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Improving communities through kindness

Imagine a place where 1,200 children and adults with disabilities can experience camping and the outdoors free of charge each summer. The Wisconsin Lions Foundation has made that a possibility through its support of the Lions Camp in Rosholt.

Marshfield Clinic Health System Learning Analyst Connie LeCleir-Meyer nominated The Wisconsin Lions Foundation for Security Health Plan’s Employee-Driven Corporate Giving grant. Each month Security Health Plan awards a different charity or organization that is nominated by a Marshfield Clinic Health System employee, a $1,000 grant. Employees are encouraged to nominate organizations making a positive difference in the community.

“To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.” That’s the mission of Lions organizations.

The Lions organization was established more than 100 years ago and there are nearly 1.4 million Lion members across 47,000 Lions clubs. The Wisconsin Lions Foundation is organized and maintained by the Lions of Wisconsin. This non-profit focuses on five projects throughout the state: the Lions Camp, eyeglass recycling, vision screening, diabetes awareness and the hearing aid project—all of which serve those in need in the community and across the world.

LeCleir-Meyer has been a Lions member for nearly two decades.

“My family and I fully support the Wisconsin Lions Foundation projects,” LeCleir-Meyer said. “We participate and volunteer with their fundraising efforts. All of their projects are meaningful to me because of the life-changing results I have seen and heard about over the years.”

One of the projects the Wisconsin Lions Foundation supports is the Lions Camp. LeCleir-Meyer explained that her brother and nephew were counselors and experienced the impact the camp has on children of all abilities.

“They worked with children who are blind and away from home without their parents for the first time. My brother’s job was to teach blind children how to run. He still talks about this experience today, as what seemed to be a simple task to a sighted person was not simple to a blind one - until they got going!,” LeCleir-Meyer said. “The impact on the campers was obvious; they spent a week swimming, boating, shooting archery, climbing, working on art projects, playing in the mud pit and just plain having fun. They also met other children ‘just like them’, and built instant friendships in a safe environment. These stories help show the community of the good the Wisconsin Lions Camp does.”

The foundation also has four other projects aimed at improving lives. They collect, sort, clean, box and ship nearly 500,000 used eyeglasses to those in need across the world every year. Hearing aids are also collected and recycled for those who cannot afford to purchase hearing instruments. Wisconsin Lions Foundation volunteers conduct free complete vision screenings for children age six months to age 18 and provide diabetes education to those in need in the community.

The funds from Security Health Plan’s grant will be used toward the five projects supported by Wisconsin Lions Foundation.

As LeCleir-Meyer explained, the mission of the Wisconsin Lions Foundation echoes the mission of Security Health Plan and the Marshfield Clinic Health System. All of these organizations seek to improve the health of communities and improve the wellbeing of all.

Wisconsin Lions Foundation holds several fundraisers throughout the year to support their projects including an annual golf outing in July, 5K/10K and bike race in August, deer hide collection and more. If you’re interested in sponsoring, volunteering or participating with any of these events, please visit www.wlf.info or call 715-677-4969.