The Wisconsin Lion May/June 2024

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2024 MD27 State Convention

May 16-18, 2024 - Marriott Madison West, Middleton

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer and that means it is almost time for the 2024 MD 27 Wisconsin State Lions Convention!

This year’s convention is hosted by District D1 and is in Middleton, Wisconsin at the Madison Marriott West Hotel. Our theme is Changing the World One Lion at a Time. If you haven’t registered yet there is still time. You can go on line at: to register.

We are planning three fun-filled and action-packed days beginning Thursday, May 16th thru Saturday, May 18th.

The convention kicks off on Thursday, May 16th with a golf outing at Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton, Wisconsin. Pleasant View Golf Course is one of southern Wisconsin’s most scenic golf courses. It was awarded the gold in the best of Madison in 2020 and 2022 and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. You can register by going to or you can download the form from the website. For questions, contact Lion Ron Wright at

We will also be offering tours of the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin and Restoring Hope Transplant House on Thursday afternoon from 2:00 until 6:00. To reserve your spot for a tour of the LEBW, go to VAtd8m. The sign up for Restoring Hope House tours is

On Friday, we will be offering “Speed Learning in 10” where you will have a chance to hear from eight of the projects and programs that Wisconsin Lions support. WLF, Birch-Sturm, Lions Pride Endowment, LEBW, Restoring Hope Transplant House, Youth Exchange, Wisconsin Missions and Leader Dog for the Blind are all part of the program.

Friday at lunch will feature Marcy Heim and the Art of the Ask. Marcy is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and leader who focuses on leadership, partnership and creating a mindset for success.

Friday night will feature Lion Chuck Wilson as our DJ. Lion Chuck will have you singing along and dancing to all your favorite hits. Don’t forget to come dressed in your favorite team’s colors or jersey as “Teamwork” is our theme for the night.

Saturday will be another action-packed day with learning opportunities such as seminars on Service Equals Membership, Scrap Like a Lion, Energize Your Lions Experience, Solving Conflict: A Team Effort, Childhood Cancer Initiative, Life Cycle of Eyeglasses, Art of Recruitment, Leadership Succession with New Voices and many more.

Don’t forget that our featured guest on Saturday at lunch will be Past International President Douglas Alexander.

His message is one of service, leadership and is sure to inspire us

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I know what you are thinking, “How will I know where to go and at what time.”

Do not worry. All you have to do is look for the Lions in the bright orange shirts and they will be happy to assist you! They will be around both days to answer questions and help make your convention experience one you will not soon forget!

As you can see, there will be many opportunities to gain information about Lions, our projects and what we do!

We look forward to seeing you in Middleton! WHERE

can be!
to become the best
LION | MAY / JUNE 2024 | INSIDE STATEWIDE ARTICLES: Convention Schedule 2 Fox Valley Lions Medical Equipment Loan Locker 3 Meet the Incoming District Governors! ...................................... 4 A Random Act of Kindness from a Young Teen in St. Croix: Kayna Bihner 32 COMMITTEE/DISTRICT UPDATES: GMT Update: MISSION 1.5 GST Update: It’s Been a Fantastic Year! 7 GLT Update: Lions Servant Leadership Instructors Institute ................... 7 Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin 8 Lions Pride Endowment Fund 9 Wisconsin Lions Foundation 9 District Reports ........................................................ 10-29 Memorials & Honorariums 30 Award Recipients 31
Keynote Speaker: Marcy Heim, Nonprofit Consultant & Coach Douglas X. Alexander Past International President

Please Vote for DG Greg Kubichka, your next Wisconsin International Director

You are making the di erence one pr oject at a time. Thank you. Please scan or type in link for My Bio.

Convention Schedule

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Day Golf Outing

3:00pm-6:00pm Registration

5:30pm-7:00pm Council Meeting Salon A, B, C

Friday, May 17, 2024

7:00am-5:00pm Registration

8:00am-5:00pm Raffles Wisconsin

8:00am-5:00pm Diabetes Scavenger Hunt

8:00am-5:00pm Pin Traders and Exhibits Wisconsin

8:30-8:50am First Timers Greenway

9:00-10:15am WLF Board of Directors Meeting Salon A, B, C

9:00-9:45am Elections Committee Greenway

10:15-11:00am Birch-Sturm Foundation Meeting

9:00-10:00am Seminars

Energize Your Lions Experience

Childhood Cancer Initiative

A, B, C

We Are Aging Out: Where will we be in 10 years? Salon D

So You Want to be an International Director Salon E

10:15-11:15am Seminars

Art of Recruitment



11:30am-1:30pm Luncheon

1:45-2:45pm Seminars

Artful Ask

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Scrap Like a Lion

D Leadership Succession w/New Voices


3:00-5:00pm Speed Learning Superior

3:00-3:45pm GLT Meet and Greet Greenway

7:00-11:00pm Hospitality

Saturday, May 18, 2024

7:00am-12:00pm Registration

8:00am-4:30pm Raffles Wisconsin

8:00am-4:30pm Pin Traders and Exhibits Wisconsin

8:00-9:15am District Meetings

9:30-10:30am Wisconsin Lions Foundation Annual Meeting Salon E & D

10:45-11:45am Bowling Committee Greenway

10:45-11:45am Seminars

Life Cycle of a Pair of Eyeglasses

Mentoring vs Sponsoring

Playing as a Team


Starting a New Club: A Community Coalition Approach Salon E International Convention Greenway

12:00-2:00pm Lunch-Awards Michigan

2:15-3:15pm Editorial Newspaper Training Greenway

2:15-3:15pm Seminars

Service Equals Membership

Harnessing the Power of Leadership

Lions Portal

3:30-4:30pm Business Meeting

E & D 4:30-5:15pm Voting

Cities-LaCrosse, Milwaukee, Green Bay

6:30-9:00pm Honors Banquet Michigan
Mendota Youth
PDGO Salon
2 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024

Fox Valley Lions Medical Equipment Loan Locker

Lions Working Together

On August 12, 2023, 10 Lions clubs in the Fox Valley opened the doors of the Fox Valley Lions, MJ Tassoul Medical Equipment Loan Locker. The Appleton Evening, Appleton Noon, Freedom, Greenville Men’s, Greenville Women’s, Heart of the Valley, Kaukauna, LarsenWinchester, Neenah and Sherwood Lions Clubs came together to partner their dollars and volunteerism, serving the greater Fox Valley area. Shortly after opening, the Grand Chute Lions joined this exciting joint venture.

Named after a long-term Valley businessman and Lion, the loan locker represents what can be achieved when Lions work together to serve their communities. This project began when we learned that the Larsen-Winchester Loan Locker was at maximum capacity. With the full support of the LW Lions, planning for a second locker in the Fox Valley began in 2022. Today, the LW Lions are members of the Fox Valley Loan Locker Board of Directors and the two lockers work together through equipment reciprocity, sharing of ideas, and a genuine desire to loan free medical equipment to anyone who enters our doors.

We are open on Saturdays from 9 to 11 am and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. All donated equipment is cleaned before putting on display racks, customers are greeted when they enter the store, they are asked what medical items they are seeking, and then they are connected with a customer guide who helps them choose their items and offers a brief overview of each piece of equipment. When customers are finished checking out, we help them carry their items to their vehicle. In our first 35 open days, we had seen almost 800 clients, loaned 1,100 pieces of equipment at a used value of over $200,000, and have had 90 Lion and non-Lion volunteers. We anticipate being on course to loan over $500,000 in used equipment value our first year.

In addition to the operations of the medical locker, we have started a high school “volunteer at the locker” program, we have raised awareness of the locker with radio and TV interviews, created a supply chain for personal care products, and we have established connections for special needs medical equipment.

We are excited to see what 2024 will bring!

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MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 3

A1: Ray Jones

Meet the Incoming District Governors!

I have been a Lion with the Lions Club of Waterford since 2012. I was raised in Wichita, Kansas, drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps, and served in Vietnam for two years. My first job took me to Southern California where I met my wife of 50 years, Sue. My jobs had me crisscrossing the nation and included a twoyear project in China. We settled in Wisconsin and have lived here since 1979 and have raised four children who have given us 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

I’ve served as Club Membership Chair and LCIF Coordinator, Club President, District Zone Chair, GLT Coordinator, Guiding Lion, 2VDG and 1VDG for District 27-A1. I have obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Lions University, attended RLLI, ALLI, Servant Leadership, and FDI certification. In recognition of my service to the association, I have received a Progressive Melvin Jones, the International President’s Award, and the President’s Leadership Award.

A2: Slava Krol

I grew up in Belarus and moved to the U.S. in 2004. I have been married to my wife, Iryna, for 23 years and have two daughters Anna and Liza, both of whom are LEOs. My family, along with the family of my brother Eugene, run a family business.

I have been a member of the Grafton Lions Club since 2017, became the Club President in 2020 and then went up to the Zone Chair position in Region 1 Zone 1. Last year was very eventful and filled with lots of training opportunities which helped me prepare for my year as a District Governor. I feel confident that this training, along with the wisdom and guidance of my predecessors, IPDG Bert Freeman and DG Brenda Rumppe, and the incoming Cabinet will help make this year a success. Our main priorities this year will be developing new leadership in the District and increasing membership by improving Lions visibility in the surrounding community through service projects.


B2: Mae Enz

I was raised on a small farm south of Green Bay - the 9th of 10 children. This gave me an introduction to sharing. Back then the measure of a person was “they will give you the shirt off their back.” My parents asked us to abide by the Golden Rule which continues to be my mantra today.

I have been married to my husband, Edward, for 50 years and we have two sons. I am a certified Master Gardener and volunteer at the Heritage Hill Garden and UW-GB Stem Center. You also might find me foraging the woods for mushrooms and berries.

During the early 80’s when I was between jobs, I helped organize food pantries in two local communities. I ran them for over 35 years and still help out today. With that love of volunteering, the Denmark Lions Club thought I would be a good volunteer. I have been a Lion for over 25 years and am currently a member of the Allouez Lions. I have served in many leadership positions.

C1: Jamie Wilde

I was born and raised in Wausau. I have been married to Mike for 18 years and own a plumbing business. We enjoy boating in the summer, and snowmobiling in the winter - when we actually get some snow! We have a dog and a cat and love to travel and visit new places.

I have been a proud member of the Maine Lions Club for 6 years. I have served in a variety of positions and committees in the club and on the District Cabinet. I was the first female president of the club and hope to pave the way for other women in leadership. I have attended many trainings and love to learn new things. I am so excited to serve with you for my year as District Governor and look forward to seeing you at a club visit or service project!

C2: Kerrie

I was born in Appleton and moved to my family’s 100-acre farm at the age of one where I learned the values of life and to treat everyone the same. I have been happily married to Jane for 47 years and have one son and four grandkids. I have a degree in accounting and retired after 45 years in the hospitality business to spend more time in Lions Leadership.

In 2001, I joined the 27-B1 District Cabinet as a Zone Chairman. Throughout my 23 years on the cabinet, I have served as Zone Chairman, District MERLO, District GLT, 2nd Vice, 1st Vice and Secretary/Treasurer for 12 different governors. I have been an active member of the Mishicot Lions and an associate member of the Manitowoc Lions for 30 years. I have been Treasurer, Director, LCI Chair, President and Secretary for 20+ years. My theme that I’ve always lived by is “ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU”. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as District Governor.

I became a Lion June of 2015 in the Village of Genoa City during my almost 5 years with the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin Eye transport team. I was Membership Chair, LCIF Coordinator, Tail Twister, VP and eventually President of Genoa City in 2018/19 where I helped rebuild the Club from five to 18. My husband Mitch and I retired to Mellen in January of 2020 when being a Lion became a big part of my life. I was asked to be a Zone Chairman and to run for 2VDG. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Lions University this year while attending the US/Canada Lions Forum where I attended many great educational seminars. I chaired the Centennial project making two foot bridges safe for crossing the river to get to the park. The Cans for Kids program was started in Genoa City as an earmarked environmental project with proceeds going to Wisconsin Lions Camp. I was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship in 2020.

I am busy completing my DG training and putting my goals together to be an effective leader in her District and Multi District.

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D1: Ron Wright

My wife, Kathy and I have two children - Allison and Mitch. I am actively involved in coaching their school activities, sports programs, was a Scout leader and am involved with my community as a Park Commissioner.

I joined the Sun Prairie Lions Club in October of 2000 and have enjoyed every minute of it. I joined because my Dad had been a Lion and I saw how much he enjoyed it and wanted to give something back to my community. While not active in the club in the beginning, I became more involved more as my kids grew up. I’ve been Club Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Chair, Vice President and President. I got involved at the District level as a Zone Chair, Cabinet Secretary, GLT committee member and a Guiding Lion. I saw the benefits and the opportunities that the District offers and I decided to run for Vice District Governor. Now, thanks to all the training and the mentors along the way, I’m ready, willing and able to lead MD27-D1 in 2024-25!

