Activities December 2013-Febraury 2014

Wed. Dec. 4 – CRIS Breakfast

Sat. Dec. 7—Salvation Army Bell Ringing

Sun. Dec. 8—Holiday Dinner with wives

Wed. Dec.  18—Board of Directors Meeting

 Mon. Jan. 6—Blood Drive

Wed. Jan. 8—Regular Meeting

Wed. Jan. 15—Board of Directors Meeting

Wed. Jan.22—Regular Meeting

Sat. Feb.. 1—Mid-Winter Conference

Wed. Feb. 12—Regular Meeting

Wed. Feb. 19—Board of Directors Meeting

Wed. Feb. 26—Regular Meeting


President’s Letter December 2013


Dear Fellow Lions,

            As we approach the Holidays and the end of the year I am celebrating our tremendous successes with the car fund raiser this year.  We topped gross ticket sales of over $100,000. This is the first time we have ever 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 tremendous success.


We also had a great success with the Health Committee who executed two events this fall. At Health Day we performed a Pediatric Eye Screening with a new diagnosis camera provided by the Lions District. The Health Committee, under the leadership of Bruce Walzak, also organized and performed a Pediatric Eye Screening for many pre-school students during a week-long event of eye screening. Many thanks also goes to the VNA who played a large role working with and training the Lions on this project.


Michelle Hiscavich, Director of Music at the Newtown High School, contacted me regarding a partnership with the Lions for another military band concert. It has been several years since the Lions hosted the Air Force band. This will be a little different in that it is the US Army Rock Band that is being offered and it would be happening in March rather than June as in the past. I ran this by the Board and received a resounding thumbs-up. So we are waiting for more details at this point and will keep you all up to date as we move forward.


I also have some bittersweet news to share with you regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary Fund (SHEF). We have raised in excess of $311,000 to date for which Bob Schmidt, Kevin Corey, and Walt Schweikert along with the entire SHEF committee are to be congratulated. This is a record for fund raising in our club and has been accomplished in less than a year. The proceeds are helping  individuals directly involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with out of pocket expenses related to counseling for PTSD and other related psychiatric effects.


 Our service has been so successful that we are down to about $71,000 remaining in our fund as of this writing. The demand is picking up as we approach the end of the year and at this burn-rate we may well be out of business within three months. The SHEF Committee is scheduled to meet before the end of the year to discuss how we can find additional resources to keep the fund solvent. Also on the agenda will be some “end game” planning so when necessary we have a plan to curtail payouts to individuals who are currently receiving benefits. I should say that we are actively working to receive a grant from the United Way Fund and we also have an application with the Fairfield County Community Foundation for a grant. We have established an effort to host a Golf Tournament to raise more funds for SHEF. This will take place on June 30th 2014.


I am confident that we will work through the issues with SHEF just as we triumph in all our endeavors. I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays during this joyous season and look forward to working with you all as we go forward in service to our community and nation.


Best Regards,



     Editor’s Comment

                                                By Lion Gordon Williams


            In my many years as newsletter editor I don’t recall that I have ever written an editorial.  Something has happened, however, that necessitates my commenting and it has to do with the car raffle.  I was stunned when I found out that ten people did not take the car out this year.   Now I call this a cardinal sin.  At all our membership meetings with prospects we stress that the one thing a Lion must do is take the car out.  We patiently explain that this is our bread and better and that 100% cooperation is necessary to achieve this.  As for all the other projects we urge new members to pick and choose


            So this is Lions Gospel.  And yet ten people (one of which we can excuse because he had a family emergency) chose not to take part which put the burden on the rest of us. I am embarrassed and saddened.


            The good new is that all but two of our sixty-three members sold some or all of their raffle tickets. Unfortunately, the two who sold no tickets also didn’t take the car out.  However,  forty-three Lions sold all twenty or more tickets!  It is excellent that the vast majority of us did our part and  sold tickets.


Beyond that, of course, the best good news is once again the phenomenal success of  Paul and his committee.  But next year we want every Lion to take out the car at least once.  Make it your goal!     


 Doings of the Pride


Our fall Orchard Hill clean up went very well.  Nine Lions took part in the Saturday morning work.  Helping out were Gary Fillian, Steve Bennett, Bruce Walzak, Stan Wyslick, Doug Body, Ray Keegen, George Smiley, Bob Schmidt and myself. More Russian olives were cut down, invasive plants were removed, new signs were put up and the trails were cleaned. . . .Walt and Peggy Schweikert and Augie and Donna D’Alessandro had an interesting cruise from Seattle to Alaska.  They moved along the inside passageway and visited Skagway and Kethican.  Walt said the highlight of the trip was cruising Glacier Bay and actually seeing parts of the glaciers falling into the Bay. Later they visited Victoria B. C. and majestic Mt. Rainer in Washington.  . . .Alan and AndreaJacobs spent a fun filled week at Bransen, Missouri.  They spent many evenings in the theater and had great entertainment. They ate well, as well. . . . Congratulations are in order for Doug Hensal.  He recently was promoted to the position of vice president and regional manager.  He will oversee half of the bank’s branch networks located in Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Southbury and Woodbury as well as continue to working with the bank’small  business development program. . . .Ryan Storms recently spent a week off in New Hampshire visiting his uncle.  He had several days of good hiking. Others days were spent helping his uncle with his car.    The temperature varied from warm and sunny to very cold and sleety.   . . . . Bob and Josie entertained a full house recently at the C. H. Booth Library.  In a cabaret setting Bob and Josie snag many of our old favorites.  Their performance benefited the SHEF funds to a tune of over $700.00. . . .Bill and Mary Jo Brett had a good time recently in New York City with their children and grand children.  They attended the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.  The whole program was excellent and they all marveled at the precision of the Rockets.  . . .

