Welcome to the Eugene Downtown Lions!

Chartered in 1924, the Eugene Downtown (EDT) Lions Club is 63 members strong, making it one of the largest Lions Clubs in Oregon. The EDT Lions meet on the first and third Wednesday at noon at the Eugene Mission to hear the latest reports on Club activities and to learn from an interesting array of speakers or enjoy performances by local musicians.

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Where There is a Need “We Serve”

Many times over the years when dealing with the public while selling raffle tickets for the Eugene Downtown Lions Club we were asked one particular question: “Where does the money go? “ The first thing we said is that every penny that we collect goes back to people in our local area and that we have a committee that decides who qualifies to receive funds and how much they will receive.

Lion President Karen Norton in conjunction with the club’s Community Services Committee devised a way for the membership to see firsthand where the funds are going. It was decided to have all of the recipients of the grant money for this year attend the February 2, 2022 club meeting as the program speakers and to have them personally receive their checks and explain to the members exactly what their organization will do with the money. After lunch and the club business portion of the meeting concluded the recipients addressed the club members.

The first check for $500 was presented to Teri Yerton, one of our club members and a former Board Member for Olive Plaza. The funds are for the Olive Plaza In-House Library. Olive Plaza is a high-rise building providing affordable housing for seniors.

Sidney White from Candlelighters accepted a check for $500, which will be used in their continuing efforts to help families get through the difficult times when a child is diagnosed with and being treated for cancer.

South Willamette Valley Honor Flight representative Ed Bach received a check for $1,200. The organization takes groups of U.S. military veterans to Washington, D.C. so they can see the various war memorials that have been erected in their honor.

Lane Senior Support Coalition was the recipient of a check for $1,000. Terry Spencer accepted the check for the organization, which finds collaborative solutions to help Lane County low-income seniors maintain their wellbeing and independence.

Kelsey Duman, Director of Operations, accepted a check for $900 for Gales Creek Camp for children with Type-1 Diabetes. Lion Chuck Blanchard (center) has been our coordinator for the club which has been providing funds for camperships for local area diabetic children for years.

The Center for Community Counseling received a check for $1,500 to help in their efforts to help area citizens have a sense of peace, security, and stability that good mental health brings. Our own member Lion Len Calvert accepted the check for the organization which he has worked closely with for many years.

Rob Brunner with Angel Flight West accepted a check for $1,500 that will help the organization provide private airplane flights for patients needing to travel long distances to their medical appointments and treatments in Oregon when using ground transportation is not feasible. A volunteer pilot corps flies the patients to their destination and returns them home.

Director of Philanthropy for Community Supported Shelters Heather Quaas-Annsa and Todd Schneider, Grants and Contracts Coordinator, accepted a check for $1,340 to help in their efforts to develop and provide safe camp structures and facilities for the homeless of the Eugene area. Lion Jim Newton (left) sponsored their grant application.

There you have the answer to where the money goes, but that is only part of what our club does. Many members not only work on club projects but also volunteer their time to help those in need in our community fulfilling the Lions motto “We Serve” which is the goal of every Lion.

22 March 2022

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown Lions Club

Terry Spencer accepted the check for Lane Senior Support Coalition.

Sidney White receives the check for Candlelighters. 

South Willamette Valley Honor Flight representative Ed Bach accepts the check.

Kelsey Duman, Director of Operations, accepted a check for Gales Creek Camp. Lion Chuck Blanchard (center) worked on the camperships that the Club funded.

Lion Len Calvert, who has worked with the Center for Community Counseling for many years, accepted their check.

Heather Quaas-Annsa and Todd Schneider received their check. Lion Jim Newton (left) was their  sponsor.

EDT Lions Helping Out and Having a Good Time, Too!

