LIONS MOTTO: "WE SERVE"
The Eagle River Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions (SLML), Club was founded June 8, 1992. It has 43 life members, one past district governor and one current second vice-district governor. The club members meet every first and third of the Monday each month. The first meeting of the month is our social time. Usua\lly two or three members provide dinner for the general membership meeting. During this time we have our guest introduce themselves and ask why they are interested in becoming a Lion. We introduce not only ourselves but what some of our projects consist of so they learn a little about who we are and what our passions are for serving in the community. We each introduce ourselves and tell why we are a lion and what our passion is. Our Guest might be someone seeking financial assistance or just someone who might want to know more about who we are and what we do in the community. The second meeting of the month is not only a general membership meeting but a board of director meeting to conduct business along with a foundation meeting. These are necessary in order to pay the bills and decide on projects. Our member ages range from 18 to 75. We have the entire range of the American workforce represented in our club.
We have various methods of recruiting members. The theory is to just ask a friend or co-worker. Developing our membership is always foremost in our minds. During the first meeting of the month we have new prospective members come to our dinner meeting so they can see we have fun and work hard for the community. Hands down, each new prospective member is impressed by our projects and commitment to our community and youth. In the fall we have a membership drive where we ask each member to bring one, or two, or three prospective members. We plan dinner and games, or a speaker that we hope will inspire them to be interested in finding out more about us. Once they are interested we make every attempt to ensure they are included into a project so they can learn from the person who is already working a project that can train them so they are not lost.
We have numerous ideas about fundraising. We begin our year on July 3rd with a huge party. We have a face/hair painting booth at the 3rd of July celebration. It always brings in a substantial amount of money and people. We estimate about 10,000 people attend the 3rd of July celebration. Usually during the summer months, we have several members who enjoy catering. So we are asked to cater weddings and other special events such as local class reunions. One of our simplest is the No Bake Sale we have in August. Instead of baking something your just bring in the money you would have spent for a Bake Sale and donate that to the club. In September we have a very competitive fundraiser which we call the Snow Guess Raffle. Tickets are sold to Lion members for a chance to guess when the first snow fall will occur. The winner receives half of the proceeds and the other half goes into the administration account to pay bills or for members to attend convention. As the snow creeps down the mountain people start getting anxious about their guess. At Christmas time we go out into the community to raise money for our Tree of Giving. This is a large project where we gather and distribute not only presents but food for those less fortunate. We have about 78 families who receive presents and 50 families who also receive a complete dinner at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Local businesses are very supportive of donating money along with their employees who for many years have donated to our cause, or the business might give us gift cards for the families to purchase food or gasoline. We have our Bear Mountain Leos help us make up “Angel” cards during Thanksgiving break and set up Christmas trees around at local stores. People take a card and bring back the gift and put it under the tree for the child. Lions and Leos pick up the packages and put them in our storage unit.
For our Foundation Account which is a 501(3)(c) January and February are extremely busy as we are gearing up for our Sweetheart Dinner and Fundraiser for High School scholarships. Each year we give out $25,000 to local high school seniors. These amounts are recurring for four years. If they want to attend a non-traditional school, the scholarship is honored for those schools. Our fundraiser consists of dinner tickets sold along with a live and silent auction to raise funds. All items are donated to include the majority of the food which increases our profits. We generally bring in anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 each year to keep our commitment to the youth in providing them financial assistance. Our club understands that the youth are our future. Funds raised that night are also used for the scholarships we provide to local high school students who complete in what is known as the Bear Paw Pageants in July. We sponsor the Bear Paw Pageant each year. The King and Queen each receive $1500 and the contestant with the most community service receives $1500. These scholarships are not recurring like the end of the year to local high school students.
Ongoing each month is our Senior Bingo at the Chugiak Senior Center. Each month about 4 to 6 members go to the senior center with gifts (door prizes) for approximately 25 players and divide $100 between the 8 games we play. Members make homemade treats each month. This project is so heartwarming that you always leave with a smile on your face and theirs. We gladly return each month to play. Once summer returns to Alaska, we have games where the seniors “fish” for their door prize. This is one they can’t wait for each year. In May/June we bring in root beer and ice cream to make them root beer floats. The Leo club we sponsor also has “Senior Power Hour” each month with the seniors. It is a joy for not only the seniors but the Leos too.
The ARCH Home is located in our community which is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for youth 13-18 years old. About every 6 months the youth graduate from the facility and we provide them with backpacks filed with items to help them transition into the community. We provide them with Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner each year. Each Christmas we find out what the youth would like for Christmas and go shopping for that gift. We provided the facility with a “quiet room” which faces Mt. McKinley for days when they just can’t cope with life and their problems. We provide a closet filed with various sundry items for them purchase with points they earn during the week for good behavior and making good choices.
Each March we gear up for the Fundraiser for the District Governor. We do our best to make it not only a fun event but fun in raising money to help defer the expenses of the District Governor to travel our State. Our games include the Throw-A-Pie at the Governor, heads and tails game which are run by our Leos. In April we will go to the local high schools and read the seniors’ portfolios for scholarships. Several Seniors will be chosen who will receive from $500 to $5000. These monies are recurring each year for four years. Easter is probably one of our favorite functions. It is a combined function with the Eagle River Lions, Chugiak Lions, Eagle River Elks, the VFW, The Eagles, The Masons and the Eagle River Sleeping Lady Lions. There is so much preparation that goes into this function. We begin by purchasing 10,000 plastic eggs, purchasing candy for the eggs, then putting the candy into the eggs, tickets for small prizes to large prizes such as bikes. There are four age groups and each age group receives two bikes and 10 prizes. Most of the prizes have been donated by the above groups in either momentary donations or the prizes themselves. In June we help sponsor the Tour de Cure for Diabetes. Bike riders compete in several areas during the early morning. As they complete their competition, we are there to serve water/soda, chips and Subway sandwiches after their long journey through Anchorage.
