Sunday, June 28, 2015

~~ Lions usher this week at the Black Hills Roundup! ~~

Fellow Belle Fourche Lions:  Please click on the Lions Calendar of Events to the right for the work schedule as we have it at this time (Monday, June 29th).  Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lions Zupan and Kline named Lions of the Year

The past year has been a very busy one for the Belle Fourche Lions Club and the Northern Lights Lions Club.  Both organizations made significant headway in helping with a variety of projects in the community -- ranging from vision screening of local children to launching a new park shelter project that will hit its stride in coming weeks. The two clubs merged earlier this year, unified under the moniker of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.

So, it was no big surprise -- and very appropriate -- when Lions President Rick Walton (at left in this photo) announced at the Lions meeting this week (5/26/15) there would be TWO recipients of the Lion of the Year award from the Belle Fourche Lions Club this year:  Lion Melodey Zupan and Lion Brian Kline.  Lion Zupan will soon be completing her second year as a Lion, saying she has particularly enjoyed participating in the vision screening for children — especially the very young ones.  Lion Kline, who is coordinating club assistance with the Center of the Nation All-Car Rally this summer, has been in Lions for more than 21 years.  Our congratulations to both! 

"Both Lion Zupan and Lion Kline have demonstrated leadership during the past year in helping further the spirit and achievements of Lionism," noted Walton in announcing their selection.  Presentation of the award plaques will be made at a later date.

Speakers Jess Moser (center) and Jenny Ness
 (right) shared photos of their work in Mexico
Jenny Ness and Jess Moser from the RedWater Eye Care provided a program about their volunteer work in Mexico. They're part of a group known as VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) which has been involved in providing used glasses to needy persons.   For some 45 years, VOSH volunteers have been traveling to Mexico and others countries to help impoverished people with their vision needs.

Ness said their South Dakota group has worked with the Mitchell Lions Club in collecting donated eyeglasses and taking them to the state penitentiary for repairs -- then to be delivered to Mexico by South Dakota VOSH volunteers.

Their trek in early February of 2015 took them to the impoverished suburbs of Gomez Palacio in the north-central region of Mexico.  With the assistance of a local Lions Club there, the group distributed more than 3,300 pairs of glasses to persons in need of assistance. They shared photos from a typical day of volunteering, which started at 9 o'clock in the morning and lasted until about 7 o'clock in the evening -- with a late afternoon "siesta" break.

"The work is very rewarding," said Ness, who thanked Lions for their support and encouraged continued and expanded work in gathering old eyeglasses.  The presentation spurred club members to discuss other strategic locations where Belle Fourche Lions could place collection boxes for donated glasses.

We were delighted to have to special guests for this meeting.  Officer Jason Huber of the Belle Fourche Police Department, and Bridger Wingen, accompanied by his mother, Lion Julie Wingen.  

Bridger Wingen and mom, Lion Julie Wingen
Lion Julie introduced Bridger and expressed her appreciation to the group for all that has been done to assist with his health issues.  Bridger was born with only half of his heart and underwent major heart surgery just three days after he was born.  Northern Lights Lions donated to his care.  The young lad is doing much better now, but is still in need of one more surgery.  It was a treat to have Bridger join us for this meeting.

To see these and other Lions photos in somewhat higher resolution, visit our Lions Club Photo Gallery.

A final bit of business was handled when the club voted to increase annual dues by $5 to help offset international dues that have been increased in recent years.  Local dues are now $70.  Two important points were underscored:  all community funds raised through various projects -- from the pancake breakfast to the All-Car Rally and other events -- go only to support Lions programs that benefit the community.  Also, Belle Fourche Lions Club will continue to assist in subsidizing initiation fees for new member.

After a very busy final meeting of the season, Belle Fourche Lions meetings go on hiatus for the summer and won't return until September.  Not to worry, though, the work of Lions will continue......from building a new shelter and ushering at the Black Hills Roundup to providing the best burgers and mini-donuts on earth at the Center of the Nation All Car Rally.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lions clean up along U.S. 34 and host Zone 2 meeting

Lions are proud of their heritage — and of their service to the community.

Trash beware!  Belle Fourche Lions along U.S. 34
So pardon our Lion "pride" (sorry for the pun) if we boast a little about what must surely have been a record turnout for the Highway 34 Clean-up yesterday afternoon (4/28/15) west of the Belle Fourche Country Club toward the Wyoming border.  While we keep lots of records, we don't have a precise count of Lion volunteers who showed up to pick up trash along both sides of the highway.  

Lion P.J. Sloan chairs this project, and he had lots of help yesterday.  We suspect there were about 15 Lions involved, and we couldn't have had a better day to be traipsing up and down the highway right-of-way.  All the debris was collected in heavy duty plastic bags and dumped at the State Highway shop adjacent to the golf course.  No count on that either, but the dumpster was full!

On the heels of that event, Lions members and guests squeezed in to the meeting room at The Stadium for our regularly-scheduled meeting.  And this was a special session, which included the Lions Zone 2 meeting chaired by Lion Del Neumeister, who gave a rundown on zone accomplishments and offered a few suggestions on ways of acquiring and retaining new members.

Lion Ken Wetz of Newell (standing) was among guests
We were pleased to be joined by members of the Newell Lions Club, led by their president Lion Carol McCarthy.  You'll see a few of their members depicted in our Lions Photo Gallery.

