Activities March-April 2014
Wed. March 12—Regular Meeting
Sat. March 15—Waterbury
Symphony “Grand Canyon Suite”
Wed. March 19—Board of Directors Meeting
Wed. March 26—Father,
Son, Daughter, Grandchildren Meeting
Thurs. March 27—Army Rock Band
Wed. April 9—Regular Meeting
Wed. April 16—Board of Directors Meeting
Wed. Aril 23—Regular Meeting
Sat. April 26—Lose the Litter Day
Sat. April 26—Progressive Dinner
Sat. May 3—Home Front Day
President’s Letter March 2014
Dear Fellow Lions,
I bring you
greetings in the New Year. This is proving already to be a very busy year. We
already have three new projects to add to this year’s efforts.
Dan O’Grady and Bruce Walczak are co-chairing the Army Rock Band effort which is
coming to town on March 27th. We plan on involving our Leo Club in
this event. The Lions will be doing this in cooperation with the Newtown
Cultural Arts Commission and Michelle Hiscavich,
Director of Music at the Newtown
High School. Another
rejuvenated project is the Homefront (Americares) effort that Gordon Williams, Denny Mclaughlin,
and Jerry Cole are taking on again this year. I believe they have a recipient
almost firmed up and it is scheduled for May 3rd. We will need all Lions on
deck for this one. We are also working in cooperation with the Fraternity of
Sigma Chi from Western
University to put on a
Golf Tournament on June
30th to benefit our Sandy Hook Elementary Fund raising
The Father, Son, Daughter, Granchildren dinner is coming up March 26th.
Gary Fillion has arranged for Fidelco
to come with some guide dogs. This should be a big hit. We will have a special
children’s menu that night in addition to our regular fare.
Earth Day is coming up and Lose the
Litter Day is part of that day. Please support Lion Glenn Nanavaty and come out
and help clean the roads. The Progressive Dinner is scheduled for April 26th.
Bill Brett promises a fun filled and delicious evening. If you can host a cocktail party or a dinner
please give him a call
There are some major changes for
the Sandy Hook Elementary Fund at this writing. Due to overwhelming response to
the fine work over the last year we have exhausted our resources. Though many
in our club have been involved with grant writing, and various fund raisers, we
have just not been able to keep up with the financial demand which has reached
over $30,000 per month. We have raised in excess of $350,000 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 a little over a year. The proceeds benefit
individuals directly involved in the Sandy
Hook Elementary School
tragedy with out of pocket expenses related to counseling for Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other related psychiatric effects. Bob Schmidt,
Chairman of the SHEF committee, has done a magnificent job of navigating this
effort through unsettled and stormy waters. At a January meeting to address our diminishing resources a
decision was made to find a way to continue benefits for the 250 individuals we
had been aiding while closing down our direct involvement in providing
I am happy to announce that we
found a solution by joining a partnership with the Newtown Rotary Club, United Way of
Western Connecticut (UWWC), the Newtown Memorial Foundation, and the Office of
Victim Services (OVS) in Hartford
that had been collaborating with similar benefits since September of 2013. Happily,
the Newtown Lions Club was welcomed with open arms to this partnership. The way
it will work is that providers and individuals will register with OVS who will
process claims and forward them to UWWC. UWWC is continuing to perform the pro bono
effort to administer financial disbursement to the providers. The Newtown
Rotary Club, Newtown Memorial Fund, and the Newtown Lions Club will provide
monies while resources permit for the reimbursement of these claims in the
foreseeable future. It is interesting to note that since the inception of this
work and collectively by these organizations including the Newtown Lions Club
that over 400 individuals have been helped with over $1,000,000 being disbursed
in support of the community. We look forward to this new partnership as we
think it will provide the much needed synergy to move forward.
We will continue with fund raising efforts to benefit those
affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy. Even though we have joined this partnership
SHEF will continue to be an independent fund under the Newtown Lions Club
In closing I would like to welcome our newest
member of the Newtown Lions Club Oscar De Los Santos. He is a professor of
writing and the writing chair at Western
University and besides
that he is really nice guy! Let’s give him a warm Lions Roar to welcome him
into our great organization.
