Monday, December 19, 2016

Lions screen vision of more than 200 Belle Fourche students

School nurse Brandi Van Sickle (at left) shows off the SPOT device used by Lions to conduct vision screening at the Belle Fourche Middle School and South Park Elementary School on Tuesday, December 13.  In the middle photo, Lions Harry Haivala, Ken Gifford, and Rich Drabek take a break during what was a busy day!  Belle Fourche Lions Club president Joyce Drabek noted that without the help of Lion Gifford from Rapid City, who coordinates Lions vision screening in this area, "we would not have succeeded with our screenings all these years!"  At right, a 5th Grader at South Park School steadies herself for screening.  Some 212 young people were screened during the day-long event using a "Spot Vision Screener," a hand-held, portable device to quickly detect vision issues.  It screens both eyes at once from a non-threatening three-foot distance, ideal for quick screening of children.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

New member, awards, and World War II story highlight meeting

President Drabek with new member Michael Floyd.
Belle Fourche Lions welcomed a new member during our late November meeting on the 22nd.  Lion Michael Floyd joined our ranks.  Lion Floyd has attended a few previous meetings as a guest, and we're delighted to welcome him to Belle Fourche Lions Club.

There were also some awards presented during the gathering at Grap's Burgers and Brews, including a Presidential Service Award to Lion Rick Walton.  He and Lion Robert Schnaible were also recipients of perfect attendance awards, and Lion Osloond was recognized with a 10-Year pin.  You'll find photos of those presentations, along with others, in our Lions Gallery.

Members were reminded of the forthcoming vision screening slated for Tuesday, December 13th at the Middle School and South Park Elementary.  We'll have additional updated information at our scheduled meeting on Thursday, December 8th.

Additional details of this meeting can be found in the Minutes Tab above.

Lion Larry Miller presented the program about a World War II Marine killed at the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific, and whose remains were not recovered until last year.  

The Marine was Sergeant Fae Moore, whose parents ranched on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation not far from Wounded Knee, South Dakota.  His home was listed as Pine Ridge when he enlisted in the Corps in the summer of 1941, several months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. 

Sergeant Fae V. Moore, USMC
After boot camp in San Diego, Moore shipped out to American Samoa in the Pacific with the 2nd Marine Division.  While providing security for Pago Pago and the surrounding region, they also trained for amphibious assaults.  They put that training to use with the assault on the Solomon Islands and the battle at Guadalcanal in late 1942.

After that bloody battle, they proceeded to Wellington, New Zealand – again providing security for that region of the Pacific and continuing preparation for yet another major event.

That came on November 20,1943, when more than 10,000 U.S. personnel were involved in the massive invasion of Japanese-held Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands.  After a fierce 76-hour battle – and the loss of more than 6,000 lives – Allied forces defeated the Japanese and took control of the strategic airfield on the island.  

Sergeant Moore was killed during the initial landing, along with more than 1,000 other U.S. Marines.  Unfortunately, the circumstances of war and time resulted in about half of the hastily-buried dead Marines never being found.  It was not until last summer that Fae Moore's remains were located on Tarawa by an organization called History Flight.  They were sent to Hawaii for identification.  After DNA confirmation of his identity by the Department of Defense, Moore's remains were returned to the continental United States -- 73 years after his death.

Moore's mother, Mary Moore of Chadron, Nebraska, went to her own grave in 1958, never to see her son — or his remains — return home for burial. Although too late for her, the discovery, identification, and repatriation of her Marine son has finally offered a bit of closure to Moore family.  Moore's siblings and his father have also since died.  Remaining descendants knew little about him, but about 50 of them recently joined together in celebrating his life and service to our country.

Lions members and others are invited to read more about the remarkable recovery of the remains of Sergeant Fae Moore and his Return to Beaver Valley.

Please note: the next Belle Fourche Lions meeting will be a short business meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Grap's.

Friday, November 25, 2016

From Bill Gates: A message for the Belle Fourche Lions Club (and – of course – for Lions clubs all around the world!)

Every day, about 400 children around the world die from a disease that is preventable: Measles. During this year, the Chairman of Lions Clubs International Foundation, Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada is asking clubs around the globe – including Belle Fourche Lions – to help raise the necessary funds to fight this deadly disease. 

For about $1, a simple vaccine provides immunity against measles. Lions worldwide goal is to raise $30 million this year to help battle this disease. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom's Department of International Development are partners and will match our efforts. We encourage you to take a moment to listen to this important message from Bill Gates.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

District Governor Terry Peterson visits club -- outlines goals

Lions 5SW District Governor Terry Peterson visited the Belle Fourche Lions Club on Tuesday, November 8, presenting several members with a variety of awards.  Among them were two Presidential Service Awards -- one going to Lion Rick Walton, and they other presented to Lion Del Neumeister.  

District Governor (DG) Peterson also used the occasion to review his goals for the district as his term winds down. (Photo at left)

A member of the Rapid City Lions Club, Lion Peterson is a retired teacher, and he demonstrated his communications skills as he shared stories about his time as a classroom teacher --  and some of his experiences while visiting Lions clubs around the district during his term as District Governor.  By the time his term ends, he will have traveled over 23,000 miles!

