Tribute to Nancy Grothe

Nancy Grothe was a very active member of the Hayward Lions Club since 1990. In recent months, Nancy suffered serious health problems that limited her activities in the Hayward Lions Club and the Hayward Lioness Club. Nancy passed on May 5, 2017.

For many years Nancy was the chairperson for the “Fall Color Tour”. This was a very popular event with the senior citizens living in the Hayward area. A bus picked up the participants at the Senior Resource Center (15856 E. Fifth Street, Hayward). There were usually about 60 participants. The bus toured the back roads of the Hayward area giving the seniors a great view of the fall colors.

Lions International has a top priority regarding promoting the health of the human eye. For many years, Nancy was the chairperson for eye testing. Nancy and her committee visited schools in the area (when invited) and provided eye screening tests to those students wishing to participate. The Hayward Lions Club has eye screening equipment that is capable of determining whether a young person needs an appointment with a professional optometrist. Over the years, many young people have found this service very valuable.

On a national scale, Lions Clubs are divided into states, districts and zones. Nancy was a zone chairperson for many years. The chairperson calls a zone meeting about once a month. Zone meetings help to bring fellow Lions living in a small geographic area together. It is helpful to find out what other Lions clubs are doing that are located in the same geographic area.

The Hayward Senior Resource Center has been the location for the annual “Health Fair” the last several years. This event is held usually in the fall. The event is designed specifically for seniors living in the Hayward area. The following services are provided free of charge: blood sugar check, information on nutrition, flue shot for those wishing, bone density testing, vision screening, drug take-back program, skin screening, dental information, blood pressure, information on hospice, available home health services, aging and disability resources and LCO aging unit/meal site. Nancy was chairperson for this event many years.

The “Peace Poster” contest is an event sponsored by Lions International and the local Lions Club. The Hayward Lions Club works in partnership with the Hayward Schools to provide an art contest for the local students. The first prize winner at the local level competes at the state level and if a person wins at the state level they compete at the national level. The Hayward Lions Club provides cash prizes to the first three place winners in the local contest. Nancy was a chairperson for this event many years.

Once a month, the Hayward Lions Club serves a community dinner at the First Lutheran Church. This dinner is open to any Hayward area resident who feels the need of a good home cooked meal. There isn’t any special screening for those that wish to participate. Nancy was co-chairperson several years.

Nancy was an extremely active member of the Hayward Lioness Club. Nancy was president of the Hayward Lioness Club several terms and the secretary for many years. As a member of the Hayward Lioness Club, she was District Governor one year.

There are a couple of awards that are presented to very outstanding Lions. The “Birth-Sturm” and the “Melvin Jones” awards are considered by Lions Club members to be the pinnacle of Lions awards. Nancy won both of these awards. The “Ray Hempel” award is another extremely prestigious award. In the entire history of the Hayward Lions Club, the Ray Hempel award has been given on extremely rare occasions. Nancy received the “Ray Hempel” award. The Hayward Lioness Club recently presented Nancy with the “Knight of Sight Fellowship Award”. This award is the highest form of recognition presented by the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin. Nancy will be greatly missed by the Hayward community.

Tribute to Bill Weldon

Bill joined the Hayward Lions Club in 2004. That year he was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” award. Bill was an active Lion until his health interfered. Bill was the chairperson for the annual “Memorial Weekend Pancake Breakfast”. This event was always a huge success under the leadership of Bill. Bill participated as a worker in numerous events during his career as a Hayward Lion. If there was a job to be done, Bill was ready and willing to help.

Bill passed on April 27, 2017. Bill passed peacefully in his sleep. Bill was 77 at the time of his death. Bill was raised Chicago and joined the U.S. Navy in 1957. Bill’s professional career included working at Honeywell before starting and owning the well-known ComputerLand Stores. He was a loving husband and father who prided his devotion to being a coach for his children in softball and hockey. In 2004, he achieved a life dream of owning a cabin in Hayward, WI. The Hayward community will certainly miss Bill Weldon.

Musky Fest Fishing Contest Has Big Changes

In cooperation with the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and Walleyes for Northwest Wisconsin, the Hayward Lions club will be offering a $100,000 prize to any person catching the first certified state of Wisconsin record fish during Musky Fest. This fishing contest is entitled: $100,000 Musky Fest Lions Family Fishing Spectacular! The fish categories for receiving the prize will be: musky, tiger musky, northern pike, black crappie and small mouth bass. Contestants must be registered ($5 entry fee) for the contest prior to catching the state record fish. Registration will begin May 6, 2017. Application forms will be available at most of the local bait shops and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. The application form indicates the state record fish in each category. The record for each fish category is determined by weight and not length. Please be aware of what constitutes a state record fish and don’t bring any fish to the Lions fishing booth that isn’t a state record in that particular category. The contest will start on Tuesday (June 20th) and end on Saturday (June 24th). The prizes for the $100,000 fishing contest will be awarded on Saturday, June 24th prior to the street dance.

