Cold Springs students recognized by Alabama Lions


Cold Springs senior Matthew Blair on Tuesday night gives an entertaining account of his time at the Alabama Lion High School Leadership Camp. (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)

DODGE CITY – Cold Springs High School students Cody Bales and Matthew Blair were recognized at Tuesday night’s Alabama Lions District 34A, Region 3, Zone 9 meeting. The meeting was held in the Dodge City Community Center.

Blair was on-hand to talk about his experiences at the Alabama Lion High School Leadership Camp at Troy University in June. Bales was unable to attend, but his presence was felt as Second Vice District Governor Tim Sosebee spoke about the Lions’ mission to combat juvenile diabetes. Bales is a freshman at Cold Springs and has long-dealt with juvenile diabetes but fortunately has some help in the form of his dog, Nash. Nash is a specially trained dog who can detect changes in Cody’s blood sugar.

After dinner, Sosebee got things underway by connecting the history of the Lions to Tuesday night’s meeting, including the founders’ original mission.

“In the crusade against darkness, they voted that night to make sight their mission. So now, we’re 101 years old and we have a new mission. Our second-century mission is juvenile diabetes,” Sosebee said. “Juvenile diabetes can also lead to blindness, so it’s all connected.”

Blair recapped his time at the leadership camp in June.

“A couple of weeks ago I went to the Lions Club event at Troy University and it was a really fun experience. On the first day I drove down there, and everything got started after lunch around 3. We went straight into a meeting to learn the opening session and all that good stuff,” Blair said. “Our theme this year was pursuit. We learned in the first session what pursuit really means. When I first heard of that I thought of the ‘Dukes of Hazard’ and how Rosco is always chasing the General Lee, or a shark chasing a fish, those were the two primary ones,” he joked. “So, I thought ‘OK, I’ve got this’.”

Blair continued, breaking down the schedule of activities and other sessions he participated in, including zip lining, team exercises, canoeing, laser tag and more. Blair’s team came up short in the skits competition, but he and his team have fond memories of the camp and graduation nonetheless, even if Blair thought he was a little underdressed.

“After skits were performed we went to bed and the next day we had breakfast and dressed up nice. I did not know to bring khakis or a fancy shirt, so I wore a red polo and blue jeans; everyone else was in a suit.” Blair joked. “During graduation we were all given a certificate and the most outstanding group members were chosen for a scholarship. I unfortunately was not one of them, which is OK by me. So, our outstanding member from Group 7 was Sarah Margaret. She got the scholarship over everybody at the camp, which made us proud. She wants to work at NASA, and after graduation ended we all took a couple of group pictures together.”

Blair’s summer isn’t quite done yet; he has more things he wants to do to prepare himself even further before the school year begins.

“This week I am enrolled in ACT Extreme Prep classes, with homework during the summer. I do not understand this,” Blair grinned, “but it’s helping me to prepare for my future so I’m all for it.”

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