The Sept. 7 Lions' Club meeting was held at the Silver Dollar Restaurant. The meeting was called to order by Lion Allen Johnson, president. Several announcements were made concerning several summer projects held by the club.
Two special fund-raising pancake breakfasts had been served to benefit two local organizations; the W. H. Over Museum and the Senior Citizens Center. During the Spirit of Vermillion celebration, another pancake breakfast was served to raise funds for the Lions' Sesquicentennial project of moving the old log schoolhouse to another location.��
A raffle with proceeds going to the Mobile Screening Unit was announced and other activities and projects to be sponsored by the local club were announced. In March, the club will sponsor the appearance of the Braschler Singing Group of Branson, MO. Dan Kenton and Marie Anne Ben, guests of the club, were introduced by Gloria Christopherson and Maxine Johnson.
Curt Jopling was introduced as our speaker and he gave a presentation about his trip to Haiti as part of a mission group which provides solar ovens for the people of that country. Curt traveled to Haiti as a part of the "Solar Oven Partners" group which takes two trips each year.
The first ovens were taken to Haiti in 2000; Haiti is only 600 miles from the coast of Florida. Twenty-eight percent of the land is forested but with charcoal being the major source of fuel, Haiti itself is now down to only 1 percent. This creates a major problem is sparse energy sources and has resulted in such predicaments as Port au Prince, the capital, having only three hours of electricity daily with that being dispersed in "rolling" amounts leaving only parts of that city with power.�
Water is not only very scarce but not pure – this results in a very high infant/young child mortality rate. While education is free, there is absolutely no government support so this is a tremendous expense for parents.
Part of the purpose of taking the solar ovens to Haiti is to teach use of the ever present solar power to relieve the expense of purchasing the very expensive charcoal. Use of the ovens produces enough actual savings to send a child to school for a year which is a very attractive proposition for their parents.
Curt traveled to Haiti with Russ Stone. Between them, they took hundreds of pictures which were enjoyed by the Lions. Pictures of the country emphasized the extreme poverty prevalent there. Living conditions are very harsh; however, Curt emphasized that the children were "clean and their clothing was crisp."
His favorite pictures were of the children as he saw their living as part of the success of this project:�it was helping to keep children alive through those early years.� Curt plans to go back to Haiti this year.�The last picture projected on the screen was of a young girl in a pink dress as he said, "Here is my reason for going back."
The meeting ended with service awards being presented to Del Colwell, Gloria Christopherson, and Barbara Campbell.�The board will meet on Sept. 14 at 7 a.m. at the Over Museum and the next meeting will be on Sept. 21 when Virginia Johnson will present her views on the Crawford Road issue.