Lions Yonkers Millennium Lions Club: Our Story

​Our First Twenty Years

(1997 - 2017)

     Our story began with a picnic of the Westchester Filipino-American Society, Inc. (WFASI) in the summer of 1996. An announcement of the picnic appeared in the local paper and it caught the eye of Lion Ric Aberion of the Phil-Am Lions Club. He attended the picnic and talked to the leaders of WFASI led by then president Mr. Policarpi "Jun" Mallari and, as they say, the rest is history.

     After several meetings organized by then District Governor Jesus Atencio and Past District Governor Paul Fletcher a new Lions Club of 40 members was chartered on January 17, 1997. Lion Melanio "Jun" Aquino was the Charter President, Lion Ric Aberion the Guiding Lion. Lion Roger Aguinaldo was the president of the mother club, the Phil-Am Lions Club. On April 12, 1997, we held our Charter Night at the Polish Community Center (now the Castle Royale).

Lions Rolly Sarreal, Merlyn Moore, John Terez, Charito Nepomuceno, Jun Mallari (partly hidden), Charles Nam are behind Charter President Jun Aquino and Charter Secretary Portia Fagel.

Past District Governor Paul Fletcher, Extension Chair, congratulates Charter President Jun Aquino. Looking on are his partner in service Catherine to his left. To his right is Charter Secretary Portia Fagel. Behind them are Lions Vee Quevedo, Rolly Sarreal, Susan Nam, Charles Nam, Michael Moore, Cora Torres, Manny Vicente, Joseph Williams. District Governor Jess Atencio is at far right.

Lions Jose Abad, Carmelito Andal and his partner in service Racel, Lions Jun Aquino, Leonardo dela Cruz, Emma Dumalag, and Silvia Estebanez.

The newly installed Lions receiving their pins from family members. Lion Leonarde dela Cruz from his wife, Lion Emma Dumalag from daughter Mae, Lion Silvia Estebanez from sister Mirta Rocafort, Lion Portia Fagel from husband Wai Loi Lau.

Lion Jun Mallari and hiw wife Annie, Lions Portia Fagel, Susan Nam and Charles Nam.


Sadly, though, of the 40 charter members only seven of the thirty-nine current members remain today the rest having resigned from Lionism. The seven remaining Lions appear in bold blue letters below.

The Charter Members, 1997

Jose Abad III

Carmelito Andal

Melanio Aquino, Jr, Charter President

Marco Bautista

Alfonso Bompat

Leonardo dela Cruz

Guillerma "Emma" Dumalag

Silvia Estebanez

Aida Portia Fagel

Ernesto Feri

Mauricio "Matt" Fontanilla

Divina Foronda

Hermito Foronda

Edgardo Francisco

Ramon Francisco

Renato Gallardo

Virginia de Grace

Pelagia Johnson

Ramon Labitigan

​Ruben Lacap

Cecille Lampa-Sassman

Mars Medina

Merlyn Moore

Michael Moore

​Jun Mallari

​Francisco Mercado

Charles Nam

Susan Nam

​Charito Nepomuceno

Glen Pantaleon

Democreto Pasco

Valencerino Quevedo

Samuel Ronquillo

Rolando Sarreal

​Herbert Tan

John Terez

Jovencio Torres

​Maria Corazon Torres

Manuel Vicente

​Joseph Williams

​      During the Charter Night, NY Phil-Am Lions Club, our mother club, gave us a custom gavel, a club bell, and a club banner. Yonkers Lions Club gave us a flag of nations set.


     Almost immediately we embraced the Lion's motto "We Serve". We made our first donation, that of an oversized wheelchair for extremely obese patients to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers in September 1997, within a few months of our charter.

St. Joseph's Medical Center CEO Michael Spicer received the wheelchair from Lions Matt Fontanilla, Ramon Labitigan, Jun Aquino, Portia Fagel, Jun Mallari, Divina Foronda, Hermito Foronta, Valencerina Quevedo, Virgie de Grace, and Ernie Feri. 

          In November 2002, we received a Mayoral Citation from John D. Spencer, Mayor of the City of Yonkers for our work in the community. With the citation was a $500 award which we used as seed money for our first big project - the refurbishment of the asthma treatment room at St. Joseph's Medical Center.

          In 2003, we made a $10,000 donation to St. Joseph's for the renovation of the asthma treatment room in the Emergency Department. The donation was made possible by a matching grant from the New York State and Bermuda Lions Foundation.