Members of the Eugene Downtown Lions Club have been participating in FOOD For Lane County’s Food Rescue Express (FREX) program for many years now. For those unfamiliar with Food Rescue Express, it is a program, which recovers food from area hospitals, schools, and restaurants that have been prepared but not served. Using volunteers the food is repackaged into family-sized portions in FOOD For Lane County’s professional kitchen. As you can see by the pictures, it is a great way for an organization, like the Downtown Lions Club, to help out the community and at the same time have an hour or two of time working together and enjoying each other’s company.  Hundreds of pounds of food were repackaged in just a couple of hours during this session on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Some of the members bring a spouse or friend along with them to enjoy the evening. The club spends one evening a month repackaging food for the Food Rescue Express program.

25 February 2022

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown Lions Club


Here’s the volunteer crew. Masks make identifying individuals difficult. 

EDT Lions at work in the kitchen. 

Placing the food containers in plastic bags for storage until needed.

Following the Call to be ‘Knights of the Blind”

Way back in 1925 Helen Keller spoke at the Lions Clubs International Convention giving the Lions the task of helping her “hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness, no little deaf, blind child untaught, no blind woman or man unaided.” She appealed to Lions to be “Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness.”

Following Helen Keller’s request, the Eugene Downtown Lions Club has been working closely with the Oregon Commission for the Blind for many years. At the January 5th Club meeting Lion Sharon Newton presented  Mike Thomas and  Steven Eudy from the Oregon Commission for the Blind with 9 white canes, 12 roller ball tips for canes, and 5 battery-operated lighted magnifiers for their clients. The club provided the money to purchase them. She also gave them some carry bags with Eugene Downtown Lions Club printed on them.  It is a continuing effort on the part of the club’s members, as with all Lions, to fulfill Helen Keller’s wish.

15 February 2022

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown Lions Club

Lion Sharon Newton presenting white canes to Mike Thomas (center) and Steven Eudy (right) to the Oregon Commission for the Bind

Lion Sharon Newton holding a battery-operated lighted magnifier.

Lion Sharon Newton presenting EDT Lions Club bags

Breakfast With Santa & Mrs. Claus

The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused the cancellation of many events over the past two years. The Eugene Downtown Lions Club’s list of canceled fundraising and fun activities have all gone by the wayside. One of the members’ favorites is the annual Pancake Breakfast With Santa & Mrs. Claus. The COVID  restrictions made having the fun-filled family event impossible.

Leave it to our resourceful President Lion Karen Norton to suggest a way to get at least a part of our wish granted. She arranged for us to have our own  “Santa Breakfast” at our December 15th meeting. The crew at The Eugene Mission, where the club’s meetings take place, prepared a “breakfast” consisting of the same elements of the public Santa breakfast including pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee, and hot chocolate.  A Christmas cookie decorating contest was held to find the best decorated and the ugliest Christmas cookie decorations.  Prizes were awarded.

Santa and Mrs. Clause attended and Santa had the honor of having his picture taken with a very young child and one with our club member Lion Don Jones who recently celebrated his 99th birthday.

Everyone enjoyed the meeting and some even wore “ugly Christmas sweaters” and other decorative seasonal attire.  The members are looking forward to this coming December with hopes of being able to hold the full-scale “Breakfast With Santa & Mrs. Claus” with the public invited.

31 January 2022

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown Lions Club

         Santa with tiny baby guest


                                   Lion President Karen Norton dressed in her Santa Breakfast finest


                                                      Santa and Mrs. Claus enjoying the meal


                                                       Members enjoying the breakfast


                                                                   Decorating the perfect Christmas cookie


                                                        Santa tasting Christmas cookie entries


                                                 Mrs. Claus is glad to judge this cookie



Congratulation to Lion Diane, the high bidder for the Sightseeing Flight at our See the Bright Side Auction.  Lion Diane and her guests joined our pilot, Lion Jim Origliosso, for a flight to Sunriver and lunch at the Sunriver Lodge.


