(August 9) I just returned from dinner in Mac City with a group called The Grand Tour. They ride personal watercraft from Mac City to Holland Mi 350 miles to raise money for Leader Dogs for the Blind and to raise awareness for Leader Dogs. They have raised around $300,000.00 over the past 20 years and this is there final ride. I have been able to make it for several years to there pre-ride dinner and to thank them for what they have done. Spirit was a big hit when she was awake and Julie from Petoskey was also there with her 8 week old puppy.
(July 13, 2017) Fellow Lions of the Great SD10……I have stepped down as co chair of Leader Dogs for the Blind. I had been asked by our incoming DG Whalen if I would like to stay on but I feel as though Lion Gretchen and LD Floyd are very capable of handling the position on there own. I told all of them I will still like to be part of any presentations or help out as needed, my heart is still with LD’s This Sunday July 16th I will be leaving early in the am with Judy and Shelby Hagen who is currently my back up raiser and will head down to LD. It is a very love /hate time of the year for me as we will be returning Patriot, one of my smartest puppies I have raised, who will be heading on with the rest of his journey wherever that may lead. We then will be picking up our 9th puppy….Spirit who is a black female lab. We are going to be staying around a little while so Mike Dengate can arrive. Mike has been waiting for a chance to show us the new kennels and I am very happy to be able to have Shelby go along to celebrate and see one of the kennels named in my honor…a dream I never imagined….thank you to all of you for making this happen!!!! All of your support over the years has not gone unnoticed I will continue to help out as needed and hope you give as much support to this program along with Gretchen and LD Floyd…..It has been very enjoyable to be chair..co chair over the years and I know Lions Gretchen will carry on and do as good or better than I have………..
From US to all of you….THANK YOU…..Pdg Gary and Freedom, Liberty, Yooper, Justice, Allegiance, Laker, Pledge, Patriot and soon to be Spirit!!!!
(March 1, 2017) The Convention hosted by Stephenson is coming up fast—get your forms sent in–always a great time. Lion Gretchen Lion Mike Dengate and myself are going to be doing a presentation Friday morning at Stephenson middle school—love doing these and being able to fill people in on some of what we do..Hope to see you there—come wish Patriot good luck as he will be in his final weeks before going back to Leader Dogs.
(January 23, 2017) Ok everyone–or whoever hasn’t heard. We have been waiting since my post of Dec5 to see where he was going. We waited patently and its one of the hardest thing in raising a puppy to do. Finally I rec’d word, and not what we wanted to hear, that Pledge was being career changed, in other words he was being deactivated as he lost his desire to work, what a disappointment. I was then asked if they could try to place him in another organization of service. I agreed and the wait began again. He passed all his tests and now it was up to the other organization if they wanted him. This past Tuesday Pledge and another cc LD were placed on a plane and taken to Florida to begin another adventure—We raise puppies to be of service and Pledge will hopefully continue on in another field….read more here…
http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Dogs-travel-more-than-1000-miles-to-help–411018835.html and watch the video-all so proud!!
(December 5, 2016) I forgot to post this last week, I rec’d an email from Leader Dogs that our last puppy, “Pledge” had made it through his training and now was in “holdover” which means he didn’t get placed yet with a client. Pledge was puppy #7 and we are so proud of him. Pledge is the 5th puppy we have raised to make it through the tough program. Now we play the waiting game to see what happens to him in the near future.
