Activities May-June 2014

Mon. May 5—Red Cross Blood Drive  

Wed. May 14—Regular Meeting—Trull Awards

Sat,  May 17---Flag Day/Summer Flag Presentation

Wed. May 21---Board of Directors Meeting  

 Sat. May 24—Great Pootatuck Duck Race

Wed. May 28—Regular Meeting Wed.

Sun. June 8—Ladies Night and Awards and Installation

Wed. June 11—Hospice Breakfast

Sat. June 14—Home Front  Day

Wed. June 18—Board of Directors Meeting


President’s Letter May 2014

Dear Fellow Lions,


Happy Spring! At long last the long winter is over and the club is in full swing on our spring time activities. We had a very successful Earthday and Loose the Litter in spite of the rain. Thanks to Lion Glenn Nanavaty and Lion Ed Miklaszewski for heading that whole effort and making it a success. In March we helped host the US Army Rock Band and thanks to Lion Dan O’Grady and Lion Bruce Walczak for working this event so hard. The Leos came out to help as well under the new leadership of Ellie Hanna the Leo Club advisor at the high achool and Lion Doug Hensal .We also had a great Progressive Dinner so a big thank you goes to Bill Brett for organizing it so well.


The Mustang Car Raffle is off to a great start under the leadership once again of Lion Paul Krueger and Lion Jack Russo. We are pushing new records on the website this early in the season and I think we are doing very well with our venues as well. As always, we do need all Lions to step up and go out with the car at least two times. So let Lion Skip Sims know when you can go out so you can get on the schedule.


Lion Bob Schmidt has got the Duck Race all tuned up for this year’s event on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend which we hope to be dry this year. We have a full cadre of prizes ready to go. The Race will be different this year. SHOP has been vocal about wanting greater participation in our event. In response to that we are bringing the event into the village and will be operating the festivities from the Methodist Church down to the Foundry as well as the grassy area along the banks of the Pootatuck River as we always do. There will be two stages going in parallel between Lion Bob being setup in front of the Deli and new Lion, Oscar de los Santos, will be Master of Ceremonies at the stage in the grassy area.. Thanks to Lion Bruce Landgrebe for all his help organizing the locations of all our vendors throughout the Hook which was no small undertaking.


So Lion Denny McLaughlin and Lion Jerry Cole along with the stimulus of Lion Gordon Williams have set out to do a HomeFront project this year. We were planning for early May as always but the home is not going to be ready for us until Saturday June 14th. Please write it down on your calendars. This is an all Lions hands event that we are doing with the Congregational and Methodist Churches this year.


Our efforts for SHEF continue by trying to attract grants and holding a golf tournament. Lion Jon Christiansen is doing good work trying to attract another grant from Lions International. The Wrentham Lions Club has again stepped up to the tune of $5,000 for SHEF. They ran another very successful  Dancing with the Stars event. Wrentham has also invited us to a meeting which I am trying to coordinate for early next fall. These guys are very special and they are great brothers in Lionism. This is just in time as Lion Bob Schmidt is still closing out claims from our effort. As previously reported we have closed down our direct support of providers under SHEF as of February 28th 2014 and the Newtown Lions Club is now teamed with the Newtown Rotary and Newtown Memorial Fund to continue to provide support for Mental Health counseling. Elizabeth Goehring of United Way who administers payments for the group, told me recently that many people from SHEF have registered for continued aid under the new consortium and they are now paying out in excess of $50k per month. When we closed down SHEF in February we experienced an all-time high of claims at about $40K per month.


Even though SHEF no longer is administering directly to providers and patients, we still have a need to support the new consortium. As such we have planned a golf tournament for June 30th. All Lions that play golf are invited to sign-up for this event on our website. The fee is $175 per player which includes lunch and dinner. There is also a live and silent auction planned for the event and we hope to have some special celebrity guests playing with us. We are looking into providing dinner only tickets for those that don’t play golf as well. It should be a great fund raiser and lot of fun.