This was a very busy meeting with lots of information and discussion -- and some action, too!  Among them was approval of a motion to change meeting days to the second Thursday and the fourth Tuesday of each month.  And there were other awards, too!  We urge you to check out details of activity from this meeting in the comprehensive minutes so diligently prepared by Lion Secretary Del Neumeister.  Just click on the "Minutes" tab at the top of this page.

You'll also find additional photos and information from the meeting in our Lions Gallery.

These Lions were honored for perfect attendance during the past year.  Seated (L-R) are Lions Rich Drabek, Joyce Drabek and Chuck Livingston.  Standing are Lions Del Neumeister, Melodey Zupan, Sue Neumeister, Leo Orme and Frank Walton.  Congratulations fellow Lions....and Well Done!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Belle Fourche Lions celebrate 80 years of service!

Let them eat cake!  And so we did!

Nearly three dozen members and guests celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Belle Fourche Lions Club Tuesday night (10/11/16) at Grap's Burgers and Brews.  Lion President Joyce Drabek spearheaded the event, which included an excellent display of historical Lion artifacts, including our original 1936 charter.

The spacious meeting room behind Grap's accommodated the nice turnout of regular attendees -- and even lured a Lion or two we haven't seen for a while.  We were also graced by the presence of Lions members from the Evening Star and Downtown Rapid City Lions clubs, including Past District Governor Ken Gifford and Vice District Governor Bea Gifford.

Long-time club member Lion Chuck Livingston won the 50-50 drawing and true to form after 50 years membership in Lions -- with perfect attendance, we might add -- he donated his winnings back to the club.  Thank you, Lion Livingston!  Also recognized for their long service to Lions were members Robert Drabek (50 years) and Lion Swede Wennberg (40 years).

President Joyce Drabek then recounted highlights of the 80 years of service provided to our community by the Belle Fourche Lions Club.

Following the 80th anniversary celebration, Lions Teresa Schanzenbach and and Lion President
Joyce Drabek posed with our guest speakers Cherry and Gordon Bieber, standing at right.

Guests Cherry and Gordon Bieber gave a short program regarding their daughter, Tin Entz, who is in late stage Neurological Lyme disease.  She was bitten in 2004 and has struggled with bouts of severe and sometimes life-threatening illness ever since.  She and her family have gone through years of exasperation.  She showed symptoms of various things, and the doctors were "baffled."  Treatments were sporadic, and she has accumulated more than $200,000 in doctors' bills. Tina is now seeing a Lyme disease specialist, who himself had Lyme disease and was misdiagnosed with ALS.

The Biebers noted that Lyme disease can manifest itself in a variety of ways and can easily be misdiagnosed.  Last month, the Bieber's organized a "garage sale" benefit and raffle in an effort to help raise money for Tina's continuing treatments.  Following their presentation, the Biebers answered several questions about Lyme disease and the many frustrations surrounding its diagnosis and cost of treatment.

Dessert followed the program.  The next Lions Club meeting is set for Tuesday, October 25.

Take a tour of our Lions Gallery for an array of these and other photographs taken during our celebration of October 11th.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lots of leaders...lots of information....lots of Lions fellowship!

It was a full agenda, with installation of officers, some decisions on key Lion projects, and a program presenter with a candid assessment of the Belle Fourche business climate.

District Secretary Neil Vollmer, accompanied by a contingent of other Lions from the Newell Lions Club, was on hand to lead the installation of officers for the coming year.  Leading the slate of new club leaders is Lion Joyce Drabek, who becomes the first woman to lead the Belle Fourche Lions Club.  Members of the Northern Lights Lions Club of Belle Fourche, comprised of Lady Lions, merged with the previously all-male club a couple of years ago.

Lion President Joyce leads an array of talented members from the Northern Lights club who have infused renewed vigor into the Belle Fourche Lions.  Their impact can be seen in the leadership positions of our club, as well as in the committee assignments.

Club leaders for the coming year include: Lion Joyce Drabek, president; Lion Willert, First VP; Lion Kline, Second VP; Lion Zupan, Third VP and Lion Tamer; Lion Rich Drabek, Treasurer; Lion Del Neumesiter, Secretary; Lion Sue Neumeister, Board Member; and Lion Cooper, Tail Twister.  To get a closer look at these club leaders, along with a few other snapshots from the evening, visit our Lions Gallery.

New Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce director Gary Wood (shown at left) gave an assessment of the business climate in Belle Fourche, with some positive information about our community that is often overlooked -- such as the hefty number of manufacturing plants that call Belle Fourche home.

A full slate of business followed installation.  You can read all about it in the timely and comprehensive Minutes compiled by club secretary Lion Del Neumeister.  Click the "Minutes" tab at the top of this page.

Also lots of upcoming Lions events.  Check 'em out on the "Calendar" tab above or in the right-hand column.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A pride of Lions tackle a busy, busy, business session

Despite a last-minute change of location, and the fact that it was the first meeting for a new season, it was a good turnout last night (9/14/16) for the Belle Fourche Lions Club at Grap's Burgers and Brews. The agenda was full with lots of updates and reports, and Lion President Joyce Drabek had to keep the session moving right along in order to take care of all items.