A Celebration of Lion Mary’s Life

A very moving Celebration of Life was held on July 2nd for Lion Mary Voorhees at Northwood Christian Church in Springfield.  Don Essig presented the opening and Welcome. Don related a poem that expressed that the date of birth and the date of passing isn’t the measure of a person’s life it’s the dash between the years because it represents the time you spent living, Pastor Barry Lind opened with a prayer for and about Mary. 

Longtime best friends of Mary, Kathleen Miller, and Joyce Kent related personal stories of their many heartfelt adventures with Mary.

I was honored to share the words of three of our club members, Lions Karen Norton, Susan Pfanner, and Judith Grosenick who had more fond memories of their times with Lion Mary.

Doug Thompson, Executive Director of the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, described how he first met Mary and how quickly she carved out a place in his heart for her. He talked about the breakfast meetings for the “Keep the Promise” event for Eugene, which Mary ended up hosting at her house. Mary was so generous and loved to host.

A video presentation was shown with beautiful pictures showing many parts of Mary’s incredible life.

In his homily, Pastor Barry Lind described the last time he saw Mary. It was the day she passed away and the two of them discussed life, death, and the glory that is on the other side.

Michelle Lind sang a very moving rendition of the famous Nat “King” Cole song “Unforgettable” accompanied by Adam Rasmussen on the piano.

Lion Sid stood before us and thanked everyone for being there for him. He also let us in on the conversation in which he asked Mary to marry him while she was driving the car at her usual fast speed. His words were so much more descriptive than I could ever explain.

And finally, Don Essig thanked everyone and invited us to share more memories of Mary at the reception to follow.

If you would like to see the video (Recorded by Jared Keeth, Northwood  Christian Church) of the Celebration of Mary’s life on Vimeo, click here.

10 July 2021

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown Lions Club

Don Essig opening the service.

Pastor Barry Lind with opening prayer,

Kathleen Miller (r) and Joyce Kent (l) remembering Mary.

Lion Tim Chuey – Representing EDT Lions. 

Doug Thompson – OLSHF

“Unforgettable” Michelle Lind and Adam Rasmussen 

Lion Sid thanks everyone for their support.


EDT Lions Just Zooming Along

After having held two outdoor meetings Mother Nature made that type of gathering out of the question. Just like most everyone else Zoom meetings have become the avenue to return to having meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of the month for the club. The Wednesday, February third meeting had twenty participants with everyone having a chance to join in the conversation.

What makes these meetings a bit closer to the in-person meetings is having a program guest speaker.  Corrine Patzer, Chief Strategy Officer from Lions VisionGift, gave a very interesting presentation explaining the inner workings of VisionGift and how it keeps improving and expanding services.  It is so much more than just an eye bank.

Quoting their website: “Lions VisionGift is proud of the many different functions we perform on the path to sight restoration in our communities. Through collaboration with our donation partners around the state, we are able to recover and screen donated tissues in a timely manner to provide grafts for individuals throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. Once these needs have been met, we routinely send additional tissues across the nation and around the world.”

The club members were very impressed with how organized and up-to-date the VisionGift operation functions and thanked Corrine for giving us such a detailed presentation.  As we have more of these Zoom meetings we are getting proficient at running a smooth meeting.  You can learn more about Lions VisionGift at

5 February 2021

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown

Lions Club

Twenty participants at this Zoom meeting.

Corrine Patzer, CSO Lions VisionGift

It Sounds Like Such a Simple Solution

With all of the distancing protocols in effect for the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have had at least some difficulty understanding what people are saying through their protective masks. It gets even worse when you are in a store or medical office where the person you need to talk to is not only wearing a mask but also is behind a Plexiglas screen. Let’s take that one step ahead and assume that you are hearing impaired. Voices are muffled enough under a mask. When you add the Plexiglass shield understanding the person’s words can be difficult if not impossible even while wearing hearing aids.

