Local Lions Club Makes Its Mark

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Jericho-Brookville chapter honored at installation dinner

The resurrection of the Jericho-Brookville Lions Club (JBLC) continued at the annual installation dinner that was recently held at Westbury Manor.

With District 20 Governor Terry Whalen and Past District Governor Sue Piccolo in attendance, the JBLC not only had its board of directors and chairs sworn in, but had a number of members recognized as well. Former Jericho High School teacher and longtime Lions member Robert Hoffman received the Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service award.
Established in 1993, the award honors outstanding Lions and non-Lions or organizations who perform exemplary service to a club, district or community. According to the International Lions Club, “these honorees possess the highest examples of Lionistic character, ideals, purpose and service. The award cannot be purchased by an individual—it must be presented as a recognition of the recipient’s service.”

In addition, three members were named Melvin Jones fellows—Charles Ryder, Andy Umreiko and Anthony Colleluori. When a local chapter donates $1,000 in the name of a member, the money goes to fund much of the charity work the International Lions Club does. This fellowship is in recognition of dedicated humanitarian services. It’s something Colleluori, who is the JBLC’s service and membership chair, can attest to when it comes to his fellow Lions.

“Charles Ryder is the chairman of our fundraising committee. He raised more than $15,000 himself this year and pretty much raises $15,000 to $20,000 on his own every year,” he said. “Andy Umreiko is our president Paula’s husband. He’s our club secretary and is also chairman of the board of Lions Camp Badger. It’s a great program for children and young adults who are mentally and physically handicapped. We have this camp upstate and Andy has been very active with them.”

The JBLC was also awarded the Club of the Year Award. As one of 37 clubs in Nassau County, this chapter hit a number of numerical milestones that Colleluori is rightfully proud of.

“It’s pretty exciting when you think that this club was literally on oxygen/life support a year ago. In a year, this is such a credit to the group of people that are there—the old guard as well as the young people. The old guys always did the fundraising and they gave out $30,000 and we have the younger guys between us all did 95 different projects,” he said. “This little group of 28 people did 95 service projects and donated $30,000. From the point of membership, we hit a 92 percent membership increase, which was the largest in the state percentage-wise and also the largest in the county.”

Among the many projects the club is working on is the establishment of the Leos Club, a Lions Clubs International organization that encourage youths to develop leadership qualities by participating in social service activities.

“Syosset Hospital stepped up and they are providing us with meeting space at the hospital for every other Thursday. We have, at this point, a group consisting of one lucky boy and 14 girls,” Colleluori said. “The club is open to anybody who lives in Syosset, Jericho, Brookville, Woodbury and East Norwich. They have their own club up that way, but I don’t think they have a Leos Club. We’re hoping that by starting a Leos Club in this area, it will spark more people to do that as well. When I said the Lions were going to roar this year, I meant it.”

Visit bit.ly/2IMyBAK or visit the Jericho/Brookville Lions Club Group Facebook page to find out more about the Jericho-Brookville Lions Club.

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In addition to being editor of Garden City Life and Syosset-Jericho Tribune, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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