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Thanks for the push!

Congratulations Lions of MD19. Also Thank You. We have exceeded our goal in the Capital Campaign to replace the trailer for the Lions Health Screening Unit.

As of Friday Feb. 19, the campaign total stood just short of $70,500 with almost another $7,000 pledged.

This easily tops our goal of $60,000 to qualify for the full amount of a matching grant we have requested from Lions Club International Foundation.

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Meet Marsha

Marsha Rastatter has been appointed as Lions Program Coordinator at the Foundation. She replaces Alex Conn, who left to study for a Master's degree in Brisbane, Australia.

Marsha moved from the AUDIENT program at the Foundation to start her new position in January. Her main responsibilities include...

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Rob Vatter LOVES talking to Lions Clubs

Last year Rob Vatter, Vice President of Planned Giving at our Foundation, made presentations to over 25 Clubs in MD19 as well as at the Fall Forum and several zone meetings. This year he hopes to step up the pace!

Read his message at right to learn why he brims with enthusiasm for the future of Lionism in MD19. Then call 1-800-847-5786 or e-mail rob@nlfoundation.org to book a presentation for your club.

Lions Hearing Aid Bank sets record

Last year our Lions Hearing Aid Bank established a new record by giving 459 free hearing aids to individuals who otherwise could never have afforded them.

The year 2010 promises a new level of demand. In response, our Board of Trustees has voted to increase this year's budget for the Hearing Aid Bank by 64%, from $118,000 in 2009 to $194,000 in 2010.

SightLife Lions Eye Bank sets record

Yes, our Foundation eye bank also set a record in 2009 with sight restored to 4003 individuals through cornea transplants.

The old record of 3,261 corneas placed for transplant was set in 2008. The 23% year-to-year increase translates to 742 more people (2 extra per day) who received restored sight through our eye bank in 2009.  

Coming May 7-8
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This is the first electronic Sights & Sounds newsletter of many to come. As a key supporter and charter subscriber, your feedback is like gold to us. Use the contact button below to let us know YOUR preferences on everything from type size to format to the kind of stories you like to receive. Our goal is your reading enjoyment and ease of use.
Roger R. Richert, Board Chair
  On two different occasions in two different ways, SightLife Lions eye bank was there to help intrepid Julie Bertelsen when she needed help the most. 

Cornea transplant keeps World Special Olympics champ in the game

"The best option for you and your baby is to put her in an institution."

That's what a doctor told Julie Bertelsen's parents 39 years ago when she was born with Downs Syndrome. Allen and Jan Bertelsen ignored that doctor.

Since then all Julie has done to validate her parents' faith in her future is:

  • Win 135 Special Olympics medals in gymnastics and equestrian events, including a Gold and Silver in the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai, China;
  • Serve on state and local Special Olympics advisory committees and as an ambassador for the games;
  • Work multiple long-term jobs. Julie currently works at the athletic facility for Montana State University and at two local sporting goods stores;
  • Win a large following both within the university and the Bozeman community from fans who take inspiration from seeing positivism and spunk exuded on a daily basis.

In fact, it seemed like the whole city was at the airport...

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Imagine a Lions Endowment that matches White Cane Days!
... it's closer than you think

by Robert Vatter, Vice President of Planned Giving

Sit back and close your eyes. See a Northwest Lions Endowment Fund that tops $5 million - enough to generate $250,000 each year in discretionary funding for charitable sight and hearing programs like our Lions Health Screening Unit. That's the equivalent of an extra White Dane Days! And you're not dreaming. With a year of great progress behind us in building our Endowment, this goal is in sight by the end of 2010.

Before I share the numbers, Thank you Lions of MD19! Your response to our new emphasis on building this endowment has been wonderful. With each visit to one of our Clubs, I sense the excitement growing. We can to this! Now here are the numbers:

  • On December 22, 2008, we received the largest single bequest in the history of the Foundation. This gift of $702,033 doubled our endowment fund to $1.8 million;
  • In 2009, we received $147,639 in bequests from generous individuals/families. Each giver left a legacy of support for Lions charitable sight and hearing service that will never end;
  • We have been notified of $1.5 million in bequests put in the wills of living testators.

Some of these bequests came from Lions who seized the opportunity to sit down with well-regarded wealth advisors to plan their wills and financial futures. Our Foundation now works with 115 experts throughout the Northwest and provides referrals upon request. Each expert puts your needs and those of your family first. That's why we work with them.

Call me at 1-800-847-5786 if you're interested in ways to give that generate present income or minimize taxes for heirs. I can discuss how our Northwest Lions Foundation charitable sight and hearing projects might fit with your own priorities as a Lion. Then if you're interested in taking the next step, I can put you in touch with some really good people who are highly qualified to assist you in financial planning and wills.

Maybe you can tell from all the exclamation points - I get excited talking about Lions and what we do. The only thing better is listening to what you love about being a Lion. Give me a call and we'll tell some stories and share some dreams.

Yours in Lionism,


Lions Legacy Workshop back by popular demand

Alan Pratt and Glenn Price are back for an encore this spring and fall as co-presenters of the "Leaving a Lions Legacy" Planned Giving Workshop.

Twenty-five guests attended their first workshop last year and gave it rave reviews. As a result, Alan and Glenn will offer two workshops in 2010, one on Thursday, April 8 in Seattle, the other on Tuesday, November 16, same place.

These workshops are packed with practical  information to help you incorporate your life's values into your will while avoiding mistakes that could be costly to heirs.

Alan Pratt of Pratt Legacy Advisors has 30 years experience in financial services. For the past 17 years, he has focused on wealth preservation through his Legacy Planning from the Heart process. Alan is a board member of the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy.
Glenn Price is a graduate of Harvard College and Duke University Law School. He has 30 years experience in asset protection planning. His Lions Legacy Workshop presentation focuses on the nuts and bolts of estate planning.

This workshop comes with lunch. To reserve space or for more details, contact julia@nlfoundation.org.


Who's the smiling girl in the Sights & Sounds masthead at the top?  Doctors on a mission in Juarez, Mexico used a Retinomax machine on loan from our Foundation to fit her with a prescription pair of glasses. We love how happy she looks. The people you help through your support will be the first to tell you - it's really nice to see the faces.