District Governor Belen Gonzales presents Mr.Michael Spicer the $5,000 check from New York State and Bermuda Lions Foundation. In Lion Emma Dumalag's hand is our check for the same amount.

​In the picture above are, from left, Lions Joan Torres, Mimi Lipscomb, Portia Fagel, Emma Dumalag, Silvia Estebanez and Mrs. Maria Neto.


          In November 1997, ​we donated $1,400 to Campaign SightFirst and Lion Vee Quevedo became our first Melvin Jones Fellow. We were the first Campaign SightFirst II model club in the district in 2005 and by May 2007 we were a 100% Melvin Jones Fellowship Club.

          We continue to support Lions Clubs International Foundation and our donations to the Foundation total $73,750 as of April 2017. Several of our members, both present and past, are Progressive Melvin Jones Fellows. They are Lions Melanio "Jun" Aquino, Teresita "Etchie" Angos, Guillerma "Emma" Dumalag, Silvia Estebanez, Portia Fagel, Ramon Labitigan, Bless Punzalan, Rene Punzalan and former members Macline Labitigan, Vee Quevedo, and Rosenda Villanueva.

At the 2009 LCIF Convocation: Back row, from left, Past District Governor Aurora Nazareno Ocampo, Lions Ruth Esmilio, Ver Esmilio, Emma Dumalag, Robin Chance and Portia Fagel. In the front row, from left, are District Governor Juana Alejo, Cynthia Llames, Etchie Angos and Silvia Estebanez.

Lion Aurora Santoro received her Melvin Jones Fellow pin during the 2016 LCIF Convocation. She is at left above with Lions Bless Punzalan and Silvia Estebanez, seated. Standing behind them are, Lions Rene Punzalan, Portia Fagel, District Governor Guillermo A. Perez, Lion Jimmy S. Chu and NY Cosmopolitan Lions Paul Seto, Sue Jenner and two other Lions.

Lion Lydia Siminig received her Melvin Jones Fellow plaque and pin at the LCIF Convocation on May 2017.


​          We started to volunteer at St. Joseph's Church soup kitchen in 1998 and stayed until 2014 when we moved to Casa Juan Diego.

At St. Joseph's Church Soup Kitchen



Above at top right is Lion Bless Punzalan, shown above top left are Lions Silvia and Danny Estebanez. Above right is VDG Mike D'Ambrosio, at right are Lions Jun Aquino and Linda Fontanilla.

Lions Rosa Sandoval, front, and Joan Torres.

From right are Lions Mirta Rocafort, Joan Torres, Jimmy S. Chu, volunteers Shine, Noah and Kurt Adela, Lion Silvia Estebanez, VDG Mike D'Ambrosio, Lions Emma Dumalag, Jocelyn Archimedes, Portia Fagel and Etchie Angos.




Casa Juan Diego in Yonkers provided an outreach to the Latino community in Yonkers providing a place for the poor to gather for fellowship and prayer. Unfortunately, Casa closed its doors in June 2016.

 At Casa Juan Diego

Lions Etchie Angos, Sara Fernandez Lopez, Portia Fagel and Aurora Santoro with Brother Gabriel.


 Lions Jocelyn Archimedes and Aurora Santoro show their love (hearts). Brother Gabriel with Lions Aurora and Etchie.


​Lion Etchie Angos chaired this long standing soup kitchen project from its inception to its end.


    The first time we participated in the Peace Poster Contest was in 1999. Our entry was a poster created by Czarina Rose Fontanilla. Although we don't participate every year we have done so in the last few years. We now also participate in the Environmental Photo Contest. District Photographer Lion Jimmy S. Chu is the current District Chairperson for the Photo Contest.

​Peace Poster, 1999 by Czarina Fontanilla

​This is Lion Jimmy S. Chu's photo that was MD-20's entry at the International Convention in Fukuoka, Japan in July 2016.


     In 2001, ​we sponsored the short-lived (it lasted five years) Millennium Leo Club. Leo Reynan Punzalan was the Charter President, Leo Reyson Punzalan was the Vice President and Leo Czarina Rose Fontanilla was the Secretary. Lions Vee Quevedo and Joseph Villanueva were the Leo Co-chairs.

     The Leos made a $500 donation to the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). Leo President Reynan Punzalan presented District Governor Lee Katz the check.



