Several announcements were made, including the fall Pancake Days to be held on Oct. 19-20. Lion Jack Doyle, chair of the event, distributed an assignment sheet and treasurer, Lion Barbara Campbell distributed tickets to members.
Lion Barbara also recognized the long service of Lion Alan Carlson who had served as treasurer for nine years. The current membership drive will begin in November.
Lion Gloria introduced Joel Nielson who is completing his first year as athletic director at USD. Nielson talked about the current improvements to facilities both in and around the DakotaDome and stressed the contributions of many corporate sponsors who have made these improvements possible.
He pointed out that the Dome is the perfect site for many types of entertainment and pointed out that Garrison Keillor, who is this year's recipient of the Neuharth Award, will speak on Oct. 6, a scant two days before the Dakota Day game.
Nielson emphasized that this will be both exciting and challenging � the Dome will be set up for the speech on Thursday (similar to a graduation ceremony) complete with rows and rows of folding chairs, stage, and flowers only to be in "game shape" by Friday.
Nielson talked about the caliber of student athletes at USD and praised both their academics and athletic abilities. For instance, Marcy Miller has been named an all-American athlete and holds a 3.89 GPA; she is the sixth winner in two years ��considering that the students compete for these honors throughout the nation, that is quite an accomplishment.
He stressed the level of energetic love of competing enjoyed by the students. For example, the soccer team is being coached by a Washington High School graduate, Becky Maddox, whom he called a "South Dakota product" � the soccer team currently is 12th in the nation.
Last weekend, the football team traveled to Golden, CO, in a most interesting way: on Thursday they traveled by bus to Gregory, where they were greeted by the entire school, signed autographs and enjoyed a meal at a hunting lodge; Friday included a stopover in Rapid City to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments and then on to Golden, CO.
Nielson stressed that this was an opportunity for many of the football players to see small towns in South Dakota and that no one should visit South Dakota without seeing the monuments!
Some future improvements to the Dome and other athletic facilities include, with the help of corporate campaigns, new hand washers in the bathrooms, a better sound system, an outdoor practice facility for football, and an outdoor track. Nielson praised the students and administration for their support of the athletic programs at USD. Lion Doc Farber thanked Nielson for receiving the game ball from the last game!
The next Lions meeting will be held on Oct. 5 to allow members to attend the Garrison Keillor event at the DakotaDome.