MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Middletown Lions Club has never stopped supporting the community or performing charitable good deeds, despite COVID-19. In 2020, the Lions created the Harvest of HOPE Community Outreach Initiative to help replenish food pantries in the area and mobilized assistance from other community groups. Later in the year, the club conducted another project to collect items for the homeless in conjunction with The Blessing Bag Brigade.
Most recently, the Middletown Lions Club awarded two student scholarships to academically gifted and exceptional college-bound students from Middletown High School South. Victoria Libretti and Victoria Medl have already made significant impact to the civic, social and charitable fabric of both the educational community & community-at-large through extracurricular activities and involvements in addition to achieving high GPAs.
Libretti will attend the University of Scranton with a major in physiology on the pre-med track. Her interest lies in the area of oncology and orthopedic surgery, noting she has been an athlete most of her life and also taking inspiration from her mother, who was diagnosed with stage 3 carcinoma in 2018. “This whole experience with my mother has driven me to help people just like her in the future,” Libretti said.
Victoria Medl will attend Rutgers University in the SAS Honors Program and will major in biology in pursuit of a career in medicine. Her major is a very altruistic calling and also very personal, as she was diagnosed with immunodeficiency syndrome just prior to entering high school. During a treatment session, a young boy gave her a plush Zebra, the mascot of the chronically ill community, and it was at that moment that Medl realized her calling to help and encourage others and to obtain an education that would allow her to make discoveries about chromosomes to become others’ hope for the future. Despite her own challenges, Medl has also been helping to care for her grandmother, who has suffered a plethora of past and present medical problems including Graves’ disease, glaucoma and cancer. “She remains the most optimistic person I know, and this simply amazes me,” noted Medl. She added, “As a passionate physician, I can put my blood, sweat, and tears into a new therapy or cure, and leave a lasting impression in the hearts of my patients.”
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Photo: Lions District 16L Governor Doug Both, far left, is joined by Middletown Lions Club President Beverly Bova Scarano, center, in welcoming two new Lions members to the club: Lauren Crowley Johns from Investors Savings Bank, second from left, and Vincent LoSapio, far right, a Middletown resident.
The Middletown Lions Club also inducted two new members. They were officially brought into the ‘Lions pride’ by Lions District 16L Governor, Lion Douglas Both. The two new members are Lauren Crowley Johns from Investors Savings Bank in Middletown and Vincent LoSapio, a Middletown resident.
The club is also preparing for an environmental clean-up project on September 18 and was selected by the Middletown Township Clean Communities Program for a $500 grant. On September 24, the club will resume the ‘Lion Tamer Fourth Friday’ Lunch Meal Program, in its 11th year, at the Bayshore Lunch Program at the Community Church of Keyport. “The devastating effects of COVID-19 have put a terrible strain on charitable programs and especially food pantry and feeding programs. The Middletown Lions Club is increasing charitable outreach efforts to assist families that rely on these programs and has not stopped helping and supporting the most needy and vulnerable amongst us for one moment,” noted Middletown Lions Club President Beverly Bova Scarano. For more information, contact Beverly Bova Scarano at (908) 896-1682.
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. The club assists individuals and families in need both locally and globally through their unique 501C3 foundation, The Middletown Lions Club Foundation. Lions the world over are known as ‘Knights of the Blind’ and were challenged directly by Helen Keller to dedicate themselves to the cause of blindness. The Middletown Lions Club underwrites a charitable community initiative that provides free eye exams, eyeglasses and hearing aids for those who cannot afford them and who meet specific financial criteria. In addition, the all-volunteer vision screening team, the ‘Knights of Sight,’ provide free vision screenings for elementary school children in local school districts. Members also volunteer directly at the Bayshore Lunch Program in Keyport, N.J. and support local food pantries, emergency feeding programs, charitable organizations, and social support initiatives in the area. More information is available on the club website, www.mlions.org.