Middletown, N.J. – The Middletown Lions Club recently recognized the work of three local non-profit organizations at a special ceremony on Tuesday, March 13. The New Jersey Blind Citizens Association, 180 Turning Lives Around, and The Beauty Foundation for Women’s Cancer Care were the chosen beneficiaries from two fundraising events conducted by the club – the signature Super Bowl Sunday Pancake Breakfast in February and the Barnes & Noble Gift-Wrapping Weekends in November and December conducted by the newly-formed Middletown Lions Club Women’s Council.
The Middletown Lions Club presented checks to three deserving non-profit organizations at a special ceremony. From left to right are Carla Scarabino, trustee of The Beauty Foundation; Rhoda Yucht, executive director of New Jersey Blind Citizens Association; Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa; Connie Heath, development director of 180 Turning Lives Around; and Lion Linda Kramer, co-chairwoman of the gift-wrapping fundraiser
Attending the check presentation were Rhoda Yucht, executive director of the New Jersey Blind Citizens Association (NJBCA); Connie Heath, director of development for 180 Turning Lives Around; and Carla Scarabino, trustee of The Beauty Foundation. During the ceremony, Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa, who formed the Women’s Council as a way to assess the needs of women and families and then to meet those needs through service projects and targeted fundraising events, stated that all three organizations meet critical needs in the community. Oliwa commended 180 Turning Lives Around for helping to end domestic and sexual violence against women through programs like the Domestic Violence Response Team. She praised the mission of The Beauty Foundation, which helps to remove the financial burdens associated with a cancer diagnosis that are not covered by insurance, including childcare, transportation and other expenses. And finally, Oliwa described the Lions tradition of helping the blind and the long-standing relationship between the Middletown Lions and NJBCA, which helps the blind and visually-impaired through various educational and social initiatives and programs conducted at Camp Happiness, the main headquarters in the Leonardo section of Middletown. For six years, the Lions have hosted the Super Bowl Sunday Pancake Breakfast, chaired by Lion John Giordano, and have directed the funds to NJBCA.
Chartered in 1946 under Lions International, the Middletown Lions Club is an all- volunteer service organization consisting of men and women who help the community through various charitable service and fundraising initiatives and programs. Lions International is the largest service organization in the world with over 1.3 million members worldwide in over 200 countries. The club assists individuals and families in need both locally and globally through their unique 501C3 foundation, The Middletown Lions Club Foundation. All contributions are tax-deductible. The club supports programs including sight improvement and prevention of blindness, and administers eye, ear, and diabetes health screenings to the community. The club’s all-volunteer, traveling eye screening team - the ‘Knights of Sight’ - provides free vision screenings for elementary school children in local school districts. To date, students in the Middletown Township, Red Bank, Hazlet, and Matawan School Districts have been tested. Members also volunteer directly at St. Marks Food Pantry, Keansburg, by purchasing and preparing homemade meals for the hungry. The Middletown Lions Club underwrites free eye exams, eyeglasses, and hearing aids for those who cannot afford them and donates funds to local charities that advocate for disabled individuals, for women, and for families and children with special needs.