(November 1, 2016) Fellow Lions, at the cabinet meeting a couple weeks ago we signed cards for some PDG’s and fellow lions who have suffered through some personal conflicts along with bad health lately, 5 to be exact. I hope to bring more cards next time as well…..have you kept in touch with members who may be unable to attend functions or get out much anymore??? A little pick up can sure brighten there day…..don’t forget those who have helped you out in the past :o)
(October 10, 2016) FLD Patriot got to meet the newest upcoming Lion at Pickford’s 75th anniversary party on Saturday
Visit Facebook page created by PDG Gary Klop > click here
(August 17, 2016) Lions Of da UP–I am scared??? yes!!!! Why you might ask……I played golf this morning with a young man who I am teaching the game to……I was showing off a little and thought of the challenge I made with Lion Gretchen and I told him about it……I said here watch and I closed my eyes and attempted a shot to the green with my eyes closed and I actually made it a really nice shot of about 45 yards.. I looked at him and said–now I am really scared-if I can do that with my eyes shut on purpose, imagine what she can do and she is used to having her eyes closed!!!!!! This is going to be interesting :o) Bring it on Gretchen I too am getting ready for you and that dog Floyd……Patriot and I have this……
(July 26, 2016) I’ll call this reflections—we had our meeting last night at 2 members cabin and it was our picnic to invite the boy/cub scouts we support. It was great seeing so many smiling faces and the thanks were so nice to hear…..during our short business meeting, it was brought up about membership and people dropping out of our club etc etc. I personally don’t consider that my wife and I have a lot of “friends” that we do things with as we both keep pretty busy. I joined the Lions in 1988 and for me its a life long commitment, or until no one needs help anymore. For others its a stepping stone until they get “tired” of doing it. I started looking at some of my fellow Lions and started realizing some of them have the same feelings as I do—I played golf this summer with a Lion from the Sault–Craig Krouth and soon will be playing in another scramble with Lion Jerry Stephens and I realized I had been looking for friends in the wrong places. These people appear to be like me in that they don’t look at quitting either when things don’t go right. Then I took a look around and see another Lady Lion in our group, Judie Goltz who could have not joined but did because another group at the time didn’t except women. This lady continues doing what she believes in and helps so many and tries to do so much for our club and others, never tell her she can’t do something. Then I looked at a dear friend by the name of Jenny. I admire and respect her so much and she has taught me so much. I watched her when the going got tough and she dug in her heels and went for what she believed in. She is our new International Director and someone we can all look up to. I was going to stop raising puppies because I was upset with many things, I didn’t and now am doing #8 …….why do I keep on going? Part of the reason is because I am not a quitter and had a challenge a few years ago to keep going by a then 16 year old young girl at Bay Cliff Health Camp who asked me how many more puppies I was going to raise and when I said maybe not many more– she looked at me from her wheelchair and with a smile on her face said, if you don’t do it, who will,, never give up keep on going. You see, I used those very same words on her a year before and she used them on me. If you are thinking of quitting or dropping out, ask yourself why you joined. Then ask one of us why we keep going. How can you not want to be a part of an organization that has so many great people, JUST LIKE YOU!!!
(July 17, 2016) For those of you who like following my FLD’s Yes it is hard to give them up as I have said before. The only thing worse is getting a call that your puppy tried but didn’t quite make it as a LD. I have had so many up and downs over the past 7 puppies it is hard to explain. This week is really starting to kick in that it will be my last experience with my friend Pledge. I have him trained where I feel that he is ready to move on yet part of me cries NO he can’t go. He does so many things well and is a pleasure to have him along to represent Leader Dogs and what we do. I find that this week, our last together is one in which I go over all the things we have been through and all the people we have talked with about the program. I appreciate all I have learned and all the people who have taken an interest in what we do. I don’t seem to be able to say enough thank you’s to all of you who back us in so many ways. I know I was going to be done yet something inside me keeps driving me on to continue with what I love to do. Not sure how many more I can do but I do know that I will hopefully be coming back with one more. As I get older these puppies keep me going through the winters. They force me to stay active and help me in so many ways. Do I talk to my puppies? I sure do and Pledge said be sure to thank every one for me. He told me he will do his best in his training and hopes that he makes it and it won’t be from lack of trying if he doesn’t. He says there is noone he has met that he didn’t like and really appreciates all the encouragement everyone has given to him. He also said Good Luck to all of you and thank you for letting him be an honorary Lion, He got to see all the great things all of you do!!!!
(July 10, 2016) Lions of District 10, this may be a little long. This past April I received the Ralph M Sheehan award as many of you know. The top award given out at the District level. It was such an honor to have people feel as if I deserve this award. I was unable to say anything at the time due to the shock and disbelief of receiving such an award and the expectations that go along with it. I am usually not the one at a loss for words, but when things get personal I can get very choked up as many of you know and this was certainly one of those times. After reflecting on it, so many of you deserve this award for all you do. The everyday things we do , we never expect anything out of it. I became a Lion in 1988 and have devoted my life to helping and being able to become a Knight for the Blind. I don’t do anything for the recognition although it is nice to have people see what we do. As we come to the end of raising another puppy and high hopes of the next one to come, I want to thank those of you who believed in me over the years and made this award possible. From the bottom of my heart….I thank each and every one of you. Like so many to receive this award before me, I hope I can inspire so many as all of you have done and be the person that some can look at and say I would like to do something special in my life like he has. Like I have heard so many times in my life as a Lion….Dreams DO become true!!!!