The traditional Lions Fishing Contest will still be held. A person doesn’t need to register and there isn’t any entry fee for the regular Lions Fishing Contest prior to entering a photo of their fish. Each young person (12 years old and younger) that enters a photo of a fish they have caught, will be given some type of fishing gear. Some years the young participants have received tackle boxes, other years they have received a life jacket. The prizes for the young contestants have not been determined at this time. The Lions will have their fishing contest booth at the corner of First and Main Streets (close to the Lions food/beer tent). Prizes will be awarded for this contest on Sunday, June 25th, at the Lions fishing booth on Main Street about 11:00 a.m. The Musky Fest fishing contest has been catch and release for the last several years. This will be the rule again this year (2017) except for the state record fish.

The DNR will be stocking Shue Pond with 50 tagged fish. If a child catches one of the tagged fish, they will win a prize. For more detailed information on Musky Fest and the fishing contests, please go to

Hayward Lions Collect Eyeglasses

Tim Donovan and Kit Morse (co-chairs for the eye glasses collection) have reported that the Lions Clubs in the state of Wisconsin have collected a record breaking 111,000 pairs of eyeglasses. The year 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International. As part of that celebration, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation (WLF) instituted what was named the “Centennial Eyeglass Challenge” for our state. The goal was to collect 100,000 pairs of used eyeglasses by May, 2017–well–the Lions far exceeded their goal.

The Hayward Lions Club thanks you for your support and would like for you to continue to support this very worthwhile cause. The drop off points are: Salvation Army, People’s National Bank, Veterans Community Center, Johnson Bank, Essentia Health Care (pharmacy), Northwoods Clinic, Family Eye Care, Hayward Community Credit Union and Northview Eye Clinic. The Hayward Lions ship your used eye glasses to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center located at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt, Wisconsin. Once there, the glasses are sorted, cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution. Where there is a need–there is a Lion. With help from the local community, eye care for those in need is going to be more available.

Looking Forward to Lions International Centennial Convention in Chicago

The 100th International Convention is set for June 30th to July 4th (2017) in Chicago, IL. On tap is an all-star lineup of entertainers, speakers and a stirring torch ceremony to mark the centennial.

As a convention city–it is hard to top Chicago. Lions will gather in Chicago for the Centennial Convention because it’s where Lions started and where Lions are headquartered. It is also a city unique for its stunning lakefront, great architecture and a myriad of cultural attractions while being lovable unpretentious, working-class proud and perfectly emblematic of America. Each day of the convention will brim with fellowship, fun and enrichment. Participants will rub shoulders and often share a lunch or at least a few pleasantries with Lions from more than 120 countries. It will be possible to march in downtown Chicago during the festive Parade of Nations, attend worthwhile seminars, vote on the association’s future, enjoy outstanding entertainment and hear inspiring, renowned speakers.

Performing at the convention will be the following entertainers: Chicago, the Beach Boys, the Charlie Daniels Band, Patti LaBelle David Archuleta of “American Idol” fame, American English (a Beatles cover band), Anna Fermin, the Blues Brothers Revue, the African Children’s Choir and Edward and Belinda Lee. Former Vice President Al Gore will be the keynoter, Keller Johnson-Thompson, Helen Keller’s great-grandniece, will also speak.

Sports fans will be able to purchase tickets for the White Sox game against the Yankees on Thursday, June 29th. The week together allows Lions to fully appreciate what it means to be a Lion and what our service accomplishes. At this convention, members will learn to understand and celebrate what Lions have achieved over the last 100 years. The International Convention is a capstone experience for Lions!

Material for this article was obtained from the February, 2017, issue of Lion Magazine.

Lions Pre-Birkie Celebrates 35 Years of Skiing

The Hayward Lions Club hosted their 35th annual Pre-Birkie on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Almost 900 contestants enjoyed the mild February weather. This is one of the largest ski events in the area. It is considered to be a great race to help contestants to get in condition for the Birkie race which follows this race in two weeks.

The proceeds from this race go to local projects such as the Hayward Community Food Shelf, Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and Little League as well as international Lions projects. In the past, the club has used some of the proceeds to build a multi-use log cabin/warming cabin at Hatchery Creek. Over the course of a year, the Hayward Lions contribute to several dozen local organizations.

Prior to the race, on Friday, February 10, 2017, the Lions club hosted an all-you-can-eat Carbo Load Dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Hayward Veterans Center. The meal consisted of: spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread and a beverage were served at a cost of $7 per person. Children 11 and under ate free.