    We adopted Unit #5 ​Sylvester Run at the Vacation Camp for the Blind (now called VISIONS Center on Blindness) in 2001. We have been going to clean the cabin in June and October since then.

Lions Annie Mallari, Emma Dumalag, Portia Fagel, Jun Mallari

                                                  Lion Ramon Labitigan

Lion Bless Punzalan, Lion Portia Fagel, Ophelia Pajel, Lion Aurora Santoro, Roque Lopez, Lion Jocelyn Archimedes, Lion Sara Fernandez Lopez

    Lion Jimmy S. Chu, Lion Karem Coca, her husband Adiel and their children Amelia and Alex Coca, Lion Sara Fernandez, Lion Jocelyn Archimedes


     ​In 2005, ​we built two artesian wells in Tabing Bakud, Santa Maria and Dona          Remedios,Norzagaray, Bulacan, Philippines on land that was donated by Mr. Eduardo Jacinto, Lion Bless Punzalan's and Lion Ramil Jacinto's father. The wells provide much needed safe drinking water to the people in the neighborhood.


Kiva -

​     ​Inspired by Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi founder of Grameen Bank and microcredit pioneer, we started making microloans through in July 2009. ​Our first loans were made to female entrepreneurs in the Philippines. We believe in empowering women and have made loans only to them. To date, we have 114 loans to women in 55 countries.

     By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it's a matter of survival, for others it's the fuel for a life-long ambition. 100% of every dollar lent on Kiva goes to funding loans.


      Lion Joyce Grossman and the late Lion Marty Grossman ​of The Bronx Lions Club introduced us to the Lions SEE Program in 2009. We now screen about a thousand children in day care centers in Westchester and the Bronx and Manhattan every year. In 2015, we screened 448 children in La Romana, the Dominican Republic.

At Yonkers Children's Place: back row from left, Lions Jun Aquino, Robin Chance, Zayda Santos, Rene Punzalan, Norma Mendez Cruz, Portia Fagel, Silvia Estebanez, Ileana Alexander, Past District Governor Mike Santos. In the front are Lions Emma Dumalag and Joyce Grossman.


Lions Jimmy S. Chu, Aurora Santoro, Portia Fagel with St. Peter's Day Care Center, Yonkers staff members.

Lion Portia Fagel at Mt. Vernon CAG Day Care Center.

Lions Silvia Estebanez, JImmy S. Chu and Rene Punzalan at Toddler's Park Day Care Center, Mt. Vernon.

Lions Silvia Estebanez and Jimmy S. Chu at New Rochelle Learning Center.

At Cassidy's Place, Manhattan

Lion Roque Lopez at Seabury Day Care Center, Bronx

     We started screening with the MTI Photo Screener, then the Welch Allyn SureSight Screener to the present day plusoptiX S12C and Welch Allyn Spot. Several of our members are trained on all four.

     We purchased a Spot vision screener in June 2017 with money donated to us by Mrs. Linda Katz and a grant from the New York State and Bermuda Lions Foundation.

     Lion Silvia Estebanez, the current District Chairperson for the Lions SEE/ KidSight USA Program, has served in that position for several years now.


​     On November 16, 2012, ​we volunteered in Staten Island to serve lunch and help clean up in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.

Lions Jun Aquino and Portia Fagel cleaning up a flooded New Dorp, Staten Island basement.

Lions Jun Aquino, Portia Fagel, and Jimmy S. Chu.

Preparing the barbecue chicken lunch are Lions Jocelyn Archimedes, Silvia Estebanez, Emma Dumalag and Bless Punzalan.

Ready to serve lunch. Lions Jun Mallari, Bless Punzalan, Emma Dumalag and Annie Mallari.

Video footage of Hurricane Sandy relief is available on the LCIF Blog:  


     Lion Emma Dumalag ​made a motion that we do it. In 2012 we had out first medical mission​ in Antipolo City and Virac, Catanduanes. She and Lion Jun Aquino co-chaired the very successful  missions. The success inspired us to do more of these missions and we've been doing cataract surgeries and distributing eyeglasses every year since. And we throw in a little extra depending on the request of the local community.

Antipolo City, April 23, 2012 - cataracts, eyeglasses, tree planting, club twinning with the Antipolo Host Lions Club

Partners - Dr. Maria Divina Leyble, Antipolo Host Lions Club, Soriano- Leyble Medical and Maternity Hospital.

