Middletown, N.J. – The Middletown Lions Club recently inducted a new slate of officers, officially beginning a new ‘Lion’ year of charitable service. The induction ceremony was held at Jacques Exclusive Caterers, Middletown. Past President and former Lions District 16-B Vice-District Governor Al Siano conducted the installation, which included a solemn and moving candle-lighting ceremony and celebratory dinner. The new officers are Lori Anne Oliwa, president; Larry Caminiti, first vice-president; Tony Hernandez, second vice-president; Beverly Bova Scarano, third vice-president; Jo-Ann Lo Sapio, secretary; and Bernice Lopez, treasurer. Indeed, the installation of Oliwa, Lo Sapio, and Lopez - all women - represents a historic moment. It is the first time in the sixty-five year history of the club that the offices of president, secretary and treasurer are held by women. Oliwa plans to continue the successful fundraising and service initiatives of the club and wants to expand support to include additional charities which provide important services in the community. In addition, she has a goal to grow the membership under the slogans of ‘Invite, Unite and Excite’ and ‘Each One Reach One.’ Oliwa stated, “Leadership is a privilege and a gift. I am honored and humbled that I have been elected to lead one of the strongest clubs in the state and will be serving with individuals who are amongst the finest people I have ever known in my life.”
Photo: A notable and historic moment – For the first time in the 65-year history of the Middletown Lions Club, the offices of president, secretary, and treasurer are all held by women. From left to right are President Lori Anne Oliwa, Secretary Jo-Ann Lo Sapio, and Treasurer Bernice Lopez, who gathered around the club banner to celebrate a new ‘Lion’ year.
During the evening, outgoing Lion President James Guerrieri recognized several individuals for distinguished service during his administration. He noted they were instrumental in service or fundraising initiatives. Honorees included Lions Tom Guarino, recognized for his chairmanship of the Texas ‘Hold-Em’ Poker Tournaments; Beverly Bova Scarano, recognized for her management of both ‘Lion Tamer Third Thursdays’ at St. Marks Food Pantry and the free hearing aid program; Rich LaBarbera, recognized for his leadership of the ‘Knights of Sight,’ the club’s vision screening team; and Craig Finnegan, recognized for his steadfast support of all club initiatives.