D2: Georgine


After growing up in Menomonie, I joined the Navy and served all over the world from New Zealand to Iceland to Afghanistan and beyond. After 27 years in the Navy, I retired and came home to Wisconsin - still with a need to serve.

I joined the Menomonie Lions Club in 2017 where I found a passion in Vision Screening. I still remember the day I passed my driver’s test, only to find out I needed glasses. I wondered how much my life would have been different if I had known that I needed glasses much earlier in life. I am also one of the admins for our club and district Facebook pages where I promote service activities and fundraisers.

As a District Governor, my theme will be “Forward We Serve.” One of my goals will be to promote Lions and make sure it’s not a “best kept secret.” I also want to improve the communications between the District and Clubs.

Council Chair: John Reil

It’s a great time to be Lions and Leos! My husband of 35 years, Lion Greg, and I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the 20242025 Lionistic year. We have twins, Brandon and Amanda and two grandchildren. We are very proud to be Lions since 2001, along with our son who joined in 2009. Together we serve the Lake Delton area, as well as District 27-D2. I have held positions in our club as President, Secretary/Treasurer and Membership Chair. I have been a Zone Chair for our District and am currently also serving as District Treasurer. I have completed RLLI and Servant Leadership. My theme for this upcoming year is, “Leading Lions into the Future!” Leading Lions into the Future will allow us to grow our service and membership to meet the Mission 1.5 goal. Please join me as we promote Lions locally, across the state, the nation and the globe!

Hello Fellow Lions and Leos, it is an honor to be your incoming District Governor for the 2024-2025 year. My wife Lion Becky, whom I have been married to for 20 years, and I are excited for this year.

We are members of the Lake Wissota Lions. I have been a Lion for 19 years and have held various positions throughout my years as a Lion on both the Club and District level.

I am a Melvin Jones Fellow, a Birch-Sturm Fellow, and am a graduate from Advanced Lions Leadership (ALLI).

When Lion Becky and I are not helping others, we enjoy camping, geocaching, and spending time with family and friends.

We are looking forward to visiting your club and learning more about how you have been serving your communities. Thank you for everything you do to help those in need.

I was born and raised in a very small town called Newton Falls, located in the Northern part of New York State just 50 miles East of the Canadian border, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. I worked at the local paper mill for 20 years until it closed, then transferred to Appleton Papers where I found Pierce Manufacturing and worked for the next 24 years. That’s where I met my wife of 21 years, Amy - we have 5 children combined and 11 grandchildren.

I joined the Freedom Lions in 2011 and transferred to the Grand Chute Lions in 2022. I have met so many fantastic and fascinating people and some lifelong friends. I’ve held multiple positions at the Club level that include 3VP 2VP, 1VP, & President of the Freedom Lions. For the District, I was Zone Chair, Regional Chair, FVDG, and District Governor. I am currently the District B2 Childhood Cancer Chair, and co-chair for MD27 GMA.

I have received the following recognitions: a Melvin Jones Fellowship (2017-2018), the International President’s Certificate and Pin (2019-2020), the Global Action Team’s Certificate of Appreciation (2022-2023), the Knight of Sight Fellowship Award, the District Knight of Sight Fellowship Award and the Chairperson Medal (2023) and attended ELLI (2021-2022).

Let’s join together serving those who need our services, our strength, and our heart. Everyone has a story, don’t show judgment, show compassion.

GLT PDG Thomas Wendt GMT PCC Tammy Rockenbach GST PDG Patrick Furey NEW VOICES PCC Tammy Rockenbach GMA-MISSION 1.5 PCC Tammy Rockenbach PDG Judy Hatz PDG Tim McClain DG Patty Hollis GET NEW! PDG Judy Hatz Other Positions for the 2024-25 Lions Year: MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 5


NOTE: UPS will not deliver to a P.O. Box. Please provide a street address. Prices include tax.


MAY / JUNE 2024

Wisconsin Lion (USPS No. 688-740) is published six times a year for the 17,500 Lions of Wisconsin at 3834 County Road A, Rosholt, WI 54473.

DEADLINE: 1st of preceding month.


Patty Hollis Chair

Jamie Wilde Vice Chair

Dave Strudthoff GLT

Stacey Nesseth GST

Bert Freemen GMT

Evett Hartvig WLF

Adam Crowson LEBW













Articles and events (accompanied by photos of Lions in action) should explain the successful completion of a project or fundraising activity and should be submitted to that Club’s District Editor. Include a mailing address, daytime phone and e-mail of the person submitting the story. Submission guidelines at:

Statewide content can be submitted to DG Patty Hollis at

Recognition for Melvin Jones, Birch-Sturm, Knight of Sight & Ray Hempel awards should be submitted to the State Editor at


Contact the State Office for details.


Contact your Club Secretary AND the State Office at with updates to your mailing and/or email address.


To empower Lions clubs, volunteers, and partners to improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally, and encourage peace and international understanding.


To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.



BJ Blahnik 920-980-6317


Lee Vrieze (Mary) 18807 122nd Ave

Jim Falls,WI 54748 715-382-3404


JoAnn Burk, Office Manager 3834 County Rd A Rosholt, WI 54473 715-677-4764

LIONS EYE BANK OF WISCONSIN: Stacey Troha, CEO 5003 Tradewinds Parkway Madison, WI 53718 608-233-2354


Evett J. Hartvig, Executive Director 3834 County Road A Rosholt, WI 54473 877-463-6953

LIONS PRIDE ENDOWMENT FUND OFFICE: Amber Young 3834 County Road A Rosholt, WI 54473 715-677-7000


Cindy Herbst, Executive Director 7457 Terrace Ave Middleton, WI 53562 608-831-1726

Facebook Visit WISCONSINLIONS.ORG/EVENTS for a list of events and accompanying registration forms.
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$1.00 2021: Bog Copper Butterfly $1.00 2022: Centennial Pin $2.50 2023: Walleye Pin $1.50 2024: Large Mouth Bass $2.00 Back Patch $5.00 Shipping & Handling 1-8 pins: $6.25 9-14 pins: $7.55 15-25 pins: $10.75 25+ pins: ................. Call for cost 1-4 back patches: ............... $6.30 5-12 back patches: $7.80 TOTAL: Send your order & payment (incl S&H) to: Wisconsin Lions State Office 3834 Cty Rd A Rosholt WI 54473 NEW! 05526019 • MEDICARE • FINANCIAL PLANNING • AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE OPTIONS • LIFE INSURANCE • RETIREMENT Make Your Insurance Work for You Call Today 715-544-1062 22 Years Experience * Locally & Veteran Owned * Trusted in Your Community 6 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024
2020 State Convention


The world needs Lions like never before

For more than a century, Lions have stepped up in their communities giving, supporting and serving. Each Lion matters to the people who depend on us. And every club is doing their part to make their communities stronger, healthier and kinder places for all. We remain committed to our motto…WE SERVE

As we strive to increase our service and extend our helping hands far and wide, the needs of our communities and our world are growing beyond our reach. To ensure we can be there, when and where we’re needed, we must also grow. Membership growth is essential to keep up with the demands of our time and the service we provide.

That’s why Lions are taking action now. The more we grow, the more we can give.

More Lions = more service. The equation is simple, but the challenge is not unsurmountable. MISSION 1.5 is our drive and focus to reach 1.5 million members worldwide by July 1, 2027. It will help us meet the growing needs of our communities. It will help us serve more people than ever before, and it will help make our clubs, our communities and our service stronger than ever.

Each and everyone of us is vital to this mission.

There’s never been a challenge too big for Lions. Now is the time for Lions to step up. Now is the time to redefine the future of service.

Now is the time to grow.

That’s why your fellow Lions need you to join the mission, because together, we are unstoppable. There’s never been a challenge too big for Lions, but we can’t do it without you.

The mission is bold, but so are Lions. Now is the time to be brave. Don’t be afraid to invite people to join your club. Some will say “yes” and some will say “not now,” but don’t be discouraged. “No” doesn’t necessarily mean “never.” I didn’t become a Lion the first time I was asked because the timing wasn’t right, but when I did, it changed my life. You have the power to change someone’s life, too. All you have to do is ask.

It’s Been a Fantastic Year!

Lions Servant Leadership Instructors Institute

• LOCATION: Campus of University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, Wisconsin

• DATES: Friday August 9, 2024 - Sunday August 11, 2024


• APPLICATIONS: Limited to the first 45 qualified Lions

Purpose of the Lions Servant Leadership Instructors Institute

To teach the teachers how to best deliver the servant leadership curriculum.

Participants Qualifications

1. Applicants must be Lions that have Servant Leadership Certification. Lions who hold Faculty Development Institute or Lions Certified Instructor Program certification will get priority.

2. Applicants must be willing to commit to attending ALL days of the institute. Attendance at ALL classroom sessions and scheduled meals is mandatory.

3. Applicants must be capable of understanding and participating in English.

Cost of Institute

Lions Servant Leadership Institute will provide meals and lodging according to the posted schedule. Registration fees are US $200 received by May 31, 2024. Beginning June 1, 2024 the base fee increases to US $225. Make checks payable to MD-27 Wisconsin Lions and mail to JoAnn Burk, Wisconsin Lions Office, 3834 County Road A, Rosholt, Wisconsin 54473. Please note: NO REFUNDS CAN BE MADE FOR CANCELLATIONS AFTER 7/7/2024. Your registration fee includes seven meals, all Institute material costs, and dormitory rooms (single occupancy).

Application Procedure

For Institute and/or Servant Leadership certification applications email

Submit the completed applications and tuition (mail or email) to: JoAnn Burk, Wisconsin Lions Office Manager 3834 County Road A Rosholt, Wisconsin 54473

Make checks payable to MD-27 Wisconsin Lions

As my final article of the Lions year, I would like to say Thank you to all the Lions of Wisconsin for all the service projects that you have provided to your community and provide some statistics showing what a huge impact you each have as a Lion. Wisconsin Lions have served 1,647,204 people from July 1st, 2023, through end of March 2024.

We have reported 9,545 service activities, 259,914 service hours, donated $2,605,758. These are very impressive numbers that we should all be proud of. These numbers are based on the information that 70% of our Wisconsin Lions clubs have reported in the MyLCI portal.

As our Lions year comes to an end, it is important to recap with your club all the service projects that have been done and celebrate them. But even more importantly, recap for those in your community what your Lions club does for them. It is important to toot your club’s horn and let the community know what your towns would go without if it wasn’t

for their local Lions club. I recently saw a post on Facebook where a club listed out everything they have done this year with a dollar amount listed with it. What a great way to promote the service you do.

It has been a wonderful experience being the MD27 GST Coordinator this year. July 1st Past District Governor Pat Furey will be taking over the roll of MD27 GST Coordinator, I wish him and each District GST a wonderful year of promoting service projects. “WE SERVE”

MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 7

Serving Through Diversity

“Our World is incredible in its diversity. We are all beautiful and unique in our own experiences, abilities and culture. But we cannot let our differences divide us.” is a quote from PIP Jung-Yul Choi in an article titled How I Serve Through Diversity from September 2019.

When I joined Lions, our club was all men, and the day I joined, one member took me aside and asked me not to be the first person to ask a lady to join. I had no idea this was an issue, and although we have since welcomed many ladies, we lost a number of members through this change. My thoughts today turn to the diverse population of the communities that we now all share. Maybe because we may lack diversity in our clubs, we also lack diversity in our service. Remember “WE SERVE” says nothing about who we serve, just that we do serve our community to the best of our ability.

Since membership growth is one of our objectives for the Global Membership Approach Team (GMA), perhaps we should look at how we serve. Many clubs are gaining members through their many projects. Picking a project that affects your community helps bring in new members because they find value in what we do and want to participate. I have heard that from a number of people and have even experienced it in my club. When considering new projects, are you reaching out to the people around you and are you reaching the whole community?

We have a large Hispanic population in my hometown, we do not have a single member who speaks Spanish well enough to ask someone to join. Maybe if we could find the right project, we could get a Hispanic member or two and from there grow.

As Lions worldwide, we are incredibly diverse in religion, ethnicity and age. I googled the percentage of Christians in the United States, and it is 63%. To be honest, I am surprised it is that high. That includes Christians of all shapes and sizes and they all worship in many ways. I know virtually every dinner meeting in Multi-District 27 starts with a prayer. We have current members that may be uncomfortable with this practice, and we may be alienating a large percentage of future members who won’t want to be a member of our clubs because of the prayer. Why not pass that duty around each meeting and maybe start with an uplifting quote, poem or something similar.

