A short month and one with weather ups and downs. There were some beautiful days for walks outside. And I am sure that the people who plow driveways were very happy for all the snow we had. The temperatures even cooperated towards the end of the month and the tapping of the maple trees and the boiling process to make syrup have begun.
Things for the Lions Club have had some similar ups and downs in member health issues but many are getting vaccinated and hope that we as a Club will be able to get back to our service activities.
A few of the students to whom we gave scholarships in 2020 have sent us videos and described their lives as college students during a pandemic. And the new round of scholarship applications for the class of 2021 will soon begin.
We are still collecting pill bottles and eye glasses (please drop the later off at the blue box in from of the Moultonborough Function Hall, formerly the Moultonborough Lions Club. Once the weather improves, we will provide a plastic box for pill bottles there as well.
And we are still keeping social distance and trying to prevent the spread of Covid. We are missing our meetings and exchanging the highs and lows of our lives and being able to serve our community in person.
We continue to collect empty bill bottles and have sent out an additional two boxes to be processed and sent to third world countries.
In addition, we have purchased and donated over $300 worth of new underwear and socks to be delivered to Waypoint, which provides clothing and programs for runaway and homeless youth and those at risk who are between 12 and 23 years old. The donations collected by all participating Lions Club in the state will be distributed at the end of this month.
Like so many organizations, the Moultonborough Lions Club has been affected by the Pandemic. Since March we only met three times in person – all the rest of the decisions about activities and donations have been handled over Zoom. But we are a service organization and we did not want to give up any more of our service activities than we had to because of Covid regulations.
Therefore, we Lions needed to get creative about our service projects. Following the lead of some Clubs in the southern part of the state, we decided to collect empty pill bottles and send them to Matthew 25: Ministries in Cincinnati, Ohio. Once collected these pill bottles are included in shipments of medical supplies to developing countries (where often pills are just given in the patient’s hand) and for shredding and recycling. The program fulfills the dual needs of improving medical care and caring for our environments. Friends and neighbors of Lions have been saving their empty pill bottles and giving them to Lions. There is a collection box at both Moultonborough Academy and Moultonborough Central School, and Rev. Dr. Cathryn Turrentine has graciously provided a basket for pill bottle collection at the Center Harbor Congregational Church which has already been emptied several times. This is an ongoing project and we have already sent over 125 empty pill containers in the first box.
Since we could not have our Cookies and Caroling this December, we decided to try to spread a little Christmas cheer to the residents of three nursing homes in the area: Golden View, Forest View, and Mountain View. Several Lions personalized 245 Christmas cards to be given to the individuals, and some of the cards included some Christmas confetti for an added surprise.
And speaking of Christmas, the Moultonborough Lions also continued their past Christmas practice of donating money to each of the four towns we serve: Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich and Tuftonboro. These funds are used by each town to provide clothing, toys, gift cards, food and fuel gift certificates to those in need.
And rather than ring the Salvation Army Red Kettle bell, we sent a check to the Laconia Salvation Army in an amount that was more than we raised last year.
We also held the drawing for the Raffle winner at the virtual Moultonborough Central School on the PTA’s FaceBook page.
The winning ticket was drawn by a PTA member. And the $5,000 prize went to Murray Nickerson, a Moultonborough resident. Coincidentally, Murray’s father was King Lion of the Moultonborough Lions Club quite a long time ago.
And last, but not least, we had been buying and bringing toys to the CHAD wing at Dartmouth, but this year, because of the virus, no one was allowed in the hospital. So we did our shopping online and that Playopolis site and they delivered the over – $500 worth of toys and other items.
Once we got some rain, the leaves strengthened their colors and the scenery in the Lakes Region has been beautiful.
We had our zoom meeting the first Monday of the Monday, but we held our first “live” meeting on Monday the 19th at the Function Hall. It was great to see and converse with people in addition to holding the meeting and getting caught up on new and continuing service projects. Everyone wore a mask and were seated at appropriate social distances. We are hoping to hold all future meetings live if we are able.
Mark was able to do vision screening at Holderness Central School on October 1 and screened 118 young students. Many of the other schools have declined this year and some are hoping that we might be able to do the screening in the spring. Keep your fingers crossed.
RAFFLE. Since we were unable to hold any raffle sales outside of Heath’s due to COVID restrictions we are relying on the mailing of over 1,200 envelopes containing raffle tickets. Lions have folded letters, pre-counted and stapled tickets, stamped envelopes, and put labels on envelopes in advance of the day we get together to put everything together. That day was Friday, October 16. Fourteen Lions assembled and put postage on all those letters in record time — one and a half hours — thanks to all the preparation work of fourteen Lions. Check your mail to see if you have received your raffle tickets. If not please contact the web master.
The leaves have started to turn orange and red and yellow in spite of a rather severe lack of rain this month. And, we have finished up the last week of watering and weeding the upper part of Sutherland Park. Mark and Sarah Cotrupi added their special autumn decor just outside the wall and next to the Fire Safety building — scarecrows to honor the fire and police.
We managed to have another outside meeting at which we gave out individual award certificates and honored John Menken with the Granite State Award and Peter Allen and Don Trudeau with Lion of the Year awards.
The last of the envelopes to be stamped and tickets to be stapled were distributed, so we will be all set to mail out the yearly raffle tickets on October 23. REMEMBER: THIS IS THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY TO BUY YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS FOR THE $5000 PRIZE. If you don’t receive an envelope in the mail and would like to purchase tickets please let us know.
