Saturday, November 12, 2011

District Governor Mitchell visits Belle Fourche Lions

While the Belle Fourche Lions Club has demonstrated its deep involvement in helping solve community problems and enhance the quality of life in our community, Lions International continues to leave a big footprint around the entire world.

District 5SW Governor Wanda Mitchell
of Custer with President Brian Kline
And Lions have never shied away from challenges, especially when the stakes are so high.

District Governor Wanda Mitchell of Custer outlined a relatively new Lions International initiative to the Belle Fourche club this week (11/10/11) at their regular meeting at The Mulligan in the Belle Fourche Country Club.  Lions International has teamed up with the Bill Gates Foundation and will be working to help eradicate measles in developing countries around the globe.

“Every day, 200 children die from measles in Third World countries.  I find that almost unbelievable,” said Mitchell. 

“Even children who survive the disease end up with blindness, so we’re hoping that – with the combined resources of the Bill Gates Foundations and Lions International Foundation – we can eradicate measles in Third World countries.”

District Governor Mitchell also told of the enormous positive response to President Tam’s initiative to have Lions plant one million trees around the world.  While that goal has already be surpassed, district 5SW has established a goal of planting 500 trees -- most likely concentrating on the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas, which lost an enormous number of trees in recent flooding.

The next Lions meeting will be December 8th, and plans are already underway for a Lions Christmas Party on Friday, December 16th at Mulligan's.

Of special note during the November 10th meeting was presentation of awards for the annual Peace Poster contest sponsored by Lions.  This year, First Place went to Marcella Tyrell, and Second Place was awarded to Caden Kinter.  Both are 6th Graders at the Belle Fourche Middle School.  Marcella was awarded $50
, and her entry will be sent to the Lion's district Peace Poster competition. Caden received $25 for his poster entry.    

Winners of the 2011-12 Belle Fourche Lions Club Peace Poster contest are shown after receiving
their awards Thursday evening (11/10/11).  Left-to-right are Marcella Tyrell, who received First
Prize; her mother, Shandra Klienhan; LeAnn Steffen is standing behind her son, Caden, who was
awarded Second Prize.  At right is Middle School teacher and contest supervisor Kristy Messner.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Belle Fourche Lions celebrate 75 years

Although 75 years have elapsed since the Belle Fourche Lions Club was chartered in October of 1936, the club has carried on its tradition of service throughout the community.

More than 70 folks packed The Mulligan at the Belle Fourche Country Club Saturday evening (10/29/11) for a dinner gathering to celebrate their 75 years of service.  Lion Bob Morris served as Master of Ceremonies.  Numerous Lion leaders from outside the community joined in the festivities, including District Governor Wanda Mitchell of Custer.

Keynote speaker for the event was a past International Director of Lions Clubs, Randy Heitmann of Cambridge, Nebraska.

“It is apparent that your club is a mainstay in the community,” Heitmann told the gathering.

“When anything needs to be done in the community, it appears that the first thing they do is ask the Belle Fourche Lions Club.  And it’s obvious to me that it always gets done.”

Club president Brian Kline provided a brief glimpse of key Lions projects over the years, ranging from sponsoring a mobile health van and supplying eyeglasses for needy residents to community projects like construction of park shelters and restoration of the Johnny Spaulding cabin.  Most recently, the club helped build a community disc golf course along the Belle Fourche River waterfront.  And Lions are always on hand to help with the All-Car Rally and the Black Hills Roundup.

Last spring, the club was presented the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce Community Pride Award for 2011.  

As part of the 75th anniversary celebration, Lion Randy Heitmann (far left) presented Certificates of Appreciation from International President Wing-Kun Tam to four Belle Fourche Lions for their work on behalf of Lions.  Recipients are shown holding their certificates in the photo above.  Left-to-right are Lions Tom Nary, Bob Schnaible, Larry Miller, and Gerald Keil.   Club president Brian Kline is at right.

You'll find a few photos from this very special event in our 75th Anniversary Gallery.  We've also assembled a short video, and you'll find a link to it in the column to the right.