An Anatomy Lesson

First-year students at the Purdue Vet School were attending their first anatomy class with a real dead horse. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet. The instructor started the class by telling them, "In Veterinary medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor. The first is that you not be disgusted  by anything involving the animal's body." For an example, the professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the horse, withdrew it, and stuck his finger in his mouth. "Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students. The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the butt of the dead horse and sucking on it. When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said,......... "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention."

  We Were Beautiful Once by Joseph Carvalko

                                    Review by Lion George Arfaris


Nick Castalano is a one man law firm and struggling. It’s what the large law firms refer to as a one-lung law practice.  Nick once represented the US Army. There were many lawsuits involving Orange 7. But once a class action was initiated the Army decided to use a much larger law firm.


Now, suddenly, Mr. Castalano finds himself on the side of a plaintiff suing the United States Army for information regarding an MIA. The novel takes various interesting twists and turns and promises to keep the reader focused and attentive. Although this is fiction there are some facts that have been documented. The one outstanding fact is the release of approximately 40,000 North Koreans that chose not to return to the North when the armistice was signed. Although the North Korean’s demanded their return we were powerless to do so. The South Korean guards just simply opened the gates and let them out. Ever wonder if the North didn’t retaliate by keeping many of the prisoners rather than returning them?


Joe Carvalko’s prose flows well and like many great writers, is at times poetic.

The story is interesting and very compelling. Personally I found the name of the ship that transported me to Korea. I landed in Pusan and took this god awful train with open windows, wooden benches and lavatories with no exterior walls. A crack also existed in the floor boards to do whatever business needed doing. The author doesn’t describe the train in such detail other than the fact that many slept on the floor.


I strongly recommend this book.

 “Dear Mum”

            A mother passing by her son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up.  Then she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow.  It was addressed, “Mum.  With the worst premonition she opened the envelope and read the letter.

“Dear Mum,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you.  I had to elope with my girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you.  I’ve been having a real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice.  But I know you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, motorcycle clothes and she is older than I am.  But it’s not only the passion, Mum.  She’s pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy.  She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.  We share a dream of having many more children.  Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone.  We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading  with other people in the commune.

In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for  AIDS so Stacy can get better.  She sure deserves it!  Don’t worry Mum, I’m 17 and I know how to take care of myself.  Some day I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love, your son, Colby.

P.S.  Mum, none of the above is true.  I’m over at Jason’s house.  I just wanted to remind  you that there are worse things in life than the school report card that’s in my desk.

I love you!  Call when it is safe for me to come home.”

Focus on Our Wives

When you see tall, willowy and very attractive  Jan Gardner coming toward you, the first thing that crosses your mind is that  she must be a model.  And she is a model is many ways—a model wife to Frank, a model mother to Chrissy and Kim  and model grandmother to two wee grandchildren.   And she gets plenty of time to bond with these grandkids for they are currently living with her.  A Newtowner since 1968, Jan spent the years while her children were growing working with a friend doing wall and floor stenciling.  Later when her children were grown she spent almost fifteen years in the Ear, Nose and Throat division of Advanced Specialty Care.  There , among other things, she was responsible for all the surgical scheduling.  Retired now, Jan has more time to spend with her family and volunteering.  Occupying some of her time is driving for FISH.  However, her number one hobby is gardening.  Proof of her and Frank’s gardening excellence was on display several summers ago during the Newtown Historical Society’s House and Garden Tour.  People came away in awe with what the Gardners had done with their property.  As an avid gardener it is natural that Jan is a member of the Town and Country Garden Club.  So you have any gardening questions, you now know the person to ask!

                                    Classy Insults

            The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor  She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.  He said, “if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”   

            “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”—Winston Churchill

            “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book;  I’ll waste no time reading it.”—Moses Hadas

            “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it”--Mark Twain

            “He had no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends”—Oscar Wilde

            “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play,; bring a friend . . . if you have one”—George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill                                   “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second . . . if there is one”—Winston Churchill in response.

            “I feel so miserable without you.  It’s almost like having you here.”—Stephen Bishop

A college teacher reminds her class of the next day’s final exam.  “Now class, I won’t tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow.  I might consider a nuclear attack or a death in   your immediate family , but that’s it.  NO other excuses whatsoever.”    A young man in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, “What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?”    The entire class is reduced to laughter. . . .   When silence was restored, the teacher smiled at the student and sweetly said, “Well, I guess  you’d have to write the exam with your other hand.”[

A woman is standing nude looking in the bedroom mirror.  She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband.  “I feel horrible.  I look old, fat and ugly.  I really need you to pay me a complement.”    . . . .The husband replies, “Your eyesight’s damn near perfect!”