The classical-style race began at 9:30 a.m. on a groomed course on the ice of Lake Hayward near the city beach and park. The freestyle race began at 10:00 a.m. at the same location. The skiers headed north over the hills for either the 26K or 42K finish at the Birkie Trail warming cabin at Highway OO. The 42K marathon course crossed Highway OO and proceeded north for eight kilometers to the trail’s high point, turned around and returned to Highway OO. The 26K race had four food stations along the route and there were six food stations for the 42K. Most of the food stations were run by local youth groups. At the finish line, people enjoyed the famous doughnuts along with other refreshments. New this year, participants could celebrate the finish with beer (age 21 and over) and brats. Refreshments were served at the OO warming cabin.

Montgomery Mouw of Hayward won the men’s 26-kilometer classic race in 1:37:02 followed by Chad Korby of Park Center, MN in 1:38:26. Xena Huf of Minneapolis, MN won the women’s 26 kilometer classic in 1:56:46, followed by Christine Young of Duluth, MN in 2:00:33.

Jonathan Rulseh of Ironwood, Michigan, won the men’a 26-kilometer freestyle race in 1:18:46, followed a split second later by Andy Weddle of Wausau in 1:18:46. Alyson Welch, Rochester, MN, won the women’s 26-kilometer freestyle race in 1:32:57, with Paulette Niemi of Ironwood taking second in 1:35:07.

The winners of the 42K races were: Men’s classic: Thomas Krenz, Chicago City, MN, 2:36:03; Ryan Wilson, Minneapolis, MN, second, 2:41:49. Women’s classic: Bonnie Weiskopf, Stillwater, MN, first 2:37:07; Nicolette Reker, St. Paul, MN, second, 2:47:11.

Men’s freestyle was a photo finish, Joel LaFrance of Minneapolis, MN, edged Adam Swank of Duluth, MN by a ski tip. Both had times of 1:58:55.

Women’s freestyle: Marit Sonneskyn of Minneapolis, MN, won in 2:07:28, followed by Elaine Nelson of Duluth, MN, in 2:14:19.

Sponsors for the Lions Club Pre-Birkie were: Hayward Community Credit Union, American Birkebeiner, New Moon Ski and Bike, Riverbrook Bike and Ski, Lynn’s Custom Meats & Catering, Boulder Nordic-Sport, Angler’s Bar and Grill, River’s Edge Business Center, Hidden Bay Graphics, Outdoor Ventures, Coop’s Pizza, Seeley Veterinary Clinic, Apple Awards, L & M Fleet Supply and Peoples Bank.

The coordinator for the Lions Club Pre-Birkie was Stephanie Poplin. She has been the coordinator for the last several years and has certainly done an excellent job of running this event “like a well oiled machine”! Bob Olson was the prior coordinator of this event.

The Sawyer County Record was used as a source for most of the information in this article.

Lions International Celebrates 100 Years Of Service

It all started on June 7, 1917. Melvin Jones convened representatives from 27 businessmen’s clubs at a Chicago hotel. They agreed to unite and vote on a name. The name chosen was: The Association of Lions Clubs. Jones turned the previous businessman’s club model on its head—instead of angling for business, Lions would focus on community service.

Lions Clubs become international by chartering a club in Windsor, Canada. One of its first projects was a swim outing in a river for underprivileged boys.

During the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller beseeched Lions to become “Knights of the Blind” in the crusade against darkness. Her eloquent plea provided Lions with their primary mission.

Lion George Bonham painted a cane white with a wide red band to aid the visually impaired after he witnessed a blind man having trouble crossing a street. Clubs vigorously promoted white canes, and by 1956 every state had passed white cane safety laws giving the blind the right-of-way.

Lions headed south and established a club in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Talking books for the blind were created and Lions helped distribute the books and machines.

After a fellow Lion was not able to enroll in the only U.S. school for guide dogs, members of the Detroit Uptown Lions Club started their own leader dog training school.

The world’s second eye bank, the Buffalo Eye Bank, was founded by the Buffalo Lions Club. Today, most eye banks are Lions-sponsored. Lions assisted in drafting the United Nations Charter, starting a lasting bond with the U.N.

Lions celebrated the association’s 30th anniversary in New York City. Lions Clubs at that point were the world’s largest service club group with 324,690 members in 19 nations.

After an international contest among Lions, an official motto was chosen: “We Serve”. The motto was submitted by Lion D. A. Stevenson of Font Hill, Ontario, Canada. Eleven Lions actually submitted that same motto, but Stevenson’s arrived first.

The first Leo club began in Abington, Pennsylvania, after Bill Graver asks his father, “Why isn’t there a Lions-sponsored service club for young people?”

