Grand Island Lions Club
2007-2008-2009-2010 News Page

Box 71, Grand Island, NY 14072

Grand Island Lions Club Official Website

International Website

Previous Lions Club News Page 2000-2006

Local people with a concern for helping others
are the people who join the Lions Club.

Club President Henry Lobl
Membership Chairman Paul Bassette

Mission: We Serve" is the Lions' Motto. The mission of the Grand Island Lions Club is to help those in need in our community with special emphasis on the vision and hearing impaired, and children with disabilities. Major fundraisers include a spaghetti dinner in the spring and a "White Cane" drive in August. Our major event is the "Special Kids Picnic" in July when over one thousand special needs children from the Erie-Niagara area are treated to a picnic that includes a lunch along with boat rides, pony rides, and other entertainment. We also perform MTI Photo-screening of children's eyes (for early detection of eye disease) coordinated through the local school systems. In addition we collect eyeglasses and hearing aids for the disadvantaged and have a "loan closet" for distribution of walkers, wheelchairs and other durable goods. Our Club is also active in a number of drives both locally and internationally to help the vision impaired. Our Club also recognizes the importance of youth in our community. We participate annually in a Peace Poster Contest, which encourages our middle-school age children to creatively express their concept of world peace. We award scholarships to high school graduates, based on their community involvement, scholastic achievements and other criteria.

Events: Special Childrens' Picnic at the Buffalo Launch Club on the second Wednesday in July each year and the Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Holiday Inn, date to be announced. The Lions Club has a loan closet with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches and other equipment which we loan free to those in need.

Lions Annual Spaghetti Dinner - March 2010
   The Grand Island Lions Club will hold its 41st Annual Spaghetti Dinner Monday, March 22nd at the Ballroom in The Holiday Inn. Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Take out is available. Price for adults is $7.00 and $4.00 for children 4 thru 12. The evening will include a bake sale, basket raffle and door prize. The meal will include spaghetti with meatballs, salad, Italian Bread and beverages. For tickets and information contact Lion Dick Crawford at 818-6992.

Free Diabetes Testing - October 2009
    The Grand Island Lions Club, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and the Knights of Columbus, will be sponsoring free diabetes testing on November 15th at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road from 9 am to 1 pm. St Mary’s will be doing finger pricks to check blood glucose levels. If these levels are not within the normal range, blood may be drawn to check A1C Levels. Mount St. Mary’s will also have a diabetes educator to answer questions and educate about diabetes and appropriate nutrition. Our goal is to raise awareness in our community and to identify undiagnosed cases.
   There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 8% of the population, who have diabetes. The total prevalence of diabetes increased 13.5% from 2005-2007. There are 17.9 million people with diagnosed cases and 5.7 million people that are undiagnosed, 57 million people have pre-diabetes, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2007. Please call Lion Shelia Ferrentino at 716.863.9592 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will be taken.

Sight Night on Halloween - 2009

   The Grand Island Lions Club will be hosting its Fifth Annual Sight Night on Halloween, Saturday, October 31, 2009 from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Tops Supermarket Playground, 2140 Grand Island Boulevard. Boys and “ghouls” of all ages are asked to collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids as they make their rounds trick-or-treating. The collected items may then be brought to the Playground at the close of Halloween where refreshments will be available. The items will then be shipped to Lions eyeglass and hearing aid centers where they will be cleaned, refurbished, and categorized for medical and sight missions all over the world. These valued items will be given to people who need them to learn and work but who can least afford them. They can be in any condition and hearing aid batteries are also gratefully accepted.
    On Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25, costumed Lions will be at Tops between noon and 2 p.m. handing out fliers that children can pass out to family, neighbors, and friends in the days before Halloween so that these precious items can be ready when the children come by on Halloween. Tops will also have a display where more information may be obtained.
   Nearly 4,000 eyeglasses and over three dozen hearing aids have been collected over the past four years at Grand Island Sight Nights. 26 million people worldwide are in need of corrective lenses and this nationwide effort of over 100,000 volunteers will make it a “howling” success.
   For more information, contact Lion Tom Witkowski at 773-4437 or

