Activities December 2014—March 2015
Sat. Dec. 13—Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Sun. Dec. 14—Holiday Dinner with wives
Wed. Dec. 17—Board of Directors
Mon. Jan. 12—Red Cross Blood Drive
Wed. Jan.14—Regular Meeting
Wed. Jan. 21---Board of Directors
Wed. Jan. 28—Regular Meeting
Sat. Feb. 7—Mid-Winter Conference
Wed. Feb. 11—Regular Meeting
Wed. Feb. 18—Board of Directors
Wed. Feb.25—Regular Meeting
Mon. March 9—Red Cross Blood Drive
Wed. March 11---Regular Meeting
Wed. March 18—Board of Directors
Wed. March 25—Children and Grandchildren dinner
Dear Fellow Lions,
By the time you read this newsletter we will have passed the Christmas Holiday. I have had a very busy fall and apologize to Gordon for getting him the President’s letter late which undoubtedly has delayed the winter edition of the newsletter. Once again we topped gross ticket sales of over $100,000 with the Classic Mustang Raffle. This marks the second time we have sold over 10,000 tickets and we had a record year for internet and mail sales as well. Thanks to all our members that gave their time to take the car out and a hardy congratulations to Paul Krueger, and the entire Car Committee for this outstanding success.
And Speaking of Paul Krueger, Paul has decided to step down after nearly 23 years of leadership of the Car Committee. Wow what a run! I calculated that over those years the Car Committee raised nearly one million dollars which is one of the key reasons that our club can maintain such a generous budget for our community. We celebrated Paul’s retirement as the top manager and organizer of the Car Committee at our Holiday dinner a few weeks ago. We were all reminded how this wonderful effort saved us from selling light bulbs. We all know as well that behind every good man is a good woman and in Paul’s case, Helen was behind the scenes all the way helping with scheduling and accompanying Paul on many journeys to look at cars. While Paul is retiring as top dog he is by no means retiring from the committee and will continue to contribute. On behalf of the Newtown Lions I would like to thank Paul and Helen for the years of service they both have put into this very successful fund raiser.
As the Car Committee moves forward I would like to thank Oscar De los Santos for stepping forward to chair the committee this year. He will have the help of four Vice Chairman heading up the various major sub-committees. Thank you to Walt Schweikert for heading up the Advertising and Marketing, Bill Brett for his heading up the Events and Scheduling, Gary Fillion for heading the Car custodial work including purchasing new Mustangs for the raffle, and last but not least, Skip Sims, for his continued efforts heading the Financial and Reports sub-committee. Thanks to all for your continued efforts.
We also had continued success with the Health Committee who executed another successful event this fall. We performed a Pediatric Eye Screening with the diagnosis camera provided by the Lions District. Bruce Walczak continued to lead this very important work with the help of many Lions and that of Lion Joe Young’s expertise. The Health Committee has also organized a Blood Drive schedule for January 12th which continues to be a very successful event for our club.
SHEF continues to be successful under the leadership of Lion Bob Schmidt providing donations for individuals in need of mental health care as part of the Collaborative Community Fund. The Newtown Lions are teamed with the Rotary and the Newtown Sandy Hook Community Foundation in this continuing effort. The Newtown Lions have continued to provide five thousand dollars a month to this effort. Newtown Lions will be running another golf tournament “FORE Sandy Hook” this year with the collaboration of Mike Sommer, John Schneider, and our own Newtown Lions. We expect this effort to kick off early next year and hopefully exceed the $22K raised last year.
Also the board has decided to start an open enrollment for qualified individuals wishing to join our efforts at the Newtown Lions Club. This is to stimulate new growth for our club among our community in the hopes of re-invigorating our membership. Look to our Website and newspaper articles in the near future to publicize this. Thanks to many but especially Lion Vice President and Membership Chair Doug Hensel for moving this effort forward.
I would like to thank all the Newtown Lions for another successful year of service to our community and the world. I am so proud to be a part of this great organization. Happy New Year!
Doings of the Pride
Tom and Evelyn Evagash recently returned from a Cosmos Tour. They said everything was great from the accommodations to the food and sights they saw. They visited Provance, Arles and Avignon among other places. Tom said the only bad part was driving back to fly home in a blinding rain storm on unfamiliar roads. . . Alan Jacobs had a living nightmare of a day recently. As he and his bride are planningon taking a tour of London and Paris next year he thought he would take a course in conversational French. He duly registered and bought books. The day the class was to begin he arrived on time only to find the class cancelled. No one had told him that it had been cancelled. The next bad thing that day was when he went to return the books and they would not take them back without a receipt even though he told them the class had been cancelled. . When he asked the registrar how long he had to wait before the second class started he was told that its start date had been postponed. To make matters worse when sometime later he called to inquire about the class the instructor said that he had missed the first class. The final blow was that there would be no refund for either class, even the one cancelled! . . . Hurrah for the car committee and the over $107,000 gross receipts they accumulated. Wow, that is some record! And it is great that all but seven of our members took the car out. I am disappointed in them and also in the four who did not sell any of their tickets. What is the purpose of being a Lion if you can’t support our activities? . . .