(July 9, 2016) Fellow Lions Of District 10….I enjoy so many things in life and driving bus and playing golf and working at a course, raising puppies are just some of the things I love to do. I am sorry I had to give up attending one of my other special places, BayCliff today and miss our meeting with our new DG and outgoing governor. I had a great day and thought of what I was missing also. I was with all of you in thought and hope your day was as great as mine. Sometimes just can’t find time to fit all the great things in one day.
(May 14, 2016) Here is something for you all to consider–Lion Gretchen and I were talking about playing golf when we were at the convention. She accepted my challenge with the following email… Let’s play for Leader Dog next convention. I will take golf lessons. You can be blind too if you rub a pair of glasses with a thick coat of Vaseline, it will mimic my vision, evening up the odds. I will be contacting Arnold Palmer for my coach. He’s still alive isn’t He? …….
So any ideas on how we can do this?? Our time is limited at the convention with everything going on and I definitely am not going to back out and let her win by default—should interesting–stay tuned as this plays out :o)
(May 5, 2016) Ooops once again I –well not lied– just forgot and would be remiss if I didn’t post this —- Our Leos, Bark River and now Stephenson Leos are awesome. Special thanks to Lion Gary and Lion Judy for all they have done with the BR club….. They have all been so supportive and helped make this a very special convention for us involved with LD words can’t begin to thank them for all there support……
(May 5, 2016) One last post for a while, never asked but I have received a generous donation from the Kinross Lions for puppy treats and want to publicly thank them for what they have done over the years and I also want to let you all know, if for some reason I don’t get another puppy I will donate any left over $$ to Leader Dogs for the Blind. Tonight I filled out my application for another puppy. I know I complain a lot but I do try to raise the best puppies I can–so if they will allow me to try to raise another perfect puppy we are trying for puppy #8 with a name picked out of “Patriot”.
(May 5, 2016) Roar Lions Roar–please let us know what your club is doing. At times I feel like I am “hogging” everything because I fight for things I believe in…….. If there is money to get for Leader Dog which I am Chair of, I will tell you I am going to go get it…. I challenge all of you other committee Chairs to do the same—go get it—speeak up—-challenge me to do better let’s make this the best District in the world….. ROAR LIONS ROAR!!
(May 5, 2016) The last morning of our Lions convention, a solemn morning where we as Lions lay to rest those from our great Organization who have gone on and are now great memoires to all of us. A brunch then on we go to our homes to continue doing what we do— “Serving ” in our communities and doing as Helen Keller challenged us with so many years ago–becoming Knights for the Blind. It has been fun and this convention certainly for me has been overwhelming. I am exhausted but also renewed into doing what I love to do–helping others. Another puppy has successfully made it through a fantastic weekend and I look forward to great things from him and hoepfully move on to puppy #8 if all goes well.
Thanks to all of you who have read and posted on my comments.
Enjoy your day,,family and most importantly Honor your God.
Ok…..What a humbling honorful fantastic weekend….. Tonight I was honored and speechless but made it through…….. My district Lions presented me with the highest award we can receive at the district level……. The Ralph Sheehan award… I still cant believe it…. A lot of my mentors I looked up to are no longer around and it is now on me as well as those left to mentor our younger members…. Thank you District 10 for honoring and feeling that I am worthy of this award….. I will do my best to show my appreciation of such an honor….. Thank you from the bottom of my heart…
Yesterday afternoon (April 30, 2016) we had our District Cabinet meeting, I was surprised, shocked and honored that we had raised enough to not only name 1 kennel at Leader Dogs but have the honor of naming 3. One is going to be named after Single District 10, one after a Past District Governor Jack Holzworth who was instrumental in raising the money in the District and the 3 rd kennel — to my surprise and honor will be in my name — such an honor that took me completely by surprise…… Try to make a wanted change in someone elses life and do something for others and above all else do unto otherswhat you would want them to do…. And Thank your God for what he allows us to do!!