In closing, I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but I hope I have given you pause to think about where your club is going. Lions are indispensable to our communities. They do the hard work and take on the difficult challenges to make our communities a better place. We can use all the help we can get, and if we don’t grow and change, who will take care of our camp and all the other things we do when we are gone.


Come Visit During the Convention and More Upcoming Events

Schedule Your Tour of The Lions Eye Bank

The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin is excited to host building-wide tours during the 2024 Wisconsin Lions State Convention. The tours will be from 2 to 6pm on Thursday, May 16 at The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin at 5003 Tradewinds Parkway, Madison, WI 53718. Tour time slots are available at 2, 3, 4, and 5 p.m. with 40 places available per hour. To sign up for a tour time, please visit:

The District 27-D1 Lions, who are hosting this year’s State Convention at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton, will also provide a shuttle van to help take people from the convention center to the Eye Bank that afternoon.

As of 3/31/24, there have been 2,070 transports done by 373 clubs statewide for the 2023-24 Lions year.

LEBW has second successful eyeglass fitting

The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin in partnership with Anderson-Shapiro Eye Care Clinic and the Wisconsin Lions Foundation had its second annual health fair on Saturday, April 20 in Madison. This was the second in-state mission the groups hosted for Madison residents where free used eyeglasses from the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Eyeglass Recycling Center were given to residents in need.

By the end of the day, 198 people received a free vision screening from technicians at Anderson-Shapiro Eye Care Clinic. In total, 140 people went home with a free pair of recycled eyeglasses. In addition, Lions from District 27-D1 helped provide a children’s vision screening for 15 children who attended the clinic with their parents. Seven received referrals for follow up care. For attendees who weren’t able to receive glasses the day of, event organizers will look to secure glasses that match their prescriptions in the coming weeks so everyone who attended can receive free glasses.

The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin wishes to thank Lions from the Madison Central, Madison West, Mount Horeb, New Glarus, Edgerton, Madison Monona, Cross Plains, Lake Wisconsin, Mazomanie, and Deerfield Lions Clubs for their help at this event. In addition, we’d like to thank staff from Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin and Anderson-Shapiro Eye Care Clinic for their professional help in putting this event together. We’d also like to thank all of the Spanish interpreters who volunteered their time to help translate the needs to those attending the event. And finally, we’d like to thank Project Director, Keith Mueller, with the Wisconsin Lions Foundation for his help and support to ensure everyone who attends this event will receive a pair of free recycled eyeglasses.

LEBW is excited to announce several upcoming events we are hosting or participating in. Please be sure to mark your calendar and join us virtually or in person.

2024 Donor Family Remembrance Event Sunday, May 5

Madison Marriott West, Middleton

This event is for donor families whose loved ones have given the gift of sight.

Emily C. Lyons 9th Annual Memorial Golf Outing Saturday, July 13th

Old Hickory Golf Course, Beaver Dam Proceeds benefit Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, UW-Organ and Tissue Donation, Restoring Hope Transplant House, and the Emily C. Lyons Memorial Scholarship fund.

For more information contact, Adam Crowson, LEBW Communications and Outreach Manager at

2024 LEBW Annual Meeting Wednesday, July 17, at 4pm Lone Girl, Waunakee

This will be an in-person event. Invites will be sent out in mid-May with more details. Please RSVP to Eden Brunson by emailing at if you’d like to attend.

Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin
| |
8 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024

Lions Pride Clay Shoot June 8th

We are busy planning for our annual fundraiser, the Lions Pride Clay Shoot at Milford Hills Hunt Club, near Johnson’s Creek on June 8th, 2024. This is our only fundraiser throughout the year, with all hands on deck by the Pride team, to provide a great experience for shooters from all across the state. Milford Hills is known as one of Wisconsin’s premier sporting clubs. Registration for the shoot is live on our website, Each shooter is part of a 5-person team. If you don’t have a full team, please contact us and we can work to place you on a team. We are also seeking volunteers to work the day of the event. You can help all day or just for a few hours. There are plenty of raffles, both inside and on the course, along with registration and water stations. Individuals

or businesses are able to sponsor a station, or provide a raffle donation. You can see available sponsorships on our website or contact

We end the day with a meal provided by Milford Hills and a live auction. This last year, I left my husband unattended for a split second and ended up with “winning” a Paella Party. Having a paella party turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of 2023 for me and my family. Our Pride Board Vice President, David Carl, along with several other “chefs” come on site to a location of your choosing and provide everything you need to have the party. Paella is a rice dish originally from the Valencian Community known as a Spanish cuisine. It is a combination of chicken (or in our case, pheasant), rice, okra, clams, shrimp and vegetables, made in an outdoor skillet, cooked over a fire or gas. It’s finished off with its secret ingredient, safrito. The dish is delicious, but watching the cooking process makes the meal more of an experience than just a meal. And, its even better leftover. Sadly, I invited too many people that day and my leftovers were limited.

Thanks for the Great Year!

My year as WLF President will soon come to an end. I think about all the great places I visited… Club, Zone and Cabinet meetings, Council meetings, special anniversary celebrations and all 10 District Conventions. I met some very dedicated Lions that take their talents, time and love for the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and make it one of the best places in the world.

Summer Camp season will be here real soon!

So many excited campers who come back year after year will fill the grounds with fun and laughter. What a week those campers will have! Thank you for your continued support of Lions Camp and your Wisconsin Lions Foundation. Without you, Summer Camp, Vision Screening, Diabetes Awareness, Eyeglass Recycling and our Hearing Projects would not be possible.

Please take a look at our Visitors Days schedule on our website and find a date for you and your club members to see, first hand, what happens at Camp all summer long. Ask some of your friends and family who are not Lions to join you and see why the Lions of Wisconsin work so hard to support this magical place. Who knows, you may even sign up a new member or two!

Birch-Sturm Memorial Golf Outing

Join us for the 27th Annual Birch-Sturm Memorial Golf Outing on July 20th in Iola and the Hustle S’more 15-mile bike ride, 5K or 10K run/walk and the donut dash on August 10th at Camp. And, if you can’t fit a Visitors Day in your schedule, why not come on the 10th to take part in our S’more Fun at Lions Camp that starts right after the awards ceremony (approximately 11:30am.) You may not be able to see the kids in action, but for a small fee, you can enjoy the property and do some of the same activities the kids enjoy… archery, adventure course, boating, swimming and wagon rides. Food will be available in the

Deer Hide Collection Program

Let’s not forget about our Deer Hide Collection Program that we wrapped up earlier this year. We sold 190 pairs of deer hide gloves at the 10 District Conventions and will have them available at our exhibit table at the State Convention in May at the Marriott of Middleton. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at our Annual Meeting in Middleton where I will be announcing how much money we received from our 2023 Deer Hide Collection fundraiser.

In closing, I would like to thank the 202324 Board members for their hard work and dedication to the Foundation and its projects. I would like to thank all the Foundation staff for their dedication, as well. The WLF President for 2024-25 is PDG Pat Hart from Tomah whom I’m confident will lead the Foundation forward in the same manner it is accustomed to. Thanks for the great year!

Dining Hall throughout the day and is part of your admission fee.
Wisconsin Lions Foundation 715-677-4969 | 877-463-6953 | | Lions Pride Endowment Fund 715-677-7000 | |
MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 9
David Carl, Lions Pride Vice President, (left) along with his personal chefs (back row) provide a fun filled paella party for auction item winners, Dave and Renee Peterson (front). As they stir the final secret ingredient into the concoction, Dave and Renee get to try their hand with the paddles.

Colton’s Vision Therapy Graduation Day!

This will be the final article on Colton’s vision therapy. It is based on his mother’s point of view.

Colton has completed his last vision therapy and his last doctor’s appointment.

We have seen so many changes in Colton since the beginning of therapy. I remember when he would panic when the eye patch had to go on for certain activities. Last week, I had to tell him to quit cheating because he was trying to use his left eye (his weaker eye) with his right eye (stronger eye) for a therapy activity. I asked why and he replied, “I can see better when I use both eyes.” He said it in a tone that made it sound like it should be obvious to me. I was shocked that he felt this way, but it was also a huge relief. He keeps saying that reading is easier, proof that therapy was working.

When we started therapy, it was about seeing anything with the left eye, but it has now become about using both eyes together. Colton has become a more confident reader, isn’t running into things, and has a more positive attitude towards school.

The doctor said we will need to continue to do exercises at home even though therapy is complete. The doctor is concerned that with his type of eyes, without efforts beyond therapy, he could lose some of his gains.

The doctor mentioned that he was doing things quicker and easier –and with better quality and less guessing. When we started this process, he couldn’t do the developmental eye movement test needed for reading. Now, even though he did skip some lines, he was actually able to do it. He is following much better and the prisms are lining up.

We can’t thank the Lions Club enough for your generosity and support. We appreciate you so much!

The Foulk Family

BIG FOOT LIONS CLUB – A record 59 meals were hand delivered by Lions members throughout Walworth and the surrounding area. Meals consisted of a large ham, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, cake mix, and extras and were delivered the weekend before Easter allowing time to thaw the ham and prepare the meal for Easter.

BIG FOOT LIONS CLUB – The annual St Patrick’s Pot of Gold 50/50 Raffle reached a record $37,000! Members presented a $18,780 check to Shannon Cismoski of Fontana for her winnings from the St. Pat's Day 50/50 Raffle. Knowing the Lions Club does so many good things, Mrs. Cismoski donated all the money back to the club. Truly a great gesture of generosity to the community. In these dark times, her example sends ripples of light that provides hope to all of us. Pictured are Lions President John Tucker, Raffle Chairperson Moe LeRoux, Winner Shannon Cismoski and Lion Treasurer Douglas Parker. Pictured below is a piper playing before the Pot of Gold drawing at Chuck’s Bar in Fontana.


CLUB – Members raised money and greeted customers at Culvers while they promoted their Club and scholarship program. Pictured are Lions 1st VDG Vicky Gabrus, Gloria Grabarczyk, Ray Jones, Helen Kacmarynski, Terri Fischbach, Bev Tesch & Jan Kracht.


LIONS CLUB – The Franklin Lions have been volunteering with the Franklin Health Department with vision and hearing testing at the Franklin Elementary schools. This screening helps identify Franklin youth in need of eyeglasses or hearing aids.
10 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-A1 NEWS
FRANKLIN LIONESS LIONS CLUB – Lioness Jill Schmeling, Susanne Jensen, Barbee Sorensen, Jan Kracht and Gloria Grabarczyk prepare valentine treats to be delivered to Elisabeth Residence and Autum Leaves (left). Lioness Vicky Gabrus delivers Valentine cards to Autumn Leaves (right).

East Troy Lions Beer & Seltzer Tasting

Friday, May 3

The Venue, 2645 Main St, East Troy

Big Bend-Vernon Lions 20th

Annual Knuckleheads Bowling Tournament

Sat, May 4, 10am-1pm, Sat, May 4, 2pm5pm, Sun, May 5, 1pm-4pm

Alpine Lanes and Avalanche Grill, Muskego

Franklin Lions 2s Frees 3s

Basketball Shooting Contest

Sunday, May 5, 4pm-6pm

MOSH Performance Center at the ROC Lions receive $5/shooter. Open to all ages.

Franklin Lioness Lions

Milwaukee Burger Company

Donation Night

Tuesday, May 7th

Milwaukee Burger Company, Franklin 10% of all sales will be donated.

Zone 4 Meeting hosted by

Fontana-Big Foot Lions Club

Wednesday, May 8th, 5:30-8:30pm

Cafè Calamari, Williams Bay

Tichigan Lake Lions Blood Drive

Monday, May 13th, 1-6pm

Tichigan Lake Civic Center, Waterford

Jefferson Lions Shrimp Boil

Saturday, May 18th

Rotary Park, 301 S Gardner Ave, Jefferson

Greater Greenfield Lions Club

24th Annual Alan Kulwicki

Memorial Cruisin’ Car Show

Saturday, May 25, 8:00am-2:00pm

Alan Kulwicki Park, Greenfield Trophies, prizes, raffles, and food.

Memorial Day Parade & After Party

Downtown Cambridge (Main St.)

Monday, May 27th, 10:00am-3:00pm

Community parade to honor veterans sponsored by Cambridge Area Lions.

Presentation in Veterans Park follows. Lions serve lunch with a band.

