Dormitory at Kiomiti School for the Blind in Gesusu, Kenya

Lion Lillian Rankel has been traveling to Kenya since 2007 to help improve education and infrastructure in the Keroka area of Kenya. She has worked with Thika High School for the Blind and held a workshop for teachers at Thika to show them how to teach chemistry and physics to Braille reader blind students. This workshop in 2009 was supported by Lions Clubs in NJ with donations that were used to buy over $3,000 in lab equipment for Thika.


In 2010, Lion Lillian visited a new grammar school for visually challenged, Kiomiti School for the Blind, in Gesusu, Kenya. Kiomiti School for the Blind is located in the south-western part of Kenya and has been teaching low vision/blind students since 2010. Presently, 70 students with vision issues attend this school and are mainstreamed with 450 Kiomiti Dok primary school students. However, there are many more students with vision challenges in the district and these children cannot access the school due to distance. This area is rural with dirt roads or paths, no public transportation, and no school buses. 


During Lion Lillian’s trip in 2012, Norah Omwoyo, Head Teacher of the school, asked me if I could raise money to build a dormitory so that all visually challenged children in the area could attend school. Once building plans and a budget were drawn up, Lion Lillian started raising money for the dorm.


To accommodate these low vision and blind children in the area, a dormitory was built with money raised by the Hopewell Valley Lions Club District 16J, New Jersey. The dorm is 18 feet by 78 feet and built with local bricks. A metal roof and a rainwater collection system with storage tanks will be used since there is no borehole there to supply water. The cost of the dormitory was $17,000 and will be used to house 100 children. The local government will provide the furniture for the building. Electricity will be put into this school and dorm within a few months.


Other needs at the Kiomiti School for the Blind include (in order of need):



Cost $ US

1. Pit latrine


2. Store house for food & school materials


3. Dining hall


4. Library


5. Printer


6. Photocopy machine


7. Another dormitory for 100 more students


8. School van




Visually challenged sit in the front of the classroom. A blind boy is using a Brailler and the visually challenged students were using tactile materials and large print. The two children on the left are using a reading stand that holds the print materials close to their eyes.

Visually challenged sit in the front of the classroom. A blind boy is using a Brailler and the visually challenged students were using tactile materials and large print. The two children on the left are using a reading stand that holds the print materials close to their eyes.



Dormitory at Kiomiti is for one hundred blind/visually impaired grammar school children. A roof rainwater collection system will be added to the building.

Donations to help fulfill the needs of this school for the blind can be made out to the Hopewell Valley Lions Charitable Foundation 501 c-3. Please send the checks to:

Hopewell Valley Lions Club, PO Box 128, Titusville, NJ 08560

New Jersey Lions Peace Poster among 23 Merit Award Winners in 2014-2015

Katelyn Spadavecchia.emailNew Jersey Lions Peace Poster among 23 Merit Award Winners in 2014-2015


Congratulations! The Wood-Ridge Lions Club's sponsored entry, which was Multiple District 16 entry into the International Peace Poster contest 2014-2015, created by Katelyn Spadavecchia has been chosen as a merit award winner in the 27th Annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest.


Approximately 400,000 children from 65 countries participated in this year's Peace Poster Contest. The posters were judged at club, district and multiple district levels before reaching the international level, at which point they had been narrowed down to 132 posters. Based on creativity, originality and portrayal of the theme, "Peace, Love and Understanding," MD-16's entry was chosen as one of 23 merit award winners. As such, MD-16's sponsored student will receive US$500 and a certificate of merit.


The 23 merit award winners are from China, Colombia, Finland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Multiple District 300 Taiwan, Philippines, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand and the United States (Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia). The grand prize winner will be announced at Lions Day with the United Nations on Saturday, March 7. Information about the grand prize winner will be posted on the Peace Poster section of the LCI website shortly thereafter.


Thank you for supporting the Lions International Peace Poster program. You maypurchase your Peace Poster Contest Kits for this year from the Club Supplies Sales Department.


Congratulations New Jersey Lions!!! Also, congratulations to the Wood-Ridge Lions Club and MD Chair Rose Stigliano.

Clubs Activities Brief - February 2015




The Chester Lioness Club is sponsoring a “Gala Evening at the Show” on Friday, February 27th 2015 at 8 PM in the Black River Playhouse, Budd Ave, in Chester, NJ.

