April 6, 2018
One of Kerrville’s own, Mary Nowlin, received a stuffed lion after she had to have brain surgery for a rare brain disease in 1998. She thought about her gift and realized how much it meant to her and how lions were a symbol of courage. A few months later, she discovered that a co-worker of hers had late-stage melanoma. After processing the shock, she decided that they needed a lion, as she had gotten one when she was going through a hard time.
For thirteen years, she would give lions to help boost people’s courage. She found it difficult, however, to find lions for them. Mary would go from store to store in search of them. She then decided to start The Lion Club. Mary found a manufacturer and had a stuffed lion created for the club. The Lion Club is for those who are going through a life-changing illness or event or for the family members that go through these things as well. It is for those who need extra courage or bravery.
“I have friends and family that received them and they would take their lions everywhere with them. When my older brother passed away, his lion was by his side,” says Mary. “I have a friend who told me once, ‘I don’t ever want to be a member of The Lion Club but if I ever have a life-threatening illness I better get one!’ I decided we also needed a Military Lion and Courage to Go On Lion as well as wristbands for family and friends to wear because, in my opinion, family and friends have the hard part of watching their friend or loved one go through the life-changing event.”
Mary has tried hard to give those that need them to the opportunity to have one. She sells her lions on her website and at local stores and events but has also donated many, including sending 35 lions to the victim’s families and first responders of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
She wants the citizens of Kerrville to know that a little bit of courage could go a long way. Mary wants to help those out there who could use a little bit of extra courage as they go through life-changing and struggling times.