Sight Night on Halloween - 2009

   The Grand Island Lions Club will host its fifth annual Sight Night on Halloween, October 31st. By collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids during their trick-or-treating, kids of all ages can help improve and preserve the precious eyesight and hearing of millions of people around the world who simply cannot afford to buy them. For more information, contact Lion Tom Witkowski, Club Sight Chair, at 773-4437 or

Lions Club Picnic - 2009
Mary Stewart Photos

   Members of the Grand Island Lions Club hosted their 51st annual Children's Picnic at the Buffalo Launch Club on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Many special needs children enjoyed the beautiful day, wonderful picnic fare and pony, truck and boat rides. Clowns, face painting and balloon animal sculptures also entertained those in attendence.
   The event was held for the first time in 1959 at the BLC and the Lions Club, along with help from other Island organizations and citizens, has enlarged the scope of this fun-filled day over the years. Chairman of this year's picnic was Lion Annette Lobl.

Lions Journey For Sight - April 2009

   The Lions Clubs of Western New York is hosting the 20th anniversary of the Lions Journey For Sight on Saturday, April 25, at Tuscarora State Park, 3371 Lake Road (Route 18), in Wilson, NY. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the walk underway at 11 a.m. The Walk is from 0 to 4 miles with a route suitable for any age or physical ability. Entertainment will be provided by the Niagara Experience Players and the Strawberry Festival Idol winners. There will be free food and refreshments for the fee of just $5.00. If a commemorative tee shirt is wanted, fee is $15.00. All information is available on line at or call 773-4437. Beneficiaries are Canine Helpers for the Handicapped, Niagara County food pantries, Vision Beyond Sight, SEE Program, and Lions Camp Badger. This event is being promoted by the Grand Island Lions Club.

Lions Club Honors Henry Schenck - March 2009

Henry Schenck with Lions Club President Diane Dubiel

   Members of the Grand Island Lions Club made a special presentation during the 40th Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Holiday Inn Monday evening, March 30. Former Lion President (1968-1969) Henry P. Schenck was presented with a plaque for his initiative in starting what is now billed as the “Special Kids Picnic” held each July at the Buffalo Launch Club. The inscription read in part, “In recognition for Outstanding Contributions in expansion of the Special Kids Picnic held each July.” The Lion Officers, Members and Special Kids.

Lions Club's 40th Annual Spaghetti Dinner - March 2009

   The Grand Island Lions Club will hold its 40th Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Monday, March 30th in the Ballroom of the Grand Island Holiday Inn. Spaghetti will be served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for children ages 4 - 12. A bake sale and basket auction will take place during the evening. Proceeds from this event help the Lions fund their "Special Kids Picnic" to be held at the Buffalo Launch Club on July 15, 2009. For more information or tickets, call Lion Dick Crawford at 773-4121 or email

Lions Club Sight Night - October 2008

   The Grand Island Lions Club is looking for costumed trick-or-treaters to help "scare up" used eyeglasses and hearing aids for the fourth annual Halloween Sight Night, October 31st. The Lions, in conjunction with LensCrafters, the Luxottica Foundation, and the Grand Island Tops Market, are sponsoring this event that has successfully brought in over 3,000 eyeglasses and three dozen hearing aids since Sight Night started on the Island.
   Sight Night is a time when kids of all ages collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids along with their trick-or-treat candies. The eyeglasses will be shipped to Lions Recycling Centers in Indiana and New Jersey where they will be repaired, cleaned, categorized by prescription and shipped to areas around the world where Gift of Sight health missions are scheduled. The eyeglasses will give individuals, who cannot otherwise afford them, a new life that will vastly improve their education or help them in their jobs. To date, over 100 missions have been performed giving the priceless gift of vision to over 2 million people of all ages.
   The collected hearing aids are shipped to the Finger Lakes Region Hearing Foundation to undergo evaluations and reconditioning. Ultimately, they are donated to financially challenged individuals, some in our own area. Hearing aids that cannot be repaired are recycled with the money placed in a restricted fund for our region to cover hearing aids and exams for those who cannot afford them otherwise.
   Eyeglasses and hearing aids may be in any condition; even single lenses or empty frames are acceptable. Hearing aid batteries may also be donated.
   Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to notify residents before Sight Night that they will be collecting so residents can have the items ready when they come by. A flier is available that can be passed out to each house on the route each collector intends to go trick-or-treating at. The donated items can be brought to the Tops Market playground on Grand Island Boulevard where each participant will be entered into drawings for prizes. Lions will be in attendance between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Halloween night to accept all donated items. Refreshments will be available for all participants. Residents may also stop by to drop off their items that evening also.
   For more information, contact Lion Tom Witkowski at 773-4437 or email at Participating websites are,,   or