Two roadside cleanups were also accomplished this month. On Wednesday, September 23, six Moultonborough Lions (Mark, Sarah, Chris, Kay, Peter, John gathered 14 bags of trash (!) along Route 25 in the Center Harbor area; and on Saturday, four Lions (Mark, Joanne, Michelle, and Sally) collected 4 bags of trash in along a 3 mile stretch in Sandwich.
We have taken advantage of the warm days of August and in addition to our monthly zoom meeting, we met socially outside the building. It was so good to finally see some members in person and get caught up on their lives for the past five months. Everyone brought his or her own chair, mask, and snacks and we enjoyed the sun and conversation.
We continue to water and weed our adopted spot, Sutherland Park. Some individual members also contributed large print books and reading glasses to Speare Memorial Hospital for patient use (especially for elderly COVID patients and others unable to receive visitors during the quarantine).
The Moultonborough Lions have continued to aid people in the community individually (with eyeglasses), and in groups with monetary donationsto the Loon Center, Canine Companions for Independence, and gift cards and needed items to David’s House in August.
Well, we have been observing social distancing since March and have had do dinner meetings and have held our monthly Board and Business meetings via zoom.
Because it is outdoors and done by one Lion per week, we have continued to maintain the upper part of Sutherland Park.
Also, we donated $1,500 to Donna Grow and Meals on Wheels. The funds will help with the reimbursement of the volunteer drivers who deliver all the meals prepared by Donna and her crew. Typically, the money to help the driver’s offset their driving expenses comes from the Senior Meals lunches; unfortunately, these have not been happening since March because of COVID19 and all the restrictions.
We are hoping to be able to have members gather outside to meet face-to-face — well, mask-to-mask — on August 17 from 6pm to 7pm in the parking lot and on the grass in front of the building. People have been asked to BYOEverything (personal light snack or refreshment, chair, and mask). It will be so good to be able to check in with as many members as can come. The rain date is the following Monday.
Being a Lion during COVID 19 and stay-at-home directives has been challenging. In spite of several activities and fundraisers that have had to be canceled (Bingo –we are hoping to hold Tuesday night Bingo again in September — the Fourth of July bar-b-que cooked and served by Lions, and fundraising for the blind on White Cane day) we have managed to continue some of our service projects.
BOOKS FOR STUDENTS: Although we could not go into the classrooms of the three elementary schools in our service area, we were able to ensure that each student in each school received his or her book. We are very thankful to John Menken for all his efforts on behalf on the Reading in the Schools project: from contacting each school and putting a sticker in each book to delivering the boxes of books to each school. A total of 512 books were purchased…Moultonborough Central School (300 books), Sandwich Central School (77 books), and Tuftonboro Central School (135 books). The books will be distributed by each school to the families of the students. While we miss seeing the smiles on the students’ faces as they first get their books, we are so happy that they will be able to receive them for the summer.
FOOD DONATIONS: We were also very fortunate to be able to purchase another 10,000 pre-packaged meals from the Outreach Program. Peter Allen and John Menken drove to Hampton on Saturday, May 30 and picked up 46 boxes. We managed to get an assortment this time: pasta with tomato basil sauce (15 boxes), minestrone soup (15), mac and cheese (5), Spanish rice (5) and rice and beans (5). So far half the boxes have been distributed: to the Lakes Region Food Pantry, Agape Food Pantry in Moultonborough/Center Harbor, and the Moultonborough School District free lunch program. The other boxes will be given out in the near future as needed.
SCHOLARSHIPS: We received 18 scholarship applications this year and selected seven students to receive a $1,500 scholarship. Four are Moultonborough residents and three are residents of Tuftonboro. The students will be “given” their scholarship envelopes virtually during online ceremonies at Moultonborough Academy and Kingswood Regional High School.
Now for a project we can actually accomplish in person — the upper section of Sutherland Park. During the first week of June, Lion Sarah Cotrupi and her daughter, Helen, weeded the three areas of the upper section and planted annuals. We will continue watering and weeding throughout the summer and early fall.
Please note that Bingo is still not able to be held. We will post here when we are able to meet as a group again and also on our Facebook page.
Certainly a strange and worrisome time for Moultonborough, NH, the USA and the world. We are very thankful for phones and computers that allow us to still keep in touch, with family, friends, and community members.
We were able to hold our April business via Zoom. This was a learning curve for many of us. Holding the meeting enabled us to continue making contributions to individuals in the community and to David’s House.
Although we were unable to host the Food Packaging Event because of the COVID 19 quarantining, the Outreach Program, a non-profit organization with whom the Lions coordinated and paid for the cost of materials and time to make these meals, volunteered to package the meals themselves and drop them off at a halfway point. Two of our Lions, Pete and Don, drove to southern New Hampshire to pick up the 46 boxes of pasta and tomato basil sauce (a total of 10,000 individual meals and brought them back to the Lions Club for distribution during the week of April 13.
For the rest of the week, members of the Food Packaging Committee (Peter Allen, Pete Strople, Dawn Law, Sally Sibulkin, Don Trudeau, and Michelle Duddy) delivered the boxes of food – 216 individual meals per box. They were donated to Bridge House in Plymouth, Belknap House in Laconia, the Tamworth Food Pantry, the Agape Thrift Store and Pantries in West Ossipee and Center Harbor, the Calvary Bible Church Food Pantry in Meredith, the Meredith Emergency Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels in Moultonborough, both Inter-Lakes and Moultonborough School Districts (to be handed out with the free breakfast and lunch meals distributed to students), and Isaiah 61 Café in Laconia.
The Moultonborough Lions are glad that they were able to provide food to many of people in need at this time.