2009-08-13 / News

Jamestown Lions Club seeks to serve community

By Joan Breakell

If you have ever enjoyed a cookout at the Rembijas Pavilion overlooking the cove at Ft. Getty or checked out a large-print book at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, you have experienced just some of the work of the Jamestown Lions Club.

The Lions, established in 1953 with 21 charter members, dedicate themselves to the simple mission of the Lions Club International: We serve. For 56 years, Jamestown’s Lions have met regularly to identify both public and private needs within the community and raise funds to help.

The 35-member Jamestown Lions Club is looking for new members. The organization will hold a new member drive this September.

According to island attorney John Murphy, the club’s current president, 100 percent of all funds raised by the Lions are used for charitable works — with the majority of the money used in Jamestown to assist the visually impaired, help senior citizens and support the annual Christmas pageant and the community Christmas tree. Financial support is also given to individual projects as they are identified, and the Lions also provide scholarships to Jamestown students.

None of the money raised is used for administrative costs, Murphy said.

With more than 40,000 clubs in 180 countries, club members are fulfilling the vision of club founder Melvin Jones, who envisioned a network of business and social clubs with a shared purpose of improving the community. In addition to working locally in their own communities, club members share an international mission to combat preventable and reversible blindness through the Sight First program. Worldwide, Lions support environmental improvement and international relations, and provide educational programs to help young people develop judgment, personal responsibility and the social skills they need to resist drugs and alcohol. The Lions Club mission also includes responding to natural disasters with compassion and financial assistance.

As part of its local mission, the Jamestown Lions Club is the custodian of funds collected by local groups for the community piano, the Carlisle fund and other private funds. But club members also work quietly within the community on projects such as painting an elderly resident’s home or arranging to have a ramp built for a handicapped island resident.

Recognizing the multiple obligations most members have, each member contributes whatever time he or she can, Murphy said. The group meets monthly for dinner at the Bay Voyage and spouses are invited.

Dinner meetings are a great opportunity to make friends and business contacts, and each meeting features a short post-dinner presentation by a variety of guest speakers. Club officers and any interested members also meet monthly at Murphy’s office to decide on which service projects the club will take on. According to long-time club member and past district governor Manuel “Monty” Neronha Jr., Lions Club involvement allows members to develop a network of friends all over the world and club members are welcome guests at local meetings wherever they travel.

During September’s new member drive, new members and their sponsors will enjoy an evening ride on the Jamestown Ferry, compliments of member Bill Munger.

For more information about membership or Lions Club activities, call John Murphy at 423- 0400.

Return to top