Union Grove Lions Chicken

Barbecue & Car Show

Sunday, June 2nd, 10:30am-3:30pm

Racine County Fairgrounds, Union Grove

Oak Creek Lions Summer Kick Off Concert

Saturday, June 15th, 2pm

Doghouse Charlie at 3pm, Mt Olive 7pm

American Legion Band Shell, Oak Creek Food trucks, cash bar, beer tent

27-A1 District Golf Outing

Saturday, June 22nd, 9:30am-6:30pm

Koshkonong Mounds Country Club, Fort Atkinson

Hosted by Fort Atkinson Lions. Shotgun start at high noon! Putting and hole-in-one contests, hole prizes, and games on the course. Prizes and raffle. Golf, lunch, and dinner for $150 per golfer.

East Troy Lions Music Festival

Fri, June 28, 5pm - Sun, June 30, 11pm

Ross Miller Sports Complex, East Troy Music and Festivities, Parade & Fireworks

Tichigan Lake Lions Balloon Fest

Saturday, June 29th, 12-9pm

Waterford Town Park, Jensen Pkwy

Greendale Lions Family 4th Fest July 3-6, Historic Downtown Center of Greendale Amusement rides, carnival, festival games, craft wine and beer tent, domestic beer, festival food.

EDITOR: Patti Hurtgen |


CLUB – Lioness Lindsay

Safranek, Judie Gamboa, Peg Kukla and Bev Tesch help the Franklin Lions stuff Easter eggs.


CLUB – Lioness Peg Kukla, Jan Krachtt, Cindy Johnson, Sharon Byrne, Susanne Jensen, and Vicky Gabrus assembled 72 Easter cards with chocolate eggs that were distributed to three area group homes and Brenwood Assisted Living.


1st Vice President Lion Eric Schultz drew the final winning ticket in Fort Atkinson Lions Club’s March Madness raffle. Tickets were drawn on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the month of March with the highest prize of $500 on March 31.



“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela

Fellow Lions, Lioness/Lions, and Leos, it is hard to believe that my year as DG is coming to a close. I am extremely proud of this District and what it has accomplished during my year. Every Club has been impressive. Thank you to all the Clubs that have welcomed me and my wife Lion Darlene to their meetings and events. We met many wonderful Lions and have increased our circle of friends.

Have I accomplished all my goals? Yes and no. I may not have hit all my LCI goals, but I definitely hit my personal goals that I shared with the cabinet. I took the step to combine Clubs into just five zones versus the previous 10. Feedback received has been very positive. Clubs are seeing they can rely on others to help come and work at their events.

Training has increased as we had set aside funds at the District level to encourage Lions to grow and strengthen their leadership skills. We had four Lions attend Wisconsin Advanced Lion Leadership Institute training. We had nine members graduate from Guiding Lions training. We are setting up a workshop for next year’s Club officers.

From a service standpoint, we have had over 80% Clubs reporting at this point and more are entering data. As of this article’s printing,we have served over 580,000 people. Our District has been involved in many service projects. We screened homeless adults at Project Homeless Connect in Milwaukee. We had Lions discuss diabetes and vision screening at Bradley Tech High School Fair. Lions went on a mission to the Dominican Republic to help with vision screening and cataract surgeries.

As a District, we donated nearly $20,000 to Lion Eye Bank of Wisconsin for vision and mission to Guatemala. Additionally, we donated funds to improve vision for a young child named Colton. Clubs came together to fund a movie called “In the Jungle” about how hearing-impaired children are bullied and how the main character has since become an advocate to help people understand this issue. From a youth standpoint, we started the year with a new Leo Club in Greendale. Leo growth continued through the year with the installation of Leos in the renewed East Troy Leo Club.

Regarding membership, we are at positive 11 members as of this article. The state is plus 73. You should be proud that Wisconsin is the fourth highest in members in the USA, and not far from being third. We have a few months left, and I know there are many great Lions we can bring into our Clubs between now and then. LCI came out with a new challenge called Mission 1.5 in which membership is working to grow from 1.4 million to 1.5 million Lions by 2027. That is two new members per Club and retain them for the next 3 years. We as a District have met my main goals regarding service, zone meeting attendance, and leadership training. I am so proud of this District.

Is this my swan song as they say? No. I hope what I have accomplished will continue. I hope I have inspired you to continue to serve, to be better than average. I will continue to support you and this District as a PDG. I will be there to support you as a member of DGE Ray Jones’ team. At state level, I am taking on a role with the Lions Pride Endowment Fund. This fund directly supports your Camp in Rosholt.

As I end this article, I ask the following of you – Please put in for Club excellence awards, welcome DGE Lion Ray, and support him like you supported me. I can’t say enough how proud I am to be your Governor. Lion Darlene and I keep saying let’s rock this CONCERT OF SERVICE!

MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 11
| 612-616-5383

Hartford Lions Peace Poster Project Winner

The Hartford Lions had a heartwarming event that reminded us of why we are Lions. We are all familiar with the Lions Peace Poster project: Creating peace posters gives children everywhere a chance to express their visions of peace and inspire the world through art and creativity.

This year’s winner was Durga Anurag, a sixth grader at Central Middle School. Here is a picture of Durga with her art teacher plus Lions Jean Facette and Chuck Steinmetz. Durga received a check from the Hartford Lions Club and MD27, as the States 3rd place winner. Durga’s mother, father and siblings also came to the presentation. You could tell the family was very thrilled with this event. “That’s a smile we can be proud of”.

It is so nice to see our service activities get so well received and produce positive outcomes. It lives up to our motto “We Serve”.

GRAFTON LIONS CLUB – Congratulations to four Outstanding Grafton High School Seniors who were presented with the Grafton Lions Outstanding Citizenship Awards at its February 6th membership meeting held at the Rose-Harms Legion in Grafton. Lions Citizenship Award Plaques were presented to Grafton High School Students Trevor Nauta, Pyper Flaig, Juhi Jha, and Brogan Ringgold. These students are involved in many activities such as Grafton’s Leo Club, Best Buddies, Sports, Student Council, Class Offices, Every 15 Minutes, Kapco Toy Drive and Church Activities, to name a few. The awards are given for advancing the community through the highest standard of character, integrity and community service. The students are nominated from letters of recommendation from Grafton High School Teaching Staff or other students.

GRAFTON LIONS CLUB – Welcome and congratulations to two new Grafton Lions. It is always great to add new members to the Club to bring new ideas to our organizations. Pictured are Grafton Lions President Tim Kohlwey, Lion Steve Nauta, sponsor for Susan Zellner, District Governor Brenda Rumppe, Paula Herlache, and sponsor Lion Carrie Buri


Two $1,000 Scholarships have been established. Pictured are President Robert Yarbrough and this year’s recipients Ava Radler and Ashur Mariano. Congratulations to both of you and good luck at your respective colleges.


CLUB – (Top row) the Members of the Suburban Milwaukee Lions Club Charter Night, DG Brenda Rumppe (Middle row) Club President Dick Duschane and his new Lions bell, DG Brenda pinning Guiding Lion Deb Freeman. (Right) DG-Elect Slava Krol with wife Iryna


$500 check was presented to Blind Outdoor Leisure Development (BOLD) to continue their mission to bring a variety of activities to blind people. They had a blind golfer playing with a guide at their Golf Outing in September. Pictured are BOLD member Jenny, BOLD President Lion Ray Tweedale and Club President Robert Yarbrough

12 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-A2 NEWS
Pictured are Trevor Nauta, Grafton Lions President, Tim Kohlwey, Brogan Ringgold, Juhi Jha, Pyper Flaig, School Superintendent, Jeff Nelson.

Great Strides for Diabetes Awareness Team

There has been a lot of activity with our Diabetes Awareness Team. Recently we were able to use the district diabetes fund to provide $1,000 in diabetes supplies to three free clinics in our District. The supplies have been very appreciated and we hope to make this an annual donation. Next is a $2,000 scholarship that will be awarded to one high school senior attending college next year who’s life has been impacted by diabetes. We have two qualified candidates so far, but would love for more participation. For more information, please visit and search diabetes. This scholarship will be awarded annually, so if you know an underclass student who may qualify next year, please let them know this is available and/or send them our information:

Remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so if anyone is interested in hosting a Strides Walk or Diabetes screening, please email us so we can get you started. Thank you to all the Clubs who donate to our fund each year, this allows us to do great things for communities in our District. 262-305-1101


As we are nearing the end of the 2023/2024 Lions year, I would like to say “Thank You” to all the Lions and Leos who have been working hard to help the underprivileged and make their communities a better place. There has been many new and exciting service projects this year that are making big impacts in your communities. I encourage each of you to continue to work on your service projects and continue making big and small impacts on your communities.

Your Clubs should be nominating your new board members for the 2024/2025 Lions year. Your Club secretary should be entering them into LCI as soon as possible. If you have any questions on the responsibility of any of the board positions, please contact the Governor Team, we would be happy to help out. If you are a Lion who would like a position on the board and haven’t been asked, contact your Club president or secretary and let them know you are interested. Sometimes Clubs will keep the same board, because they think there is no one new interested in the positions. All officers for next year should plan on attending the Officer Training on April 30.

Schedule your officer installation and membership inductions now, Our schedules fill up quickly and we would like each Club to have their officers and new members in prior to July 1st.

Call or text, DG Brenda, to schedule your date 262-305-1101.

Club Excellence forms need to be in by August. Many of the Clubs qualify. To receive the award your Club needs to have:

• A positive membership for the 2023/2034 year.

• A new service project, entered into MyLCI.

• Club marketing, whether it be twitter, Facebook, snap chat or ?

• Leadership - the majority of your officers have been to a training session.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to be your District Governor this year. I have enjoyed attending your meetings and being part of your service projects and fundraisers. We have an amazing District.

I will be taking a position on the District 27-A2 cabinet in July and look forward to continue working with all of your Clubs. It will be another exciting year.

MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 13
Diane Lechner | | 920-210-8691
Lion Ashley Kempfer, DG Brenda Rumppe, and 2VDGE Clint Kempfer delivering diabetes supplies to the Lake Area Free Clinic in Oconomowoc.

VAN DYNE LIONS CLUB – The Club has a few fundraisers completed and in the works. They had a pizza sale wth the biggest sale yet. 2,937 pizzas were made with a profit of $5,278.69. They collected a total of 180 deer hides this year for the Lions Camp. The Club is getting ready for their Country Breakfast on May 19 and the Walleye Tournament on June 1.


CLUB – The Club made a donation to the Sheboygan Salvation Army for their Food Pantry and Homeless Shelter. The check was presented by our President Lea Thibodeau to Carrie Jo Cony of the Salvation Army.

SHERWOOD LIONS CLUB – At the Club meeting on February 27, four new members were inducted in by PDG Fred Gebhart. They are: Brian Buss, Mary Nechodom, Matt Wilber, Geri Younger, and PDG Fred Gebhart.

SHERWOOD LIONS CLUB – At a recent Club meeting new Lion member Sean Becker (center) was sworn in by Past District Governor Fred Gebhart. He is shown here with his sponsor Lion Tom Jack

14 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-B1 NEWS



MEETING – The top left picture: IPDG Dave Brinkman is presenting Lion Fred Gebhart the Lion Kid Sight Award USA. The pictures following start with IPDG Dave Brinkman receiving the District Excellent Award from GMT/PDG Bert Freeman. Then, PDG Dave Brinkman was able to choose five PDGs that he also felt deserved this award. They were PDG Tom Wendt, PDG Fred Gebhart, PDG Meg Post, PDG Jerry Post, and PDG Dave Lee.

With the weather getting nice it is great to get back into more Club and Zone visits. Just a reminder if you’re looking for a speaker at your meetings, your District has over 40 members on the cabinet to either make contacts or come up with talking material that relates to Lions projects. We can also put you in contact with somebody that could get you free Lions literature.

There are so many leadership opportunities out there with My Learn on the portal or in person classes. These leadership rolls don’t have to be just within the Lions, they could be used in your day to day lives or at home with your family.

Speaking about Lions portal, if you’re not getting the Wisconsin Lions Magazine please ask your Club Secretary or District to look over your information to make sure that you are getting the material for information.

In our talking points at our next Zone Meetings, we’re going over leadership. Again, a reminder that leadership does not mean you have to be in a officer position. It only takes one other member if you’re giving them guidance. You are truly a leader and I thank you for your service.

27-B1 is having workshop training, not just for the officers, but anybody. If you would like to participate and need information about the nearest location to your club please email

I had to wait till after January to meet the qualifications, but I have announced that I am running for International Director. Please help support your future leadership with Tammy Rockenbach or Greg Kubichka Hopefully being your next Wisconsin Lions International Director.


CLUB – On March 3rd, the Club had six of their members sit on the VP phone tables at the 70th Annual CP Telethon in Green Bay. For one hour they answered phone calls making donations or pledges to this great organization. Plus they donated $500 during a company two minute match time.