Lion Jun Aquino planting a rambutan tree.


Virac, Catanduanes, April 25- 26, 2012

Partners: Dr. Lito Urgel, Mayor Romy Villaluna and wife Lina, Catanduanes Eye Center, Rorary Club of Virac District 3820

Project summary:

Cataract surgeries: 52

Pterygium: 1

Eyeglasses distrisbuted: 2000

Rambutan trees planted: 150

Lions team:

Lions Jun and Cathy Aquino

Lion Emma Dumalag

Lions Rene and Bless Punzalan

Lions Jun and Annie Mallari

Lion Etchie Angos

Lion Jocelyn Archimedes

Their families and friends

Here is the link for the video of our medical mission


     Lion Sara Fernandez Lopez chaired our medical mission to Santiago and Lion Anny Correa organized the project in La Romana, Dominican Republic on March 13- 15, 2013.

The team: fromt from left, Lions Sara Fernanez Lopez, Anny Correa, Emma Dumalag, Portia Fagel, Silvia Estebanez, and Jimmy S. Chu. At rear are Marie Dumalag and Sang Lee.


     Local physicians volunteered their services notably ophthalmologists Dr. Virgilio Valerio and Dr. Ana Beato.

     At Patronato de Ciegos, Santiago we met some of the twenty five patients who had cataract surgeries.



     We did glucose and blood pressure tests and with local optometrists distributed hundreds of eyeglasses. We donated dozens of white canes and a wheelchair.

     At Hospital Regional Universatario we met Dr. Virgilio Valerio and a couple of patients whose care we will pay for - a 9-year old boy who had a traumatic eye injury who ended up with glaucoma, cataract, retinal and corneal problems and a young man who received a prosthetic eye.

     AT the FUPAC Center in Los Montones, San Jose de las Matas we saw about 400 patients for eyeglasses distribution, blood sugar and blood pressure testing. We visited the computer center which was built to houses the computers that we donated in 2012.

     In La Romana, we donated nebulizers and blood sugar testing materials to a local hospital. .


     The Philippine Band of Mercy performed surgery on our first and only harelip patient to date. The surgery was part of our medical project in Norzagaray, Bulacan, Philippines during Lion Rene Punzalan's presidency in 2013- 2014.

Project summary:

8 cataract surgeries

eyeglasses distribution

1 harelip surgery

Surgeon: Dr. Peter Paguia

Coordinator: Dr. Rosy Santos

Project Chairperson: Lion Bless Punzalan


     Santa Maria, Bulacan was the site of our vision mission in 2015. Lions Bless and Rene Punzalan co-chaired this two-part project that involved eleven cataract surgeries in February and eye exams and eyeglasses for high school students at Fortunato F. Halili National Agricultural School in October. The Santa Maria Mulawin Lions Club performed the eye exams and we donated the eyeglasses.


     The Club Leones de Romana Centro was our partner when we traveled to La Romana, Dominican Republic in December 2015. District Governor Mike Bhuiyan and NY Cosmopolitan Lions Club President Roseann Levy joined us on this three day project. NY Cosmopollitan LC and the James Dudley Luce Foundation each paid for one cataract surgery and we paid for twelve. We brought with 3,000 pairs of eyeglasses most of them distributed to needy patients and the rest donated to Club Leones Santiago Norte and the Fundacion Restauracion de Mujeres. We screened the vision of 448 children in three different schools over a two day period.

 (Read about this successful project in the December 17, 2015 issue of the Stewardship Report, "Ophthalmic Mission Accomplished: Lions Trip to Dominican Republic or in our Facebook Page.



Vision screening at Escuela Bill Grant

With cataract surgery patients


Typhoon Haiyan -

     The Yonkers-based Afya Foundation partnered with ABS-CBN Foundation and the Philippine Red Cross to collect and ship medical and humanitarian relief supplies to help the victims of the typhoon. Afya reached out to us with a request for rice for immediate shipment and we responded by donating 625 pounds of rice and a case of Spam. These were delivered to them on November 14 by Lion President Rene Punzalan and Lion Portia Fagel. More donations were brought to Afya in the following days. These donations included 250 more pounds of rice, baby formula, baby diapers and wipes, Pediasure, pediatric cereal bars, cases of Vienna sausages, cases of instant noodles, boxes of pasta, assorted canned foods, hygiene supplies (cases of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, toilet paper), first aid items, insect repellents, and much more.

