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VERONA LIONS CLUB

ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS OVERVIEW

100 ACTS OF KINDNESS:

CHILDREN’S VISION SCREENING- Jan Behn, Chair (jmbehn@wisc.edu)

The Verona Lions provide free vision screening of children at several events in the Verona area during the year. The early childhood program at the Verona schools uses our services several times during the school year at testing days and the “Kids Expo” on the first Saturday in November. We provide vision screening at the “National Night Out” sponsored by the Verona Police Department on the first Tuesday night each August. Vision screening is also offered at our annual “Saturday morning with Santa” on the first Saturday in December.  Vision screeners must attend a one-day training session to be certified to conduct the vision screening. The certification is good for three years and is available at many local locations.

“STUFF THE BUS” SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE- Sarah Kruger ( sarahtkruger@gmail.com) & Jason Hunt (jhunt@veronavisioncare.com) , Co-Chairs

Stuff the Bus with School Supplies is a project to collect new school supplies for students in the Verona schools.  This effort is promoted through: articles published in the Verona Press, the Chamber of Commerce weekly email newsletter social media posts, and flyers posted in local businesses asking people to drop off donations at several locations around Verona.  All the school supplies collected by the Lions are given to the social workers in the school district for them to distribute to families at the beginning of the school year. The Lions give the school district a check for the “Family Assistance Fund”. 

SATURDAY MORNING WITH SANTA- Sarah Kruger (sarahtkruger@gmail.com), Chair

On the first Saturday morning of December the Verona Lions provide a free event where families can visit with Santa. The event is held in the lower level community room at the State Bank of Cross Plains in Verona. This event is promoted through articles published in the Verona Press, the Chamber of Commerce weekly email update, social media posts, and flyer posted in local businesses. On the day of the event children receive a small gift bag, health food snacks, and vision screening. A face painter and balloon sculptures are available for the children as they wait to visit with Santa. 

VERONA POLICE DEPARTMENT BIKE SAFETY- Ryan Adkins & Missy Dickson (missykayd@gmail.com), Co-Chairs

The Verona Lions assist the Verona Police with a bike safety skills course at the City Hall parking lot. Children ride their bikes through several stations and receive instructions from Lions and other volunteers about different riding situations. After the skills course the children receive tee shirts, Culvers ice cream, and free food provided by the Lions. This event is promoted primarily by the Verona Police Department, but the Lions with social media posts.

HIGHWAY CLEANUP-Jeff Goebler (debjeffnco@comcast.net), Chair

At least twice each year the Verona Lions clean up trash along a two-mile section of Highway 18/151 west of Verona. The section begins at the Epic Lane stoplights and continues to the intersection of Spring Rose Road and the highway. Both side of the highway are cleaned by the Lions. Bags are provided by the Dane County Highway Department and are available at the department office on Fish Hatchery Road in Madison. The Lions have vests and grabbers to use during the cleanup. Bags of trash are left at the edge of the road for the Dane County crew to pick up. After the cleanup an email report is sent the DOT Adopt A Highway coordinator telling the date of the cleanup, how many bags were collected, and how many people participated.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS SCHOLARSHIPS- Jan Behn (jmbehn@wisc.edu), Chair 

Each year the Verona Lions give two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors from Verona Area High School. The Lions review the scholarship applications at the high school and look for students who have an interest in pursuing a medical field, education, or who have Diabetes. Students are able to request consideration for a Lions scholarship when they submit their application to the school office. The scholarships are paid after the end of the first semester of post-secondary education and require proof from the students that they have satisfactorily completed the course work and are enrolled for the second semester. The Verona Lions make arrangements with the attending school to send the payment directly to the school which then credits the student’s financial account.

FOOD PANTRY FOOD DRIVES-Karen Fletcher, Chair (jkfletcher@tds.net)

The Verona Lions conduct a food drive at Miller & Sons Supermarket in Verona at least once during the calendar year to benefit the Food Drives for the Badger Prairie Needs Network food pantry. The Lions contact the pantry coordinator requesting a list of items most needed by the pantry. A date and time is scheduled with the store management for the food drive. On the day of the drive Lions hand out “Shopping Lists” to customers as they enter the store and ask them to purchase items on the list for the pantry. As customers exit the store Lions collect the items and fill boxes to be taken to the pantry. Cash donations are also collected and used to purchase additional items or the cash may be given to the pantry. At the end of the food drive arrangements are made with the pantry coordinator to deliver the filled boxes to the pantry where they are weighed, sorted, and shelved.

EYEGLASS COLLECTION- Jason Hunt (jhunt@veronavisioncare.com) & Jim Fletcher (jkfletcher@tds.net), Co-Chairs

Eyeglasses, sunglasses (Prescription and non-prescription), cases, and hearing aids are collected at several locations in the Verona area. Specially marked containers are placed at the locations so they are visible to the public. The containers are checked periodically to be emptied (popular locations are Miller’s Supermarket and Verona Vision Care). The collected items are sorted out as follows: eyeglasses are removed from the cases and checked. Any plastic eyeglasses with broken frames are thrown away. Broken metal frames are kept and get sent along with other eyeglasses. Sunglasses and cases are boxed and give to Lion Mary Dowling for the Sharing Resources Worldwide medical missions. Any hearing aids collected are kept with the eyeglasses to be sent to the recycling center at the Lions Camp in Rosholt, Wisconsin. The eyeglasses are collected at the District convention, State convention, or by one of the District Wisconsin Lions Foundation Directors. The recycling center in Rosholt then prepares the eyeglasses for medical missions to many under developed countries.