The featured show will be the spirited comedy, “END DAYS” written by Deborah Zoe Laufer.
The plot is about 16 year old Rachel Stein who is having a bad year.
Her father has been in his pajamas since the 9/11 attack.
Her mother has begun a close personal relationship with Jesus.
Her new neighbor, a teenage Elvis impersonator, has fallen for her hard.
And, the apocalypse is coming Wednesday.
All make for a hilarious performance by the Chester Theater Group.

The all inclusive ticket cost of $20 00 will fund the many charitable activities of the Chester Lioness Club, and the ticket price includes refreshments of wine, soda, water, fruit, and cheese platters with crackers. Tickets may be purchased from any Lioness Club member.

Contact any Lioness Club Member or call Lioness Virginia Savell at (908)879-6543 or Sue Youngman (908)852-1238 to purchase tickets.


Wood-Ridge Lions Celebrate 30 Years of Major Fundraiser

Jan 30 2015 5660Each year on Friday before Super Bowl, a crowd of approximately 600 sit down to enjoy slices of filet mignon coated in butter and placed on a piece of bread , while enjoying a get-together with old friends, and hoping to win a nice prize or perhaps get a famous "I got hosed" t-shirt as a loser during the evening's festivities.

Thirty years ago, Lion Jack Nagel suggested having a Sports Night along with a beefsteak dinner. One of his senior members claimed that "no one is going to pay $25.00 for a ticket to a beefsteak dinner". The Club decided to do it anyway and sold 171 tickets for a $1,589.00 profit. Since its inception, almost 15,000 tickets have been sold and the Club has raised over $473,000. Lion Nagel still organizes the event each year and has been its emcee since its beginning.

The highlight of the evening in the early years was having a pro Sports figure, usually from the Giants football team, as a guest speaker. As the attendance numbers grew and the Club needed a larger venue, which they found in a nearby community, a different approach was taken with emphasis on a series of games to provide the evening entertainment. Games like Super Bowl Trivia, Nerf Football Toss, and the Club's own brand of "Let's Make A Deal" became the standard.

In addition to raising funds to support the various charities and community programs, the event in a single evening has raised monies to purchase protective vests for the borough's police officers and contributed to LCI for its Hurricane Katrina effort. The Wood-Ridge Lions Club Annual Sports Night Beefsteak Dinner now enters its third decade and continues to be a premier and regularly sold-out event.

Gratis Fund Kacey

KaceyDid you know many neighbors in our Delaware Valley community do not have access to receiving a cornea transplant because of financial barriers beyond their control? The Gratis Tissue Fund specifically benefits individuals for whom a cornea transplant is unattainable. A growing number of families and patients have turned to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley for help. Since 2012, requests for gratis corneal tissue have doubled. These requests come from people from all walks of life for a variety of unpredictable reasons such as trauma, corneal disease, burns, and infections that damage one or both corneas.

It is Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley's mission to provide the highest quality and safest corneal tissue available to all those in need of a sight restoring transplant, without allowing financial barriers to stand in the way. Your Eye Bank believes everyone deserves to have the best sight and quality of life possible. As the number of uninsured or underinsured residents in our community is rising, it has become more critical than ever to implement the Gratis Tissue Fund.

Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley borrowed $250,000 from its operational reserves to launch the Gratis Tissue Fund. "It is a big investment and I am so proud of our Board of Trustees for having the foresight to make this happen," says Jim Quirk, President and CEO of the Eye Bank. "This is a tremendous commitment for our organization and we are seeking help from our community to maintain the success and future of this fund. This fund is necessary to ensure that all community members will continue to have access to sight restoring or enhancing corneal tissue."

Kacey was born with a rare eye disease called Peters Anomaly. Babies with this rare condition require surgery to correct central cornea cloudiness that can lead to glaucoma, cataracts and even blindness. Kristin, Kacey's mother, had never heard of Peters Anomaly. Kristin was distressed to learn that corneal tissue, which has a processing fee of about $3,000, would not be covered by the family's insurance. Corneal tissue provided for transplant is reimbursable through a processing fee, which covers the costs associated with the recovery, evaluation, testing, processing and distribution. The Eye Bank's Gratis Tissue Fund supported the corneal tissue needed for Kacey's surgery.

Now one year old Kacey enjoys laughing at her mother's funny faces and playing with a seahorse toy that sings lullabies. "She's so happy," says Kristin. "This really was a miraculous gift."
To make a donation, please contact Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley at (215) 563-1679 or visit their website at

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