By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Many local residents have become acquainted with the Lions Club by attending the annual Labor Day Bed Race, the Amazing Race or the popular Father-Daughter Dance, events held successfully for many years. Others may have or have had children participating in the Marlborough Youth Baseball league or the Youth Peace Poster Contest.
These are a few of the many projects and programs run by Marlborough Lions Club members. Others are eye and health care, free vision screening, college scholarships for students in Marlborough and Hudson schools, Fresh Air Fund, Christmas baskets for the needy, Haunted House benefitting the local Food Pantry, senior citizen activities, and the Police Department’s self-defense for women program.
Mark Gibbs, a proud Lion for 15 years, was recently installed president for a fourth term.
“These are all the things we love to do,” he said. “We live and breathe in this community and we want to give back as much as we can. One of my first projects when I became a member was to deliver Christmas baskets filled with toys for kids and a turkey dinner. The first house we went to two children answered the door and they were so excited to see us it brought great joy to my life. I will never forget that moment.”
Elizabeth Ruane “adopted into Lion’s pride 27 years ago,” and enjoys having the club a priority in her life.
“Marlborough Lions Club has been a godsend to me,” she said. “When I needed help club members were and always are right there to offer assistance and support. Lions is a service-based organization and we love helping others in need. That is my reward. We are a team and I love belonging to this team.”
The highlight of the annual meeting held recently was the announcement of annual awards. Barney Kalman was named Lion of the Year. The president’s Appreciation Award was presented to John Mazza. A Blue Badge was presented to Maureen Pulice, a new member who completed several activities during her first year of membership. Pride pins and certificates were presented to Gibbs, Ruane, Kalman and John Usinas.
In addition to Gibbs, incoming officers for 2017-2018, installed at the annual meeting, include: Kalman, first vice president; Randy Scott, second vice president; Richard Robinson, third vice president; Cathy Gibbs and Amanda Zhu, directors for a one-year-term; Dave Wagner and Jeff Minard, directors for two years; Ruane, secretary; Misty Viera, treasurer; Charles Painton and Usinas, chaplains; Mazza, membership chair; Zhu., tail twister; Fatima Garrity, lion tamer; and Marlene King, investigations.