As always as you can see, we Lions are not idle. There is a lot going on in this club and we need to get everyone out to support the car raffle and upcoming Great Pootatuck Duck Race and the golf tournament. We will be having the installation of new officers this year at our last meeting in May on the 28th. Our awards meeting will be on June 8th at Rock Ridge and will feature special guests First Selectman Pat Llodra and Lions President Stephanie Jacobson of the Danbury Lions Club who sponsored the Newtown Lions Club back in 1949. We will be celebrating 65 years of Lionism at this meeting which is a great milestone for the Newtown Lions. Hope to see you all there.


Well that’s it for now. Remember participation in our club is what makes us such an effective group. We need all the Lions to pitch in and get involved.. You all have a lot to contribute and that is why you are Lions, “We Serve”.


Best Regards,






  Is it True that Blondes Have More Fun or is it True that they are Dumb?


A beautiful blonde was driving home and got caught in a really bad hailstorm which left her car covered with dents.  The next day she took it to a repair shop.  The shop owner saw that she was a blonde so he decided to have some fun.  He told her to go home and blow into the tail pipe really hard and all the dents would pop out.  So the blonde went home and started blowing into her tailpipe.  Nothing happened.  So she kept blowing and still nothing happened.  Her blonde roommate saw her and asked, “What are you doing?”  The first blonde told her how the repairman had instructed her to blow into the tail pipe in order to get all the dents to pop out.  The roommate rolled her eyes and said, “Uh, like Hello!  You need to roll up the windows first.”


THE BULLY PULPIT: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism  by Doris Kearns Goodwin

                 Reviewed by Lion Gordon Mounts

           In over 900 pages Doris Kearns Goodwin presents a “dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era.”  The book consists of three stories: Theodore Roosevelt-the man who desperately wanted to be president, William Howard Taft-the man who never wanted to be president, and the muckrakers-the writers that helped Roosevelt to accomplish many of his goals.  The book starts with the births of the two men and follows their life story until their death.  Roosevelt and Taft were best friends until 1912 when Roosevelt formed a third party and ran against Taft.  They became bitter enemies until late in life.  The result of Roosevelt’s action was the election of Woodrow Wilson.

          Roosevelt was born into privilege and sought the political life from the beginning.  He had some detours but always returned to his first love.  His personal life was happy with two good marriages.  He was greatly beloved by the American people but the political bosses fought Roosevelt every step of the way.  The bosses manipulated him into the vice presidency.  He became president when McKinley was assassinated.  This led to the famous quote, “That damn cowboy is president.”  A good portion of the book is devoted to the description and growth in influence of a group of writers that Roosevelt called muckrakers .  They were led by four writers from McClure’s magazine.  With their help in changing the thinking of the American people, Roosevelt was able to accomplish many of his progressive reforms.

           Taft was born into a good Cincinnati family and wanted to be a judge from the day he graduated from law school.  He progressed toward his goal of being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  However he married a woman who wanted to be the wife of the president. Between her and Roosevelt they got Taft elected president.  He did not like the position.  After his time as president he eventually became Chief Justice.

 Doris Kearns Goodwin is an outstanding writer and this is an excellent book.


 Doings of the Pride

  Frank Gardner had a neat spring adventure.  He went up state to the Catskill Mountains to a place where they made maple syrup.  He had thought the process of turning sap into syrup quite strait forward but found it much more complicated.  After two hours of heating 1100 gallons of collected sap it produced 20 gallons of syrup. . .


Although the day had started out with a light snow on the ground, the sun began to shine brightly and George Arfaras, and grandson, Johnny, took off for Yankee stadium to celebrate Johnny’s 10th birthday.   The seats about nine rows behinds the visitors’ dugout couldn’t have been better.  Tanaka was pitching and thrilled the fans with ten strikeouts in a row.  The highlight of the game for the Arfaras family came when after a play the ball was thrown into the visiters’ dugout and one of the players threw it into the crowd and the young man who caught it turned and threw it to Johnny.  Later the Yankee scoreboard lit up with a sign wishing Johnny McMahon of Southbury a happy tenth birthday.  As George commented, “There is no way to describe the awe and joy of a little boy to think that the New York Yankees would wish him a happy birthday.” . .


