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.



Bergenfield Lions Club Induct New Member

bergenfield1Brian Downey was recently inducted as the newest member of the Bergenfield Lions Club. 


A lifelong Bergenfield resident who holds a BS degree in Finance from Fordham University (2009), Downey has developed a strong background as a Benefits Analyst specializing in deferred benefits retirement plans and is now employed by Walgreen’s.


Service has always been a part of Brian’s DNA—from volunteering at the Bergenfield Library and the Little League Challenger League during his high school days, to his college years where he took on volunteer and leadership rolls.  He also served on the finance committee for the U. S. Women’s Open (USGA) in 2013 at Southhampton, NY.


A valued addition to the Bergenfield Lions Club, Brian is looking forward to expanding an already promising future in community service in his new role as a member of the Bergenfield Lions Club.


The Lions meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7pm at Tommy Fox’s Public House.  For more information call or email Judy Verga at 201-384-9283 or, or simply stop by and speak with any Lions member.


Photo courtesy of Tony DeFeo


Brian Downey (center), the Bergenfield Lions Club newest member is welcomed by Lions President Tom Neats (right), as his sponsor David Hitch (left) looks on.

Clubs Activities Brief - March 2015






S. R. V. Lions Club 2015 Carnival and Car Raffle Dates Announced


SRV Lions Club 2015 Car Raffle PosterThis Saddle River Valley Lions Club has announced the 2015 dates for its Annual Carnival which will again be held at Lions Park in Upper Saddle River. The Annual Carnival will open to the public on Tuesday, May 26th and will run through Saturday, May 30th with free admission. Look for new rides, games of chance, and food stands at this year’s Carnival which will be open daily from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm with every evening being a ‘Wristband Night.’ These wristbands allow an individual unlimited rides for an entire evening at a cost of only $25. Bring the family for a fun night out!


One of the carnival’s highlights will come on its last night, Saturday, May 30th, when the winning ticket is drawn in the club’s Annual Car Raffle, this year’s prize being a brand- new 2015 Ford Mustang! Fully equipped with a premium V6 package, the blue metallic sports car has a retail value of $27,400 with tickets priced at only $10 each. Raffle tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from any member of the S.R.V. Lions Club.


The public is invited to support the charitable work of the S.R.V. Lions by purchasing raffle tickets and enjoying a fun-filled evening or two at the Annual Carnival, two of the

Saddle River Valley Lions Club’s major fundraisers each year. Classified as a 501C(3) non- profit entity, through these activities, along with the popular Herb Bodensiek Golf Classic, the Saddle River Valley Lions Club has raised and distributed more than $2,000,000 during its fifty seven year history. 100% of its net proceeds go directly to the charities that the Club supports with none of the funds raised ever being used to meet the club’s administrative expenses, these costs being paid by the Lions’ themselves.

For more information about the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, its Annual Carnival, Car Raffle, club membership, or any other of the Lions’ programs, charities, and activities,

please visit and follow the Lions Club on Facebook, too!




The Chester Lions Club will be accepting applications for its annual scholarship initiative. Interested students are encouraged to apply.


High School Seniors maintaining residence in the towns of Chester, Mendham and Washington Township in Morris County are eligible to apply for numerous scholarship opportunities offered by the Chester Lions Club. The awards will be based on academic success, school and community activities and leadership skills. Extenuating circumstances, financial and otherwise, will be considered as well.


The scholarships will be available for college, county college and recognized trade schools and are open to both public and private school seniors.


Applications will be available at West Morris Central, West Morris Mendham and private school guidance and college resource centers.


All completed forms must be submitted to their respective high schools no later than April 15, 2015.


If any Chester, Mendham, Long Valley or Washington Township student attends a private school outside of Morris County and are interested in applying for a Chester Lions Club scholarship please Email Lion Bill or Jeri Minter at


The Lions scholarships will be for no less than $5,000 each. The scholarships have been one of the many charitable activities of the Chester Lions Club for over 40 years. There are many community related charities as well as those of a national and international nature that are regularly supported.


Those interested in further information regarding charitable causes, scholarships or Lionism please contact Phil Savell at 908 879 6543 or visit our web site at

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

The 2015 NJCBVI Board of Trustees Scholarship Program

The 2015 NJCBVI Board of Trustees Scholarship Program


The Board of Trustees of The New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired (NJCBVI) today announced that they will receive applications for the awarding of four scholarships . The scholarships will be presented to four blind or vision-impaired students who have demonstrated commitment to independence and personal achievements in education, self-advocacy, and/or community involvement.


To be eligible, applicants must be registered to receive services from the NJCBVI and be high school seniors or individuals soon-to-be or currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning (2 or 4-year college, community college, trade school, business school or an accredited equivalent higher education institution.) The Scholarship Selection Committee will review every application and select seven finalists who will be interviewed.


The following privately-funded scholarships will be awarded to 4 deserving applicants:


The Cathy and Herb Bodensiek Scholarship for Students Majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) or Business Administration

Amount: $2,000


The Nathan & Sally Rogoff Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Amount: $1,000


The Sarah Churchill Scholarship for Leadership and Community Service

Amount: $1,000


The Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship for Independence and Self-Determination

Amount: $1,000


Applications and supporting documentation must be received by or before April 29, 2015. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Notices will not be sent to students who are missing necessary documentation.


Please use this link for further information and to apply. All applicants are encouraged to carefully review the directions to be sure you qualify for these scholarships before applying:

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