Bent Grass

• Lawn chairs are welcomed for attendees.

• Free music & vanilla ice cream & toppings.

• Food and drink stand will be open.

• Bring us your used eyeglasses, used hearing aids, new/unused hearing aid batteries, old cell phones, and non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

• The Brown County Bookmobile will be on site for all to enjoy.

?? FROM THE 27-B1 DISTRICT GOVERNOR GREG KUBICHKA 920-901-5706 DISTRICT GOVERNOR Send your District Calendar additions to Wayside Morrison Lions Club Music in the Park 2024 Band Performances: 6-8pm, WayMorr Lions Club property at the Brown County WayMorr Park at 3832 Park Road, Greenleaf WI 54126 June 12 – Rob Burkham & Just Happy to be Here Band June 26 – Eddie Larson & Classic Memories Band July 10 – Homemade Brew July 24 – Biscuit Creek Band August
Express Band August
Red Star
21 –
MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 15
Marilynn Shady | | 920-979-2455

GOODMAN ARMSTRONG CREEK LIONS CLUB – The Club and five students from the Goodman Armstrong Creek High School participated in WisDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program. They removed trash, recyclables and litter from 2.2 miles along Highway 101. Pictured are: Erin Goode, Katelyn Kalkofen, Jasmine Slawinski, Joshua Knutson, Brayden Lewis, and GAC Lions President Wayne Brehmer.

PESHTIGO LIONS CLUB – Members assisted the Salvation Army with distribution of over 15,000 pounds of food, affiliated with Feeding America. The food was available for 300 households in need. The Mobile Pantry was located in Menominee at the YMCA. Club members assisted with unloading the truck, directing traffic, loading food into the cars, and registering the families. Pictured are: Lions Dennis Rysewyk, Terry Gardon, Paul McClain, Rhonda McClain, and Steve Peterich

GRAND CHUTE LIONS CLUB – $1,100 worth of school supplies were purchased and delivered to three Appleton elementary schools. Committee Chair Lion Edith Haas explained that schools typically run short of supplies mid-year so the Lions decided to switch their donations from August to January.

NIAGARA LIONS CLUB – The Club donated $500 to the Boys and Girls Basketball program at Niagara. Money raised at the recent Basketball tournament directed by Lion Sweets McCarthy is going right back to the school. Pictured are Treasurer Dan Decker, School Superintendent Nate Burklund, and Lions Director Steve McMillan.

PESHTIGO LIONS CLUB – This winter, the Club placed fish cribs on the ice at the Lions Club Recreation Area Pond in Peshtigo. The fish carrying capacity of the pond can be increased by installing fish cribs. They are important because they provide a good habitat for all levels of the water food chain. The Club will be purchasing fish in the near future to stock the pond.

PESHTIGO LIONS CLUB – Treasurer Ty Doemel recently presented a $1,000 check to the Marinette Salvation Army. In addition to this donation, members of the Club volunteer six times a year to assist the Salvation Army with Feeding America food distribution. Also pictured are Major Rhegan Stansbury and Major and Lion Joshua Stansbury

gives people the tools, skills, and confidence to travel independently. Leader Dogs’ Orientation and Mobility (white cane skills) and Guide Dog programs are for people 16 or older whose daily travel is impacted by vision loss. Leader Dog is 100% philanthropically funded, and all their programs are provided at zero cost. The Leader Dogs’ programs uses deer antlers to help train the dogs. The Niagara Lions have a box at their local post office to collect these deer antlers. Pictured are: Linda Lieburn, Deb Deli, from the Howard-Suamico Lions Club who is a leader dog puppy raiser and trainer, Niagara Lion President Glenn Lantagne and Toffee, a leader dog in training.

OCONTO FALLS LIONS CLUB –Lions Len Burns, Jon Makuck, Dean Hess and Dave Merges conduct vision testing at Abrams Elementary School. Over three days, Lions tested students at area elementary schools, testing a total of 245 students and identifying 25 who needed further vision testing.

NIAGARA LIONS CLUB – Lion Deb Deli gave a presentation on the Leader Dog Program that
16 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-B2 NEWS

EDITOR: Stephanie Schlag |

LAONA LIONS CLUB – Lion Sue Laskowski ventured on her 33rd eye mission with a group of two optometrists, one dentist and eight support staff from Wisconsin Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity (VOSH) to Comendador, Elisa Pina province, Dominican Republic. The group provided eye exams for 1,445 people in the community, aged 1-113 and fit them with used eyeglasses that were as close as possible to their prescription. Each of the VOSH team brought at least 300 pairs of used eyeglasses in their suitcases along with tools and equipment. The clinic was set up at the museum, which had the best source for electricity. It is a wonderful feeling when a person can see clearly for the first time in their life.

GOODMAN ARMSTRONG CREEK LIONS CLUB – The 17th Annual Predator Hunt concluded on February 4th at Rocque’s 8-Hi Club in Goodman with 31 coyotes and three fox brought in by 17 teams in three divisions. The Meat Raffle, Gun Raffle and 50/50 resulted in a lot of happy participants. Pictured are the winning Calling Division Team from Laona (left). The winner from the Trapping Division was from Armstrong Creek. The winner of the Hound Division was from Sheboygan. Pictured (right) are Lions Richard Majewski, Todd Kowalkowski, John Gorgol.




Starting Time 12:30pm • Shotgun Start

Public Welcome

• Hole Prizes

• 50/50 • Fun Games

$90 PER GOLFER OR $360 PER TEAM, Includes 18 holes of golf, a cart and a dinner

Scramble Rules Apply • Parkway members $75 per golfer

Hole Sponsor (cost $100)


Contact Person

Phone (Cell) (Email)


Early registration by June 30 gets you one Mulligan Ticket per golfer Reservations required by July 6

CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Sturm Humanitarian Foundation

Mail to: Lion John Dunlap, 2216 Rasmussen Pl., Ashwaubenon, WI 54304 Phone: 920-621-1118

• email:



Wishing Happy Spring to all! It sure seems like Mother Nature has been fooling with us this winter. This has been a winter unlike those of the past.

As this is read, Arbor Day will be past already and hoping we will have seen the last of winter, but we are in Wisconsin. If you or your Club participated with any activities dealing with the environment –please report the hours and the activity to your secretary so this can be reported into My Lion/New Portal to count for this year. We all need to do our part to protect our environment, recycle, plant trees, become part of Scrapping like a Lion project. No Mow May is upon us. If you participate or if your community supports this, report it! I won’t be, even if I live in the country because I like my yard mowed and trimmed. But the gullies and woods by me are left to Mother Nature. So I still do my part.

Whoa, did this Lion year go fast! For myself it was “Fast and Furious” with attending and meeting the Clubs and Lion members in the District, attending various meetings, partaking in District and State Conferences/Conventions. My calendar has been filled but it has been amazing, inspiring, informative and oh so rewarding to hear and to see all the projects you all have done. There is still so much we can do for others. Thank you all for everything you have done for your communities and world at large.

Our next year of Governors are busy with classes and learning all they can to be the next great leaders for Wisconsin. Besides their training, they have been busy assembling their respective Cabinet members for their year. Please, if you are asked to be a cabinet member, go for it! It is truly rewarding and you can discover so much about what we have accomplished.

Thank You all for being great Lions and for all the help and support you’ve shown me as your District Governor. The people I’ve met and the new friends made and the memories are a testament for this year that I’ll cherish and remember forever. Our Service Grows Hope.

PS: If I haven’t made it to your Club yet, call or email me. I still have some dates open in my date book.

PESHTIGO LIONS CLUB – During the monthly meeting, Kevin Rohde who is an Independent Benefit Insurance Agent, presented information about insurance options. A question and answer session was included, followed by a chicken dinner at the 1911 Grill and Tap. Mr. Rohde presented Lion Dan Peterson with a generous donation of $500.

PESHTIGO LIONS CLUB – One of the yearly charitable donations distributed by the Club is money designated for the Peshtigo School’s SEED (Students Eat Every Day) program. Pictured are: Elaina Weddel representing the SEED program and Treasurer Ty Doemel.

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ABBOTSFORD LIONS CLUB – The Club’s selection for the Student of the Quarter, for the 3rd quarter of this school year is, Blake Bargender.

ABBOTSFORD LIONS CLUB –Money was donated to the local food pantries. Pictured is Lion President Bonnie Weix presenting the checks.

BERLIN-HAMBURG TOWNSHIP & AREA LIONS CLUB – Lions Bill and Rita Mueller making a eye tissue transport from Wausau Aspirus to Plover.

BERLIN-HAMBURG TOWNSHIP & AREA LIONS CLUB – Lions Bill and Rita Mueller and Georgia from the Athens Lions Club did Vision Screenings at the Athens Elementary School.

KRONEWETTER LIONS CLUB – The Club supports Girl Scout troop #7291 by purchasing Girl Scout cookies to donate to a local food pantry.

MARSHFIELD LIONS CLUB – Lions Sue Cherney and Tom Stram ran the Club booth at the Marshfield Area Cultural Fair.

Healthcare Center.

MAINE LIONS CLUB – Beth and Jamie delivered needed items to the North Central MAINE LIONS CLUB – Lion Nick delivered a check on behalf of the Maine Lions Club to Thomas Jefferson School to help teachers buy learning items for the Title One program. WISCONSIN RAPIDS LIONESSES – $500 was donated to Chris Hamm, founder of HHAUSA, for a veteran to go on the Honor Flight. Thank you Chris for all your organization does for veterans!
18 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-C1 NEWS

EDITOR: Patty Hollis |


– The Club doing what they do. It was a beautiful day to grill out and serve 100 meals at the Jubilee House Wausau. It is a free community meal and hospitality to all people. Grillers pictured top left: Faith and Randy Thur Grillers pictured top right: Randy Thurs and Doug. Food Servers pictured in the middle: Randy Thurs, Sheryl Babl, Shelly and Tim McNally, Tim Murphy, Dave Mueller, Ed Schessow, and Phil Bickley.

Workshop Time!!

May 7, 6:30pm: Lions Camp June 13, 5:30pm: 203 1st St., Abbottsford

• We will be conducting workshops for New Lions Portal/Secretary Workshop, President, Treasurer, Zone Chair, General Lions Information (Anything you might want to know about Lionism).





As my year as District Governor comes to an end, I am sitting here reflecting on everything. My favorite thing this year was the club visits. It always made my week when I got to visit a club. The people I met, the projects I saw, the passion in each person refilled my tank over and over. Each Lion has the heart of gold. The service they do in their lives truly touched those around them. My theme this year was Make a Difference…One at a Time. I have watched as Lions all over this District took that to heart. As I went around this year, I made sure to remind each person I met to take care of themselves first. For all of us to continue our good work, we need to be rested and well.

This year we have done a lot of work at the club level, bringing in new members. With each new member, that is one more person to help us with service. Remember to include these members, listen to their ideas, and most important mentor them, so they know what Lions is all about.

As the spring is approaching, many of us will be out planting our flowers and gardens. This year the Lions state project is recycling with an emphasis on composting. If you go to the Wisconsin Lions website, ( you will see up on the top of the page: Scrap Like A Lion. If you click on this, the next page will bring you to many videos and articles on how to compost. I found it interesting that I can put shredded paper in my compost bin. Please go and check this out.

• A light dinner will be served with workshop afterward.

• Please RSVP by May 1, 2024, by emailing or calling 715-460-4832.

I would like to thank all the Lions who made my year as District Governor special. It has been a privilege to serve all the Lions of District 27C1. I want you all to know that I will still be around, serving as a Lion in not just my community, but any community that needs my help. Please let me know if you need anything.

Thanks to Lake Mason, EastonWhite Creek, Castle Rock and Roche-A-Cri Lions for the second delivery of food to ADRC. Our Zone project provided food for Blizzard Boxes. Pictured are ADRC Donna Richards and Lions Zone Chairman Jim Ross. Thanks to AFCM employee Heather for ordering in bulk.

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| 715-460-4832

Wisconsin Lions Missions (WLM)

Every year, numerous Lions head to countries south of our borders with used eyeglasses from our Eyeglass Recycling Center in Rosholt, donated fire trucks, ambulances and school buses gathered by Lions Clubs around the state, and medical and school supplies such as hospital beds and school desks. These items are given freely to Lions Clubs in foreign lands that distribute them to needy schools, orphanages, and cities. While on a mission, thousands of used eyeglasses are given out to local residents who probably have never had a pair of glasses in their life.

The used glasses are collected by Wisconsin Lions and processed through the Eyeglass Recycling Center located at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt.

MD27-C2 WLM Chairperson is Past District Governor Mike Lorbetske from the Sugar Camp Lions Club. MD27C2 has taken out seven truckloads so far. Coming up is a trip to Wanblee South Dakota in September with a load of clothes, shoes, and other items. The District has also donated two new sewing machines. Sewing classes are also taught there.


