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.



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

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