Have you thought Gary Fillion looked a little red in the face lately? If so it might be that he and Peggy visited about fifty wineries on Long Island and many of them offered tasting! At home now, Gary is ensconced in his man cave with every kind of tool imaginable. Recently he took a non functioning vacuum cleaner of the editor and fixed it in a manner of ten minutes! He is quite a repair man. . . . Frank Gardner and his buddies recently presented a slide show on the scenery and animals of Yellowstone Park to the delight of residents of Heritage Village. The images were sensational. . . . Frank De Lucia and Tom Evagash have had recent health issues. Frank had by pass surgery almost two months ago and is doing well, although he lacks energy. Just recently he got behind the wheel for the first time. One day Tom has some fairly severe chest pains so went to the hospital and was admitted. It was diagnosed as a mild heart attack but in the course of treating it they found two blockages so he had two stents put in. Like Frank, he lacks his usual energy but otherwise seems to be doing well. . . . If you haven’t seen much of Gary Storms recently there is a reason. He is now Mr. Construction Man. He no sooner had a big part in totally renovating his own kitchen when his cousin called and needed desperate help. It turns out he had bought a fixer upper house and there was much to be done. And so Gary spent about three weeks down in New Jersey helping him. . . . The Newtown Bee had a nice tribute to Bill Denlinger in a recent edition. As you know, in the “Way We Were column they write of things that appeared in the paper twenty-five, fifty and even one hundred years ago. Under the heading December 1 , 1989 they wrote “Bill Denlinger, who has been chairman for the past seven years will be leaving the Board of Education after a decade of service. His legacy includes a streamlined board meeting, a schedule of maintaining facilities and a process that allows for teachers, administration and townspeople to work together cohesively toward a strong educational product.”
Letters Dear Abby Didn’t Know How to Answer
I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It’s getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don’t know him well enough to discuss money with him.”
I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.”
Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own religion?”
I have a man I can’t trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his.”
Book Review of For Love of Country by Lion Paul Arneth
For the Love of Country is written by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chanrasekaran. Mr. Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks who coauthored the book because he feels, since we no longer have a draft, most of us are completely divorced from the plight of the women and men we send to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We simply do not have skin in the game. Regardless of our beliefs about the conduct of these wars, young men and women are serving in our name, and we must not forget their sacrifice.
The first half of the book details the heroic sacrifices our men and women make on the battlefield. They act unselfishly to protect their fellow soldiers and complete the mission.
The second half details the challenges our heroes face when they return home. Integration back into civilian society is a huge challenge for some veterans. Grievously wounded men and women may spend eighteen months at Walter Reed Hospital, separated from family and friends by thousands of miles.
These stories may bring you to tears, but we must never forget our troops. For Love of Country is available, at a discount, at all Starbucks near the checkout counter. All proceeds from sales are donated to the Onward Veterans Fund.
Pay it Forward!
Two Separate Mini Lions Stories
Marie, a Lions’ wife from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was driving with her son, Nathan, on a warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of her stood up and waved. She was stark naked! And then she heard five year old Nathan shout, “Look Mom, that lady isn’t wearing her seat belt ! “
Emily, a little girl was watching her parents dress for a festive party. When she saw her dad, Lion Scott, donning his tuxedo, she warned. “Daddy, you shouldn’t wear that suit.”
“And why not, honey?”
“You know it always gives you a headache the next morning.”
Focus on Our Wives
If you listen carefully you may catch a trace of an English accent when Jan Jableski speaks. Except for a brief sojourn home Jan has been in America since 1965. Originally she was employed as an nanny for five children in Fairfield. Then she moved on to calculating machines and eventually Charles of the Ritz in Norwalk. Mostly retired today she enjoys working one day a week for a doctor.
At a certain point she met Jane Landgrebe, not a Landgrebe at that time although she may have met Bruce. These two English gals decided to room together and became great friends in the process which they have remained to this day. Another friend of Jan’s was John Jableski, but after a while it turned from friendship into romance and they married. Over time they parented a boy and a girl. Blake is now forty-three and Lea tags in at forty-one. Between the two they have produced five children and Jan really enjoys being with her grandchildren.
Jan has many hobbies. Possibly tennis is her favorite and she plays once a week. But she also enjoyed knitting which she does with a Danbury group of women. Recently she has taken up Mah Jong and finds the game great fun. She also really enjoys scrapbooking and has made scrapbooks for her grandchildren. All in all I’d say that Jan really knows how to get the most out of retirement!
That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo cheerfully said to me “It’s O.K. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount. It’ll be only $4.68”
I was stupefied. I am fifty-six, not even sixty yet! A mere child! Senior citizen?
I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me? I’ll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me. “Dude ! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?”
I stared with utter disdain at the keys and tried to rationalize it in my mind. Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!
I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. Then a few other objects came into focus: the car seat in the back seat and a partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.
I flew out of the alien vehicle and moments later was speeding out of the parking lot in my own truck. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned and I reached to grab my burrito only it was nowhere to be found. I swung the truck around and gathered my courage and strode back into the restaurant one more time. There Elmo stood in his earrings and black nail polish. All I could think was :what is the world coming to? Finally I said, “Did I leave my food and drink here:? Elmo had no clue so I walked back out to the truck and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my coat to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained. “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.”
I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized. She offered these kind words: “It’s O.K. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”
All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing eighty-five in a forty mile zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Corvette. And no, I told the officer, I’m not too old to be driving this fast. As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.
The good news was that I had successfully found my way home.