P.O. Box 333, Saddle River, NJ 07458, or

Dr. David C. Verducci 201-390-7702, or


Serving the communities of: Mahwah, Ramsey, Allendale, Saddle River and Upper Saddle River. 


The Saddle River Valley Lions Club
















'Leo Night V' Showcases Students' Community Service

(Jan. 22, 2018) The community service activities of students at three area schools were showcased recently at the Saddle River Valley Lions Club's fifth annual 'Leo Night.' Presenting information about service projects were student leaders of Leo Clubs from the Northern Highlands regional High School in Allendale, the Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, and Mahwah High School. Leo Clubs are school-based service organizations modeled after and chartered by Lions International since 1967. Now constituting an international network of over 6,500 clubs in over 140 countries, the 'Leo' name is an acronym for its motto: Leadership, Equality and Opportunity.
















The Leo Night program, originally created to give Lions a chance to meet and interact with the Leo Club members and their faculty advisors, has already become an annual Lions Club tradition. Wearing tee-shirts bearing the official Leo Club logo, student representatives from each school addressed the Lions members and gave PowerPoint presentations. In addition to giving information about their current and complete projections, students also shared their plans for the coming months. Examples of the Lions' own efforts as well as fundraising efforts on behalf of various causes relating to health and vision.

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Community Service 'A Family Affair'

Newly inducted Saddle River Valley Lion Jeff Smyrychynski is no stranger to community service. As the fifth generation of his family to work and volunteer in Upper Saddle River it is certainly a 'family affair.'

Acquiring his formal education at Rutgers University and Ramapo College, Smyrychynski developed his interest in local history as a child listening to stories told by his relatives. "I learned so much about Upper Saddle River," Smyrychynski explained, "from observing how much a part of the community my parents and grandparents were. I share their sense of service to others so becoming a Lion was just a natural step for me."       

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S.R.V.L. Lion 'Extends a Paw' at U.S.R.'s Oktober Fest









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13th Annual S.R.V. Lions Herb Bodensiek Classic "Close to a Record!"

Sunshine was the watchword of the day as golfers teed off at the Saddle River Valley Lions Club’s Annual Herb Bodensiek Golf Classic. Commenting on the sellout crowd, S.R.V. Lion past president and event chairperson, Chris Reichert, declared the outing to be among the most successful the club has held. Citing attendance at the event at more than one hundred individuals, Reichert stated that this year “probably came close to a record” for the number of participating golfers, adding that “the Bodensiek Classic has developed into one of the club’s major fundraisers.”

In its thirteenth year, the annual event began as a social gathering and has grown into one of the Club’s most important fundraising activities. Named to honor Lion Herb Bodensiek, a fifty-two year member of the Saddle River Valley Lions and a former resident of Upper Saddle River, the yearly golf outing was first held in 2005 and has continually grown in popularity since then. According to Reichert, “the ‘Classic’ has become an important means of helping Lions to fulfill its core mission. The Lions Club provides needed funds to charities that serve the blind and visually impaired as well as those volunteer organizations assisting people with other health-related issues.”

Held again at the Ramsey Golf and Country Club in Ramsey, New Jersey, past committee chairman Roger Barr said that “this year’s event attracted more support from local businesses and other charitable organizations than the annual outing has ever had.”  

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Camp Marcella Changes Lives of Visually Impaired Teens

For blind and visually impaired teenagers, it is literally a life-changing experience.” Those were the words Paula Tarantino-Maione used in an recent address to the Saddle River Valley Lions Club to describe Camp Marcella, a residential summer campground designed specifically for children and teens with blindness, visual-impairments, and special needs.

Tarantino-Maione, herself a member of Lions Clubs International, has been a volunteer at the camp for over 30 years and has served as a member of its Board of Directors since 2006. She explained that “the objective of Camp Marcella is to provide its campers with a top notch recreational, educational, and rehabilitative camp experience, that is both fun and memorable.”

Located in Rockaway, NJ, Camp Marcella is owned and operated by the NJ Camp for Blind Children, Incorporated, a non-profit organization started in 1947. Since the camp’s inception, Lions Clubs across New Jersey have helped to financially support and maintain the Camp’s operations and facilities.

The camp itself comprises over 200 acres of woodland surroundings, including a clean, fish-laden lake, and a modern in-ground swimming pool with all of its facilities designed for the best possible care of visually impaired children. Over the past 60 years Camp Marcella's facilities have grown from a handful of buildings to a thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art, 23 building facility specially adapted for persons with special needs. 

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Verducci Awarded Prestigious Lions Club Fellowship

Upper Saddle River resident David C. Verducci has been named the 2017 winner of the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award by the S.R.V. Lions Club. Established in 1973 by Lions International, the Melvin Jones Fellowship was created in remembrance of the organization's founder and is considered to be the highest honor the club can bestow upon one of its members.