Lion Joyce Drabek reported that the club grossed some $2,860 from another successful Dodgeball Tournament and that we hope to net about $1,300 after all expenses are paid.  Some 10 teams participated in the event, and a tournament is already tentatively scheduled for March of 2016.

Among other items on the agenda at this meeting:  Belle Fourche Lions will be building another picnic shelter, and Saturday, May 16, has been set as a tentative day for construction work, with an alternate date one week later on Saturday, May 23; volunteers were again requested for the Vision Screening slated for tomorrow at the Belle Fourche Middle School;  and the club voted to provide meals for "Teen Camp" participants on Tuesday, July 14 — further details will be announced at a future meeting.

For a complete rundown of the meeting, you can read the minutes of this meeting — and all previous meetings for the past year or so — as compiled by Lion Secretary Del Neumeister.  Simply click on the MINUTES tab at the top of this page.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lions 4th Annual Dodgeball Tourney is a success!

In what has been described as a "pretty wild tournament," the Annual Dodgeball Tournament at the Belle Fourche Area Community Center last weekend (4/18/15) is now history.

First Place winners "Not In The Face"
Started four years ago by the Northern Lights Lions Club as a fundraiser, the event has become a popular one in the community and helps support community service projects undertaken by Lions.

According to Lion Joyce Drabek, Chairman for the tourney, there were 67 players that comprised the 10 teams that signed up this year.

The winning team (shown here) was a group dubbed "Not in The Face," and they took home the $250 Grand Prize.  The "Prancing Poinies" team copped second place, and the "Cobras" came in third.

While we've posted a few photos from the event in our Lions Gallery, you'll find a bevy of great action photos on the Northern Lights Lions Dodgeball Facebook Page!

The 2016 event is set for March 19th.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Seven new members inducted into Belle Fourche Lions Club

Lions Drabek, Young and Walton
It was a full house for the Tuesday, March 24th meeting as seven new members were inducted into the Belle Fourche Lions Club at the The Stadium Sports Grill.

The ceremony was conducted by Lion Bob Drabek with assistance from Lions Rick Walton and Cherlynn Young.  

Many of the inductees had been members of the Northern Lights Lions Club, the ladies Lions organization that has been exceptionally active in Belle Fourche vision screening over the past few years.

Moderator Drabek observed that this merger of the two clubs is much like a marriage – one of the two parties usually must have a name change.

Drabek also noted that the success of this arrangement will be the responsibility of all the members.

These were among the seven new Lions members and their sponsors participating in the March 24th induction ceremony, one of the largest such events in recent memory.
New members inducted into the Belle Fourche Lions Club were Lions Jeremy Biegert, Faith Goehring, Sue Neumeister, P.J. Sloan, Kelly Walton, Frank Walton, and Kellen Willert.

For a bit more information and additional photos, visit our Lions Gallery.

We should note that you’ll not see Lion sponsor Rik Bartels or inductee Lion P.J. Sloan in any of those photos.  During the course of the evening, the fire whistle blew and Lions Bartels and Sloan had to absent themselves from the festivities.

We should note that Lion Sloan was recently selected as “Fireman of the Year” by the Belle Fourche Fire Department.  Congratulations Lion Sloan!

In his induction comments, Lion Bob Drabek challenged each of the new members to help make the Belle Fourche Lions Club an even better organization.

After the ceremony, all enjoyed a wonderful “Lions Cake” from the oven of new Lion Sue Neumeister.

Thanks to all who made this a special evening, and congratulations to our new members of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.

Friday, February 27, 2015

New member -- and new meeting dates for Belle Fourche Lions!

Lions Rick Walton and Sue Neumeister
Sue Neumeister may not have intended to help make a bit of history -- but she has.

The wife of local Pastor Del Neumeister, Sue has just become the newest member of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.  More significantly, she is the first-ever woman to join the club, which has consisted only of men since it was formed in 1936.

Neumeister was welcomed to membership in the club by President Rick Walton (photo at left) during the February 26th meeting at the Stadium Sports Grill.

And while she may be the only lady in this bastion of men, that won't be the case for very long.  Nearly a dozen members of the Northern Lights Lions Club -- formed by Belle Fourche women about five years ago -- are expected to join Belle Fourche Lions during their meeting on Tuesday, March 24th.  Their infusion into the club should give the club even more resources to provide services to the community.  They already have compiled a hefty list of accomplishments.

But Sue Neumeister is the first to break the gender tradition of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.

"My dad was a Lion for as far back as I can remember," said Neumeister, who is a native of Nebraska.  The family had lived in Avoca, Decatur,  and Weeping Water, among others communities, in eastern Nebraska.  

"I remember Lions collecting eyeglasses and having meetings, but I honestly don't remember much more.  I just remember dad was a Lion for a long time."

Husband Del is also a Lion, allowing Sue to gain even more knowledge about the Belle Fourche Lions Club and its activities.  Lion Del has been a member of the club since their family moved to Belle Fourche six years ago from Scotland, South Dakota.  They have six children and 10 grandchildren -- with another grandchild on the way. 

Starting in March -- on the 10th -- the Belle Fourche Lions Club will beginning meeting on Tuesday evenings rather than Thursday evenings.  All meetings will continue to take place at the Stadium Sports Grill, 818 5th Street on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, September through May.