there, getting to know people, making them feel comfortable, and making them feel welcome.” Josh decided to make a change that ultimately had a dramatic impact on his life and on the lives of his fellow students. I hope his story is as inspiring to you as it is to me”

To be a 100% club, a large percentage of my year’s focus is for each of you to try new things.  You will find the Zone chairs checklist include both required “new things” for you and your club to attempt.  NONE of the things I will ask of you are difficult, or will take a lot of time.  It will however, take some dedication to “go for it”, update your success’s with the attempt with your zone chairmen.  It will be an adventure for you and your club to find out just what new things are out there.  Your zone chair can help you

Because many attempts  at doing new things “fail”, I have started a Governor’s “failure” Fund.  This is an admin fund that will be returned to the clubs that have made significant strides to achieve or attempt new things.  The fund goes like this:  There is approx 20 “new things” for you and your clubs to work on.  When you have accomplished these items, report it to your Zone Chairman for his checklist, and donate $1 per accomplished new item to the Zone Chair to pass on to the district Treasurer.  For most clubs, this would be $20 or so once you have.  I will match all donations and put into the “failure fund”.  Presently, the fund is at $217.   There is NO LIMIT to how many new things you may wish to try and get credit for.  I will match at least the first $1000 in “new work” that you do which could mean well over $2,000 back to the clubs next spring!

The more “new things” your club accomplishes and donates the $1, the larger the fund will become.  If all clubs just do the minimum and donate, the fund once matched will be about $1600, and will be “awarded” by some kind of process that I have not yet determined.  Its easy to do, gets you $100% return on your investment in one year (that is an excellent return, btw), and will be lots of fun.  Go enjoy and find out what is out there.  When you do these new things, look for opportunities to ask others to join us in serving our communities.  You will find them all over, and be willing to do so.

One major part of the “required” new things is a training called Mentoring.  It is on the Lions International Website.  Go find it and get your mentoring team to take it. 

Your Zone chair is your best friend over the next year.  If he/she does not call you, CALL HIM OR HER and discuss things you want to know about.  Build those relationships and move forward.  As with everything, make it fun, light hearted while doing good things in your communities.  In November, one of the main players of the attached will be her for our Midwinter.  She is going to be FUN and enjoy our Alaskan hospitality.  Don’t forget to sign up for your trip to Kodiak for Mid Winter!

Yours in Lionism

DG Mikie 

Vision Screening Efforts in October

October has taken us here and there providing free vision screening to the children of Southeast Alaska.

Here's what  we've done:
  • Gustavus Elementary:  screened 57 with 19 referrals
  • Recycle for Sight Drive (our annual drive to collect eyeglasses):  screened 7
  • Gastineau Elementary (pre-school, Kindergarten, 1st):  screened 120 with 14 referrals
  • Early Learning Fair (for babies and toddlers):  screened 17 with 0 referrals
  • Hoonah Elementary:  cancelled by public health nurse
  • Harborview Elementary (preschool, kindergarten, 1st):  screened 114 with 23 referrals
  • Harborview Montesorri:  screened 46 with 6 referrals
  • Wrangell Elementary:   screened 114 with 12 referrals
That's a total of 475 children screened with 74 referrals.  

Thanks to Lions Tom Dawson, Mike Norton, Donna and Bob Hurley, and Soapy Lingle for taking time out of your busy schedules to do this screening.  

We Serve!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lion King for the Day

There once was a young man named Bruce....

Okay, so there's very few words that rhyme with "Bruce," so let me just say this....
50 years ago, Juneau became a better place.
For that was when Lion Dr. Bruce Wing joined the Glacier Valley Lions Club.

Last night we celebrated Lion Bruce 
and his 50 years of service to Juneau and the communities that make up our neighbors.  
Although he started out at Glacier Valley Lions Club, he transferred to the Mendenhall Flying Lions when that club closed their charter.   

It was an intimate dinner filled with laughter and good times.  
Lion Mike Norton proclaimed Lion Bruce as "Lion King for the Day."  

He was presented with International President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada's pin that was donated by International Director Lewis Quinn
and a copy of the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club 30 Year Book for a walk down memory lane.

When asked what he has enjoyed most he said working on the Joint Sight Conservation Committee for so many years. (This program recycles used eyeglasses for re-distribution around the world as well as offers financial assistance for eye exams and glasses for those in need.)

Lastly, Lion Bruce was presented with a Distinguished Lion award by the Club.

When asked what his secret was for staying a Lion for so many years, 
Lion Bruce simply said, "You get started.  You stay with it.  Forever."

And here he stayed.
And we're glad he did.
Congratulations, Lion Bruce!

