Giving Back

The Lions motto is "We Serve."  Included is the Lake Sumter Lions giving back to the community, especially in the areas of vision.

Lions Donate to "Night to Shine" event

Lake Sumter Lions Esther Ann Howell Walton presented a check for the Night to Shine (NTS) event to NTS Leadership Team in The Villages.
Tim Tebow and his Foundation is celebrating their 10th year of ‘Night to Shine’, which is an annual prom night for individuals with special needs.


Lake Sumter Lions Support SOZO Kids

At a recent Friends of SOZO Kids meeting, Lake Sumter Lion Eileen Sabatini Disinger presented a check to President Ed Latimer. Also, Lion Eileen noted Lake Sumter Lions preparation of meals for the SOZO Kids After School program. Additionally, Lake Sumter Lions screen the vision of children (aka KidSight) during the Back to School Bash in August. Community Service!

SOZO Kids are children who live in the Ocala National Forest, usually in poverty.


Lions Donate Golf Tournament for Scholarships

Lake Sumter Lions welcomed our Guest Speakers, Patrice and Ken Fisher from the Sophisticated Gents of Florida and The African American Club of The Villages. The LS Lions Club donated $$$ for a hole sponsor in the Friendship Golf Tournament. Patrice and Ken briefly talked about the golf tournament and the resulting scholarships given to high school graduates in The Villages, Leesburg, Wildwood and Lake Weir.



Lions Donate to Wildwood Soup Kitchen

Lions Bunny and John presented a $$ donation check to the Wildwood Soup Kitchen from the Lake Sumter Lions.  The Wildwood Soup Kitchen serves the poor, the hungry, and the lonely by providing healthy, nutritious meals.  They also deliver meals to shut-ins and others who are unable to come to the kitchen.  For more info, go to their web site at

Donation to Deaf and Hearing Services

Lake Sumter Lion PDG Ed presented a check to the Deaf and Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter Counties for their work with the hearing impaired.  Lions collect used hearing aids which are donated to DHS who refurbish and distribute the hearing aids to needy people within the two counties.


Lions Present a Check to Friends of SOZO Kids, Inc.

Lake Sumter Lions John, Bunny, Eileen and Dan attended the October 10th General Meeting, of the Friends of the SoZo Kids, Inc. Lion Eileen presented a LS Lions Club's donation check to Linda Casey, the President of Friends of SoZo Kids. Lake Sumter Lions also support the SoZo Kids by preparing after-school meals three times a month.

Friends of SoZo Kids, Inc. exclusively supports the ​Help Agency of the Forest, Inc. (known as SoZo Kids) as it works on the front lines to deliver services and programs to nearly 2,000 children living in abject poverty in the Ocala National Forest.
Update:  Lake Sumter Lions also donated $300 to the SOZO Kids After School Program for a Taco Truck for their Holiday celebration.

Lions Donate to Local Food Pantries

Lake Sumter Lions Club collected $$$ at the recent Food Drive from generous Villagers.  Monies were given to two local Food Pantries.  (Left) President John Hanna presented a check to the Lady Lake Christian Food Pantry.  (Right)  Lion John presented a check to the Wildwood Food Pantry.


Lions Donate to Operation Shoe Box

Lake Sumter Lions Cecile and Mary Alice presented a check from the Lake Sumter Lions Club to Operation Shoebox to help fund the mailing cost to send packages overseas for our military personnel overseas.


Lions Donate $$$ to Food Pantries

During the recent Lions Food Drive, Villagers contributed $$ in donation jars (in addition to food), located at each Rec Center.  The Lake Sumter Lions Club then divided the funds among three local food pantries.  Lions John and Bunny presented checks to:  Beyond the Walls in Fruitland Park; Wildwood Food Pantry; and Christian Food Pantry.


Lions Donate to Deaf and Hearing Services

PDG Ed presented two donations to the Deaf and Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter Counties, located in Leesburg. The first were hearing aids and associated items donated by the public and collected by Lions via the Eyeglass Collection Boxes.  DHS refurbish and distribute these items to the needy within Lake and Sumter Counties.  The second donation was a $$$ check from the Lake Sumter Lions Club.  For more info about the Deaf and Hearing Services, click here.


Lions Donate to New Vision 
Lion Chuck presented a donation check to New Vision for Independence CEO, Chantel Buck.   New Vision provides training to residents of Lake and Sumter Counties experiencing severe bilateral vision loss that is affecting their daily functioning in daily living, vocational, or academic activities.


Lions Supports OSB and our Troops

The Lake Sumter Lions received thank you notes for our $$ donation from Operation Shoe Box (OSB) and the troops to which OSB provides care packages. Our thoughts and prayers go to our military men and women, especially those who are serving overseas away from their families.


Lions Christmas Donation

Lake Sumter Lion Chuck presented a Christmas donation to LaRae Donnellan, President of Friends of SoZo Kids, Inc. (Notice the Lake Sumter Lions mask on Chuck!)


Lions Donate $$$ for Food

Recognizing the need for the basics (such as food) during this pandemic, the Lake Sumter Lions provided funds to assist: the Mother of Mercy Food Pantry and the Wildwood Soup Kitchen. LS Lions Chuck and John visited each facility and made the presentation of the checks.


