Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Art of Children

We tried something new at Light Flights this year.... we set up a table with butcher wrap and invited children to draw and color on it.   

Lion Susan Albury's son draw a Coastal Helicopter on it.  

The creativity of the children was pretty amazing.  We got "thank you's" and music.  

 I especially liked the rainbow. 

 The evening's wait can be long and children get so excited and antsy for their group number to be called that we thought it might help if we gave them something to do while they waited.  

I love all the "love" (hearts) and hula girl on this part of the picture.  

This six foot work of art was presented to Coastal Helicopters as a "thank you" for all they do for Light Flights.  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Another Successful Light Flight 2015

It started like this:

Hardly gets any better than this evening's Light Flights weather.  Too often the wind is blowing, it's snowing, or even 19 degrees outside.  No complaints on this night!

People started lining up around 3:00 p.m.  Taking selfies and having fun!

The wait can be long... but those who came early would have a crack at the first helicopter at 4:30. 
But we never hear any complaints or grumbling about the wait, they all patiently wait for their group number to be called.    

Santa arrived on the first helicopter of the evening, and this year he had a little helper!  He had the cutest little elf with him!  They circulated through the crowd, handing out candy canes and spreading joy.   

This year we wanted to hand out cookies and water to the passengers as they waited, as a small gesture on our part to say "thank you" for supporting our fundraiser.
A huge thanks to Fred Meyer who donated all the water and cookies!
Lions Rena Sims and Bruce Wing and Bob
The loaders and escorts getting all their warm weather gear on.  
Joe Molburg, Lions Allen Butner, Ted Quinn, and Mike Norton
They go through mandatory safety training that Coastal Helicopters providesto ensure all passengers are kept safe.

In years past, Coastal keeps flying as long as there are passengers.  Last year we ticketed over 600 passengers, which turned out to be a long night for the pilots.  So this year they limited tickets to 350.

We have so many people to thank for the success of this event.... mostly Coastal Helicopters who donates their helicopters and employees.  

Pilots generously donate their time as well as employees who help ticket passengers and man the manifest line.  Mechanics are on hand should their services be needed as well as service the helicopters at the end of the evening.  
Petro Marine donates all the fuel for this event and the airport just lets us take over the terminal.

This year we had the pleasure of meeting Kenny.... the reason Light Flights was started so many years ago.  
Kenny and Lion Becky Allison
We also have family, friends, former Lions, and Lions to thank for this evening's event.  Everyone gives up their night to bring fun and joy to the people of Juneau.

This year we had a child's table set up where children could draw and write.  This became a "thank you" that was presented to Coastal Helicopters.  It was a fun way for children to stay busy while they waited.  

This is our outside crew.  The loaders, unloaders, escorts, and other helpers.  

And this is them.... happy for another successful Light Flights to be over!  

See you all next year!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Monday, December 14, 2015

Light Flights 2015

It's getting so close to Light Flights I can hardly stand it! the little voice inside me squeals!  

WHAT:  Light Flights
WHEN:  Friday, December 18
TIME:  4:30 p.m.
COST:   $30 per person
WHERE:  Main terminal Juneau Airport (at the small plane counters)

This is the highlight of our Lion year and a perfect way to end 2015!

What is Light Flights?  It's a magical time when Juneauites are taken over the Mendenhall Valley in a helicopter ride to view Christmas lights at night!

Something so simple, yet so magical....

Light Flights did not start out as a Mendenhall Flying Lions project....  Coastal Helicopters actually started this tradition back in 1991 to raise medical funds for a family friend whose child had Neurofibromatosis.  We came on board to help around 2003.  And it's been a ride ever since!  All our proceeds go towards the Children's Tumor Foundation for Neurofibromatosis and Lion projects.

The success is due to the generosity of Coastal Helicopters whose pilots, mechanics, and employees donate their time AND helicopters, Petro Marine who donates the fuel, and the Juneau Airport for giving us free reign for this event.  We, the Mendenhall Flying Lions volunteer our time along with family and friends who also volunteer to make this the best event ever!

The joy we see on this night is incredible.  The anticipation.  We've had families who tell us they've been on every flight!  And one lady said she could check this off her Bucket List!  We helped one group of young adults celebrate a special birthday.  The bottom line, is you don't need a reason to come!  And for those who are afraid to fly in a helicopter.... don't worry.... you won't be when the flight is over!  Like I said, this is a magical night.

What you need to know about this year's Light Flights....  Because last year was such a HUGE success, we have had to put a cap on the number of flights this year to keep our pilots and passengers safe.  Although our first helicopter will take off around 4:30, we do start ticket sales earlier.  Once our cap has been  met, ticket sales will close.  So be sure to get there early!  This is one ride you don't want to miss  See you there!

DISCLOSURE:  All flights are weather permitting.

We Serve!  
Lion Nancy Norton

Christmas Social

Some times it seems we're so busy taking care of business that we forget to have fun....

Last week we had some fun!  
Thanks to Lions Bob and Donna Hurley for hosting our annual Christmas party!

We had a toy exchange to donate to needy children for Christmas.  

We had more fun!
We had a White Elephant Exchange!

Then MORE fun!
We inducted THREE new members!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

New Members

Our Club has seen some good growth in the past few weeks and we inducted three new members at our recent Christmas party!

Please welcome, Lion Chevelle Hogan and Lions Lenny and Rena Sims!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Tis the Season...

Tis the Season....

For Gift Giving....

For Helping the Needy....

For Giving Children a Christmas....

This blogger has been quiet as of late, but not because the Mendenhall Flying Lions haven't been busy. A lot of what we do is behind the scenes, giving donations, quietly doing what we do.  

Several Lions "rang the bell" this last weekend.  Salvation Army bell, that is.  A huge thanks to Lions Bob and Donna Hurley, Susan Albury, and Mike Norton for taking time out of their busy holiday schedules to do this!  We had the opportunity to present a check to them as well.
With Lions Donna Hurley and Tom Dawson

This holiday season our monetary and gift giving focus has been on children and we chose several agencies to give to.  

The Juneau Police Department's "Shop With a Cop" program takes local children shopping for their families.  In the past, the schools nominated a child but this year locals could nominate a child in need.  Juneau Police take each child to Walmart to shop for their family and, at some point, they will find out what the child also wants for Christmas and then return to Walmart to purchase it for the child.  I think this is a great program and worthy of our donation.  

Lions Bob and Donna Hurley hosted our annual Christmas party and each member was asked to bring a toy that would be donated to St. Vincents, along with our financial donation, to help provide a Merry Christmas to the children who live in the facility.  

New Lions Lenny (L) and Rena Sims (R) and Hari Dev Khalsa (R)
This year we also donated to the AWARE Center to go towards children in that housing facility.  (The AWARE Center houses battered women who may reside there with their children.)

There's so many needy families and causes that could use our help this time of year...  The worst part of the season is we can't help them all....  

We Serve
Lion Nancy Norton