A Lion since 2012, 'Dr. Dave', as he is known in the club, currently serves as the club's 2017-2018 president. Verducci has served on a wide variety of Lions' committees so far in his tenure but the award was given largely in recognition of his work in establishing four thriving Leo Clubs in area schools. Leo Clubs are parts of a world-wide network of school-based service organizations for middle and high school age students.

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Installation of New Officers Opens S.R.V. Lions Diamond Jubilee Year















The Saddle River Lions recently wrote chapter of its long history by celebrating the start of its Diamond Jubilee year at the club's Annual Installation Dinner. The organization began its sixtieth year with the installation of the 2017 - 2018 officers.

Sworn in by Lion's State Committee Chairman, John "Jack" Romano, the incoming Lions Club president, Dr. David C. Verducci of Upper Saddle River, said that he is "deeply honored" to have been elected to lead the well-known and respected service organization and expressed "appreciation for the confidence the membership has shown in me." After taking his oath of office, Verducci accepted the presidential gavel from outgoing president Vic Heineman, the last official act of what was Heineman's own second term of service in the top spot. In his final comments as president, Heineman praised and thanked the club members for "an amazingly successful year of charitable fundraising and community events."

In his initial remarks as the new president, Verducci pledged to "do all that I can to help the club continue to succeed in its traditional mission of service." He went on to say that "Welcome!" would be his theme for the coming year "in recognition of just how welcoming this club has always been to me." Verducci then presented the past president plaque to Heinean and offered "the Lions' appreciation for Heineman's outstanding service."

Joining Verducci as club officers for the coming year are George Lesnik (1st Vice President), Eugene Baskayan (2nd Vice President), Mark Stephan (3rd Vice President), Bob May (Secretary), Paul Beck (Charities Treasurer), Andy Calcara (Club Treasurer) and Directors Dennis Schubert, Wilfredo Gonzales, Jim Murphy, Paula Turrin, and Christopher Reichert. 

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Bergen County Commemorates 100 Years of Lions Clubs

The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lions Clubs with a resolution proclaiming June 2017 as Lions Club International Centennial Celebration month. The announcement was made at a recent meeting of the Freeholder Board in the presence of more than a dozen Lions Club representatives from across northern New Jersey. 









Speaking on behalf of the full Board, Freeholder Chairwoman Tracy Zur cited the Lions for their century-long "support of many worthy causes and charitable organizations" and for being "particularly focused on the needs of the visually impaired." Zur also noted that in "Bergen County the organization includes a county-wide club as well as 26 local clubs whose members give thousands of hours of their time in service to their communities."

The Lions were also honored with a proclamation presented by County Executive Jim Tedesco. Recognized for their "100 years of service to communities here and across the globe," Tedesco spoke of his family's long association with the organization. He went on to congratulate Bergen County's Lions "for empowering volunteers to serve their communities."

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A Slide Show of S.R.V. Lions Carnival Pics

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S.R.V. Lions 2017 Car Raffle Winner

"I had just gone to bed when the phone rang," the Franklin Lakes resident said. To his surprise, it was his old friend and former colleague, Bob May, who said "Fred, I have great news! You won this year's Lions Club car raffle!" "I couldn't believe my ears; a brand new Mustang!" said a still surprised Celentano.













"I've been buying tickets for over twenty years and never once imagined ever winning," explained Celentano. "It was never about the car," he said. I buy them because I believe in the charitable work that Lions do." A longtime supporter of local organizations like the Lions Club, Celentano asserted his belief that "it is important for all of us to believe in and help our communities to become the best they can be. Government can't do everything. We have to help each other."

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Newest SRV Lions Pledge Service to the Blind

(May 20, 2017) The three newest members of the Saddle River Valley Lions Club recently pledged themselves to "serve to the blind and visually impaired" as part of the club's traditional candlelight induction ceremony. Past Lions District Governor George Lesnik administered the club's membership oath to local residents Frank DiPierro and brothers Eric and Lucas Baskayan.










When asked about why he wanted to become a Lion, DiPierro quickly responded that "improving one's community starts with becoming active and helping those in need." DiPierro's sentiments were quickly seconded by other inductees, the twin Baskayan brothers. Speaking for them both, Eric said that "we each wanted to become Lions because of our desire to take on a greater role in the community." His brother, Lucas, agreed adding that "we want to help others who are less fortunate than us to achieve a better life."

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S.R.V. Lions' Charitable Grants Near $2.5 Million Mark

The Saddle River Valley Lions Cub this week distributed its 2017 charitable grants to more than seventy community organizations dedicated to helping those in need. More than $90,900 was given away, bringing the lifetime grand total amount of charitable donations made by the local Lions to just under two and half million dollars.














The occasion for the financial giveaway was S.R.V. Lions' recent 'Annual Night of Giving.' Themed a 'Celebration of Fifty Nine Years of Giving and Serving,' the checks presented to representatives of local charitable and civic organizations at the event were the culmination of the club's fundraising efforts for the prior twelve months.

