Friday, May 14, 2010

Morris tells of mentoring program

It was a homecoming of sorts for Lion Bob Morris.

An attorney in Belle Fourche since graduating from the University of South Dakota Law School in 1988, Morris has been on the road much of the past year as president of the State Bar of South Dakota. But last Thursday night, May 13th, he returned to Belle Fourche to tell the Lions Club about the Young Lawyer Mentor Coin Project.

Morris, shown here with Northern Lights Lions Club member Joyce Drabek, is particularly fond of the Mentor Coin Project, which is based on the military challenge coin.

“We’ve all had mentors – in every line of work,” said Morris, who grew up in White, South Dakota, graduating from Deubrook High School in 1975 and then serving a four-year stint in the Air Force before enrolling at USD.
Morris recounted the inception of the military challenge coin in World War I. The story tells of an American Lieutenant who ordered solid bronze medallions for his squad. They were embossed with the squadron emblem. Later in the war, that Lieutenant was captured by a German patrol. He escaped – only to again be captured by allied forces who thought he was a spy, since he was not in uniform. However, the young Lieutenant produced the unit coin, which confirmed that he was an American pilot. It saved his life.

Lion Morris shared a part of his own story, about how a law professor at USD in Vermillion became his mentor and was a friend for nearly a quarter of a century. While he didn’t mention professor John Hagemann by name, Morris spoke passionately about the influence that Hagemann (shown at left) had upon his life and his career. A native of Wisconsin, Hagemann joined USD law faculty as librarian of the McKusick Law Library in 1968 and went on to a distinguished career at the school. He died December 13, 2009.

Read Morris’ own story about Hagemann as his mentor, which was included in the January 2010 newsletter of the State Bar of South Dakota. It’s well worth the read. A professional liability insurance provider, ALPS, awarded a $2,000 grant to the mentor project to help cover the costs of minting the first 500 bronze coins and 20 one-ounce silver coins.

There are no rigid guidelines about the mentoring process in the Mentor Coin Project, but Morris says there are about 50 or so suggestions for different ways that the mentoring relationships can be developed. But the project doesn’t allow “vertical” mentoring by a senior partner in a firm.

The State Bar of South Dakota began the Mentor Coin Project last October (2009) with a goal of developing relationships that allow lawyers to learn from each other. The Young Lawyers group hosts “Mentorship Get Togethers” around South Dakota; those gatherings provide opportunities for lawyers to begin establishing a relationship with their counterparts. Morris shared the story of how he was able to present a mentor coin to his mentor -- John Hagemann -- shortly before Hagemann's death. It was a poignant moment.

Following Lion Morris’ presentation, Lion Harry Haivala reminded members that the Lions Highway 34 cleanup scheduled for this week has been postponed. Mother Nature has given us a bit too much moisture in the last few days, so the project is now scheduled for Thursday, May 27th. Workers should plan to gather at the Belle Fourche Country Club parking lot at 5:00 p.m.

For a few photos of this meeting – and others – visit our Lions Gallery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Lions join Belle Fourche club

Several new members were recently initiated into the Belle Fourche Lions Club. Click on this photograph to see a larger image.
Lion John Cooper (back to the camera) conducted the ceremony. Initiates and their sponsors are shown and listed here left to right. Names of new members are in bold: Bull Kunerth, Duke Boston, Bob Tipton, Tim Bennett, Harry Haivala (behind Cooper), Rich Drabek, Dick Banks, Lonnie Keyser, Rev. Del Neumeister, Rick Walton. Not pictured are new members Wayne Linstad and Stephen Smith.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Come and get 'em!

The Belle Fourche Lions Club held a pancake feed at the Moose Lodge on April 25th. At left, Lions Rick Walton, Lee Voyles, Gerald Keil and Bob Schnaible pause from their chores. Pancake feeds have long been a favorite event for Lions clubs across the country -- and the Belle Fourche Lions Club is no exception. Those flapjacks helped create lots of happy smiles -- and full tummies!

Below, at right, among the many partakers of the good stuff were Alyce Voyles and members of the Voyles family. At right is Lion Eric Beals.
We'll add information about the pancake feed once information is made available.