- One tequila, two tequila, three tequila . . . floor.
is a non-prophet organization
main reason that Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad
- If a
deaf child signs swear words, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
- If a
turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
vegetarians eat animal crackers?
- If the
police arrest a mute, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
of the Pride
certainly had great news lately. His
son, Bill, came through open heart surgery with “flying colors”. They were able to repair the valve rather
than have to replace it. . . . George Smily has had
problems with his wrist. It seems two
bones were rubbing together causing a great deal of pain at times. So the doctor took a tendon from his arm,
chipped away at the bone and wrapped the bones with the tendon and all is
well. Perhaps not totally, however, for
George will not be able to fly for some time but the pain is much better and he
will start physical therapy soon. . .Skip Sims also
had surgery. His left shoulder had been
bothering him for some time and lately he had had trouble sleeping. Finally he went to the doctor and found that
he had a torn rotator cuff
Thus the need for surgery.
He is supposed to wear a sling and obeys the doctor—mostly. He is in less pain now so that is good but he
longs for the days when he can have full use of his arm again.
.Our president is certainly savings
his pesos, euros, dollars, whatever he can scrounge for he has two weddings
coming up. He offered a ladder for
elopement but there were no takers. So
if you have any left over food stamps or coupon books, send them his way.
The Lions are leaving the pride in
droves, most of them heading south. But at least three of them took river
cruises. Gary Fillian and Peggy spent a week or so on
a Break Away cruise.
Leaving New York they visited Cape Canaveral, Nassau and a private
island. I wonder what kind of bathing
suits they wore on the private island? Jon and Lydia Christiansen enjoyed a Grand Circle river
cruise through the Czech Republic, Austria
The ambiance of the boat was very attractive, the food excellent and the guides
first rate. One of the highlights of
the trip was the week they spent with Lydia’s
relatives in the Czech
Republic. Then Jon hooked up with an old friend from
flight training and that was enjoyable as well. . . .Fred Stakel and Debbie
were also cruising
aboard the Celebrity line
for ten days. There were many stops and many sights to see. Included in the islands
they visited were San Juan, Puerto Rico, with its great
beaches, Demenica, Grenada, St. Thomas
and St. John
with its gorgeous national parks which cover much of the island. One of the most amazing things they witnessed was on St. Kits where wild monkeys roamed at
random all over the island.
Snow Birds abounded. Some have returned, others are still sunning themselves. The southland claimed Bruce Landgrebe,
Paul Arneth, Greg Bruno, Tom Evagash, Kenneth Hostetler, Bruce Landgrebe, Gordon
Mounts, Lincoln Sander, Ryan Storms and Dick Sturdevant. Doug Hensal and Seamus Walsh also went to Florida for a
week—without wives! They took in a Miami
Heat game as well as a Mets exhibition game.
They hunge out with Tiger Woods’s caddy and
played some golf. One wonders how they
ever managed that kind of vacation sans wives! I hope they were good boys! Although
the temperatures in Florida early on was colder than usual, all reported good
weather later on and some came back with sunshine on their faces.
We all look forward to Ryan Storms’s performance in the Waterbury Smphony
concert which many are attending on March 15.
We will be treated to “The Grand Cayon
Suite”. Look at the trumpet section to
Warning About EBay
If you buy stuff on line, check out the seller
carefully. A friend of mine, a newly
married Lion from Reno, Nevada, spent $95.00 on a penis enlarger.
The company sent him a
instruction said, “Do not use in sunlight.”
The Hour of Peril
by Daniel Stashower
Lion Paul Arneth
The Hour of Peril details a
plot to murder Abraham Lincoln as he traveled to Washington to be inaugurated. Stashower tells an
entertaining and illuminating story, but one not without controversy. Some historians question whether a full blown
plot existed to assassinate Lincoln. In the city of Baltimore
there certainly was strong secessionist feeling and hatred toward Lincoln. However, none of the suspected plotters were
The main character in this book is
not Lincoln, but rather Allan Pinkerton who was just establishing his
reputation as the nation’s leading private detective. He sets up his operatives to infiltrate
secessionist groups in Baltimore. Pinkerton used both male and female
undercover agents in Baltimore.
