A community effort will help Dinuba children strive through traumatic events

The Dinuba Lions Club presented kid care kits to the Dinuba Police Department on January 11.  Per the program’s mission statement, the kits are designed to “ease the emotional burden on children in situations of trauma or neglect by showing them they are worthy of dignity and respect, and by addressing immediate care and comfort needs.”

The reality of some Dinuba Police responses is that sometimes innocent children are deeply affected.  There are cases where a parent is arrested for breaking a law in town, or police respond to residences, and the children must be directed to Child Protective Services.

The kits are designed to provide the children with immediate care items like a blanket, stuffed animal, book with a theme of overcoming traumatic adversity, a toy, and journals and writing instruments for the older children.  There are also snacks, as well as hygiene items in a custom cloth pouch for any displaced children, including:  a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, a brush and comb, hair ties for the girls and hair gel for the boys.

Other situations in which the police department would provide the kits to children include residential emergencies before Red Cross responds, or lost children or runaway juveniles.

Dinuba Police Lt. Russell Son said, “A lot of the kids, it’s a traumatic situation for them, especially if they’re in the foster system already and have bounced around from one place to another.  They lose that self-dignity and they don’t have that sense of pride.  You give them something like this that shows them that there are people out there that do care and help develop that dignity with each individual kid.  It shows them that things do get better.”

Dinuba Police Chief Devon Popovich (also a Dinuba Lion) said the kits provided by the Lions Club would provide the department with enough supplies for six months to a year.

Popovich said, “It’s not every day we run into these incidents, but when we do it’s really nice to have resources like the kits”.

Some of the items in the kits were donated by local organizations.  Other businesses worked with the Lions Club to provide wholesale prices.  The Blanket Ladies of Visalia made blankets, the Tulare-Kings Dental Society provided toothbrushes, and Ruiz Foods provided pencil cases.

Dinuba Lions Third Vice President Maria McElroy told the police department, “Hopefully you will never need this stuff, but if you do need it we have more and we will restock as needed … we want the kids to feel appreciated in despite what is going on.”

Dinuba Lions Club members put the kits together in overtime after one of their regular Thursday meetings.

Dinuba Lions Club First Vice President Tim Conklin said, “The Lions are always ready and willing to serve the people of Dinuba.  We’ve got a really hard-working club.  We like to have fun, but at the same time we’re always here to serve our community.”

“Adapted from article by Jackson Moore of the Dinuba Sentinel.”

help us prepare and serve the food for the Detwiler Fire victims

We are looking for crews to come up and help us prepare and serve the food for the Detwiler Fire victims who have had to evacuate their homes.  We will be serving anywhere from 50-500 persons per meal, depending on the fire conditions (whether people are evacuated or are able to go back home). We need about 15 persons per meal.  The evacuation center is located at the Sonora Motherlode Fairgrounds (Address220 Southgate Dr, Sonora, CA 95370, the Sierra building).  Please let the volunteer at the entrance know that you are here for the Lions Club relief effort. Morning breakfast crews should plan to arrive by 7 am through approximately 10:00 am (including end of shift cleanup).  Lunch crews need to be here by 11 am through 1:30 pm (with cleanup), and dinner crews need to be here by 4 pm.  
The meals are usually served beginning one hour after time of arrival. If you belong to a Lions club, please feel free to wear your club shirts.  Wearing of your vest with pins is frowned upon by the Red Cross (for safety reasons).  If anyone is having breathing difficulties, it may not be advisable for them to come up, as the quality of air at times is not always optimal due to the smoke. Please call Lion Wendy Penhallegon at 209-406-5015 to schedule your time slot to come help.  We ask that you not just show up to help, as we may already have a full crew and space can get cramped.  We look forward to seeing you.  Right now we have a fairly open schedule, with lots of time slots available for the next 2 weeks.  
If you feel you cannot come in person to help, you can always help out by donating Visa or MasterCard gift cards in denominations of $5 or more, which would enable us to purchase foodstuff and supplies as needed. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.  
Thank you for your service. 

Lions Club International – Rose Parade Float

The Lions Club International commissioned their biggest Rose Parade float to date at a luncheon Tuesday, where club representatives presented Pasadena’s Phoenix Decorating the first check towards its $100,000 commitment to fund creation of the club’s special float commemorating 100 years of global service.

“Phoenix has the honor of building floats for many service organizations, but one of my favorite groups that we work with are the Lions,” said Phoenix Decorating’s President/CEO Chris Lofthouse.

Lions first displayed a float in the 1948 Rose Parade. Since 1992 the club has continuously presented a float in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade. Each year Lions Club International’s President and First Lady ride the float in the parade and are viewed by an estimated 400 million people in 85 countries around the world.

“Chris and his company have always put the best possible float out with the money that we have been able to put into these creations,” said Lions Club Pasadena member Richard Kasten.

Phoenix Decorating Company has rolled out 693 floats in the Tournament of Roses Parades, with 220 capturing awards since the company’s founding in 1983.

Lofthouse has been involved in the float industry his entire life and is well versed in the elaborate use of hydraulics, mechanics, digital sound systems, animatronics and other computer systems associated with powering mammoth floats effectively down the parade routes.

“This is going to be a very special float. It’s here for the Lions to come out and participate and rally around the float that represents this organization as a whole. The process of making it just as important as it is seeing it in the parade,” said Lofthouse.

Lofthouse’s experience also includes building floats and other event showcases for the Coca Cola 100th Anniversary Celebration, Orange Bowl Parade, Kentucky Derby Festival, Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, and National Day Celebration in Singapore.

“It feels great to work together year after year,” said Lighthouse whose company has partnered with the Lions Club Pasadena since its inception in 1983.

Lofthouse mentioned that any extra help from fellow Lions who want to help decorate will surely help the crew at Phoenix Decorating Inc. finish this challenging task.

“We certainly need a lot of volunteers to make this happen,” said Lofthouse.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

“The most exciting thing is that people come from all over to see these floats and this one is going to be our best one yet. It’s special,” said Kasten.

The Centennial Theme is: “Where There is a Need, There is a Lion” with the Centennial goal of serving 200 million people by July 2018, according to a press release.

For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at lionsclubs.org.

To learn more about the Lions Float, visit lionsrosefloat.com.