     Afya held three "Pack for the Philippines" Sundays - November 17, 24 and December 8. 



     In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, we were among the many donors that rebuilt the towns of Hernani, Gipporlos, and Guinapandan in Eastern Samar and Tanauan in Leyte. We did this with the Build-a-Shelter Program and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation. We rebuilt one house with a donation of $3300 which was presented to Consul General Mario de Leon in February 2014.

     We also donated to the LCIF Disaster Fund.

Lions Silvia Estebanez, Etchie Angos, Portia Fagel, Bless Punzalan, Lydia Siminig, Rene Punzalan, Jun Mallari, Emma Dumalag, Jimmy S. Chu and Jocelyn Archimedes presented Consul General Mario de Leon and Philippine Consulate employees a $3000 check. Another check in the amount of $300 was mailed a few days later.


     Mr. Fausto Sabala lost his vision when an airbag he was repairing exploded in his face. With Mrs. Maria Neto, sister of Lions Silvia Estebanez and Mirta Rocafort, organizing the effort and with the support of the Portuguese American Community Center and the Hispanic Community of St. Mary's Church we were able to raise money to pay for several surgeries to restore part of his vision. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai opthalmologists Dr. Ronald Gentile, Dr. Sanjay Kedhar, and Dr, Joseph Panarelli performed the surgeries at no charge. We paid only for hospital fees.


     Starting in January 2015 we volunteer at the Food Bank for Westchester every week - on Green Thumb Mondays and Thursday Repack. Both Lions Etchie Angos and Portia Fagel have earned their personal green aprons. Volunteers get the aprons after 50 hours of volunteer work.



  Millennium Lions in the Spotlight

These Lions are recipients of the Association of 20-R2 Past District Governors Leadership Award:

Lion Silvia Estebanez in 2012- 2013, Lion Portia Fagel in 2014- 2015, Lion Etchie Angos in 2015- 2016.

In May 2013, Lion Jimmy S, Chu was one of the recipients of the Brandel-Murphy Youth Foundation's "Miracles through Service" Award.



These Lions received Certificates of Appreciation from the International President:

Lion Etchie Angos in 2012- 2013, Lion Jimmy S. Chu in 2015- 2016, Lion Emma Dumalag in 2012- 2013, Lion Silvia Estebanez in 2008- 2009 and 2016- 2017, L:ion Portia Fagel in 2011- 2012, 2014- 2015, 2016- 2017, 2018- 2019.

     Lion Emma Dumalag






Lion Portia Fagel



Lion Etchie Angos



Lion Silvia Estebanez                                                                Lion Jimmy S. Chu


Club Awards

We earned the Club Excellence Award in Lion Years 2011- 2012, 2013- 2014, 2015- 2016, 2016- 2017.


Past President Lion Emma Dumalag with other Club Excellence Award recipients and PDG KS Kim on December 3, 2012


 President Sara Fernandez Lopez received the Centennial Challenge Star Club Award from District Governor Guillermo A. Perez on June 12, 2016


Fun, fun, fun.

We have fun. We don't just work hard, we party hard, too.

During the 9th Anniversary Lunch - Lions Rene Punzalan, Willie Juan, Portia Fagel and Mrs. Loida Cruz danced the "Tinikling".

Lions Sara Fernandez Lopez and Jimmy S. Chu with the other "Loco Awards" winners on the "pirate ship" to Sanoa Island.

 "The Pointless Sisters", Lions Margie D'Ambrosio, Etchie Angos, Portia Fagel, Silvia Estebanez with their invisible mike rendition of "Gloria" as DG KS cheers them on.

Lion Anny Correa                                               Lions Jun Mallari, Emma Dumalag,

                                                                            Jimmy S. Chu, Etchie Angos


What is Lion Bless Punzalan up to?                       Who said Elvis has left the building?