We Serve!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

20th Annual Barbecue

Has it been 20 years already.... Has the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club REALLY been putting this barbecue on for so many years?

Some details have changed, like it's no longer an auction and barbecue.... and this year we're serving up cole slaw rather than potato salad....  and although we're still in the same location, we now have McGivney's Sports Bar to thank for helping us host this fundraising event.  They give us run of their kitchen and wait staff during most of the day.  And we wouldn't have ribs without the support of Randy's Rib Shack who is donating his time to smoke our ribs.  It really is a joint effort.... all for a good cause.
Here's what you need to know:

DATE:  Saturday, November 7
TIME:  12:00 noon until ribs are sold out.  Last ribs will be sold at 5:00 p.m. if not sooner.
PLACE:  McGivney's Sports Bar, Mendenhall Mall
MENU:  Dinner is slow smoked pork ribs, coleslaw, and baked beans for $15 a plate or a rack of ribs for $40.  We will also have baked beans and slaw "to go."

All proceeds from this fundraiser event will benefit the Alaska Diabetes Association.  They use these proceeds to help fund Camp K, a camp for Type 1 diabetic children located in Kenai, Alaska.   It gives children with diabetes a chance to be normal for once.  ADA also provides literature and brochures to the diabetic nurse in Southeast so she can serve us better.

Thank you for your support of our fundraiser.

We Serve!  

How They Roll in Gustavus

There's vision screening.... and then there's vision screening....

Lion Tom Dawson recently visited Gustavus to provide free vision screening to the children there.  
But this was no ordinary vision screening event!
The school was given an illegally shot moose and the children were in the process of butchering it.

They would be brought into the room to get their eyes screened with bloody hands!  
And then returned back to the task at hand after the screening!

This is how they roll in Gustavus!  

Thanks, Lion Tommy for the great pictures!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Family Promise

We all know the saying.... it takes a village....  But it's true.  Whether it's the homeless in our home town, runaways, crime, or drugs, we're all in it together.  Some how there's a connection.

We watch out for our neighbors' homes when they're on vacation.  We collect newspapers and mail in their absence.  We share our bounty whether it's fish, home grown carrots, or canned rhubarb salsa. We watch out for each other.  We have neighborhood potlucks and worry when they're ill.

It takes a village.

But here's a concept you might not be familiar with.  Family Promise.  It's a national program that is coming to Juneau in the near future.  What is it?
Mendenhall Flying Lions Club donated $5,000 to help Family Promise get off the ground.  Left is Pastor Tari Stage-Harvey, Lions Mike and Nancy Norton and Donna Hurley.  Other MFLC Lions present (but not in the picture) were Lions Soapy Lingle and Bob Hurley
It's a promise to help the homeless, single parents in our community through their darkest hours.... living without a home.

You and I.... we come home from work every day to a nice home... to heat... electricity.  We have a way to cook our meals.  Heck we have a meal to cook!  We have a fridge and pantry usually full of food items.  We have a table to sit at to help our children with their homework.  We have a way to wash our hands, take a bath.  We have a bed to sleep in at night, a place to tuck our children and a place for them to snuggle with their stuffed animal.

Most people don't ask to be homeless.  It just happens.   They don't know where their next meal will come from or where their child will sleep at night.  They may not even have a means to brush their teeth in the morning or wash their hands at night.

Family Promise will give our homeless, single parents and children a temporary place to call home while they work with a caseworker to find a job, day care, and other services.  Family Promise will clothe them, give them a bed to sleep in at night, and three solid meals each day.  It will give them a place to brush their teeth, to do their homework, to be normal.  It will help them with their new beginning.

Family Promise is just getting off the ground.... getting the area churches together that will host our homeless.

Family Promise needs your help.  They need donations and will need volunteers.  If you care about the homeless of Juneau, help them help our community.  It really does take a village.

For more information, you can contact Family Promise of Juneau at or PO Box 32775, Juneau 99803

Thank you.
Lion Nancy

Monday, October 12, 2015

Recycle for Sight Drive

The Capital Area Lions Joint Sight Conservation Committee.... more commonly known and referred to as the Joint Sight Committee.... had their annual Recycle For Sight drive on Saturday, October 10, at the Nugget Mall.
We have eyeglass collection boxes set up in every eyecare center in Juneau but this is a time when we ask people to really search through their dressers, desks, glove boxes, drawers, purses, etc., and bring all their unused and unwanted eyeglasses to be recycled.

After all, they aren't doing anyone any good stuffed in a drawer somewhere when they can do so much good elsewhere.

