Friday, May 25, 2012

Wolff talks violence.....and Bartels wins award

Black Hills State University David Wolff, shown above, gives an animated presentation on a topic that always seems to capture the attention of history buffs:  violence in the early days of the Black Hills region.  Wolff shared some of his research with the Belle Fourche Lions Club last night (5/24/12) at the Belle Fourche Country Club.  "Popular media portrayals claimed there were as many as two deaths a day in Deadwood during its early days.  My research indicates there was only one death about every five-and-a-half weeks."  Still, Wolff concedes that Deadwood was a fairly wild place, and statistics indicate that Deadwood was on a par with Dodge City, Kansas, as one of the most dangerous towns back in the 1870's.  Still, violence in neither of those towns compared with that western city recognized for lots of things -- but probably not "western violence":  Los Angeles?!

Rik Bartels (left) is Lion of the Year
Wolff's talk generated lots of questions and comments, a fitting climax for a year of outstanding programs,  There was particular interest in Seth Bullock, about whom Wolff wrote a book.  Bullock was given much of the credit for establishing Belle Fourche; however, his real notoriety came in recent years with his character portrayed prominently in the HBO television series Deadwood.

During the meeting, members embraced another restoration-related project for the Johnny Spaulding cabin, but voted to defer implementation of the work until after the first of September.

Lion Rik Bartels, who served four years as club secretary, was presented with the "Lion of the Year" award from president Brian Kline.  Bartels has been a consistently involved and active Lion.  He was given a round of applause for his many contributions to the Belle Fourche Lions Club. 

Now serving as vice-president, Bartels will assume the presidency of the club in the coming year.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lions get an early look at new vision screening device

Lions Brian Kline and M.J. Knobe
M. J. Knobe, Executive Director of the South Dakota Lions Foundation, points to a PowerPoint photo that shows a piece of equipment that promises to help Lions transform the way children are screened for vision problems in South Dakota.

Knobe told a gathering of Belle Fourche Lions Club members on Tuesday (5/15/12) that the foundation hopes to be able to purchase eight of the Pedia Vision units and make them available across the state for widespread screening of children.  Representatives from a few other community organizations also attended the meeting at the Belle Fourche Country Club.  The planned statewide initiative would seek to screen South Dakota children before they reach six years of age.  

"Most schools don't require vision screening," said Knobe, "and the earlier we can identify vision problems in youngsters, the better the chances of accurately diagnosing and treating problems."  

South Dakota Lions are awaiting word from the Lions International Foundation regarding a grant request for more than $59,000 to buy the eight units and help train Lions across the state to use this new technology.  

A decision is expected in June, according to Knobe, and South Dakota Lions have already begun collecting necessary funds that would match a grant from the international Lions organization.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vision screening is topic for special May 15th meeting

South Dakota Lions are launching a statewide initiative that will provide vision screening for more than 13,000 preschool children -- a formidable task, but one that clearly is at the core of the Lions mission.

Lions executive M.J. Knobe
Details of the project will be unveiled at the Belle Fourche Country Club on Tuesday, May 15, as members of both the Northern Lights Lions Club and the Belle Fourche Lions Club gather for a joint meeting at noon.  Members can order from the Mulligan menu and enjoy lunch as they hear more about the statewide vision initiative from M.J. Knobe, Executive Director for the South Dakota Lions Foundation.

Knobe will be visiting Lions clubs across the Black Hills all week, sharing information and answering questions.  The South Dakota Lions Foundation has a history of more than 45 years of screening and other sight-related projects.

Given the importance of this project -- and the challenges that lie ahead -- the public is invited to attend this informational meeting.

New technology devices can quickly and easily detect vision issues across all age groups, detecting problems ranging from near-sightedness and far-sightedness to  astigmatisms and eye misalignment (strabismus).  

Early information indicated that eight devices will be purchased and placed around the state so that every club will have access to screening equipment.  And screenings will be provided by trained personnel.

But to get the latest information and have an opportunity ask questions about this important project, join us for this luncheon meeting at noon on Tuesday, May 15th, and the Belle Fourche Country Club.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow....but maybe wind?

Nope....not even strong chilly winds deterred these determined Belle Fourche Lions members from taking to U.S. Highway 34 west of town on Thursday evening, May 10th to clean up trash from the roadside.  Shown seated (l-r) are Tim Cleveland, Chuck Livingston, Harry Haivala, and Gerald Keil; standing are Larry Miller, Brian Kline, Lee Voyles, Rich Drabek and Del Neumeister.  Lion Harry Haivala is Chairman of the Lions Highway 34 Clean-Up crew -- part of the Adopt-a-Highway program.