An updated membership list was passed around for corrections and updates, and a new listing of committee assignments was distributed to members.  We'll have those assignments posted online in the next day or two.

Lots of upcoming activities, ranging from installation of officers -- now set for Tuesday, September 27 -- to student eye exams and a slough of other items. Click on our Lions club CALENDAR OF EVENTS tab in the right-hand column for a listing.  Oh, yes, one note worthy of mention about this meeting was the fine form of Tail Twister Lion Rick Walton, whose prowess and cunning ways generated some healthy revenue for the club.  

Well, we could recount everything for you here, but that's why we're blessed with a crack club secretary, Lion Del Neumeister.  Check out his minutes of the session by simply clicking on the MINUTES tab at the top of the page.

And don't forget to mark your calendars for our September 27th meeting.  We'll have our installation of officers at The Stadium.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vinyard and Drabek tapped as Lions Scholarship recipients

Emily Vinyard (left) and Ayden Drabek, seniors at Belle Fourche High School, have been selected as Lions Scholarship recipients for 2016.  Emily is the daughter of Dave and Karrie Vinyard.  Ayden is the son of Scott and Annie Drabek.  Emily and Ayden were selected for their outstanding records of service to their school and the community.  Each was awarded  a $500 scholarship to continue educational pursuits.  Lions Scholarship Chairman Del Neumeister noted, "Every year it gets more difficult to narrow it down to just two recipients.  I am so proud to live in a community where the students are most certainly going to bring up the GPA at whatever college they attend."  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lion Harry Haivala takes his Lions work on the road

Lion Haivala with his collection box
at Apache Wells Resort in Mesa, Arizona
When long-time Lion Harry Haivala took on the duties of chairing the Eyeglass Drop-Box Committee two years ago, he didn't waste any time.  Despite escaping the frigid climes of South Dakota for a few months of warmth in Arizona, he took his work with him!

Harry and his wife, Irene, have been going south for 18 winters.  But when he took on the task of coordinating the collecting of used eyeglasses for the Belle Fourche Lions Club, he decided to "expand" the collection area.

While at his park model home in north Mesa, Arizona, he decided to set up a "South Dakota" collection point for used eyeglasses in the office of their park, Apache Wells RV Resort.

"I knew that in a 55+ resort, there would be quite a few new glasses, and no place to go with the old ones, except Walmart."  Last season, he collected about 30 pairs of glasses.

A retired Game Warden with the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks department, Harry Haivala was based in Belle Fourche for 27 years.  During those years, he appeared as a guest speaker at Belle Fourche Lions.

"I decided after I retired to join one civic organization and determined that Lions was the best," Haivala said.  Since 1994, Lion Haivala has been an active member of the Belle Fourche Lions Club. He is also chairman of the Christmas Family Committee and continues to provide leadership for the Adopt-A-Highway Clean-Up.  Thanks for your good work, Lion Harry Haivala! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lion Neumeister honored for "opening door" for new members

Lion Del Neumeister (left), Belle Fourche Lions Club Secretary, received a Membership Pin for "successfully opening the door of Lionism to at least two individuals."  The pin was presented during the May 24, 2016 meeting of the club at The Stadium by president Leo Orme.  Congratulations and "Well Done, Lion Neumeister!"

Monday, May 23, 2016

High quality "Doodling" discovered following Lions meeting

Following an April meeting of the Lions Club, we discovered a bit of pencil-on-paper artwork (shown above at left)  lying on one of the tables at The Stadium.  We were intrigued by it and added a bit of "Lions colors" to it, as shown at right.  We suspect that most Lions already know that the talented artist is Frank Walton.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lions conduct vision screening for 93 incoming Kindergarteners

Belle Fourche Lions Club members Melodey Zupan and Joyce Drabek prepare to screen one of 93 youngsters who'll be entering Kindergarten.  The screening took place Tuesday, March 29th at North Park School.  Thanks to Lion Rich Drabek, also involved in the screening, for sharing this photo. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

They went like hotcakes......and they were!

Lions Pancake Breakfast raises $1,655 in sales
Thanks to $860 in ticket sales at the door last Sunday morning (3/13/16), the Belle Fourche Lions Club raised some $1,655 during its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Moose Lodge.

"The weather was really nice, and we didn't get the 'after church' crowd like we normally do," said event chairman Lion Ron Ensz, but it was still "about $100 better than we did last year."

The breakfast always attracts a pretty large group of hungry citizens, and it's a very important tool for the Lions Club.  After expenses for the event are paid, the net proceeds help Belle Fourche Lions in a wide range of community projects ranging from youth scholarships and eyeglasses for needy citizens to lending support to a "Christmas Family" and construction of numerous shelters for city parks.  

That's long-time "Advisor" and pancake chef Lion Bob Schnaible pictured above.  We've posted a few other pancake breakfast pictures in our Lions Gallery (with thanks to Lions Joyce Drabek and Ron Ensz for sharing photos).

Thanks to all the Lions who turned out to work at this important event!