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.
With almost half our membership enjoying the warmer climates of the southern states, February was a relatively quite month for the Lions.
Members remembered to wear red to the dinner meeting. It was a pot luck meal and we had more than enough delicious food. Sally broughtthe DVD The Hello Girls to turn the meal into dinner theater. The history behind this documentary of the more than 200 female telephone operators who were in Europe and sometimes right at the front was interesting to all.
John and Peter attended the MultiDistrict Conference in Nashua at the end of January and brought with them 232 pairs of glasses to be recycled and $100 worth of toothpaste and toothbrushes to be put into backpacks for the Waypoint Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.
Mark, Peter and Kathy screened 350 students at Plymouth Elementary school as part of Operation Kidsight.
And we had the second meeting of the committee preparing for the Food Packaging Event that will take place in March (Saturday the 28) where Lions and community members will prepare 10,000 individual meals to be distributes to food pantries and shelters in several communities.
So far the month of January has been a hodgepodge of weather. One Saturday, it reached 60 degrees and one Thursday we received about seven inches of snow.
But we started the New Year on a high note, voting in our second new member of the Lions calendar year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). Muriel Stoddard. Muriel is from Freedom and was a Lion at another club many years ago. We are so happy she decided to rejoin the Lions and do it with us. She will be helping out at Bingo and has been attending business and dinner meetings.
We are currently looking at possible new service projects, including Food packaging. And at the January Board meeting we voted to donate $1,500 to local organizations; and we have received lovely thank you notes from the four communities we serve (Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich, and Tuftonboro) for our Christmas donations which will be used as each community deems best.
The Christmas Festivities started promptly on December 1 with five Lions, one son, and two grandchildren (almost sounds like that Christmas carol, doesn’t it) decking the hall (and the tree) for the holidays.
The day after this decorating, Lions Dawn, Michelle, Joanne and Sally put up the Lions tree for the Altrusa Festival of Trees. Before that day, we got together on three occasions to make the ornaments. Our theme was Holiday Tree of Warmth: the tree was hung with hats, socks, and scarfs for garlands … and decorated with paper mugs filled with cocoa, cider, cinnamon, and candy canes, and home-made ornaments of stockings, sweaters, and mittens. At the bottom was a hand knotted blanket. The tree will be donated to a local family after the festival.
And traditions continue … On Friday, December 6 the Moultonborough Lions hosted Cookies and Caroling for the senior citizens from the various communities we serve (Community Caregiver neighbors and nursing home residents. Moultonborough Academy choral director, Harmony Markey, and her Select Chorus sang both traditional and different Christmas songs and their presence was much appreciated. There were door prizes, and Name-That-Tune prizes, sing-a-longs, and more than enough cookies, drinks, and cheer.
Also on December 4, Mark and Sarah went to two schools to do vision screening — Russell Elementary School in Rumney and Wentworth Elementary. On December 6, Mark and Stephanie did a vision screening at Holderness Elementary School. The very next day, Stephanie, Mark, and Peter spent four hours at the Moultonborough Central School Holiday Fair doing free vision screening for the community. All totaled, the Lions screened 300 children and 10 adults over three days.
Also on December 7 at the Holiday Fair we had our last raffle sales on the year. It was cold — with temperatures in the low 20’s –but our intrepid lion and four other warmly dressed Lions braved that weather to sell. And at one o’clock an elementary student volunteered to pick the winning ticket. The winner of the $5,000 prize is local this year.
The winners of the $5000 prize were Helen and Bob Watkinson. They attended our dinner meeting and received their check from President Peter Allen and Past President John Menken.
To round out the holiday month we donated $500 to each of the towns we service: Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich, and Tuftonboro to be used where it is most needed be that for food, fuel, clothing, or toys.
AND Lions Dawn and Joanne rung the Salvation Army bell and collected money for the kettle, wearing Santa hats and I-am-a-Lion-Bell-Ringer aprons at the Plymouth Walmart .
Happy Holidays to all and wishes for a healthy New Year 2020.
Ah, November, the weather is getting chillier and as I write this it is snowing.
To date we have done two vision screenings. One on November 1 at Ashland Elementary where Mark and Sarah screened 156 students. And the second at Sandwich Central School where 70 students were screened by Mark, Don and Sally.
At the business meeting we discussed a possible future (March) service project. More news about that as we look into its feasibility.
Bingo continues on Tuesday evenings with its loyal followers and steadfast crew of Lions. Why not stop by and try your luck. Even if you don’t win, it is a fun evening. Calling starts at 6:30, but you want to get there early enough to get all your “cards” and find a good set.