Lions Club Hosts 50th Annual Special Childrens Picnic - 2008

(right) Island resident Alyson Czerwonka visits with Twinky while waiting to see her sister perform with the Niagara Experience Players.
(right) Island resident Molly McMahon and her student get ready for a boat ride.

Jodi Robinson Photos

   July 16, 2008 . . .Fifty years ago the Lion's Club started an annual event to bring some happiness to the special children of Western New York. Every year 1200-1500 handicapped children and their counselors come to the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island and spend the day being entertained. The children are treated to boat rides, pony rides, small truck rides and face painting. Clowns and a dressed up dog named Twinky roamed the grounds bringing smiles to all attendees' faces. For lunch, hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and popcorn were available in abundance. The not-for-profit "Niagara Experience Players" performed songs and dances for the entertainment of everyone.

Lions Club 50th Annual "Special Kids Picnic July 16, 2008

    The Grand Island Lions Club's 50th Annual "Special Kids Picnic will take place at the Buffalo Launch Club from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2008. Over 1000 special needs children from the Erie-Niagara area are treated to a picnic that includes a lunch along with boat rides, pony rides, and other entertainment. For information on the "Special Kids Picnic," contact the co-Chairman, Lion Mike Steinagel, at (716) 713-6205 or email to

Lions Club Seeks Seeks Student Help - April 2008

   The Lion's Club is looking for students who would like to put in community service time by helping with set up for the Lions Club Spaghetti Dinner on Monday, April 14, 2008. Those interested in participating should arrive at the Holiday Inn Grand Island at 10 a.m., Monday and should be done by 12 noon.

Lions Club Spaghetti Dinner - 2008

   Members of the Grand Island Lions Club will hold their 39th Annual Spaghetti Dinner from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, April 14, 2008 in the Holiday Inn Ballroom. Ticket prices: $7/Adults, $4/children 5 – 12 years old. A Chinese Basket Raffle, Bake Sale and recognition of the Boat captains for the Special Kids picnic will be held. For ticket information contact any Lions Club member or call Lion Dick Crawford at 773-4121.

Lions Club Sponsors Sunday Blood Drive - Feb. 2008

   The Grand Island Lions Club will sponsor a blood drive on Sunday, February 24, 2008. It will be held at St. Timothy's Church, 1453 Staley Road [at Stony Point Road], from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. The blood drive will be conducted by Upstate New York Transplant Services [UNYTS], which is located in Buffalo. This independent blood bank provides blood to Buffalo area hospitals at a reasonable cost savings. A unique feature of this regional blood bank is that blood donated through UNYTS stays in Erie and Niagara Counties. This enables local residents in need of trans-fusions to benefit directly from your donations. The Grand Island Lions Club would like you to consider giving blood on Sunday, February 24th. Give the Gift of Life. Contact Lion Paul Bassette at 773-1367 if you would like to sign up for a time slot.

Lions Club's 3rd Annual Sight Night - 2007

   The Grand Island Lions Club will host its third annual Sight Night on Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31. While they are trick-or-treating, children are encouraged to collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids for distribution to the poor nationally and around the world. Over 2,000 eyeglasses and 20 hearing aids have been collected since Sight Night was started on the Island! Children and their parents can bring their collections to the Tops Playground anytime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Halloween night. Refreshments will be served. For more information and a collection kit, contact Lion Tom Witkowski, Sight Chair, at 773-4437 or

Lions Donate to Library - Sept. 2007

   The Grand Island Lions have once again made a generous donation to the Grand Island Memorial Library. The gift of large print books is a valuable resource for our community. With a focus on aiding sight and hearing impaired individuals, this is an 18-year tradition for the Lions Club. Over $7,500 has been given to date. Pictured from left are Lion Norm Hahn (President 2006-07), Lions Treasurer Al Ackerman, Library Director Lynn Alan Konovitz, Grand Island Lion Club President Shelia Ferrentino and Lion Dick Crawford, Assistant Treasurer.