Mother of Mercy Food Pantry with Director Thom Hornung

Wildwood Soup Kitchen


Lions Donate Used Hearing Aids

PDG Ed and Lion Jane delivered used hearing aids and good hearing aids batteries to the Deaf and Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter Counties, located in Leesburg.  These used hearing aids and batteries were obtained from the public in our used eyeglasses collection boxes. Note the mask worn by the DHS Director.  It has a clear plastic covering over her mouth so that hearing impaired people can read lips of a person with such a mask.   


Lions Served at the VIP Holiday Party


Lake Sumter Lions members served food at the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) Holiday Party.  Lion John H arranged this community service.  The Villages newspaper noted this event recently in the Daily Sun


Lions Donate Time and $$ to Operation Shoebox



Lake Sumter Lions donated both their time and money to Operation Shoebox.  (Left) Three Lake Sumter Lions recently presented a check to Operation Shoebox.  (Right) Lake Sumter Lions are among the many residents of The Villages who spend 3+ hours every Monday packing special supplies and goodies for the US troops deployed overseas.  The mission of Operation Shoebox is to meet the needs of every military person with dignity and appreciation.

Lions Support Florida KidSight Foundation

Lion Ken Parrish (center), representing the Florida KidSight Foundation in Gainesville, gladly accepted a $$$ check from lake Sumter Lion and District 35-O KidSight Chair Chuck (left).  King Lion John is on the right.  The Lake Sumter Lions wanted to recognize and support the Foundation who evaluates all our "refers" from KidSight Screenings and contact parents accordingly.  Without the expert assistance from the KidSight doctors, our KidSight screenings would be incomplete. 



Lions Donate an Optical Magnifier Reader....Again

Lions John and Jane delivered an optical magnifier reader to Sam who lives in the Village of Rio Grande.  A retired police officer and federal agent, Sam is legally blind with no eyesight in one eye and reduced eyesight in the other eye.  The magnifier reader will enhance Sam's use of his cell phone which he uses to "surf the web."  The reader was previously donated to the Lions Club. 



Lions Donate to The Villages Honor Flight 
Representing the Lake Sumter Lions Club, Lion Marty presented a $$$ check to The Villages Honor Flight organization.  The mission of the Honor Flight is to honor American Vets by flying them to Washington D.C. to visit their various memorials.  For more info, visit their web site at


Lions Donate to New Vision 
New Vision for Independence representatives, Dr. Shelly Gerig, Director, and Ms Chantel Buck, CEO, recently spoke at the Lake Sumter Lions Club meeting.  (See Members & Meetings for details).  Afterwards, Club President John (aka Walter) presented Ms Buck with donation checks: a big one for the photo op and the small REAL ones to cash.  



Lions Donate Used Hearing Aids
Every quarter or so, PDG Ed and Lion Jane traveled to Leesburg to deliver used hearing aids and (good) batteries to the Deaf and Hearing Services of Lake and Sumter Counties.  These hearing aids and batteries were collected from the public in Lions eyeglass collection boxes.  After an overhaul of the hearing aids, the DHS distributes the hearing aids and batteries to the needy.  Click here for the location of the eyeglass collection boxes.



Lions Donate Another Optical Magnifier Reader

Recently, Lion John delivered an optical magnifier reader to amateur musician Bob who is visually impaired.  Bob is now able to read and play music.  The reader was previously donated to the Lions Club.   


Donations to New Vision for Independence

Lake Sumter Lions toured the New Vision for Independence facility in Leesburg, FL.  During this visit, Lions John and Connie (left photo) presented a check to this awesome organization. [Also, see "We're Social Too!" for more photos of the visit.] Additionally, Lion John recently delivered a magnifier reader to New Vision for use by or donation to clients.
New Vision for Independence provides rehabilitation, community education, and support services for people with low vision or blindness in the Lake and Sumter Counties and in The Villages. Click here for more info about New Vision. 

Lions Donate a Second Optical Magnifier Reader

Lake Sumter Lion John Hanna delivered an optical magnifier reader to John who lives in Lady Lake.  John is blind in his left eye and has limited sight in his right eye.  This magnifier reader will greatly enhance his ability to read correspondence, literature, etc.  These readers are donated to the Lake Sumter Lions Club who in turn donated them to those in need.


Lions Donate an Optical Magnifier Reader

Lake Sumter Lions John Hanna and John Thomson recently delivered an optical magnifier reader to Bernice, a Village resident.  Excellent for the sight impaired people, the Reader magnifies print on a letter, newspaper, book, etc.  Thanks Lions.


Lions Provide Motorized Assistance

Carol proudly rides the motorized scooter that the Lake Sumter Lions donated to her.  Lion John Hanna presented Carol the scooter which she says gives her the freedom to go around the block, something she hasn't been able to do in quite a while.  The scooter was previously donated to the Lions in the spirit of Lions giving assistance to others.