Payment instructions for MD27-C2 Project

Multiple District 27-C2 District Programs

1. Diabetes Awareness (Send to District Treasurer)

2. Hearing Project (Send to District Treasurer)

3. Vision (Send to District Treasurer)

4. Wisconsin Lions Missions (Send to District Treasurer)

5. Youth Exchange (Send to District Treasurer)

Make separate checks payable to: District 27-C2. In the memo portion of the check, please indicate name of project - (for accounting purposes)

Cabinet Treasurer Scott Martin, District 27-C2 417 E Lincoln Ave., Tomahawk, WI 54487 (Tel) 715-453-7341, (Email)

Lions International/ State/District - DUES

$46.00 International (Membership Dues Billing and Fees –Effective July 1, 2023, $46.00)

$10.50 State MD27

$6.00 District 27-C2

$62.50 Total/Yr.

The maximum dues that can be collected per year, per member, for sub-district dues is $10.50; set by the Council of Governors (which consists of 10 governors on the council, one from each district) at their July 2003 Council Meeting.

District 27-C2 dues for 2023-2024 are $6.00 per year per member. C2 Bonding Insurance for 2023-2024 - $11.32/Club

PDGO Leadership in Multiple District 27

The Past District Governors Organization (PDGO) of MD27 is made up of Lions in Wisconsin who are former District Governors. Even though the year as a District Governor is over, those leadership skills, knowledge and experience are most viable. Please consider joining the Past District Governors Organization. See the membership application


President ID Connie LeCleir-Meyer E2

Vice President PDG Greg Pryor A1

Secretary PDG David Lee B1

Treasurer PCC Evett Hartvig C1

Sergeant-at-Arms PDG Tim McClain E2

Past President PDG Eric Holthaus D1

ATTENTION: Effective September 14, 2022, MyLCI access for past District Governors has been updated to allow for read-only access, which allows you to view:

Multiple District Officers and Chairpersons District Reports

Lion Club Statements/Dues District Regions and Zones

Lion Club Reports District Officers & Chairpersons

Lion Club Officers District Members

Lion Club Member Information District Level New Club Applications

Lion Club Meeting Information District Convention

Lion Club Level New Club Applications District Clubs

Your access also allows you to now see the Membership Reports section, Support section and an index of reports located under register reports.


Leo Clubs are also divided into two tracks: ALPHA AND OMEGA


This track is designated for youth between 12 and 18 years old, and focuses on the individual and social development of teens and preteens.


This track is for young adults between 18 and 30 years old. Omega Leo Clubs are designed to help young adults grow personally and professionally.

Treasurer PCC
Secretary PDG David
, President
20 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-C2 NEWS

Directors & Officers Liability/Crime Coverage

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (often called D&O) protects the directors and officers of a company, or the organization itself, against damages or defense costs in the event they suffer a loss as a result of an alleged wrongful act. D&O coverage insures the behavior of directors and officers. Many D&O claims are the result of an incorrect decision that causes a discontented member to file a lawsuit against the directors and officers who made that decision. Even innocent errors in judgment can bring D&O insurance into the forefront of such matters. Directors and officers of a Lions Club or District can be liable if they damage the organization by breaching their duties, violating the organizations bylaws, or failing to disclose conflicts of interest. One claim example would be the situation where a group of association members filed a lawsuit alleging the recent election of a new board President did not follow the association bylaws. The members argued that a 51% majority vote was not obtained for the election to be valid. This action resulted in over $75,000 of defense costs. While a Club or District can choose to indemnify their directors and officers against a lawsuit, this approach puts the clubs assets at risk. In addition, should the Club/District assets prove to be inadequate for defense or settlement the director or officer’s personal assets would be in jeopardy. The purchase of Directors and Officers Liability Insurance provides a cost-effective way to eliminate the chance of financial loss from this exposure.

MERCER LIONS CLUB – The Club presented the fire department with a check for $3,300 to be used for their equipment needs.

MERCER LIONS CLUB –Committee members for the 2024 Mercer Lions Fishing Jamboree. The Jamboree is held annually on the Saturday of President’s weekend.

RHINELANDER LIONS CLUB –The Club volunteered at the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry.

GLIDDEN LIONS CLUB – Four new members were inducted into the Club, conducted by MD27-C2 First Vice District Governor Kerrie Molter.


May 1, 2024 – “Testing Your Lions Knowledge”

1. What Club positions did DG Don hold?

A President, Director, 2nd Vice DG

B Secretary, Club Service Chair

C Treasurer, Zone Chair, Secretary

D All the above

2. What are the MD27 Lions Dues?




As I start down the stretch of my final months as your District Governor, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility as I reflect upon all the amazing service that the 40 clubs in the District are providing to enrich their communities and serve our Global causes. I’ve been continually struck by the unique character and “personalities” of our diverse clubs and yet the overarching common thread is a dedication to selfless service to their communities and beyond. It has truly been a beautiful thing to behold. I hope that, in some small measure, I have helped to ensure a positive trajectory for our clubs in the coming years.

I have come to recognize how important leadership development is to the Association. Also, my eyes have been open to appreciate the level of leadership development resources that are available to each club and Lion. My hope is that every Lion in the District will seek to stretch themselves in whatever direction that they feel led to learn more so that they can contribute more. Moving forward, there is a real possibility that our towns and cities will need to look to the strength and resources of local Lion clubs to enhance their wellbeing and sustain a strong sense of community. We have the Lions legacy of doing just that. Let’s reinvigorate our clubs to meet greater challenges and opportunities. There are a couple user-friendly ways to enhance your knowledge and skills as a Lion. Firstly, the Lions International website is packed with information and resources that inspire and empower.

It is a simple process to register and get started. Go to the Home | Lions Clubs International site - – click on “Member Login” – click on “Learn”. Take the free online courses, encouraging your personal growth, with the leadership tools and insights. Secondly, you can access the many courses at the on-line Lions University and begin work on a bachelor’s degree in Lionism!

A small investment of your time using these free resources can result in big benefits for your Lions club.

Lastly, thank you for all that you do and for your support during this year. It’s been a roaring great ride! DON’S


Congratulations for your dedicated/volunteer years of Lions Service

– Gilman 1951 President Cheryl Rosemeyer

– Presque Isle 1973 President Jim Steines

Rhinelander 1940 President Melvin Hook

Whittlesey 1977 President Larry Brandl

QUIZ ANSWERS – (1) D; (2) $10.50
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Roger L. Weber | | 715-892-5386

District Convention 2024

Lion Bruce Voight from the McFarland Lions Club made a presentation about where to designate Club money from fundraisers during a March 9th session at the 27-D1 Convention in Middleton.

Brenda Steele, who is chairing a multiple Club Lions CARe Cruise event on May 11th, presented a report as part of the Lions 27-D1 Convention that took place March 8-9th at the Marriott MadisonWest in Middleton.

Lion Arlen Milestone from Oregon Brooklyn received the 27-D1 District Lion of the Year award from District Gov. Jeff Winkler during the 27-D1 Convention on March 9 at the Marriott Madison-West.

Lions International Director Joann Ogden spoke during the Wisconsin Lions 27-D1 District Convention held March 8-9th at the Marriott Madison-West in Middleton. Director Ogden has more than 38 years of experience as a nurse and was elected to serve a two-year term as international director of Lions Clubs International at the Lions 105th International Convention in Boston in 2023.

Sun Prairie Lions member Pat Parrish accepted an award from 27-D1 District Gov. Jeff Winkler for District Service Project of the Year. Sun Prairie earned the award for The Santa Project, where Lions dress as Santa and elf helpers to visit children for donations which are used to purchase Christmas gifts for economically disadvantaged families in Sun Prairie. Winkler presented the award at the recent 27-D1 Convention in Middleton.

Incoming Wisconsin Lions District 27-D1 Second Vice District Governor Tony Sobczak was among several Lions assembling snuffle mats during the District Convention on March 9th in Middleton. Snuffle mats are rubber mats with pieces of cloth tied to them that are used to hide toys or treats for Leader Dogs (also supported by District Lions Clubs)!

22 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-D1 NEWS

EDITOR: Bill Clausius |


LIONS CLUB – There is nothing more exciting about being a Lion than sharing your passion of being a Lion and installing a new member to join you in that commitment! The DeForest Windsor Lions Club had the great pleasure of installing their newest member, Mary Bergenske-Anderson. Mary is enthusiastic, eager and willing….all the makings of a Grrrrreat Lion! Pictured with Lion Mary is Lion Tony Sobczak, 2VDG elect and Lion Gary Overcash, Membership Chair.

IOWA-GRANT LEOS CLUB – The Leos Club, along with a large crowd of parents and family members, Iowa-Grant Lions and Cobb Lions members at the 20th Anniversary Banquet for the Iowa-Grant LEO Club on Thursday, March 7. This remarkable and active Leos Club inducted officers at this special event. Thanks to Lion Bucky Boland!






Well here it is…the last quarter of the year to serve as your District Governor. We recently hosted our District Convention with over 200 Leos and Lions in attendance. Our keynote speaker, International Director Joanne Ogden, energized the crowd by sharing her model for personal development – FOCUS.

Find Your Passion

Overcome Your Obstacles

Courage to make changes

Utilize your skills and the skills of your TEAM

Share the success

My personal highlight of the convention was getting to meet the student from McFarland that completed the Peace Poster that won our District Contest and also the State Peace Poster Contest. Her and her family were able to join us at our luncheon where we introduced her to the convention attendees. Now that the convention has passed, I will be back to visiting Clubs during the next three months – recognizing Lions for their years of service, inducting new members and installing officers for the new Lion year.

Thank you for your support during the past 3 years of my District Governor journey – I am looking forward to our District being led by District Governor Elect, Ron Wright. Ron offered to serve as a chairman for this past District Convention and he did a wonderful job putting all of the pieces together for a fun and educational weekend, he will be a great leader for our District.

I also want to encourage Club Officers to attend Club Officer workshops that will be held during the first week in June!

District D1 Lions…WE SERVE!


– Easter Fun Days was held

the end of March. 108 eyes were tested with 11 referrals. Fun was had by all.

Cuba City Lions Club Scavenger Hunt/ Pulled Pork Sandwich Fundraiser Saturday, April 20th, Funds for Christmas Lights

Cuba City Lions Club Food Drive Month of April

Cuba City Lions Club Brat Feed Saturday, May 4th

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27-D2 Convention with Irish Spirit

Irish conversation was in full force at the 27-D2 Convention held in Sparta. After a Dining in the Dark experience where the participants are blindfolded while trying to consume a complete dinner, the Irish spirit brought Irish green out. ID Anthony Paradiso was seen sporting a shamrock on his shirt while mingling with the convention goers. Green beer with snacks and games made the evening a fun event.

Saturday’s program was led by Lion Brian Overturf, Sparta Lions. Speakers included organizations from Sparta which support the needs of Suicide Prevention for Veterans and the Women and Childrens Center. ID Paradiso gave the keynote address followed by a heartwarming address by Leader Dog puppy raiser Deb Deli. PDG Dave Lee addressed the need for contributions to Childhood Cancer. This initiative is new to Lions International, but the $100,000 goal is strictly for Wisconsin families.

Evening banquet concluded with an Anniversary Celebration of the Sparta Lions 63 yrs of Service. Special guest was Charter Secretary of the Sparta Lions Club, Harvey Overturf. He gave a brief summary of the Clubs beginning and later accomplishments. He was given a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation by ID Paradiso.

BANGOR LIONS CLUB – The Club was excited to be a part of Bangor Elementary School Child Development Day! They provided vision screening for their preschool aged students. A special thank you goes out to Lions Ginny LeJeune, Marv Hesse, and Mary Jo Klos! Thank you Lion Art Marson as well for supplying the vision screening camera!

BANGOR LIONS CLUB – What a great looking crew here! The Bangor Lions were proud to serve their community with their annual spring highway clean up. Even with the chill in the air, it was a great turn out!

SAUK PRAIRIE LIONS CLUB –District Governor Anita Kelley shared the 2024 vision of Lions for service and community involvement.She also presented Linda Lintl with her 10 year pin and Leon Mindham with his 20 year pin. The Club does a lot of fund raising each year and gives back thousands of dollars to the community. May 10 and 11 they will have a brat stand at Piggly Wiggly. The 19th Annual Golf Tournament will be on July 14th at the Lake Wisconsin Country Club.