 A good many Lions and spouses  enjoyed the evening spent at the Waterbury Symphony starring our own Lion, trumpeter Ryan Storms.  Everyone especially liked the “Grand Canyon Suite” as it was quite familiar to many.  “The Planets” was not as well known but people were impressed with it as well.  A very special added effect was the great pictures that accompanied each planet.  . . . Our Progressive Dinner, ably chaired by Bill Brett was a great success.   Amazingly, our President and wife Jane also participated even though they had hosted a gala bridal shower that day.  Accompanying them was one of their two brides to be.  She has her mother’s good smile!


Lions dinner meetings are filling up again as all but one of our winter birds has returned and the last, Gordon Mounts, will come back on May 16th.  One of the travelers was Wayland Johnson who with Diana Johnson and friends went to India to celebrate their mutual fiftieth anniversaries.  For three weeks their terrific guide explained so much to them such as the different religions, Hindu, Moslem and Sikh, about arranged marriages,  the untouchables and how the caste system was still very much in force in some places.  Wayland commented on the long bus trips, sometimes as many as six hours, the extreme crowds they met, the garbage to be found everywhere as well as how very nice all the people were.  Among the several temples that they saw the marvel was the majestic Taj Mahal.  While in India the Johnsons went up in a balloon which was exciting.  The Johnsons ended their trip by spending several days in Nepal.  There the streets were somewhat cleaner but the people they met were also very friendly.  There, they had a stimulating lecture by a petite female mountain climber guide about Mt. Everest.  All in all, it was a real trip to remember.  A good way to celebrate ones’ fiftieth anniversary, I’d say.


Comments about Wives and Other Matters

My wife is such a bad cook, in my house we pray after the meal.

My wife likes to talk to me during sex:  last night she called me from a hotel.

My wife only has sex with me for a purpose.  Last night she used me to time an egg. 

I went to a massage parlor:  it was self service. 

It’s been a rough day.  I got up this morning put a shirt on and a button fell off.  I picked up my briefcase, and the handle came off.  I’m afraid to go to the bathroom.

I remember the time that I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father.  He said he wanted more proof. 


Requested Helen Kruger’s appetizer recipes from the recent Progressive Dinner

                                    Jezebel Sauce                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ingredients:  8 ounces pineapple preserves, 8 ounces apple jelly, 5 ounces drained, white horseradish, small can dry mustard, l tablespoon cracked black pepper. 

Directions:  Heat together all ingredients with a whisk.  Can be made two days ahead of serving and it will keep for weeks.  To serve, pour some of the sauce over a brick of cream cheese on a platter.  Serve with crackers and a small knife to spread the cheese and sauce.

                                                Cheese Ball                                                               Combine the following ingredients: 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 4 ½ ounces canned deviled ham, ¼ teaspoon Tabasco, 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce.  Form into a ball and roll in 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

                        The Christian Way to Call Someone a Bastard

            It was a beautiful day in Carmel, California and a tall man was getting ready to tee off on the first hole of the local golf course when a second golfer approached and asked if he could join him.  The first said that he usually played alone, but agreed to the twosome.  They were even after the first few holes.  The second guy then said, “We’re about evenly matched, how about playing for five bucks a hole?”  The first guy said that he wasn’t much for betting but agreed to the terms.

 The second guy won the remaining sixteen holes with ease.  As they were walking off number eighteen, the second guy was busy counting his $80.00.  He then confessed that he was the pro at a neighboring golf club.  Then the first fellow revealed that he was a Carmel parish priest.  The pro was flustered and apologetic, offering to return he money.  The priest said, “You won fair and square and I was foolish to bet with you.  You keep your winnings.”

  The still embarrassed pro then asked, “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”  The priest smiled and said, “Well, you could come to Mass on Sunday and make a donation. . . And if you want to bring your mother and father along, I’ll marry them.”