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                                                  Mary Gorman graciously accepts Lion of the Day Honor

Bloomfield Lions celebrate 75 years

(BLOOMFIELD, CT, October 12, 2017) -- The Bloomfield Lions Club celebrated the anniversary of their 75 years of service work in Bloomfield but also globally, at a banquet held at the St. Thomas Seminary and Conference Center on this past Saturday. Five honorees were celebrated by the club with a Lions plaque and a legislative citation presented by State Representative David Baram.  Area guests showed great support of the honorees who represented the four global Lions service areas: Hunger, Environment, Vision and Youth, respectively, Bloomfield United Methodist Church Soup Kitchen, the Wintonbury Land Trust, Richard and Martha Fanelli and Donna Banks.  In addition, the club recognized the vision and dedication of the founders of the Yankee Flyer, Mary and the late Don Gorman, with a Lion of the Day honor.  Additionally, two club members, Walter Benjamin and Wendella Battey Benjamin, were honored with the highest Lions humanitarian honor, the Melvin Jones Fellow. Guests from districts 23 A and B representing the Bristol, Brookfield, East Hartford, East Windsor, Hartford Evening, Hartford Multinational, Harwinton, Southington, South Windsor, and Windsor Locks Lions Clubs were also in attendance. Memorabilia, programs, photos, newspaper clippings, engraved Presidential bells, the Club Charter and Mayoral Proclamation were on display.

Mistress of Ceremonies and club President, Phyllis W. Perry, congratulated the Bloomfield Lions Club for all their accomplishments in the four global service areas and also acknowledged how pleased the club was to share their celebration with five honorable local individuals and organizations.

While the guests enjoyed their meal and dessert, they embraced the Indian culture of the recently elected international president of Lions Clubs International, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal, by being transported to India as they watched Yashwini Naraidoo gracefully perform traditional Bollywood dancing.  The evening’s speaker Sydney T. Schulman of Bloomfield, discussed his involvement with Lions around the world over his 48 year Lions tenure, how the Lions Club International Foundation is swift in helping with disasters, particularly monetarily, and most recently in Puerto Rico in the face of the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Maria, and that any service minded person can be sponsored into a Lions club, regardless of their residence.

In 1942, members of the Hartford Lions met with several Bloomfield residents and what resulted was a charter for the formation of the Bloomfield Lions Club. The country was coming out of an economic depression. The United States had entered World War II and yet, a group of men in Bloomfield met and chartered a Lions Club and dedicated themselves to serving the community in countless positive ways.

In the 27,585 days since the formation of the Bloomfield Lions Club, the members have lived up to the Lions International Motto, "We Serve."

Thousands of Bloomfield and area residents have benefited from the Club’s fundraising efforts and through their work on civic and individual assistance projects.

In their 75 years of service, the Bloomfield Lions have done ongoing service work including pediatric eye screenings, diabetes awareness programs; assistance for eye exams and eyeglass purchases; assistance for hearing exams and hearing aid purchases; planting trees, volunteering in soup kitchens, caroling and gift giving to nursing home residents; donating funds to the Bloomfield Libraries, Foodshare, Alliance for Bloomfield’s Children, American School for the Deaf, Bloomfield Raiders and other non-profits, Christmas party for special ed students in Bloomfield; scholarships for Bloomfield high school graduates; and the International Peace Poster contest.

The Bloomfield Lions sponsored the Windsor Locks Lions Club in 1942, the Windsor Lions Club in 1949 and the Greater Hartford West Indian Club in 2001 and was a co-sponsor of the Simsbury Lions Club in 1965.  In recent years, the club has also sponsored the Leo Club at the Metropolitan Learning Center.

Three Bloomfield Lions have served as district governors: Robert Miller, Thomas Hubbs and Sydney T. Schulman.

For requests for assistance with eye exams and glasses, or information on how you can join the Lions with their work, contact the Bloomfield Lions at P.O. Box 111, Bloomfield, CT 06002, Bloomfieldlionsct@gmail.com or 860 881-4198.

 

The Bloomfield Lions Club held Vision Screenings from January 11th through the 15th at Preschools and Kindergarten in Bloomfield

Dorethia Goffe, testing a pre-schooler

Above is Lions member Dorethia Goffe, testing a pre-schooler at the Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School on Brown Street.

Beginning on Monday, January 11th, the Bloomfield Lions Club, in conjunction with KidSight USA, began a free vision screening of all of the students at the Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School on Brown Street. The screenings continued through Thursday at another four pre-schools and the Kindergarten at Laurel School in town.

"This program could help thousands of Connecticut children see and perform better in school," said Daniel Uitti, one of three chairmen of Kidsight USA in Connecticut - a Lions program that provides free eye screenings to young children. Many parents never suspect that their children are experiencing eye problems and at an early age, those children are not likely to be able to articulate such. For example, experts estimate that as many as five percent of children have amblyopia — commonly

known as "lazy eye." At an early age, the child's brain is learning to use his or her developing eyes. If one of the child's eyes shows a blurry image, the brain will sometimes "turn that eye off."