There is a solution to this problem and it is called a “Hearing Loop.” What is a hearing loop and how does it work? A hearing loop system has 4 parts: 1) A copper wire in the shape of a loop which serves as an electro-magnetic antenna and creates the loop’s field. 2) One or more microphones to pick up the desired sound. 3) An electronic “driver” to transmit the sound into the loop. 4) A tiny coiled wire, called a telecoil, (or t-coil), inside a listener’s hearing aid, cochlear implant, or special earphone receiver. [A hearing specialist must activate the telecoil program in a listener’s device to directly receive the sound from the hearing loop.

The reason for explaining this is because the Shedd Institute in Eugene has a program to help the hearing impaired hear even better under difficult circumstances. “The Mission of the Shedd Institute’s Lane County Committee is to understand, educate and advocate for the installation and usage of hearing loop/telecoil systems in appropriate public and private spaces.”  The Shedd has a loop system installed in their building, and so do some other venues and businesses, but most locations do not have it available.

To that end, the Shedd Institute is loaning out portable 8”x8” loop systems for hearing impaired people to try out to see if it will work for them before they purchase one. The Eugene Downtown Lions Club has donated the funds to purchase two of the portable loop kits that cost $250 each for the Shedd project. In addition, the money for two more kits has been provided by the Jane Eyre McDonald Fund.

Special thanks go to Ginerva Ralph Director of Education for the Shedd Institute and Sue Pritchard (who wears hearing aids) for giving a presentation about this project to the EDT Lions Zoom meeting.

Pictures: 1) PLA 90 Portable Loop. (img_Loop PA 90) 2) (img_Screenshot202101 Counter) 3)

(img_Screenshot202101 long conference table) 4)  (img_1958) 5)  (img_1953)

30 January 2021

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown

Lions Club

Portable loop used in a business situation with Plexiglass at the cashier counter. 

Portable loop used in an office setting.

Ginerva Ralph, the Shedd Institute

Sue Prichard

A Picture (Book) is Worth a Thousand Words

Lions, particularly the Eugene Downtown Lions Club, helped make the Heartfelt House project a success. The house provides a place to stay for the loved ones of patients at Sacred Heart Peace Heath Medical Center in Springfield. Since families stay there for a period of time, their children, the younger ones mainly, need something to keep them occupied and entertained.

The Eugene Downtown Lions Club found an interesting solution. A local artist has published a book that is perfect for kids. Noelle Dass created a work of art in the form of a cute children’s book titled “Be Who You Are.” The book is about believing in yourself as told by what Dass calls “Artimals.” This is a board book with rounded corners and glossy rigid pages. Every book comes with two stickers and a 5x7 greeting card.

The Downtown Lions have raised the funds to provide 65 copies of the book to be given to the children/parents of the Heartfelt House Ronald McDonald facility. Lion Jim Origliosso delivered the first 30 copies of the book to the facility Manager Robin Yozzo on December  18, 2020.

Plans are to reach out to Lions Clubs in Bend and Portland to gauge interest in similar efforts at the Ronald McDonald Houses in those communities.

26 January 2021

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown

Lions Club

Box of first 30 books. 

Lion Jim Origliosso presenting the books to Heartfelt House Manager Robin Yozzo.

Back cover of the book with Eugene Downtown Lions presentation sticker. 



The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious problem with keeping enough protective gear in the hands of the medical professionals.  It took one man with an idea and the determination to see it through to help alleviate the problem locally. The following is copied from The Lions Tale newsletter:

“A big thank you goes out to Past District Governor Lion Steve Moser who applied for and received a COVID-19 grant through Lions Club International Foundation. October 21st, the following Lions met to deliver a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Lane County Public Health in Eugene: Steve Moser, PDG, Lynn Coon, First Vice District Governor, Dianne Rush, President and Henry Miller Past President of Springfield Lions, Carol Casciato, Tim Chuey, and Susan Pfanner of Eugene Downtown Lions, Pat Dotson, County Coordinator for distribution and stockpiling PPE for Lane County arranged for Heather Buch, Chair of County Commissioners to meet us for a “photo-op” during the hand-off. Several boxes of both gloves and gowns were given because they are two of the most needed items during this pandemic. Lane County commissioners also serve as the Board of Health and Commissioner Heather thanked Lions on behalf of Lane County for our generosity. When asked what else we could do to help, the answer was two-fold. As far as the crisis with COVID-19, the difficulty is with accurate reporting as well as acceptance of assistance (due to the stigma), particularly with younger adults. With regard to our neighbors affected by the wildfire: the need is for volunteers to deliver hot meals, to talk and walk people through steps to apply for Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA), to lend an understanding ear and move them gradually to support to assist as lives are pieced together.”

The items delivered to Lane County Public Health included: 250 gowns, 16 boxes of small examination gloves, 33 boxes of medium examination gloves, 33 boxes of large examination gloves, 8 boxes of extra-large examination gloves, and many M-95 masks. The van was loaded with the supplies that were to be divided out to 6 area County Health Department offices.

Unloading the supplies.

Posing with the stack of supplies. A job well done.  



Finding a need and then following through with the solution is exactly what happened recently and the explanation is quite simple. The following is a letter received by the Eugene Downtown Lions Club from OCB.

“The Eugene Office of the Oregon Commission for the Blind is extremely thankful for a very generous donation from our Eugene Downtown Lions Club.  Sixteen Ambutech folding white canes were donated to OCB for providing to blind and newly blind consumers (non-clients) who do not have the funds to purchase this critical aid.  A cane is the most important and valuable necessity for a blind person's mobility and independence.  Canes can break at the most inopportune times, and the Eugene OCB office has unexpected walk-ins (sometimes visiting from elsewhere) who cannot function if their cane is broken.  This generous donation allows the Eugene office of the Commission for the Blind to provide a replacement cane to blind persons or a “first” cane to a person who is newly blind whom may not have the funds to purchase one for themselves.  Lion Sharon Newton worked with OCB’s Michael Thomas to identify this need and order these much-needed canes.  Thank you Eugene Downtown Lions Club for this valuable donation and on-going relationship and support of the blind community members in Eugene!"  Mike Thomas, Certified Adaptive Technology Instructional Specialist

Lions Always Find a Way to Help

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the wildfires, many Oregonians have found themselves in extraordinarily difficult situations. The Holiday Farm wildfire displaced thousands of people who escaped with no more than the clothes on their backs.

Oregon Lions District R requested a $10,000 grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to help the firefighters and evacuees from the McKenzie Holiday Farm wildfire and the other wildfires in the District. The Eugene Downtown Lions Club requested a portion of those funds. In coordination with the Cascades Region, Oregon Wildfires In-Kind Donations Manager for the Red Cross the club was asked to donate snacks for the evacuees, firefighters, and volunteers.  The sweet and salty snacks provide individual servings of crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies, or granola bars to help sustain them and as a supplement, to the meals they were being served.

Approximately $2,000 worth of snacks were picked up at COSTCO, loaded onto the trailer, and taken to SnoTemp Cold Storage on Seneca Road where the crew offloaded it for storage. Until the snacks could be distributed to the folks evacuated from the Holiday Farm wildfire who were staying at The Graduate in downtown Eugene.

Six Lions worked on this project including Lion President Susan Pfanner, Lions Darlene Tomasec, Karen Norton, PID Ed Gear, James Koch, and Craig Ford.  Lion Susan’s husband John, the lone Rotarian from the Southtown Rotary Club drove the truck pulling the trailer with the direction of Red Cross volunteer Bruce Wesloski.

This just goes to show you what just a few Lions can accomplish.

Loaded COSTCO cart  Lion President Susan Pfanner with a COSTCO employee and Lion Susan’s Husband John – in Beaver Orange. 

Snacks are ready to be put on the pallet at Sno-Temp. 