SAUK PRAIRIE LIONS CLUB –The Club wants to thank the Sauk Prairie Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful Business After Hours that spotlighted area service clubs on March 7th. It was informative, and great to meet and share with so many people. Thanks to Laurie Killam for the creative charcuterie board for our table. Pictured top photo are (l to r): Leon Mindham, Laurie Killam, Melissa Martinson, Amy Henning, Sue Hager

SAUK PRAIRIE LIONS CLUB –The February 21st Club meeting welcomed Kristie Gander from Kids Ranch. The Club helps support Kids Ranch Summer Day Camp for children ages seven-eleven who are struggling with reading, mental wellness or learning disabilities. They offer tutoring, nature activities, gardening, crafts, horseback riding and self-esteem activities. Rides to and from the camp are also provided. Contact camp coordinator, Vanya, if you know a child who would benefit from this program or to help out with a donation or to volunteer., 608-535-9158 or or

MAUSTON LIONS CLUB – DG Anita Kelley installed three new members into the Mauston Lions Club. Pictured are (l to r): new member Jon Fowler, sponsor of all three new members Randy Kissack, DG Anita Kelley, new member Jim Bires, and new member Brian Sletten
24 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-D2 NEWS

Coon Valley Lions Sponsor Roller-Skaters

The Coon Valley Lions Club recently presented a $700.00 check to help sponsor the Coon Valley Elementary School Physical Education (CVES PE} roller skating activity to CVES PE teacher Steph Fencl.

Her comments after being overwhelmed by the check, “This donation will do so much for our program this year and I do not have the words to express my gratitude to the Club for making this possible.” She went on to say, “Our goal in elementary Physical Education is to provide a variety of activities and expose students to as many ways to keep their bodies moving and active as possible. I have taught the roller-skating unit for the last six years and it is truly a favorite among students! Roller skating is a great way for our students to improve their fitness, but also teaches perseverance, builds self-confidence, and teaches the skills to enjoy this activity for a lifetime. The skates are not owned by the school, so we rent them from Skatetime, a company that specializes in skating in schools. The skates are lent to us for two weeks where they are used in PE class by students from 1st through 4th grade. In 2023, we also started holding an after school Skating Club for students so they could continue to enjoy this fun activity and get the maximum use of the equipment while we have it at CVES. The donations provided by the Lions Club ensures that we can continue providing this learning experience in our PE curriculum, despite rising costs and financial burdens on families.”


As I sit here trying to think of something to say for this last article, I’d like to say Thank You for all the support you have given me this year as your District Governor. It has been a very good year so far especially with the mild winter we have had. I want to give a big shout out to my Cabinet especially my Secretary Janet Krueger and Treasurer Georgine Erickson for being on top of things and making me look better than I’ve been.

My Council of Governors have become a part of my life and family taking me under their wings after coming in late in the 1VDG year. I appreciate all the conventions and meetings we’ve shared together and hopefully will continue our friendship with many things to get together for. Also, Council Chair BJ Blahnik – Thank You for leading this group of governors into the people and leaders we have all become. As BJ always said “It’s truly great to be a Lion” and I’m proud to have been a Lion for 21 years!

I wish the upcoming Cabinet and District Governor Georgine a very good and successful 2024 – 2025 year! Let’s continue to grow our membership and retain the members we have to keep moving forward with Mission 1.5!

Steph concluded by stating, “Once again, thank you so very much for your support of this program. It is truly a pleasure to partner with organizations such as the Coon Valley Lions Club to best serve the students and families of the Coon Valley Elementary School.”

The goal of Lions Clubs is to help build communities through aiding sight and hearing programs, youth activities and various other community enhancement projects. If anyone would like to help Lions achieve these goals, just contact a Lions member in your community!

Again, Thank You and have fun in your meetings and activities as “We Serve”. Wishing you all a very healthy and happy life.


The Club held an Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30 at the Lions Shelter. We had 52 kids which was a very good turn out. The winners of the Easter Baskets were: Brynn Stenner (Girls) and Sven Kvinge (Boys).

DG Anita Kelley visited her Soldiers Grove Lions Club and was presented a mirror in appreciation for her year of service.
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Loretta Ewelt | | 608-269-3062
Richard Schultz, Lee Nerison, Robert Kerska, CVES PE Instructor Steph Fencl, Tim Seland and Curt Horman.

Highlights from the 27-E1 Convention

The convention was well attended with 176 Lions attending the meals and speakers, held at The 29 Pines. District Governor Dennis celebrates the convention with his mother, daughter, grandson, and First Lady. Pictured are (l to r): Frances Sykora, Jessica Torgerson, 1st Lady Brenda Sykora, Archer Torgerson and DG Dennis Sykora

Our international guest, ID Ron Keller and Lion Kitty Lea are pictured with DG Dennis Sykora and First Lady Brenda

Friday night, the Lions were entertained by the McDonnel High School Show Choir, shown in bottom picture.

Presidential certificates of appreciation were awarded to several Lions by International Director Ron Keller and District Governor Dennis Sykora. Pictured are ID Ron and DG Dennis with Rick Bradley. Pictured are ID Ron and DG Dennis and Dick Moore. Pictured are ID Ron and DG Dennis and Dave Schimmel. Pictured are ID Ron and DG Dennis and Randy Kittelson

The memorial service was held at the convention with 26 Members remembered and these deceased members represented 680 ½ years of service to the Lions organizations.

Egg Hunt. The kids were then able to play a variety of games such as, Easter plunko, the bunny hop, a bean bag toss and the egg on a spoon relay. Of course, the Easter Bunny also made an appearance and received many hugs. Pictured are kids planning Easter Plunko and hugs from the Easter Bunny.

26 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-E1 NEWS
LAKE HOLCOMBE LEOS CLUB – The LEOS hosted an Easter Fun Day. It started out with an


What Do You Do When There is No Ice for an Ice Fishing Contest?



The Cadott Lions were faced with that question this year. Their solution? They moved the contest to a local establishment and participants were able to go magnetic ice fishing. They were also able to test their casting skills as they attempted to cast a lure into a coffee can. Food was provided by the scouts and there were basket raffles held by the Club. What did they learn…people had fun and we had folks attend that never are on the ice. It was a successful event.


The Club held their annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event was well attended and everyone left with eggs and a great snack.



– The Easter Egg Hunt was held recently. In attendance was the Easter Bunny and their Lion. Fun was had by all in attendance.

First, I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended the 27-E1 District Convention back in March. We had a wonderful time getting the opportunity to meet new members, learn more about the Lions Club mission, involvement, and impact as well as its many charitable foundations. For those who were unable to attend, I would encourage you to do so in the future.

At the Convention, the next 27-E1 District Leaders were also announced. It is my honor and privilege to inform you of the following elected leaders: District Governor Elect, Thomas Pratt of the Lake Wissota Club, First Vice District Governor, Ed Cerney of the Clayton Club and Second Vice District Governor Elect, Barb Dulmes from the Cadott Club.

Additionally, I want to congratulate the four Presidential Appreciation Award winners Dave Schimmel, Rick Bradley, Richard Moore and Randy Kittelson for their outstanding allegiance and commitment to the Lions Foundation.

Brenda and I would like to thank International Director, Ron Keller, and his wife, Kitty Lea, for attending our Convention. To their generous hosts Connie LeCleir-Meyer and her husband, Mike, thank you for your kindness and willingness. Lastly, to the Convention Committee, thank you for your time and dedication in creating a successful convention. I could not have done this without your support and commitment.

As I write my final letter, Brenda and I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to all the Clubs of 27-E1 District for inviting us to their Club meetings, award nights and fundraisers. We had a great year being your District Governor and First Lady and it truly was an honor working alongside you all to obtain my goals. I look forward to the future as a Director on the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Board.

Thank you again for everything!

WANDEROOS LIONS CLUB –Larry Behne, charter member of the Wanderoos Lions Club, was recognized by Lions Zone Chairman Boyd Dosch, for 40 years of membership in the Lions organization. Larry is the current President of the Wanderoos Area Lions Club. Larry has a passion for helping people and annually participates in the International Ski for Light event. This past January the event was held in Rhinelander. The organizers had to get creative with mini events due to the lack of snow, but the event went on and all had a great time. Lion Larry built a giant ski for three people at a time. This was used for a challenge event much like a three legged man sack race. Well done Larry and Congratulations!

MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 27
Barb Dulmes | | 715-289-5280 or 715-829-4090

A Look At Roberts Lions Club – It Could be Your Club

Lion Chuck Pizzi and Lion Doreen Kruschke completed vision screenings in January: on the17th at New Richmond Starr Elementary, on the19th at New Richmond Hillside Elementary, and on the 25th at New Richmond Paperjack Elementary.

Then in February vision screenings were completed: on the 1st-2nd at Northwood Technical College for their Early Childhood Development Days, on the 6th at St. Croix Central Elementary’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades and finally at St. Croix Central Middle School’s 6th and 7th grades. That is a grand total of 858 screened kids, with 60 referrals for further testing.

Lions are changing the world of sight for children every year. In this case two dedicated Lions changed 60 children’s world of sight in just six days.


A New Spin on Pin Trading!

The next time you run into a Pin Trader, ask them their definition of “pin trading” and chances are you’ll get the expected answer of trading something for something else. The trade could be a pin for a pin, a handful of your pins for a pin set you’ve been searching for – as long as both parties are happy with the deal, it’s all that matters!

There’s usually some form of pin trading at each of the District and State Conventions, where Pin Traders will have Lions pins for trade and/or sale. Please visit this area of the convention – you’ll be amazed at what you see and find the Pin Traders to be welcoming, informative and willing to help find what you’re looking for.

I attended the E1 Convention as a Pin Trader and had a wonderful time! Many Lions stopped by – some familiar faces with good conversation had, and a number of new faces curious about all the different pins; I took the opportunity to ask where they were from and what their interests were. It was a pleasure to meet new Lions and share a little background about Lions pins with them. I gave away quite a few E1 Club pins to Lions who didn’t even realize their Club had pins! A newer Lion said he was interested in deer and cars – I told him to give me some time and stop back later, where I had a few handfuls of pins waiting for him at no charge.

I love trading Lions pins, but I also really enjoy giving pins to others excited to receive them. I didn’t come home with too many new Lions pins, but I certainly came away from the E1 Convention with the satisfaction of helping others get excited about pin trading!

Glenhills And Boyceville Lions Team Up

When a child with Cancer is in need, we as Lions want to help. When two children from two different areas need Lions help, what do we do? We come together and team up to have a fundraiser for the children. That is exactly what Glenhills and Boyceville Lions Clubs did. They came together on January 25th at the Glenwood City High School to have a spaghetti dinner, free-will donation, a 50/50 raffle, and a raffle basket drawing. Many came out to support the two children in need. Over 25 baskets were donated, bringing in a large portion of the donations. The 50/50 did its job for sure, and the spaghetti dinner went so well they had to make two runs to the store to get more food and supplies.

The support and compassion of these two Clubs to come together for only a few hours and raise over $6,000 for the two children was a sight to be seen. Two Clubs, now friends, and two children and their families, with a whole lot of support during this difficult time. Lions come together and SERVE. Not as one, not as a Club, not as the only organization, but instead as many, more than one Club, and no fear to ask others to join the world of service with Lions.

Happy Pin Trading, Giving and Collecting!
28 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024 27-E2 NEWS

The Eyes Say It In Ettrick

We all know about vision screening. We all know it makes a difference. We know we do it for the children. We all know we SERVE. However, we do not show others what we are doing. I am proud to include this article for the Ettrick Lions Club who submitted their service project to their editor. Ettrick Lions served 110 children at the Ettrick Elementary School with approximately eight referrals.

Some may say it is only eight children, others will say it is eight children, who will have the chance to see a better world through glasses. They will have a better life, be able to work a job, finish school, drive, read, and all better because of a vision screening session with Ettrick Lions.


As we wind down this Lionisitc year I want to thank everyone for all you have done and continue to do in your communities. Just think about all those in your communities and around the world that have been affected by your hard work and dedication to serving others. This year’s District Convention was very successful, and I want to thank everyone who attended to make it so. Friday night’s hospitality was fun and engaging with games, a bean bag tournament and raffles.

As we move into the next year, I hope that you continue to serve and support your communities and Lions programs in Wisconsin and for LCI. Hunger – support your local food shelves and those in need in your community. Environment – plant trees in your community and support the “Scrap Like A Lion” initiative. Diabetes – Support WLF and the Lions Camp to provide opportunities for children to have a free week as a camper and to just be a kid for a week. Vision – support the Lions Eye Bank to provide sight for someone you may know. Childhood Cancer – Support our State, District or your local community providing funds to help with expenses during their time of need. Finally, LCIF – Provides grants for disaster relief around the world and even in your local communities. As I promoted this year, there are Community Impact grants available for your Clubs to use to improve your community. These grants are first come first serve and subject to approval. All these programs help those in your community and have an impact.