For you see, after we collect all your unwanted eyeglasses, they are shipped to the Aurora Borealis Eyeglass Recycle Center in the North Pole.  This is a Lion-run project where they sort by type of eyeglass (i.e., prescription, single lens, double, triple lens, sunglasses, readers, etc.), clean, repair, categorize, AND ship approximately 40,000 pair of eyeglasses to Alaskans and others in need world wide.

So next time you get ready to throw an old pair of eyeglasses away because they are outdated, take them to any eyecare center in Juneau for recycling.  Or wait until our annual collection drive in October of each year.

By the way, this year we collected 245 pair of eyeglasses!  Thank you, Juneau!

This year we also took our PlusOptix vision screener to have available should anyone want their eyes screened.  We screened 7 with no referrals.  Not bad.

For more information on this program, contact Mike Norton, Chair, at

Thank you for helping make this drive a success!   #Lions100

We Serve!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Helping the Homeless

Homelessness is an issue everywhere, even here in Juneau.   It might even affect someone you know.  Maybe he/she is a friend of a friend who recently lost their job and couldn't afford rent.  Maybe your neighbor's teenage son ran away and found his safe haven under the bridge.  The bottom line is a homeless person is still a member of our community and deserves our compassion.  

The Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness recently asked for the community's help in identifying our town's homeless citizens who are in most need.  Two of our members, Lions Hari Dev and Mukhya Khalsa stepped up to help the Juneau Coalition with their annual vulnerability survey..

To find homeless citizens to take this survey, they have to walk into the darkest areas of our town, going places you and I probably wouldn't.  

 Lion Mukhya says, "It was one day of training, and two days of starting at 4:30 am to begin the surveying.  It is done early, because it is easier to tell who is homeless if they are actually sleeping outside."
The picture above shows Lion Hari Dev going under the Douglas Bridge. Lion Hari Dev says, "Mukhya and I were in one of the downtown groups. I am going under the Douglas Bridge. We have already checked the Gold Creek Bridge. Our group only found 3 homeless people in our area, but we found 6 downtown camp sites in our small area."  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

Friday, October 2, 2015

Worldwide Week of Service in Sight

October 4-10 is Lions Worldwide Week of Service to Sight.  What is your Club doing to eliminate preventable blindness and bring awareness and improve sight in your community?
Lion Mike Norton, 2014
The two Juneau Clubs are having their annual Recycle for Sight community drive on Saturday, October 10.  This is where we ask the Juneau community to sort through their dresser drawers, desks, car glove boxes, boats, closets, purses, etc., and bring their unwanted eyeglasses to be recycled.
Lion Neil Atkinson at left, 2014
Every year this collection drive is a big success.  We will have our booth set up at the Nugget Mall and will also offer free vision screening and share about our financial assistance program for those who can't afford an eye exam or eyeglasses.

This is in addition to the collection boxes we have in every eyecare center in Juneau.  Every year we deliver thousands of eyeglasses to the Aurora Borealis Recycle Center in the North Pole.
Lion Nicole McCabe, 2013
Save the Date on this event!  

Saturday, October 10
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Nugget Mall

Click HERE for more details on how your club can participate.  

This is part of our Centennial Celebration!  #Lions100

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Thursday, October 1, 2015

50th Anniversary!

I don't know how many clubs can announce that they have a Lion member celebrating 50 YEARS OF LIONISM!  But the Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions can!

Lion Bruce Wing celebrates 50 years of Lionism today, October 1.  He became a Lion in 1965 and was a member of the Glacier Valley Lions Club before transferring to the MFLC.  While a member of the Glacier Valley Lions he was President and also Club President 1995-1996 and Club Secretary 2003-2004 for MFLC.

On July 16, 1983, Lion Bruce, President of the Glacier Valley Lions Club at the time, presented the MFLC with a club banner at their Charter Presentation Night.  We are uncertain, at this time, when he became a member of the MFLC.

Lion Bruce has a Lion's heart.... serving wherever he could.

Probably one of his biggest passions was heading up the Joint Sight Committee, collecting used eyeglasses that would be recycled and re-distributed and providing financial assistance to those in need of eye exams and glasses but couldn't afford them.

One of Lion Bruce's pet projects was the sale of holly and other greenery at the Nugget Mall just before Christmas.  In the beginning, profits from this fundraiser went to the Quest program which was a youth program designed for all ages, teaching them how to deal with peer pressure or develop self confidence and drug awareness.  The MFLC was committed to spending over $6,000 in 1994 alone on the program for the Juneau school system.

One of his highest honors was receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award in 2001.  This was received from the club in recognition of his commitment to humanitarian service.  A much deserved honor.

We are honored to have Lion Bruce in our club and even though he's taking the back seat right now, that's okay.   We can't even begin to imagine how many people he has served and helped over the last 50 years.  Thank you, Lion Bruce, for your service!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton