Activities December 2012-January 2013


Sat.  Dec. 1—Salvation Army Bell Ringing

Wed.  Dec. 5—CRIS Breakfast

Sat.  Dec. 8—Salvation Army Bell Ringing

Sun.  Dec. 9—Christmas Dinner at Stone Barn in Monroe, 5:30 cocktails

 Wed. Dec. 19--  Board  of Directors Meeting

Mon. January 7—Lions Blood Drive—come give and help out

Wed. January 9-- Regular Meeting

Wed. January  16-- Board Meeting

Wed. January 23—Regular Meeting


President’s Message


Fellow Lions,


         As we celebrate Thanksgiving I’m looking back at the past few months and as a club we have much to be thankful for. Our club has maintained a level of success that is the envy of other clubs in the area with our service projects and fund raising. We have just completed another successful Mustang ticket sales year that will replenish our project account. Our Great Pumpkin Race continues to grow with more participants in both racers and community organizations. Once again we have been to the Orchard Hill Nature preserve to help to maintain that valuable piece of property. And once again our club is growing with three new members.


  Looking ahead to the next few months, we have many ways for

our Lion members to participate. We have the Danbury Lions Charity breakfast on December 12th, Salvation Army Bell ringing on December 15th and our Red Cross blood drive in January. When I attend these events I see many of the same Lions participating, year in and year out.


If you have never been to a charity breakfast, please sign up for this one. Participants need to be able to sit at a table with your fellow Lions for an hour, shoot the breeze, listen to the speakers and eat breakfast.  If you have never stood by a kettle for an hour for the Salvation Army, please keep in mind that no experience is needed; you stand in the cold, ring the bell and smile. Your participation at the blood drive is to find a seat at a table and interact with the donors for a couple of hours.   Keep bringing in the new members. They are the life blood of our club. I hope to see you all at one of our events soon.


Yours in Lionism,





                                                            Why We Love Children


One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed.  She was turning off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy will you sleep with me tonight ?”  The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug.  “I can’t dear,’ she said, “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room”. 
A long silence was broken at last  by his shaky little voice,  “The big sissy.”


A Lion from Danbury, Connecticut was pregnant with her third child.  Her five year old son came into the room as she was preparing to get into the shower.  He said, “Mommy, you are getting fat”  She replied, “Yes honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy.”  “I know,” he replied, “but what’s growing in your butt?”


It was that time during the Sunday morning service for the children’s sermon.  All the children were invited to come forward.  One little girl was wearing  a particularly pretty dress and as she sat down, the pastor, with microphone in hand said “That is a very pretty dress.  Is it your Easter dress?”  The little girl replied, directly into the pastor’s microphone, “Yes and my Mom says it’s a bitch to iron.”



            One day the second grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class at Hawley School.  She came to the part where Chicken Little warns the farmer.  She read,” and Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, “the sky is falling!”  The teacher then asked the class, “And what do you think that the farmer said?”  One little boy raised his hand and said.  “I think he said, “Holy Shit! A talking chicken!” 
The  teacher was unable to teach for the next ten minutes. 

.                                                           Doings of the Pride

            Bruce Landgrebe is his usual smiling self these days.  But for a while the smiles were pretty fake as his body was hurting due to his fall. Seems one day he was on a ladder  staining the side of the house and  then slipped and fell, breaking a number of ribs, some quite high in his body.  Still sleeping in a recliner chair, he claims that the pain is minimal these days. . . . What is it about Hawaii that attracts Lions?  Is it the luscious girls in the grass skirts?  Is it the luaus or the pig roasts?  Whatever it is, Lions are visiting.  In late summer Gary and Peggy Fillion journeyed to Maui.  Walking, biking and driving around Maui they found many beautiful waterfalls and other arresting  sights.  A highlight of the trip was taking a helicopter trip around the islands.  Among other things viewed was an active volcano. More recently Glenn Nanavity and his finance, Mary, toured Kauai.  They found the scenery, including the many waterfalls, really gorgeous. They even  saw the area where “South Pacific” was filmed a number of years ago.   Stopping in Honolulu they viewed the Pearl Harbor monument and were suitably impressed. . . .Next year it will be the Jacobs and Schweikert families who visit the island state.  . . . By the way, Walt is proud to be a grandfather again.  His youngest daughter, Erica, as a Thanksgiving gift presented  the family with a healthy baby girl whom she and her husband named Rachel. . . Tom and Evelyn Evagash had a special trip to Russia in September. Their Russian tour group, “Travel all Russia”, proved to be very reasonably priced and the guides were excellent.    While in Moscow they saw many interesting sights and then took a river cruise to St. Petersburg.  Evelyn’s favorite part of the trip was seeing Catherine the Great’s summer palace.  She found it more beautiful than Versailles. 

An Editorial

The editor would like to make a few comments on  the recently completed Mustang sale.  As always, I commend the committee which, year after year, has produced great results.  They have certainly done yeoman service. The vast majority of Lions who made a mighty effort to sell tickets are also to be commended.  And Paul Krueger, the committee chair,  is my idea of a Lions hero for his devotion, year after year, to the Mustang sale. 

So, overall, it has been another outstanding year.  But when I asked a few questions of car committee members I found information that disturbed me.   Quite disappointing  is the fact that five people turned their tickets in without selling one.  This is a shame.  In another club you would be forced to buy all twenty tickets.  We don’t do that, thankfully, but I find it a sad that those five couldn’t at least buy one or two for themselves or their children.

            More disturbing than the people who didn’t buy tickets was the information that more than five never took the car out at all!  As a member of the membership committee I can attest to the fact that we always discuss two things.  One is that a new member should pick a committee or two and get  involved.  The second thing we tell new members and perspectives is that because selling Mustang tickets is the financial life blood of the club,   they must take the car out at least once between May and October.  Since some of the men who haven’t taken the car out are relatively new members I am saddened that our strong message evidently reached deaf ears. 

            My hope is that in 2013, every Lion will sell at least a few tickets and that every Lion  will take the car out at least once. 

                                                            Ten Million Steps on Route 6    

By Joe Hurley

Photography: Travis Lindhorst

Book Review by Ray Keegan.


            Joe Hurley was a newspaper reporter for the  Danbury News-Times for over thirty years. In 1999,  Hurley walked the entire length of Route 6 in Connecticut and reported his sightings along the way. Route 6 in Connecticut  meanders through towns that are away from the coast as this road evolved during colonial times by soldiers. The British controlled the coast and this route was created out of necessity to transport troops and supplies by the Colonials. In 2003, Hurley was nearing the age of 60 and began planning a trip where he would walk the entire length of Route 6.


 Route 6 starts on Cape Cod and ends in California. Hurley mapped out the entire route and set a goal of walking twenty miles per day. He recruited a photographer who would document his walk pictorially and drive a ten year old Geo Metro. Hurley financed his trip by writing stories about his travels and selling the articles to newspapers along the Rt. 6 corridor. He started his walk on Cape Cod in March of 2004 and finished the walk in California in December.


  The book is  interesting  as it is a portrait of America that most people will never see. Most people remember Charles Kuralt and his CBS news segments about interesting places in the United States. This book makes the reader feel as though he or she is reading Charles Kuralt. Hurley’s humor and wit is also interspersed throughout.


  By the time the trip was over, Hurley had worn out six pairs of shoes and the Geo Metro. He also had great memories of out of the way places and interesting people. The richness and diversity of America is evident throughout what I feel is a very enjoyable read.


                                                            A Cup of Tea


            A Lion’s wife from Fargo, North Dakota recalls this story.  “One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me.  I was maybe three years old and had just recovered from an accident.  Someone had given me a little “tea set” as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.


Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of tea, which was just water.  After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.


            My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because he said it was just the cutest thing!  My Mom waited and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.  Then she says, ‘Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?’ ”


                                                   Focus on Our Wives


              If you spot a lady at a Lions’ function always with a big smile on her face, you undoubtedly have come across Sue Corey.  Surely the glass is full most of the time, not half full or empty for Sue.   A graduate of Darien High  School and Wheeler College with a M.A. from Fairfield University, Sue has had a variety of careers.  When she was quite young she was a nanny in England for a family, Later she worked for fifteen years at Pepperidge Farm.  It was there that she met Kevin, her husband, and they married.


A nurturer by nature, she has mothered as many as seven cats at one time, and currently has six plus two Jack Russell dogs, Cricket, a docile female, who the cats accept or like and Ricochet, a more typical  highly energetic male whom the cats have not accepted as yet.  But Sue and Kevin are working on it!


 Sue enjoys cross stich work and doing all kinds of crafts.  When time permits she also enjoys reading and gardening.  


After her M.A. she began teaching school in Norwalk. She enjoys teaching and loves the kids but recently all the testing and paper work has gotten to her and, after twenty-one years, she is ending her teaching career in June.  She says she wants to try new things, perhaps working with the elderly. We wish her well in whatever new endeavor she attempts and look forward to seeing this smiling lady at Lions’ events. 



New Lions in the Pride


    Dick Sturdevant

We are happy to have Dick Sturdevant rejoin the Lions.  About ten or more years ago the Newtown Bee had a series of articles about power couples, Newtowners where both husband and wife were deeply involved in the life of the town.  One of the power couples was Dick and Marie Sturdevant.  They certainly deserved the honor.  Marie’s activities are legendary but I will save writing about her for another time.  The Sturdevants have two children, Leslie and Michael and now have seven grandchildren which they really enjoy seeing and caring for. 


A Connecticut Yankee, a U Conn grad and a three year veteran of the army, Dick’s first major career was in property and casualty insurance.  Tiring of the corporate life, when his father indicated that he would like to retire from the family camera business, Dick was happy to take over.  Through efforts, he was able to expand, having three shops at one time, including one in Newtown.  Eventually the time came to retire and he sold the shops.



  But he did not retire from life. An avid golfer and a volunteer of long standing, he had enjoyed a stint in the Lions years ago.  More recently he joined the Rotary, working his way up through the ranks becoming the President.  At about this same period,  he became the chairman of the Union Savings Bank, a position he held for three years.    Currently he is the Danbury area chairman of the Salvation Army. The list goes on and on.  In a way  if there were such a title as “Mr. Newtown” Dick Sturdevant might easily be so named.  Welcome to the Pride, Dick!


                                                Dan O’Grady

The Lions also welcome Dan O’Grady, Bethel resident and active lawyer. Since 1988 Dan has had a general practice  but has also had a lot of experience as a public defender in Danbury Superior Court representing children, parents and guardians. In addition, he has defended juvenile delinquents. 


 Dan has been married to Elise for thirty-six years.  He is also the father of  Justin, Andrew and Brendon and spent much time while they were growing up coaching their teams.  It didn’t  matter whether the sport was basketball, baseball or soccer ,Dan was ready to leap in and lead.   He has also been a terrific volunteer in Bethel activities including the Jaycees, the Bethel Historical Society and in organizing Bethel Law Day.  He annually  participates in career day in Johnson School  and the community reading program at Rockwell School.  With all these volunteer credentials, Dan should be a valuable new Lions Club member!


                                                Bill Brett

What do you call an amalgamation of Aussie,  Limey and Yankee?  Well, you call him Bill Brett, of course, our third new Lion.  Born in England of English parents, his Dad served in WWII and then worked at various jobs for what is now Exxon Mobile.  That is why Bill, born in England, spent much of his earliest years in Australia, then briefly went back to England and ending up as a teenager in America.  Though honoring his ancestry, Bill is proud to be called an   American now.


 A retired New York state science teacher, Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary Jo, his son, two daughters and grandchildren.  Bill has also been a strong volunteer.  Though his teaching years are over, he has continued his association with teachers’ organizations.  Soon after joining the Newtown Congregational Church he became a Deacon, and shortly thereafter, Senior Deacon.  Currently he is the program chairman of the Newtown Historical Society.  In all his jobs, he performs yeoman services.  Like Dan and Dick, Bill is sure to be a valuable Lions Club member!