Our Presidents

1997- 1998     Lion Jun Aquino, PMJF

1998 - 1999     Lion Valencerina Quevedo, PMJF

1999 - 2000     Lion Portia Fagel, PMJF

2000  - 2001     Lion Jun Mallari, MJF

2001 - 2002     Lion Ramon Labitigan, PMJF

2002 - 2003     Lion Silvia Estebanez, PMJF

2003 - 2004    Lion Rene Punzalan, PMJF

2004 - 2005     Lion Emma Dumalag, PMJF

2005 - 2006     Lion Bless Punzalan, PMJF

2006 - 2007     Lion Macline Labitigan, MJF

2007 - 2008    Lion Portia Fagel, PMJF

2008 - 2009     Lion Etchie Angos, PMJF

2009 - 2010     Lion Bless Punzalan, PMJF

2010 - 2011     Lion Jun Aquino, PMJF

2011 - 2012     Lion Emma Dumalag, PMJF

2012 - 2013     Lion Silvia Estebanez, PMJF

2013 - 2014     Lion Rene Punzalan, PMJF

2014 - 2015     Lion Etchie Angos, PMJF

2015 - 2016     Lion Sara Fernandez Lopez, MJF

2016 - 2017     Lion Portia Fagel, PMJF

2017 - 2018     Lion Etchie Angos, PMJF

2018- 2019      Lion Silvia Estebanez, PMJF


Our Members

(**indicates Charter Member)

Lion Etchie Angos, PMJF

Lion Cathy Aquino, MJF

Charter President Lion Jun Aquino, PMJF **

Lion Jocelyn Archimedes, PMJF

Lion Lorelei Belardo

Lion Celette Colago, MJF

Lion Jimmy S. Chu, MJF

Lion Emma Dumalag, PMJF **

Lion Bernadette Ebbay

Lion Danny Estebanez, MJF

Lion Silvia Estebanez, PMJF **

Lion Portia Fagel, PMJF **

Lion Sara Fernandez Lopez. MJF

Lion Linda Fontanillla, MJF

Lion Matt Fontanilla, MJF **

Lion Kishore Gangangari

Lion Nelson Gisbert, MJF

Lion Ramil Jacinto, MJF

Lion Ramon Labitigan, PMJF **

Lion Maggie Legaspi, MJF

Lion Marc Licudine, MJF

Lion Lonnie Ivan Lopez

Lion Roque Lopez

Lion Karem Lopez, Coca, MJF

Lion Annie Mallari, MJF

Lion Jun Mallari, MJF **

Lion Gabriel Mendoza Sr., MJF

Lion Cesar Miraflor, MJF

Lion Laura O'Hanlon

Lion Ophelia Pajel

Lion Bless Punzalan, PMJF

Lion Rene Punzalan, PMJF

Lion Father Felino Reyes

Lion Mirta Rocafort, MJF

Lion Rosa Sandoval, MJF

Lion Aurora Santoro, MJF

Lion Lydia Siminig, MJF

Lion Driphon Simms

Lion Shirley Simms

Lion Paresha Thaker

Lion Joanne Toglia- O'Hanlon

Lion Joan Torres, MJF

Lion Pearl Winthal, MJF


International President's Leadership Award Recipients

2016- 2017 Lion Portia Fagel








Association of Past District Governors Leadership Award Recipients



2014 - 2015 Lion Teresita "Etchie" Angos


2013 - 2014 Lion Portia Fagel


2008 - 2009 Lion Silvia Estebanez


Brandel- Murphy Foundation "Miracles Through Service Award"

2012 - 2013 Lion Jimmy S. Chu


Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award Recipients

Lion Portia Fagel   March 2001

Lion Silvia Estebanez   February 2003

Lion Teresita Angos   December 2003

Lion Ramon Labitigan   November 2004

Lion Macrina Labitigan   July 2005

Lion Emma Dumalag   July 2007

Lion Cynthia Llames   July 2007

Lion Mirta Rocafort   April 2009

Lion Bless Punzalan   September 2009

Lion Joan Torres   February 2011

Lion Robin Chance   June 2011

Lion Jimmy S. Chu   January 2012

Lion Portia Fagel, Progressive July 2014

Lion Etchie Angos, Progressive July 2016

Lion Kishore Gangangari April 2017


Lions District 20-R2 Foundation Awards

Lion Sara Fernandez Lopez    

Earle W. Hodges Distinguished Leadership Award, July 2016

Lion Portia Fagel

Earle W. Hodges Distinguished Leadership Award October 2017





Lionism in New York State - A Brief History

            The Directors of the newly established Association of Lions Clubs decided to divide the US into Districts for organization and administration. They appointed a District Governor for each of the newly formed Districts. There were nine original districts throughout the United States. They were created on June 7, 1917.