LIONS EYEBANK TRANSPORTERS-Brian McKay, Chair (bmckay22@gmail.com)

Three times during the calendar year the Verona Lions volunteer to be tissue transporters for the Lions Eye Bank in Madison. The duty of the transporter is to pick up eye tissue (corneas) at the Eye Bank and delivery it to the Monroe Clinic where a person will be given the cornea(s). This usually occurs during the early morning so the tissue is at the clinic in time for the scheduled operation. At other times during the year the Eye Bank may contact our volunteers to do an in-town delivery of tissue to one of the Madison surgery centers. All tissue collected in Wisconsin goes to Wisconsin residents first before it is made available to out of state facilities.

TOWER PARK IMPROVEMENTS-Susan Adams (susanjadams@tds.net) & Jan Behn (jmbehn@wisc.edu), Co-Chairs

The Verona Lions have adopted a city park in the Hawthorn Hills development of Verona. Over the years the Lions have landscaped around the park sign, planted trees, and added three park benches. The Director of the City parks is consulted on the improvements we wish to make to the park. City crews have donated their time and equipment to aid the Lions with our improvements. More improvements will be made as funds are available. The park improvements have become a Legacy Project to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lions Clubs International in 1917.

ADULT VISION SCREENING-Jim Fletcher, Chair (jkfletcher@tds.net)

With the assistance of other District Lions the Verona Lions conduct free vision screening at the Verona Senior Center’s annual October health fair. The screening checks the eyesight of adults using a series of charts and the “Humphrey Field of Vison Machine”, which checks for glaucoma.

PARADES & MASCOT APPEARANCES-Missy Dickson, Chair (missykayd@gmail.com)

Lion Kyle Lease acts as the club’s mascot wearing a Lion’s costume at our activities and some area parades. The mascot needs assistance with transportation, getting into costume, and escorting at the event. The Lion’s mascot is our goodwill ambassador in the community and is popular with the children.

SHARING RESOURCES WORLDWIDE-Mary Dowling, Chair (mdowl@madison.tds.net)

Lion Mary Dowling is the Director of this non-profit which provides medical services at a medical clinic in Honduras. Several times during the year she recruits medical teams that travel to Honduras to perform medical procedures. Throughout the year she collects donated equipment and supplies from many sources locally and around the state. Many of the donated items need to be picked up at the donor’s location by volunteers using their own vehicles or rental vans. Lion Mary operates out of a warehouse where donations are sorted and prepared for shipment to Honduras. In June a team of volunteers fill a shipping container with everything needed for future missions. The Verona Lions have supported the work of Lion Mary both financially and by volunteering.

DIABETES AWARENESS-Lisa Ruth Krueger (lisa.krueger@ymail.com) & Missy Dickson (missykayd@gmail.com)

Diabetes is one of the causes of blindness and affects many people young and old. Most everyone knows a person affected by either Type I or Type II Diabetes, often times the person may not even know they have diabetes. For this reason the Verona Lions make on effort to bring awareness to the general public through free publications available from the Wisconsin Lions Foundation. Our members are encouraged to take these materials to their work places and give them out to co-workers. Members also participate in or volunteer at events to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for diabetes.

VISION ASSISTANCE REQUESTS-Jim Fletcher, Chair (jkfletcher@tds.net)

The Verona Lions cover the cost of eye exams and eyeglasses for students in the Verona School District. On occasion the Lions will cover the cost of vision needs for adults, but first priority is given to students. The school nurses and social workers in the school district will refer students to the Verona lions if it is felt their eyesight needs checking. The nurses and social workers have been given a referral form (In English and Spanish) by the Lions that a parent or guardian must complete requesting our services. The school staff signs off on the referral request and sends it to the Verona Lions for approval. Once the request has been approved a letter of approval is sent to the school staff instructing the family to make an appointment at Verona Vision Care. A copy of the request and approval is also given to the staff at Verona Vision Care. The Lions have negotiated a reduced cost with Verona Vision Care (Lions Jason & Tami Hunt) for vision services provided at their business. This arrangement works well for everyone because the appointments can be made during the school day when school staff can take students to appointments. Verona Vision Care has staff available that is fluent in Spanish to help make communication easier for the families.

TOY DRIVE FOR CHILDREN-Jan Behn (jmbehn@wisc.edu) & Jan Ciha (janjan_58@hotmail.com), Co-Chairs

Each year the Verona Lions purchase gifts for children in the Verona School District (The children don’t need to be of school age). Families with students in the free or reduced hot lunch program can register with the school district social workers for gifts for all children in the household. The age and gender of each child is written on a tag (Typically in the shape of a mitten) and distributed at school building offices or community giving trees. It is recommended that the gifts be in the $25 each price range. The Lions choose eight children from the tags and purchase gifts. The high school FFA club collects all the gifts and fills the requests for each registered family. Prior to the holiday break the families are able to pick up the gifts and take them home. Several hundred children receive a gift through this project each year.

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