Our members conduct Vision Screenings at various health fairs begins with the Kid and Baby Fairs in Anchorage. These are all day events where we have 4-5 screeners running at the Baby Fair. The Kids’ Day Fair has about 10 screeners as it is much larger event. To accomplish our mission of Sight First, around the District and our club has purchased the PlusOptix screeners. This machine can test for six different diseases with a click of a button. These two events keep us very busy with us screening about 1500 children each year. May gives us a chance to get ready for the summer. We send emails around to the school nurses to double check with the school for children that need re-screening. If necessary we return to the schools and screen the new students, or students the teacher feel may be having vision issues.
The middle of July we host Lions Day with Alaska Camp Abilities. We serve about 80 campers who we provide dinner and ice cream sundaes. Dinner is several kinds of pizzas and salads until the campers are full. The campers then sing a few songs for us that they have developed over the week at camp. Later we go to the ball fields to watch or participate in beep baseball. If you are sighted and want to play, well, you have to put on a blindfold to play. The baseball starts to beep and you have to hit it. Once the ball is hit, then the base starts to play a different sound. You have to run to that sound to get on base. It is some much fun to watch and play.
August is time for the Relay for Life, we have about 10 walkers who walk all night and day. About $1000 is donated from our club with walkers getting their own donations to support the event. The club also donates ten memorials for the ones fighting cancer or the ones that we have lost their battle with cancer.
September starts the Alaska State Fair. We take the vision trailer to the State Fair where we screen fair goers from 10am- 10pm for 10 days straight. We usually screen more than 120 children and adults in one day. The goal is to have each club in 49A take a day or half of a day to give the SLML a break. In October vision screening continues at the local schools.
The Tree of Givingin December is one of our largest projects. We serve about 78-100 families each year with Christmas presents for the unfortunate. The work begins in late November with the making of our Angel cards by our Bear Mountain Leo. Then Thanksgiving weekend the Leos and Lions put up trees and hang cards. As the cards are taken off the tree and presents left under the trees we add more cards. This process continues for a few weeks with it culminating the weekend before Christmas where we organize and wrap presents. Delivery/pick is a great time to watch a parent’s face who is down on their luck and realize that their children will have Christmas after all. I think we wrapped about 3000 presents last year.
Originally our club was known for being all professional women. Now, we have four men who have recently joined our club. We are known for being the club that will step up to the plate and save the day no matter what the challenge. Our club is known for their dedication to the community and making it better through donations to students for higher education, medical fundraisers like buying a heart for a young boy, leader dogs, police dogs, fire equipment to assist our firehouse. When other lions talk about the SLML they know they are up for anything to help their community and District.
We are known for being very generous with our donations throughout the community, district and Alaska. We have held many medical assistance fundraisers that have helped community members dealing with cancer, heart issues, brain tumors or other serious medical issues.
One that sticks in my mind is helping a local boy who was born with half of his heart. We held several fundraisers to help him get his much needed heart. It is now 11 years later. He recently posted on Facebook that it is eleven years since we helped him and he is doing wonderful. He and his Labrador hiked Flattop Mountain on a beautiful day July 24, 2014. Very heartwarming to know what we did for this young child.
Our club has received the Club Excellence several times, Presidential Excellence Awards from PIP Jimmy Ross, PIP Wayne Madden, PIP Wing Tam, PIP Barry Palmer. There are so many awards it is hard to remember each and every one of them since 1992.
We have 20 members who are Melvin Jones Recipients and 3 life members.
Many awards from the community and Chamber of Commerce for our dedication to making it a better place. Many awards from District for Lion of the Year and Zone Chair of the Year for three years straight. President, Secretary and Membership awards at the District level. Many members have received International Awards in recognition of their service to our community and district.
Lions are our neighbors, teachers, moms, and dads, brother and sisters; they are from all walks of life and all share a common interest to aid those in our community that need help, and proactively develop projects which make our community a stronger more viable place to live. The Heart of a Lion is not defined by who we are; rather, our desire to help people within our community and provide a place where all are welcome to join this effort.
Karen Burns PR Chair for Sleeping Lady Lions and 2nd Vice District Governor for District 49A.
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The Sleeping Lady Lions club was formed in 1992. Many of the charter members were members of the former Eagle River Lioness club.
Our main mission is to provide community service and aid to anyone in need in our community. We accomplish this though the giving of our time, to raise money through fundraising events and "hands on" service projects
We also sponsor a youth lions group for youths 11-19 years of age. The Bear Mt. Leos work along side the Sleeping lady lions as well as many projects of their own to help their community.
ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO VISIT OUR MEETINGS
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE DO FOR OUR COMMUNITY
EAGLE RIVER LIONS DEN -EAGLE RIVER LIONS PARK
1ST & 3RD MONDAY OF EACH MONTH
Who Are Lions?
Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. The 1.35 million members of our volunteer organization in 206 countries and geographic areas are different in many ways, but share a core belief – community is what we make it.
In 1917, Melvin Jones, a Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones' group, the Busines
Circle of Chicago, agreed.
After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and a code of ethics were approved.
Within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we've earned high marks for both integrity and transparency. We're a well-run organization with a steady vision, a clear mission, and a long – and proud – history
Lions are groups of service-minded men and women who are interested in doing volunteer work to improve their communities. We are young people, families and Baby Boomers alike. To become a Lion is to become an active volunteer, a member of a respected international organization, a leader in your community and a friend to people in need. Learn more about what we do.
There are many reasons to become a member. As a Lion, you'll:
You'll grow personally and professionally. And you'll know that the community volunteer work you perform is worthwhile and appreciated.
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