            Lionism spread rapidly. It spread to states where no Lions clubs existed and in some areas Lions Clubs were too numerous for one District Governor to handle. So, in 1921 the nine districts were divided into seventeen districts and renumbered. The 1017 schema had the districts numbered geographically from the Pacific Coast and ascending eastward. But, in the 1921 revision, the Lions’ home state of Illinois was numbered District 1. Thereafter, the numbers were granted in the basis of a region’s Lions membership ranking. Texas, having the most numbers of clubs as well as members became District 2, and Oklahoma District 3. All seventeen districts were renumbered and District 16 contained all of New Jersey, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New York.

            In January 1922, New York became detached from District 16 and became District 20. New Jersey remained District 16. New York’s first five Lions Clubs are Midtown Lions Club in New York City (July 1921), Brooklyn Lions Club (August 10, 1921), Down Town Lions Club (NYC August 24, 1921), Rochester Lions Club (September 2, 1921), and Long Island City Lions Club (September 22, 1921).

            District 20 was the entire state of New York from 1921 to 1938. The District Governors during that period were:

1921 – 1923

Warren S. Barlow

New York City

1923 – 1924

Lewis Dreeben

New York City

1924 – 1925

Ivan Flood, Sr.

White Plains

1925 – 1926

Thomas Austin

Jamaica, Queens

1926 – 1927

Clarence E. Holzkamp

White Plains

1927 – 1928

Thomas Nagle


1928 – 1929

William Yungstrom


1929 – 1930

Alexander T. Wells

Long Island City

1930 - 1931

Thomas B. Lee

Niagara Falls

1931 – 1932

Ed J. Murphy


1932 – 1933

Robert Forest


1933 – 1934

Hugh Kalka

New Rochelle

1934 – 1935

Harry F. Hand


1935 – 1946

Herbert A. Dye

Niagara Falls

1936 – 1937

George T. Elder

Staten Island

1937 – 1938

Robert J. Bennett



The first Convention of District 20 was held on May 24, 1923 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in “pomp and splendor”. Sixty eight registered delegates took part. The second convention was voted to be held in Yonkers in 1924. AT the second District Convention in 1924 Ivan Flood of White Plains was elected as District Governor. Also at that Convention, Newburgh was chosen as the convention city for 1925.

Niagara Falls was the convention city on May 18, 1926, where $300 was appropriated to pay for the Juvenile Braille Magazine, to be delivered free to every child in the District (State) over a three year period. The convention of 1928- 29 stated that the major activity of the District was the successful placing of blind graduates in positions where they might earn their own livings.

Past District Governor Herbert Dye was a strong proponent of further division of District 20 and spearheaded the division to create five sub-districts in 1938: N, Y, S, L, and A (New York Lions Association).  A tremendous growth in population in the area necessitated yet another District subdivision and in 1949 New York State was re-divided into eight sub-districts: N, E, W, Y, O, R, K and s. In 1960-61 20-Y was split into Y1 and Y2 and in 1961-62 20-K was split into K1 and K2. In Lion year 1972 – 73 Districts E and R were split into districts each.

In Lion year 1972 – 73 J. Eliot McCrae became the first District Governor of District 20-R2. Yonkers Lions Club, organized on May 22, 1922, is the oldest club in District 20-R2, one that has never had its charter lifted or otherwise cancelled. The following clubs were also chartered in the 1920s: Staten Island Lions Club (October 19, 1922), New Rochelle Lions Club (January 3, 1923), Mount Vernon Lions Club (January 30, 1923, The Bronx Lions Club (May 16, 1923), Mamaroneck Lions Club (September 28, 1923), Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club (June 25, 1925). Today, District 20-R2 is comprised of forty nine clubs active clubs and one pending club, the BPC-CERT Lions Club sponsored by the NY Financial District Lions Club. Currently sixty one members strong, the NY Financial District Lions Club has the largest membership in the R2. There are currently 1,158 Lions in District 20-R2.

Three Clubs were charted in 2014 – 15: the Yonkers United Lions Club (April 3, 2014), NY Bangladeshi Lions Club (December 1, 2014) and the Staten Island Universal Lions Club (January 7, 2015).

The Japanese-American Lions Club is the only 500% Melvin Jones Club in the world. Yonkers Millennium Lions Club made 100% Melvin Jones Club in 2007, ten years after its charter.








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