Finally, thank you for the hospitality you provided to PCC Stacey and me during our visits with you this year. It has made it a very good year for us, and we are proud of all you do. We consider all of you as part of our Lions family.

WLF HEARING AID APPLICATIONS Information and applications for assistance with obtaining hearing aids for financially needy individuals in our District through our WLF Hearing Aid Project can be easily downloaded from the WLF website,, under the Hearing Project tab. The application is also available from our District website,, in the District Organization tab.
MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 29 EDITOR: PDG Ronda Bierbrauer | | 612-636-5044

In Memory / In Honor of…




Debbie Martin

Barbara Torgerson

Phil Haddad

Kristine Erdman

Sara Erdman

Marcia Curcija

Darin Wagner

Holly Holmes

Jeff Meyers

Sam and Ilana Wegleitner

Kari Paulson

The Dirt League

Michael Elliott

Megan Thomas

Erin Hillert

Sharon Rucker

James Butler

Linda Nitch

Bernette Lynn Wynn

Sue Misun

Jill Weber

Sharon and Ralph Reniewicki

Kjersten Hewes

Rebecca Brandt

Mary Taylor

John and Carole Paulson

Terry B. Twedell

Cynthia P. Kiepert

Nancy and Terry Smith

Carol A. Pringle

Brenda Diamond

Sandra Rodriguez

Thomas J. Rath

Carol A. Risberg

Julie Peterson

Elizabeth Montgomery

Richard T. Johnson

Judith Pell

Marlene Sharman

Judith Hinke

Priscilla Kallas

Mary Gaedtke

Randy and Michele Wojciehoski


Palmer Hoffland


DeForest-Windsor Lions Club


PCC Tammy Rockenbach



Cindy Huhn


*Donation to Birch-Sturm Fund



Mary Jo Abler


Curtiss Lions Club


Jackie Bordak


Coon Valley Lions Club


Spring Green Lions Club


Community Foundation of Dunn County


Colleen & Timothy Colford


Richard & Peggy Daluge

Camilla Farwell

Diane Fernholz

Mary Goodhall

Mary Guy

Brenda Haskell

Eugene Hnilicka

Rhonda Jenkins

Florence Ostdick

Tamra Rockenbach

Donald Skibba

Bernice Thering

Peggy Weber

Ann Wiest


Altoona Lions Club


Ed & Lisa Cerney

Clayton Lions Club


PDG Virgil & Rita Thompson


Mc Farland Lions Club


Diane C. Huber


Albert C. “Bud” Imm Estate


Rosanna Anderson

Mike & Linda Carter

Erin Richardson

Teri Wright


Howard Suamico Lions Club


Colleen & Timothy Colford

Louise Ebert


Deborah Ayer

Angela Boelter

Mary Couillard

Gary & Valerie DuChateau

Angie & Bentley Entwisle

Tracy Everetts

Bobbi Gonnering

Patricia Hawley

Kathlyn Hurley

Cyndi Jansen

Kimberly Johnson

Cindy Kirkpatrick

Lake Park Swim & Fitness-Jane Dias

Jennifer Miller

Shelby Miller

Alice Pollock

Peg Otis

Heather Sabel

Betsy Schinke

Richard Schuchart

Donald Skibba

Steven Steinhauer

Crystal Svoboda

Jeanne Van Dinter

Anne Van Handel


David & Tracy De Angelis


Tom & Rose Berendes


Marian & Bob Bloom

Gary Boettcher

Friends & Family

Cristina Johari (Gamerdinger)

David & Mandy Johnson


David & Tracy De Angelis


Denmark Lions Club


Ronald Niebauer Estate


Jason & Liz Shelley & Family


Kathy Pett


Ed & Dolores Prohaska


Lake Wissota Lions Club


Lake Wissota Lions Club


Dan Puent


Kathleen Burns

Richard A. Dieffenbach

Maggie Hucko

Jason & Liz Shelley & Family


Wisconsin Rapids Lioness Lions Club


Mary Jo Abler


Howards Grove Lions Club


Jill Christian

Judith Erickson

Nancy Poellmann

Barbara Steiner


Jason & Liz Shelley


Mike & Linda Carter

Jason & Liz Shelley


Angela Esselman

James & Pauline Schiferl

Colleen Sprotte


Tom & Rose Berendes


Tamra Rockenbach

Michael & Carolyn Tiber


Tamra Rockenbach


Tilden Lions Club


Debra Clark

Oak Bank

Debra Olsen

Cori Pochardt

Agnes Prine

Rose Sage


Allouez Parkside Village LLC

Gerald DeBeck

Julie Destiche

Scott DeVillers

Louise Ebert

PCC Joe & Audrey Leisgang

Lloyd Nakao

Ellen Nys

Alexis Russell

Susan Williams



Madison West Lions Club


Elizabeth Langenfeld


Mary Lisa Carenza Keenan


Holmen Lions Club

La Farge Lions Club


Stoughton Lions Club


Peter Winter


Creative Memories


Madison West Lions Club


Frederic Lions Club

Rice Lake Lions Club

Stanley Lions Club


Waupaca Lions Club


PDG John Zimmer




Lynn & Sandy Steglich

One Lion At A Time Our Special Guest... DOUGLAS X. ALEXANDER Past International President LCIF Trustee Vice Chair SAVE THE DATE MD 27 STATE CONVENTION May 16 - 18, 2024 Marriott Madison West, Middleton WI 30 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024






NEW LONDON LIONS CLUB – The Club recognized two outstanding Lions from their Club with Melvin Jones awards: Lion Randy Cleveland and Lion Roger Steingraber. Pictured are Lion Steve Dyreson (Randy's sponsor), Lion President Gary Henke, Lion Randy Cleveland, Lion Roger Steingraber, Lion Bill Krejcarek (Roger's sponsor).  All five pictured are Melvin Jones recipients. Photo by Lion Secretary Tom Schmude

WINTER AREA LIONS CLUB – Congratulations to Lion Michael O'Mara in achievement of the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, representing his dedication to humanitarian service to the highest degree. Thank you, Lion Mike for your 30 years of exemplary service and your dedication to the club offices of 1st Vice President, President, LCIF Coordinator and Treasurer and to the many committees on which you have served.  It was an honor for club president Patti Helsing to present this award and for Mike’s sponsor Ken Patenaude, who has been a club member for 38 years, to stand with him for the presentation.

HORICON LIONS CLUB – I had the pleasure of presenting Lion Sandi Konrath with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. Lion Sandi has been instrumental in our Club in many ways but most importantly she has sponsored two of our newest members and continues to recruit and retain members. Sandi works hard to make sure our minutes, agendas, reports, and everything in between runs smoothly and is done perfectly. I, along with my fellow Horicon Lions, nominated Sandi for this award because of her commitment to Lionism and her dedication and passion for those we serve. Congratulations Lion Sandi!!





ANGEL OF SIGHT FELLOWSHIP ($10,000+ in cumulative donations)

LIONS ARE ON A MISSION TO GROW. MISSION 1.5 is the drive to reach 1.5 million members worldwide so we can better meet the growing needs of our communities. It will help us serve more people than ever before. And it will help make our clubs, our communities and our service stronger than ever.
Club PDG LARRY REDLIN Mukwonago Lions Club GEOFF HUDSON Madison West Lions Club SUE HINELINE Waunakee Lions Club RAY ROPERS Waunakee Lions Club
Cottage Grove Lions Club LARRY
River Falls Lions Club JAMES SEEFELD Whittlesey Lions Club JUNE LEGO Rhinelander Lions Club JACK KORB Iola Lions Club MARY MILLER Iola Lions Club SHARON NEIDERT Iola Lions Club
VERN WILMOT Birch-Sturm Grand Chute (B2) SUE LEE Birch-Sturm Appleton Noon Lions (B1) MARY GRIEPENTROG Melvin Jones Abbotsford (C1) TOM KEEFE Knight of Sight Grand Chute (B2) JANSEN Melvin Jones Appleton Noon Lions STEVE BOHM Melvin Jones Grand Chute (B2) JOHN KAFURA Birch-Sturm Grand Chute (B2)
MAY / JUNE 2024 WisconsinLion 31

A Random Act of Kindness from a Young Teen in St. Croix: Kayna Bihner

In a piggy bank, in a safe, in her Grandparent’s home, for four to five years. Keeping her donations safe as she watched them grow was very important. A young girl who only asked others to believe in her words as she asked them to help her do something grand one day, by helping someone or something. Maybe they gave her a dollar, maybe ten dollars, and maybe only a quarter. No matter the amount Kayna Bihner never thought of the donations in her bank, in the safe, as her own money. She knew one day, the time would be right to do what she had always wanted to do with her donations. Give them away.

Kayna is member of the St. Croix Central Middle School located in Hammond, WI. Every year, the students have a penny drive to help purchase gifts for the children who would otherwise not have gifts under their tree Christmas morning. December of 2023 must have been Kayna’s time. The school had donations totaling over $4,000. With 446 students attending St. Croix Central Middle School it makes an average of $9 per student’s donation. Now we all know every student did not give $9, and we know some students gave more than $9. We also know a few select students went way beyond the $9 to help the children. Then there is Kayna, who went - to what I would call - out of this world help! Kayna raised $500 over her years of asking others to help her. She then added $20 of her own money to make a $520 donation to the children who will be served by the Holiday Angels Program.

our family,” she said. They teach me firsthand what good choices are, take me with them to help with charity or fundraising events, teach me how to be a good and giving person by showing me firsthand all they do for others, and what the result is from giving to others.

It was at this point and time I asked Kayna what it was her parents did to help? “My Mom does a lot in the Lions,” she said. I smiled. Your Mom is a Lion? Can I ask who your mom is? Turns out I had met and knew her mom, attended conventions with her, did fundraisers with her, and more. She has been a great person to serve with. So, although a Lion, both her and I, we find we are people outside of Lions making a difference by giving one moment in time or over years.

We look for random acts of kindness as Lions members. We want others to see how we serve. We want to see a difference made in the lives of others, and sometimes in just a moment’s time. Those moments can be saved over the years. Those moments are protected and kept safe. Maybe, just maybe, those moments need to be watched to make sure they are going to be given to the right person, the right organization, or making sure the right amount of help is given.

You’d have to be with Kayna and talk to her to see how much this young girl realizes and knows about family, needing, wanting, her world and those in it. Her understanding of the word “give,” is like a bright ray of sunshine in our world with so much gloom. She tells of how she believes she never had to worry about money. Money to buy lunches, money to buy a gift, money to be in a sport, or to buy clothes. How her family is seen through her eyes has always been ok. She will tell you “I’m not rich, but I have all the things I need.” She realizes many children do not have the things they need. She would tell you, “To some Christmas gifts for children is not a necessary thing, it is not a need.” “But these are children, and some will only know sadness when they find nothing under their tree Christmas morning.” “One gift under their tree, if they have a tree, is not too much to ask for.” And all this, said by a child.

“I have never done anything like this before,” said Kayna. Meaning how she saved money for this long with a goal this grand in mind. “I don’t even know why I felt compelled to start asking people to help me with this goal,” she said. “I just did it.” I asked her what her parents thought of her giving such a large donation? “They are proud of me,” she said. “My mom asked me a few times if I really wanted to do what I was about to do with all the money, it’s a lot of money.” Kayna’s reply, “I am sure Mom.” Kayna made it clear she wanted to give the donation to a local program only. A program she knew something about. A program who gives at least 95% of what they bring in to help others and keeps truly little for themselves. “I never looked at the money as mine. I always knew it was going to a charity,” said Kayna.

I asked Kayna who her role models are to be taught to be such a giving person at such a young age. “My parents,” she said. “They give a lot of their time to others, and yet they always make time for me and

If you are reading this article, please be proud to have met Kayna Bihner. Even if only through words and a photo. If you are a parent, a grandparent, a friend, or another human being, you have the power to do a random act of kindness, to make a difference, to take one minute out of your day to make someone else’s day a little or a lot brighter, or to wait years and plan to make the difference.

I asked Kayna how she felt when the piggy bank was broken open, the safe was empty, and she had given the donation to the school? “I feel glad,” she said. “I am happy knowing I helped.” “Happy I made a difference.”


Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) 630-203-3810

Wisconsin Lions Foundation (WLF) 715-677-4969 •

Lions Pride Endowment Fund 715-677-7000

Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin 877-233-2354

Restoring Hope Transplant House 608-831-1726

Wisconsin Lions Birch-Sturm 715-677-4969

Wisconsin Lions Missions

Leader Dogs for the Blind Lions Recognition Programs


32 WisconsinLion MAY / JUNE 2024

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