Lions Helped Deliver the Difference 

Lake Sumter Club Program Chair John (right) presents Duiane Deason with a donation check.  Duaine spoke to Club members about Deliver the Difference, particularly about The Villagers' contribution of efforts and money. Every 4th Thursday of the month, Villagers gather at Coconut Cove Rec Center to package meals for distribution in Florida and overseas.  For more info, go to


Lions Donate a Scooter

A woman needed a scooter and the Lake Sumter Lions met the need with a motorized scooter. Our reward was a big smile from her.


Lions Donate two Optical Magnifier Readers

Lion John recently delivered two Optical Magnifer Readers to visually impaired Harvey (left below) and Jennete.  These readers will assist these two recipients to independently read text and view photos and videos.  The readers were donated earlier to the Lake Sumter Lions Charities, Inc by two Villagers.  LSLC, in turn, donated the readers to these two recipients.



Lions donated $$ to local Vets group

At the August meeting, Guest Speaker David Booth briefed Lions on Combat Veterans to Careers organization. The mission of the CVC is to provide 360 degrees of support and opportunities and to enhance the quality of life for our combat veterans and their families.  After the presentation, the club presented Mr. Booth with a donation for his organization. The Club's donation was noted in The Villages' Daily Sun newspaper.   



Lions Donate a Magnifier Reader Again

Chairman Russ delivered an Image Enhancemen Reader to Jean who lives in The Villages.  Lion Russ set up the device and provided basic operation training.  The device will, according to Jean, give her the freedom to read bills, newspapers, and personal correspondence.  The Lake Sumter Lions heard about Jean's need for a reader from Lion JohnT. who attended a Vision Impaired People (VIP) meeting.  The Club currently has three more devices ready for donation. 


Lions Donate $$$ to SEGD

1st VP Elaine presents a $$$ donation check to Mike from the Southeastern Guide Dog (SEGD) organization.  Mike was a guest speaker at a recent Lake Sumter Lions meeting, bringing his current guide dog Treasure.  Mike described his experiences as a former Marine who incurred wartime life threatening injuries, resulting in total blindness, and his adjustment to life with a guide dog from SEGD.    A very inspirational speaker!  



Pay It Forward....Again and Again

Lions donated again another scooter, this time to the Fairways for Warriors at The Villages.  This second scooter was also previously donated to the Lions Club.  The Fairways for Warriors provide hope, healing and camaraderie for combat wounded warriors and their families.


Lions and the Military Order of the Purple Heart

Commander Galen Mitchell (below right) and John Bircher (below left) from the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) joined the Lake Sumter Lions at a recent club meeting.  They presented a program to club members, describing the MOPH and its various service programs. 

Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although their membership is restricted to the combat wounded, they support all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.  You can read more about the MOPH at their website

Below King Lion John presented a check from the Lake Sumter Lions to the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.


Donation of Low Vision Readers

Recently, the Club obtained two Closed Circuit TVs (CCTV) for low vision reading through donations to the club by generous folks.  At a recent meeting, King Lion Linda presented these donated CCTVs to Jenna, who is from the New Vision for Independence.  (See photo left below.) Later, Jenna sent Lions a photo of the recipient of one of these CCTVs.  (See photo right below.)  Mr. Frost, the recipient, is an artist.  He is learning to use the CCTV to do his favorite hobby again.  Just another example of Lions paying it forward. 



Pay it Forward....the next Chapter

Lion John's sister-in-law had an almost brand new scooter which the Club donated to an individual in need.  (See Paying it Forward below.)  The recipient of that scooter gave the Lake Sumter Lions Club a $$ donation.  ln turn, the Club donated a portion of that money to the Veterans Salute Program at the Cornerstone Hospice.  President Linda presented a check to USMC George Wanberg and Army COL Paul Farineau, volunters at Cornerstone.


Paying it Forward

Lion John's sister-in-law had an almost brand new scooter when John's brother passed away recently.  What to do?  She donated the scooter to the Lake Sumter Lions Club.  At the same time, Lion Kaye knew her friend, Pat, needed a scooter as Pat has MS and her current scooter was wearing out.  A match was made by the Lions.  Members of the Lake Sumter Club went to Pat's house and presented the scooter to her.  Thanks to Lion John, his sister-in-law and Lion Kaye for seeing a need and meeting it.  That's what "We Serve" is all about!




Lions Donate Magnifier Reader to Visually Impaired Man

Thanks to a donation that the Lake Sumter Lions recieved, the club donated a magifier reader to a visually impaired man.  Scott has gone back to school and the reader enables him to see his papers as he is writing them, as well as read his texts.  Scott was identified to the Lions by Jeanna, who works for new Vision for Independence, Inc.  What a great "recycling" of equipment!  



Lake Sumter Lions Support Florida Vision Groups

The Lake Sumter Lions Club also provides support to several organizations within the state of Florida who specialize in the treatment or support of sight-impaired individuals.  Some of these organizations are:

 - Southeastern Guide Dogs  

- Paws for Patriots

 - Davis Conklin Center for the Visually Impaired  
Facebook page:

 - Florida Lions Foundation for the Blind

  - Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research 

- New Vision for Independence

- Florida Diabetes Camp




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