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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Northern Lights Lions will bolster Belle Fourche Lions Club

Some five years after they received a charter as a Lions Club, members of the Northern Lights Lions Club have chosen to transfer to Belle Fourche Lions Club.  And last week (2/12/15) Vice President Leo Orme -- who had represented the sponsoring Belle Fourche Lions Club -- called for a vote to allow Northern Lights members to become members of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.

Northern Lights Lions soon after their 2009 charter
The approval vote was unanimous.

In earlier announcing the anticipated vote, President Rick Walton  observed, "This will be of great benefit to both our groups, and we will gain some excellent Lions who possess a lot of talents and who have done great things for the community."

"The future of Lionism in our community requires that we work together and pool our resources so we can continue "To Serve."

Northern Lights has been particularly successful in giving leadership to vision screening in the community, an activity that hearkens back to an early priority of Lions -- and one that remains important and immensely relevant to Lions."

It's anticipated that more than a dozen members of Northern Lights will make the transition and attend their first Belle Fourche Lions Club meeting on Tuesday, March 24th. 

It was also reported that six "Drop Box Containers" for used hearing aids and glasses were purchased from the South Dakota Lions Foundation during the State Convention by Lion Robert Drabek.  The containers will be located at RedWater Eye Care, local banks, and other strategic locations throughout the community.

Another key vote of the February 12th meeting focused on future meeting dates, since there've been issues surrounding attendance and meeting space.  On a motion from Lion Neumeister, it was decided to change  meeting days from Thursdays to Tuesdays.  Beginning next month, Belle Fourche Lions will meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month September through May.   The new schedule will take effect Tuesday, March 10th.

Meetings will continue to be conducted at Stadium Sports Grill, 818 5th Avenue beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

South Dakota Lions Eye & Tissue Bank highlighted

Belle Fourche Lions club members -- joined by the Northern Lights Lions club -- learned a bit more about the South Dakota Lions Eye & Tissue Bank this week (12/11/14).

Alan Berdahl from the SD Eye & Tissue Bank
Lion Alan Berdahl, who is Community Outreach Coordinator for the Eye & Tissue Bank, provided a bit of history about the organization and focused on the importance of donors to the program.  They provide corneas and other tissues to citizens across South Dakota, the United States, and even the world. 

Located in Sioux Falls, the non-profit organization primarily serves southwest Minnesota, northern Nebraska, and all of South Dakota, but their reach is worldwide. They partner with hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, coroners, as well as EMS and law enforcement personnel.

To be a donor to the eye bank, you merely have to have it noted on your driver's license, but Berdahl recommended that you plan ahead and "get your family on board," which he said makes the process much easier.

Who can be a donor?  Almost "everyone" said Berdahl.  Eyesight or lack of it is irrelevant to cornea viability. "One donor can help hundreds of people," he said.  To learn more about eye and tissue donation, visit the South Dakota Lions Eye & Tissue Bank website.

New Belle Fourche Lions member Jeremy Biegert (left)
is welcomed by club president Rick Walton
In the final meeting for calendar 2014, there was lots of business conducted by Lions.  President Rick Walton reported that -- thanks to extra effort by new Lion Jeremy Biegert -- the posts for a new shelter next to Bowman Hall will soon be installed.

Lion Harry Haivala reported that the Lions "Christmas Family" has received their $250 gift care from Walmart for the purchase of food and other necessary items.

There was also recognition given to Lion Tim Cleveland for his 15 years of service and to Lion Brian Kline for receiving a "Sable" award from District Governor Arient-Rollman for his good work "behind the scene" as a Lion.  You'll find photos of Lions Cleveland, Kline, and others in our Lions Gallery.

President Rick Walton finalized the committee structures for the coming year.  You'll find a complete listing of assignments by clicking on the "Committees" tab at the top of this page.  And to get details about this meeting -- or any of our meetings for the past couple of years -- click on "Minutes."  A tip of the hat to Secretary Del Neumeister for his continuing diligence and promptness in generating minutes.  Our next meeting will be January 8, 2015.

And if you enjoy photographs, we have something of a "family album" of photographs from the December 11th meeting, as well as many meetings over the past several years.  You'll find them in our Lions Gallery.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lions recognized for service by Lions District Governor


5SW District Governor Julaine Arient-Rollman was on hand to present these Belle Fourche Lions with longevity awards on November 13, 2014.

Left-to-right are:  Rick Walton, 15 years; Ron Ensz, 25 years; DG Julaine and her guide dog "Sable"; Harry Haivala, 20 years; and Richard Drabek, 40 years.

Congratulations Lions......and thank you for your dedication!  For more photos and information about these and other awards -- and District Governor Julaine, visit our Lions Photo Gallery!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Club President welcomes father as newest Lions member

Frank Walton (left) is the newest member of the Belle Fourche Lions Club.  He already knows many of the members, so it should be an easy task getting acclimated.  Especially since his son, Rick Walton (right) is the Lions President.   The younger Walton has been a Lion for some 14 years and is in his second stint as President.  Welcome, Lion Frank!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Long-time Lion Al Shaw wins DAR Award


Al Shaw of Belle Fourche (second from the left) was among four area residents presented with awards from the Catherine Thybo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) last weekend (9/20/14).  They were recognized for their work in historic preservation and community service.  Shaw, a long-time businessman and member of the Belle Fourche Lions Club, was given a DAR Community Service Award for his many contributions to the community, including his extensive work with veterans, racking up thousands of miles ferrying military veterans to VA facilities in Sturgis and Rapid City in a Disabled Americans Van.  Himself a veteran with service in World War II as a turret gunner on a B-17, Shaw was also a long-time member of the Belle Fourche Volunteer Fire Department

Others citizens given awards were (l-r) Hank Frawley of Spearfish given the prestigious National Historic Preservation Medal; Shaw; Mary Gallup-Livingston of Whitewood, Community Service Award; and Lynn Namminga of Deadwood, Historic Preservation Recognition Award.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dear Lions and Lionesses,

It is that time of year again for Howard Hanson Award and Robert Tyler Award.

These are awards will be given at The State Convention.  The nomination deadline is October 30th, 2014.  Attached are the guidelines for each award.

Howard Hanson –This award is given annually to a Lion or Lioness.  
The volunteer work provided by this person made significant
contributions, which have benefited the visually handicapped.

Robert Tyler – This award is also given annually to a Lion, Lioness or non-Lion. The volunteer work provided by this person made significant contributions, which have benefited the visually handicapped.

We look forward to receiving your nomination’s for these awards.
Thank you,

Tina Harris
South Dakota Lions Foundation
800 N. West Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104