Melvin Jones, the Lion’s founder and longtime secretary general of the association, died at the age of 82.

The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) was established.

After decades in downtown Chicago, Lions Clubs International moved to its fourth and final location in Oak Brook, Illinois, 15 miles west of the city of Chicago.

The association amends its bylaws and invites women to become members.

Mother Teresa accepts the Lions Humanitarian Award. She urges Lions to love: “The most terrible poverty is being unloved and having no one to care for you”.

Lions International Peace Poster Contest began. Mustapha El Tawokji from war-torn Beirut, Lebabon, won first prize.

SightFirst was launched to curtail blindness. Fifteen years later, U.S.$182 million had been raised for 758 projects in 89 countries.

LCIF partnered with The Carter Center, led by former U.S President and Lion Jimmy Carter, to curtail river blindness in Africa land Latin America.

Lions charter two clubs in China, the nation’s first voluntary membership group since the 1950s.

After a devastating earthquake and tsunami in South Asia, Lions mobilized more than US$15 million to rebuild homes, schools and orphanges in five nations.

Past Lions International President, Dr. Tae-Sup Lee of Korea launched Campaign SightFirst at the international convention in Hong Kong.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed US$5 million to the One Shot-One Life campaign. Lions raised US$10 million to support measles efforts over the next two years.

Lions met their goal and served their 100th million person in two years through the Centennial Service Challenge.

Information for this article was obtained from the Lions International Magazine, Centennial Issue (2017).

Wisconsin Lions Goal–Collect 100,000 Pairs Of Eyeglasses

The Lions Clubs of Wisconsin have a state wide goal–collect 100,000 pairs of eyeglass during the year 2016-2017. Nels Beckman, president of the Hayward Lions Club made this announcement at the Hayward Lions Club meeting held on November 17, 2016 (noon meeting at Coop’s Pizza). The year 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International. As part of that celebration, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation (WLF) has instituted what has been named the “Centennial Eyeglass Challenge” for our state. The goal is to collect over 100,000 pairs of used eyeglasses by May, 2017. The Hayward Lions Club is asking for your help! Please donate your old used eyeglasses at any one of the eyeglass drop off points. Just look for the buckets with the Lions stickers on them. Think of it–100,000 people given the free gift of clear vision. The drop off points are: Salvation Army, People’s National Bank, Veterans Community Center, Johnson Bank, Essentia Health Care (pharmacy), Northwoods Clinic, Family Eye Care, Hayward Community Credit Union and Northview Eye Clinic. The Hayward Lions will ship your used glasses to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, located at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt, Wisconsin. Once there, the glasses will be sorted, cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution. Where there is a need–there is a Lion. With help from the local community, eye care for those in need is going to be more available. The co-chairpersons representing the Hayward Lions Club are: Kit Morse and Tim Donovan.

Lions Serve Community Dinner November 16, 2016

Mary Wright prepared her soon to be famous beef stew and Dave McIntosh baked two of his very poplar cheese cakes (New York Cherry and Pumpkin Pecan). The people attending the meal were delighted. The Hayward Lions Club fed 80 people in the dining area and served 10 carry outs. The evening meal was: beef stew, green beans, cole slaw and dinner roll. Second servings were given for those wishing more food. Beverages were: coffee, tea and milk. Numerous food items were donated by Gordy’s (pumpkin and pecan pies, dinner rolls, bread and donut holes). The evening meal was served at the First Lutheran Church of Hayward. For almost 20 years, the First Lutheran Church of Hayward has been the site of the Wednesday Community Dinners–even when Wednesday has fallen on a holiday–the Community Dinner was served. Mary Wright was the chairperson.

Peace Poster Contest 2016

The Hayward Lions Club held their annual Peace Poster Contest again this fall. Jerad Ursin, Middle School Art Teacher, was the school representative. Lions International is sponsoring their 29th annual peace poster contest this year. Usually there are about 375,000 entries submitted worldwide to this contest. The contest is limited to young people between the ages of 11 and 13. Lions International sponsors the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere. The Hayward Lions Club has announced the peace poster contest winner for the year 2016. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners (1st place $100), 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25).

First Place Winner–Sarah Grubbs
Second Place Winner–Callie Asp
Third Place Winner–Logan Abic

The poster of the local winner (1st place, Sarah Grubbs), will be sent to the district governor. The district governor has a select committee judge the posters and determine the winner at the district level. The winning poster at the district level contest is sent to the Public Relations Department in the Lions Club International office in Oak Brook, IL. The winner of the International Peace Poster Contest will be announced in early March, 2017. The announcement will be made at this year’s Lions Day at the United Nations.

A photo of the winners is shown in the “Photos” section of this website.