At the recently held Saddle River Valley Lions Club Installation Dinner, three of its members, David C. Verducci, Richie Spincola, and Gene Leporiere were recognized for their distinguished service.
In the first of the evening's presentations, Lions District Governor Jack Romano, announced that at the organization's state convention held last month, "an 'International President's Certificate of Appreciation' was awarded to Lion David Verducci." In presenting the award, one of the highest accolades given by Lions International, Romano referenced Verducci's "tireless work in starting Leo Clubs in the Saddle River Valley region."
A retired superintendent of schools and member of the Upper Saddle River Board of Education, Verducci expressed that he was "truly surprised, but honored and delighted" at being recognized for his efforts in establishing Leo Clubs at Northern Highlands Regional High School, U.S.R.'s Cavallini Middle School, Mahwah High School, and most recently, Allendale's Brookside School. "Having the opportunity to bring the Leo program to our area," he said, "has been a labor of love."
Verducci described the Leo Clubs as "school-based service organizations for youth 12 to 18 years of age which are modelled after the Lions Club with more than 150 Saddle River Valley students now participating." According to Lions International, there are currently 144,000 Leos in 5,700 Leo Clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Also announced the same evening were two 'President's Outstanding Service Awards' which are given to individuals who, according to Jim Murphy, the club's immediate past president, "exemplify the meaning of the Lions' motto, 'I Serve'."
Murphy presented the first of the two awards to Lion Gene Leporiere, for his "continual outstanding service to the club." Leporiere's successes in chairing the club's annual raffle and his efforts in the area of member recruitment were cited by Murphy as the basis of the award.
Leporiere, a Lion for more than a decade, served as president of the club during the 2012-2013 year in addition to his committee work. "I am very grateful for this recognition," said Leporiere, "especially as it comes from my fellow Lions."
Similar sentiments were expressed by Lion Richie Spincola who was recognized by the club for his many years of volunteering at the annual Lions carnival, even prior to his 2014 formal induction as a full-fledged member. Typical of his self-reticence, Spincola's reaction to receiving the award was to offer a simple thank you. "I am deeply appreciative of this," the Mahwah resident Spincola said, "but I just want to help people."
And according to the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, that's exactly what each one of the three does so well.
The Saddle River Valley Lions Club is a regional club supporting the communities of Mahwah, Ramsey, Upper Saddle River, and Allendale. Classified as a 501C(3) non-profit entity, the Saddle River Valley Lions Club has raised and distributed more than $2,260,000 during its first fifty-eight years. 100% of its net proceeds go directly to the charities that the Club supports with none of the funds raised being used to meet administrative expenses, a cost borne by the Lions themselves.
For more information about membership in or any of the many other activities and events sponsored by the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, visit the club's website, www.SRVLions.org.