Welcoming the more than seventy members and quests present for the occasion, S.R.V. Lions President Vic Heinemann said, "these organizations are groups of individuals who are providing the direct services needed by people in our local communities. They are helping to make it possible for individuals who suffer illness or physical impairment to achieve a quality of life that might be otherwise unattainable." He went on to "thank all three major fundraisers," activities which include the Lions' annual car raffle, its Spring carnival, and Herb Bodensiek Golf Classic which is held each September.













The Saddle River Valley is home to four Leo Clubs, the school-based student service organizations which are chartered by Lions International. In presenting the awards, Gene Baskayan, chairman of the Lions' Leo Committee, noted that "these three young people epitomize the meaning of services to others as they help to inculcate the values of Lionism in their fellow students." David Verducci, the Lions incoming president and himself a past chairman of the Leo Committee enthusiastically agreed, adding that "through the many service projects undertaken by their clubs, these Leos not only help to improve their communities but they also serve as role models for their peers."

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S.R.V. Lions Hold Annual Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, nearly 200 adults and children attended the local Lions' Club Easter Egg Hunt. Sponsored by the S.R.V. Lions Club as one of its many community activities, the event is held annually at Lions' Field located in Upper Saddle River. Participants ranged from toddlers to children up to ten years of age.

Especially enjoyed by the participants, family, and friends was this year's visit by the club's loveable mascot, a six foot Lion who greeted guests and posed for pictures.







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NJ Lion's News Letter 

Below is the first page of the NJ Lion News Letter for February, 2017(37 pages). Those who wish to read the entire news letter, please click here.

S. R. V. Lions Welcomes Its Newest Member

(2-26-17) The Saddle River Valley Lions Club continues its recent growth spurt when it welcomed local banker Rick Jorge as its newest member. Bucking the declining membership trend seen among many service-oriented organizations, Jorge is the eighth person to be inducted into the Lions in the past two years.











(From Left to Right) Lions president Victor Heineman, Past District Governor George Lesnik, Rick Jorge, Jorge's sponsor Lion Paul Beck

Jorge's recent induction into the fifty-nine year old local organization took the form of the Lions' traditional initiation ritual, conducted on this occasion by Lions Past District Governor, George Lesnik, and assisted by Jorge's sponsor, Lion Paul Beck.

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'Leo Night IV' Showcases Students' Community Service

(1/19/2017) The community service activities of students at three area schools were showcased recently at the Saddle River Valley Lions Club's fourth annual 'Leo Night.' Presenting information about service projects were student leaders of Leo Clubs from Northern Highlands Regional High School and Broodside Middle School, both in Allendale, and the Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River. Leo Clubs are school-based service organizations modeled after and chartered by Lions International since 1967. Now constituting an international network of over 6,500 clubs in over 40 countries, the 'LEO' name is an acronym for its motto: Leadership, Equality and Opportunity.

(From left) SRV Lions president Vic Heineman; Northern Highlands Leo members Lauren Covello, Olivia Covello, Ayaka Uehara and Jenna Squasoni; faculty advisor Ms. Kim Kender; Lions Leo Committee chairman Dr. David Veducci; and Lions District Governor Brad Day.


(From left) Lions District Governor Brad Day; SRV Lions president Vic Heineman; Leo Club co-presidents Alexandra Betsy and Melissa Reifman; club vice presidents Michelle Bchtel and Lucas Bottini; faculty advisor, Mr. Jonathan Harvey; and Leo Committee chairman, Lion Dr. David Verducci.


Shown left in the presentation of Brookside's official Leo Club charter are (left to right) Dr. David Verducci, the Lions' Leo Committee chairman; Ms. Barbara Hernandez; Brookside faculty advisor; Shoda Taylor, Leo Club co-president; and Leo Club members Sidney Schildiner and Ashley Suh.



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Lions Club Peace Poster Contest Local Winners Announced

(12/31/2016) Cavallini Middle School student Michelle Bechtel of Upper Saddle River and Haelin Kim of Mahwah's Ramapo Ridge School have been named by S.R.V. Lions Club as the local winners in the club's annual Peace Poster Contest.






The posters created by Bechtel and Kim will be among the 450,000 entries estimated to be submitted worldwide in the annual competition sponsored by Lions International. The program was designed to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere. 

According to S.R.V. Lion Artie Keyes, "the two local winning posters were selected for their originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the contest theme." 

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Lions International Awards

Northern Highlands Leo Club Top Honors

The Northern Highlands Regional High School Leo Club has been named a winner of Lions International "Award of Excellence." Presented at the most recent meeting of the Northern Highlands Board of Education, the award is the highest award in its category bestowed by the international service organization.

Leo Clubs are school or community-based clubs organized and operating for the purpose of providing middle and high school students the opportunity to experience the rewards of serving others. In addition to helping young people learn the meaning of leadership and service, the clubs assist members to develop their own skill set and to prepare young men and women for a lifetime of community involvement and contribution to society.

Established in 2012, the Northern Highlands Leo Club was the first of the four local school-based clubs sponsored by the S.R.V. Lions. 

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Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

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