We learn that presidential security
was non-existent in 1861. During the
campaign, candidates were not expected to travel around seeking votes. Lincoln, for
example, remained in Springfield, Illinois until it was time to leave by train for the
inauguration in Washington.
The rail trip was a circuitous route through Cincinnati,
Buffalo, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia,
Harrisburg, and finally, Baltimore.
The purpose of the trip was to allow the citizens to see their new
president elect. Lincoln gave speeches at every stop, as many
as ten each day.
Abraham Lincoln was unconcerned
about his personal safety, and the crowds were uncontrolled. At his hotel each evening, he would have to
wade through rooms filled with people anxious to see him. Adding to the security problems, in large
cities each railroad company had its own separate station. Lincoln’s
party would change trains by either walking or going by open carriage to the
next station to continue their journey.
The implications of Lincoln being murdered
prior to his inauguration would have been profound. His vice-president elect was a southern
sympathizer and certainly not a strong, heroic leader like Abraham
Lincoln. Had the plot succeeded, our
nation might well be very different. The
Hour of Peril is entertaining and educational. I highly recommend this book.
We don’t see as much of
Betty Mounts as we used to as she and Gordon stay in Florida longer these days. But it is always good to see her on her
return as she has a friendly smile and a ready laugh. The mother of three girls, Joy, Amy, and
Julie, and the wife of Gordon, she is also the proud grandmother of three girls
and four boys. Those children surely couldn’t ask for a more nurturing
grandmother. Perhaps this nurturing
ability comes from being a home economics major at
Purdue but I’m guessing it is just her nature.
As the wife of a corporate high flyer, she has
lived in various places. Quite unique
were the two years
she spent in Brazil. While in Brazil she taught a number of subjects
in the American school in her town. Back
in the Nutmeg state, Betty is a dedicated member of the Newtown Congregational
Church. She also plays a wicked game of
bridge. Her favorite activity, however,
is reading. Next time you see Betty stop
and chat a bit. You will always get a
Irish Jokes for St Patrick’s Day
Paddy was driving down
the street in a rush because he had an important meeting in Limerick
and couldn’t find a parking place.
Looking up to heaven he said, “Lord take pity
on me. If you find me a parking place I
will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!” . . . .Miraculously,
a parking place appeared. Paddy looked
up again and said, “Never mind, I found one.”
Mike Gallagher opened the
morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he
had died. He quickly phoned his best
“Did you see the paper? “ asked Gallagher. ”They say I died!” . . .“Yes, I saw
it!” replied Finney. ”Where
are ye callin’ from?”
Irish priest is driving down to New York and
gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the
priest’s breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the
car. He says,” Sir, have you been
drinking?” . . . “Just water,” says the
priest. . . . . The trooper says, “Then why do I smell wine?” . . . The priest
looks at the bottle and says, “Good Lord!
He’s done it again!”
New Lion in the Pride
are happy to welcome Oscar De Los Santos to our fold. Oscar, a native of Corpus Christie, Texas has quite a list
of job experiences. At one point he was
a rock D.J. in Texas,
who loved to spin the Beetles’ and Stones’ tunes. Although he really liked that job, it did not
pay well so he decided to move on.
Eventually he graduated from Ohio
State where he majored in
American literature. They liked him so well that he eventually taught
literature there, including a science fiction course, one of his
interests. For over a decade he has been
in the English department at Western
University. Some of the years he chaired the department
and when, because of its great popularity, it was decided that the journalism-writing school would be
split off and become it own department, he chaired the new department and has
continued to do that to this day. In his
spare time, this ebullient man likes to write.
He has published a number of books, none of which, he admits with a
grin, have sold very well. The book that
he wrote that has sold the most copies is Spirits of Texas
and New England.
Oscar seems eager to
participate in a number of Lions activities.
But one event he absolutely refused to be a part of is the Progressive Dinner. In our astonishment the membership committee
asked “Why?” And he responded “I’m
getting married that day.” (And to John Kopins’ step-daughter, no less). After a lot of thought the committee decided
that this was a reasonable excuse!