State Convention Survey

Dear Lions:


In an effort to make the New Jersey Lions State Convention the best it can be for all Lions, the State Convention Committee has created a brief but important survey.


Your comments are very important to us.


Please take few minutes to provide us with these important feedback by visiting the following link:


The committee would like to thank you in advance for your time in answering our survey questions.



Melvyn Bray, from NJ, elected International Director at LCICon Hawaii 2015




2015-2017 bray bigMelvyn K. Bray, from Whiting, New Jersey, USA, was elected to serve a twoyear term as a director of Lions Clubs International at the association’s 98th International Convention held in Honolulu, Hawaii, June 26 through 30, 2015.


Director Bray is a retired bank vice president and regional manager. A member of the Toms River Lions Club since 1973, he has held many offices within the association, including club president, club treasurer, club secretary, club membership chairperson, council secretary, cabinet treasurer, council chairperson, district peace poster contest chairperson, district LCIF chairperson, multiple district GMT coordinator and region chairperson.


He is also the executive director for The Lions Eye Research Foundation of New Jersey.


In recognition of his service to the association, Director Bray has received numerous awards, including the Club President Excellence Award, a Leadership Award, Senior Builder Key Award, Life Membership Award and three International President’s Awards. He is also a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.


In addition to his Lions activities, Director Bray is active in numerous professional and community organizations, including the Sight & Handicapped Foundation of Ocean County, Funds for the New Jersey Blind and the New Jersey Camp for Blind Children.


Director Bray and his wife, Ginny, also a Lion and a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, have one son, one daughter and three grandsons.

Peace Poster Contest Winner Honored by Bergenfield Lions

johnsphotoLyana Lopez, a student at Roy Brown Middle School, is joined by her social studies teacher James Orlando and contest chairperson Judy Verga, who displays Lyana’s  award-winning Peace Poster.  Lyana, her family and her teacher were guests at a Lions dinner meeting at Tommy Fox’s recently to celebrate the occasion and to receive a $25 award.


The contest, sponsored locally by the Bergenfield Lions Club, is the initial round for contestants in a far-reaching program by Lions International that includes 400,000 children in 65 countries before a finalist is selected.  The children, ages 11 to 13, are asked to create their image on the theme, “Peace, Love and Understanding.”  The posters are judged on creativity, originality and artistic portrayal of the theme.

Orlando, a social studies teacher at Roy Brown Middle School, encouraged his students to participate in the contest, and as a result more than 100 entries were received—each poster conveying the students’ vision of the much-needed values of Peace, Love and Understanding—values that sadly often seem to be missing or forgotten in today’s fast moving world.


Lions Club President Tom Neats and Chairperson Judy Verga thanked Orlando for his foresight and work in promoting these values in his students in class and outside the classroom as well.


Anyone interested in learning more about the Bergenfield Lions Club should contact Judy Verga at 201-384-9283 or


The Club meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at Tommy Fox’s.


Photo (courtesy of Nancy Patrissi).

Saddle River Valley Lions Holds Annual ‘Night of Giving’ Celebration

Lion Jim Murphy with Mike Roe of Mahwah FD Company 2To the more than 60 persons present at the Saddle River Valley Lions Club’s recent ‘Night of Giving,’ the overall atmosphere of the evening was captured when it was described by club president Christopher Reichert as “both inspirational and moving.’ Held by the club annually, the event is the presentation venue for the distribution of the charitable grants made to the S.R.V. Lions’ recipient organizations. This year more than $95,000 was given away, bringing the total of donations made by the club during its 57 year history to more than $2.2 million dollars.  

More than sixty people were present at the celebratory occasion which, in addition to the members themselves, included almost two dozen representatives from the many charitable, civic, and educational groups supported by the Lions. Those attending this year’s ‘Night of Giving’ all received warm praise in the welcome address of the current Lions Club president, Christopher Reichert. Reichert spoke of the Lions’ “ongoing commitment to support the good work of those who provide direct services to those in need.” He went on to express his “deep thanks and appreciation to the club’s members who planned and participated in all of its fundraising and service efforts.”

According to the treasurer of the Lions Club, Paula Turrin, this year’s total of funds donated to it’s sponsored charities exceeded that of recent years. Turrin explained that “the Saddle River Valley Lions Club is classified as a 501C(3) non-profit entity. One hundred percent of the net proceeds we raise go directly to the charities and organizations that that the Club supports. None of the funds raised are used to meet administrative expenses as these costs are borne directly by our members themselves.”

The highlight of the evening was the actual distribution of grants and donations with the chairpersons of five of the club’s standing committees making the actual presentations to representatives from each of the recipient organizations. In introducing David Feinhals, the representative of the St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, Sight Committee Chairman, Lion John Chambers, expressed a viewpoint echoed throughout the evening. Chambers said that "the Lions Night of Giving gives all those in our Club a chance to meet representatives from the organizations that we assist with our funds and to learn more specifically of projects and individuals that we are helping with our contributions."

In his acceptance of the  Lions’ donation, Feinhals expressed the appreciation to his organization in his acknowledgement that “the Saddle River Valley Lions Club has been a consistent and very generous part of our funding for well over fifteen years. The funds we receive from Lions Clubs allow us to offer services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as orientation and mobility instruction.”

In a warmly addressed thank you speech, another of the guests, current Upper Saddle River Superintendent of Schools Dr. Monica Browne, spoke on behalf of her fellow administrators in the Saddle River Valley. Highlighting the Lions’ work in establishing Leo Clubs (the student service clubs affiliated with Lions), Browne summed up the feelings of her colleagues by saying that “as important as the Lions’ financial support is to our schools, the establishment of the Leo Clubs do something even more significant. They provide another vehicle through which we can teach our students the importance and meaningfulness of service to others.”

Lions President Reichert closed the evening’s program by speaking about the mission of Lions Clubs. He explained that “Lions International is the world's largest service club organization with over 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 208 countries and geographical areas around the world. Founded in 1917, membership is by invitation and although the organization is best known for fighting blindness, the Club also performs volunteer work for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry, and aiding seniors and the disabled.” Reichert added a bit of his own personal perspective saying that "it's so great to help the organizations that make our lives better and safer."

Reflecting back on the previous year’s efforts, S.R.V. Lion Jim Murphy seemed to capture the overall tenor of the Lions’ current state of affairs, describing it as “simply fantastic.” When asked to elaborate, Murphy’s enthusiasm was evident in his statement that “what a great thing it is to give the resources that these fantastic organizations need in order to go on improving lives year after year.”

For further information about the any aspect of the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, including membership opportunities, please visit or our Facebook page. To learn more about the Leo Club Program, go to the Youth Programs section of the Lions Web site at  

Nepal Earthquake



Once again - nature has struck a devastating blow - this time in the form of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal.


As the global leader in humanitarian service, Lions Clubs International is uniquely qualified to provide immediate assistance.


This is the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal in nearly 100 years. Our message to Nepal is "help is on the way."


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, and the Lions of Nepal in this time of need.



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