The older a child gets, the greater the risk that the brain will the eye not to see permanently. The issue is of great importance, as educators say 80% of learning is .visual.

According to the Lions, 12% of pre-school children have some kind of vision issue. The aim is to catch as many of these children as early as possible so that any eyesight concerns discovered can be addressed and corrected quickly.

To help ensure that children are screened, Connecticut Lions have been encouraging public school districts to allow them to conduct eye screening as part of their regular battery of tests required of kindergartners. To date, the Connecticut organization has screened over 41,000 of the approximately 200,000 pre-school children for eye diseases. Lions Clubs around the state are raising money to augment the six vision screening devices that the Lions currently own. They plan to screen an additional 24,000 children by July 1, 2016.

"Without parental consent, we cannot screen a child's eyes," said Uitti. "Our task is to get the word to parents of these youngsters so they can help prevent a lifetime of vision and learning issues." Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Its 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs serve communities in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects.

The Lions' goal of screening all pre-school children in Connecticut has one major impediment: lack of parent awareness of the risks facing their children if these diseases go undetected. KidSight USA is supported by Lions Clubs International Foundation, which offers matching grants to Lions involved in vision screening. The foundation has awarded $2.2 million in grants since 2000 to support children's vision-screening programs in the U.S. Two manufactures of vision screening devices, Plusoptix and Welch Allyn, Inc., have also partnered with KidSight USA to provide financial support for the development of the program.

For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

 

NEW LIONS CLUBS OFFICERS INSTALLED/DONATIONS MADE TO LOCAL CHARITIES

(Bloomfield, Nov 24, 2015)-- An installation ceremony was held on Tuesday, September 15, at the Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center for incoming officers of the Bloomfield Lions Club. Wendella Battey-Benjamin was elected as the club president for 2015-2016. Battey-Benjamin has been an active member of the Bloomfield Lions Club for the past three years.

Phyllis Perry was elected to serve as the new club secretary. The club’s first vice-president is Louisa Cummings, second vice-president is Dorothea Goffe and treasurer is Judith Dahlgren-Dechand.

According to the club president, “I am looking forward to leading various projects and continuing the Bloomfield Lion Club’s commitment to serving the community.”

Since the club’s chartering in 1942, its members have worked on a variety of projects in the local community, such as pediatric vision screenings, Sight Saver days, middle school Peace poster contest, tree and flower plantings, and service in local soup kitchen.  Proceeds from past fundraising events have gone to scholarships for local high school graduates. Annually, we make contributions to area non-profits.  This summer, we donated to the following:  CLERF, CRIS Radio, Alliance for Bloomfield Children, BATV, Bloomfield Ambulance, American School for the Deaf, Foodshare, Low Vision, Bloomfield Raiders, Bloomfield Public Library, Social and Youth Services and Senior Services. The club is currently planning to help decorate at Alexandria Manor for the holidays and make a gift-giving and caroling trip there in early December.

The Bloomfield Lions Club has 23 members and meets on the second and fourth Tuesday at 7PM at the Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center – rear, 330 Park Ave. Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Bloomfield Lions Club, please contact Wendella at 860-883-8604/ www.bloomfieldlionsct.org .

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at www.lionsclubs.org.

 

Below is Gabriela Paramo O'Brien, one of the 2015 Scholarship Recipients

 

BLOOMFIELD LIONS PRESENT SCHOLARSHIPS TO THREE

BLOOMFIELD STUDENTS

(Bloomfield, CT, ) --  On August 13, 2014, the Bloomfield Lions Club showed their support of community youth by presenting Bloomfield High School student, Lisamarie Wright, Global Experience Magnet School student, Tayla Moore and Northwest Catholic High School student, Monique Miller a scholarship of $500 each for continued education.

According to Judy Dahlgren-Dechand, club treasurer and Scholarship Committee chairperson, "Lisamarie, Tayla and Monique have set an excellent example for fellow students to follow, and are deserving recipients of these scholarships. Helping young people continue their education is one of the challenges our community faces, and it’s a need our club continues to address. We are also extraordinarily grateful for the support and contributions we received from members of the community. You are helping us make a difference.”

In addition to the scholarship, the club conducts a variety of service projects such as eyeglass collections, supplying audio books for seniors, vision screenings of pre-school students, participating in local festivals to bring awareness to Low Vision as well as fundraising events, including Munson’s Chocolate sale, “Shake the Can”, movie showing of How to Train your Dragon 2. The Bloomfield Lions also advises a Leo Club at the MLC school in Bloomfield who have planned and carried out service projects of their own such as donations to The Brandt High School located in the Philippines Province of Iloilo, affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

The Bloomfield Lions Club has been serving the community for over 72 years.  The Club has 28 members and currently meets on the second and fourth Tuesday at 7PM at the Bloomfield Senior Center. Lions clubs are groups of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Bloomfield Lions Club, please contact Wendella Battey Benjamin at 860 243 8454 / wabattey@aol.com

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in more than 45,000 clubs in more than 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at www.lionsclubs.org.

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