 Lion Susan Pfanner and her husband John unloading the trailer at SnoTemp.


The work crew posing with the load ready to be kept safe at SnoTemp. L to R: Lions Darlene Tomasec, PID Ed Gear, Craig Ford, President Susan Pfanner, back row James Koch and Karen Norton.  

10 November 2020

Tim Chuey

Publicity Chairman

Eugene Downtown

Lions Club





A Lions Club Meeting that looks Very Different
For many years the Eugene Downtown Lions Club has held meetings at the Eugene Hilton Hotel downtown, then it became the Graduate. The meetings were held in various meeting and banquet rooms. That was until COVID-19 changed everything. The Club’s last meeting before the pandemic rules took effect was held on March 4, 2020. 
The old saying “Necessity is the Mother of invention” has proven itself very true and appropriate in this case. Newly-elected club President Susan Pfanner scheduled the first Coronavirus precautions meeting for Wednesday, August 12th at a unique location. A pavilion at Hendricks Park was the perfect spot on a beautiful August day with temperatures in the comfortable 70s. I must admit it was a very surrealistic scene with Lions wearing face coverings slowly gathering and saying long-delayed greetings. Gone were the handshakes, hugs, and friendly smiles of old that were replaced by self-distancing and mask covered faces that allowed only eye contact and the sounds of muffled voices.

We totaled 17 Lions altogether and everyone brought their own lunch. The only time masks were removed was while members were eating. The meeting started off just like any other meeting with the singing of “America” (My Country Tis Of Thee), the Pledge of Allegiance, and an invocation. Lion Dr. Craig Ford introduced a new member to the club Dr. Frank Ross who is an audiologist who moved here from Florida to join Audiology Professionals. 

Lion President Susan introduced our special guest speaker Lion District R Governor Linda Stent (mask and all) who provided an overview of her biography and history with Lions. Her motto is “Forward! Upward! Onward!” as a vision for District R. With social distancing rules she explained that the Lions Virtual Leadership Experience is offered to all Lions for a three-day period (two-hour sessions) from September 25-27. The annual District R 2021 Convention is planned to be held in early February at the Florence Convention Center. Lion DG Linda said she looks forward to welcoming the Eugene Downtown Lions there provided we are able to meet in person.
Taking care of old business Lion Past President Mary Fechtel Voorhees presented the “Lion of the Year” award to Lion President Susan Pfanner. She presented the Ed Gear award to Lion Jim Origliosso and a “Vision and Fellowship” award was presented to Lion Wes Reynolds.
The next Downtown Lions Club meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, September 23 at the Hendricks Park pavilion for another outdoor safe gathering. Here’s to the day when meetings can go back to what we lovingly called “normal.”
Pictures: 1) (img_0490) 2) Lion President Susan Pfanner opens the meeting. (img_0480) 3) (img_0485) 4)  (img_0496) 5) (img_0495) 6) (img_0494)
5 September 2020
Tim Chuey
Publicity Chairman
Eugene Downtown Lions Club
Hendricks Park Pavilion meeting place. 
Lion District R Governor Linda Stent addresses the meeting. 

Lion PP Mary Fechtel Vorhees presents “Lion of the Year” award to

Lion President Susan Pfanner

Lion Jim Origliosso receives the “Ed Gear” award. 

A “Vision and Fellowship” award is given to Lion Wes Reynolds.


‚ÄčHeartfelt House

The Heartfelt House, the patient family guest house on the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend campus, provides a tranquil, no-cost "home away from home" for out-of-town families while their loved ones are being cared for at Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend or University District.

The Eugene Downtown Lions donated towards the building of the Heartfelt House and continue to support the guests with monthly donations to the pantry, library, or other specific needs.  We also have members that volunteer regularly.

President-elect Lion Susan Pfanner delivers bags of food for the pantry and other requested items.

Lion Marie Badagnani Volunteers weekly.




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