Lions Welcome New Member - Sept. 2007

   Judge Mark Frentzel was welcomed as a new member of the Grand Island Lions Club after a ceremony at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center on Wednesday September 12, 2007. Shown with his sponsor, Dick Crawford, he was inducted by Paul Bassett as club members looked on. The Lions motto is "We Serve." Questions regarding membership may be directed to Tom Rusert, Membership Chair at 716 773-2439.

Lions Club Hosts 49th Annual Special Childrens Picnic - 2007

(Right photo) volunteers Mary Gates, Paula Callahan and Sally Tsikalas.
(Left) Entertainment by Niagara Experience Players; (right) Bob DeGlopper, Richard Crawford, Mary Cooke and Dan Morabito
Jodi Robinson Photos

   July 18, 2007 . . .Members of the Grand Island Lions Club, with assistance from several other Island organizations, hosted their annual Special Children's Picnic on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at the Buffalo Launch Club. The Lions Club has offered this event every year since 1959. Between 1200-1500 handicapped children and their counselors were treated to boat rides, pony rides, face painting, hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks along with many other fun activities.
   Also featured was an appearance by the Niagara Experience Players. The not-for-profit Niagara County organization of young people was formed over thirty years ago and is geared to youngsters ranging in age from 8-18 who perform choreography and vocals during their shows.

Lions Club "Walk For Sight" - 2007

   The Lions Clubs of Western New York invites you to take a "Walk For Sight" Saturday, April 21, 2007 along the Ellicott Creek Trailway adjacent to the Amherst Pepsi Center, 1615 Amherst Manor Drive, Williamsville, NY. Registration will be located just inside the Center's main entrance and will begin at 10 a.m. with the walk starting at 11 a.m. Participants can walk any distance up to 3.4 miles on the well-marked Trailway. After the walk, refreshments and food will be available in the Sky Box rooms on the second floor of the Pepsi Center. An elevator is available for the handicapped.
   The Lions are in the midst of Campaign SightFirst II, a global initiative to raise $200 million for our blindness prevention and sight retention efforts around the world. Thirty-seven million people are blind with 80% losing their vision needlessly. With current growth, 41 million more individuals will lose their sight by 2020. We have pledged not to allow this to happen. Eleven adults and one child lose their sight forever every minute. Please help us in this cause - every donation will be welcomed!
   For more information about the Walk and how you can help, call 716-773-4437, email at or visit our website at and click on the Walk For Sight logo.

Lions Club Spaghetti Dinner - March 2007

   The Lions Club's 37th Annual Spaghetti Dinner will take place at the Holiday Inn Ballroom from 5-8 p.m. Monday, March 12, 2007. This major Lions fundraiser supports the annual Special Kids Picnic at the Bufalo Launch Club. Cost of the dinners are Adults/$7.00, Childern 5 - 12/$4.00, Under 5 FREE. The event will feature a Chinese Auction, Bake Sale and Face Painting. For more information contact Lion Dick Crawford at 774-4121.

If you are a member of this organization, we need your help. GIECOM.Net has partnered with the Connections program to help Grand Island as a community "Get it Together." Please visit our website G-I-Together.ORG and fill out our SURVEY. Every group on Grand Island will have its own FREE web page showing: meeting times and location, contact persons, your Mission Statement and a listing of events. We will also be linking your news events that appear in the local media and on IsledeGrande.Com, Grand Island's E-News Source, to your page, maintaining an archived journal of pictures and news. This is the perfect opportunity for your group to connect with potential new members and the community.


Other Grand Island Pages to Visit:
Churches | Email Directory | Government | Groups
GIHS Grad List | Guestbook | Please sign in! | Local Artists | Photo Album | Town History | Useful Links
| Website Design | Wildlife | Isledegrande's Home Page | GIECOM.NET'S Home Page  
Please Email News Releases to Teddy Linenfelser, Thank You.

This website is sponsored by

1869 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, New York, 14072-1803 USA
Copyright © 1995-2007 All rights reserved.

eXTReMe Tracker