When the 14U District Lioness clubs met for a fall rally at JD Citros in Lehighton, as organized by Lioness District Chairperson Nancy DaCosta, they had special guests addressing them.
Among those guests were State Lioness Coordinator Estella Kristiniak from Bucks County; Linda Benner, District 14U Youth Seminar chairperson, from Lehighton; and Past District Governor Judy Dudley from New Ringgold.
"I enjoy your district a lot," Kristiniak told the four clubs that were to be represented: Jim Thorpe Lioness, Tobyhanna/Newfoundland Lioness, Western Pocono Lioness and West Penn Lioness.
Benner outlined what the 41 youth, all high school juniors, accomplished and learned while working together and cooperating with each other at Camp Victory at Millville where she served as Youth Seminar chairperson.
Those activities included making banners, riding the zip line, fishing, rock climbing, hearing fantastic speakers, including a retired judge, PDG Paul Moyer, a National Guard representative, a camp staffer who focussed on handicapped awareness.
She thanked the clubs who had sponsored a youth and pleaded with the others, "Think about sponsoring a student." Participants must be sponsored by a club.
Parents don't have to be Lions, she reminded her listeners, adding one story of a teenager whose grandparents had insisted she go. When the two days were over, the teen, a shy person, had made friends and said the event was a wonderful thing.
"I was proud of it," said Benner of the camp.
Club representatives detailed their club's work.
"It's been a wonderful year," said Western Pocono Lioness Club president Virginia Lamendola. "We're very active."
She detailed the display at the West End Fair in Gilbert, which earned the club first place and Best of Show in the group exhibit building; the Fourth of July patriotic coloring contest; the recent 15th annual Fashion Show, with over 160 persons present; the upcoming Trick or Treat Night on Halloween itself at the Chestnuthill Township Park in Brodheadsville; and the upcoming Breakfast with Santa, at which Lions from the Western Pocono Lions Club do the cooking.
Lamendola also explained the Secret Santa project that the club is doing to help two families in need,
Becky Zehner, speaking for the West Penn Township Lioness, detailed an equal amount of outreach, including helping the Schuylkill County Crippled Children's Society; working with the Lions at their chicken barbecue; recognizing students from Marion and Tamaqua; holding an annual picnic; collecting toys and and cash for flood victims in Muncie and Bloomsburg; participating Boscov's "Friends Helping Friends;" and helping the Lions with the annual Halloween parade.
DaCosta shared some of the activities of the Jim Thorpe Lioness including holding Christmas in July in nursing and personal care homes; helping at the Carbon County Fair; donating $100 toward a hurting family's funeral; and giving out scholarships at Carbon Vo-Tech, Marian and Jim Thorpe high schools.
Also addressing the group was PDG Judy Dudley, who shared that four $10,000 emergency grants from Lions International Foundation have been received in Pennsylvania, one in this district. These grants come from funds that are contributed by persons or for a person to honor them as Melvin Jones Fellows. Local clubs in the effected area are put in charge of those donated funds. In this case, meals at first, providing food and cleaning supplies are among the funds' uses.
She added that the Pine Grove Lions Club was flooded out very badly and that some 50 to 75 houses in the area are not habitable yet.
The Spring Rally will be held at a place yet to be decided, with Lioness DaCosta asking for any suggestions before the fellowship and information-filled rally was adjourned.