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Lions Club Celebrates Donation Milestone: $2 Million in 56 Years

Club has donated funds to more than 50 local charities.

Saddle River Valley Lions Club Members David Verducci, Justin Moore, Chris Reichert, Gene  Leporiere, Jerry Michota, and Upper Saddle River Mayor  Joanne Minichetti
Saddle River Valley Lions Club Members David Verducci, Justin Moore, Chris Reichert, Gene Leporiere, Jerry Michota, and Upper Saddle River Mayor Joanne Minichetti
The following was submitted to Patch by the Saddle River Valley Lions Club.

The Saddle River Valley Lions Club, which serves Mahwah, Ramsey, Allendale, Saddle River, and Upper Saddle River, is coming off a major fundraising milestone.

The 56-year old Lions chapter recently held a gala to commemorate its passing the two million dollar mark – $2,073,817, to be exact – in terms of funds raised and distributed to charity. The event also served as the presentation venue for the distribution of its charitable grants to the Lions’ 2014 recipient organizations.

Almost 100 people were present at the celebratory occasion which, in addition to the members themselves, included representatives of most of the forty-plus charitable, civic, and educational groups supported by the Lions as well as several local community leaders and elected officials. 

In analyzing the true scope of the Club’s accomplishment, the Club’s president, Lion Jerry Michota said “what makes reaching this $2 million dollar threshold so amazing is that, excepting for a few years when membership numbered fifty individuals, during its more recent history the average number of the club’s members has only ranged between thirty five and forty. While it took almost four decades for us to make the first million dollars, the second million was raised in just a third of that time.”

According to the treasurer of the Lions Club, Paula Turrin, this year’s total of funds donated to it’s sponsored charities reached almost $80,000, an amount which slightly exceeded that of recent years. 

One hundred percent of the net proceeds we raise go directly to the charities and organizations that that the Club supports. 

Current Lions Governor of District 16A, Winster Ceballos, a guest at the Gala Dinner, warmly addressed his compliments to those assembled. He expressed his admiration to the Club by stating that “$2 million dollars in donations is not an achievement that many clubs could ever reach. It is because of the dedication and hard work of the Saddle River Lions during the past 56 years that they have been able to reach this milestone, while at the same time helping many families and projects within their own community and throughout the state of New Jersey.”

The Club’s achievement of reaching the $2 million mark has not gone unnoticed by the larger community, garnering praise from local elected officials. Earlier this year, the Mayors and Borough Councils in three of the towns served by the Saddle River Valley Lions, Mahwah, Ramsey, and Upper Saddle River, each honored the Club by passing Official Proclamations recognizing the groups service. 

Some of the charities supported by the Lions Club include:

SIGHT-RELATED
  • Association of Blind Athletes
  • E.I.E.S. of NJ
  • Eyeglasses to local children in need
  • Guiding Eyes for the Blind
  • Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
  • New Eyes for the Needy
  • NJ Blind Citizens Assoc. (Camp Happiness)
  • NJ Camp for Blind Children (Camp Marcella)
  • NJ Foundation for the Blind (Diamond Spring Lodge)
  • NJ Lions District 16A Charitable Foundation
  • NJ Music Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Saint Joseph’s School for the Blind
  • Seeing Eye Foundation
Scholarship support to blind students at:
  • Caldwell College
  • Montclair State University
  • Ramapo College
  • Rutgers University

CIVIC

  • Church of the Presentation Senior Programs
  • Community Patron Awards
  • Mahwah Museum
  • Mahwah Senior Citizen Center
  • Mahwah Volunteer Ambulance
  • Mahwah Volunteer Fire Department
  • Memorial Day Wreaths
  • Ramsey Parents Against Drugs (D.A.R.E.)Ramsey Senior Center
  • Ramsey Volunteer Ambulance
  • Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department
  • Saddle River Valley Cultural Center
  • USR Historical Society
  • USR Public Library
  • USR Senior Fellowship
  • USR Volunteer Ambulance Corps
  • USR Volunteer Fire Department
  • USR Youth Guidance Council (D.A.R.E.)

YOUTH

  • Annual Easter Egg Hunt
  • Lions Intl. Peace Poster Local Awards
  • Mahwah Eagle Scout Project
  • Mahwah H.S. Music Boosters Association
  • Mahwah H.S. Senior Gala
  • Mahwah Sports Assoc. (Youth Basketball)
  • Mahwah Sports Assoc. (Youth Football)
  • No. Highlands Reg. H.S. Project Graduation
  • Ramsey Challenger Baseball Association
  • Ramsey H.S. Senior Gala
  • USR Baseball Association
  • USR Eagle Scout Project
  • USR Education Foundation
  • USR Girl Scouts
  • USR Recreation Youth Triathlon
  • USR Softball Association

HUMAN SERVICES

  • A.R.C. of Bergen County
  • C.A.M.P. Youth Development
  • Camp Acorn
  • Camps Sunshine & Snowflake
  • Casa for Children of Bergen County
  • Center for Food Action
  • Children’s Tumor Facilities
  • Companion Animal Advocates
  • Hearts & Crafts Counseling
  • Marble Jam Kids
  • Pony Power
  • Rebuilding Together of Bergen County
  • Several Sources Shelters
  • Star of Hope Ministries
  • Table to Table
  • The Dackks Groups
  • The Opportunity Center
  • Veterans Memorial Home of Paramus

EDUCATION

  • Mahwah H.S. Scholarship Fund
  • No. Highlands Reg. H.S. Scholarship Fund
  • Ramsey H.S. Scholarship Fund
  • 14 Individual Student Scholar Awards

For further information about the any aspect of the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, including membership opportunities, please visit www.SRVLions.org

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