District 20-Y2

Town of Wright/Schoharie Valley Lions Club
Chartered in 1975
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Article & photos by Rosemary Christoff Dolan

Submitted electronically by Tom Snowdon


The Town of Wright/Schoharie Valley Lions Club celebrated its 40th Charter anniversary in April 2015 with a club visitation by District Governor Marianne Lynch. Seventeen members of the Duane Lions Club attended. Duane sponsored the TOW/SV Lions Club 1975. Zone Chairman Tom Snowdon, who is also the secretary for TOW/SV, introduced Duane Lions President Paul Harris and Treasurer James Murphy.


The event was held at the Apple Barrel Restaurant in Schoharie where the club meets on the first and third Mondays from September through June.  (See first photo in the Photo Gallary)


President Georgia VanDyke introduced special guests IPDG Stephen Lynch, PDG Ed Stano and Lion Elizabeth Stano, and PDG David Ramsey, who is a member of the TOW/SV club. The two active charter members were mentioned: Fred Risse and Warren Thornton, who was the 1975-76 Charter President.


State and local officials were on hand to congratulate the Lions for their long-standing community service.


Senator James Seward presented a New York Senate Certificate of Recognition, and also presented a Citation from Congressman Chris Gibson.  (See second photo in the Photo Gallary)


Assemblyman Peter Lopez presented a Citation from the New York State Assembly and expressed his appreciation of the Club's community work.  (See third photo in the Photo Gallary)


Middleburgh Supervisor James Buzon commended the Lions on the services they provide for the blind and people with visual impairments, including the provision of eye exams and eyeglasses for children from local school districts, referrals of individuals to the Lions Eye Institute for screening and treatment, and the collection of used eyeglasses that are recycled to people in developing countries. The Lions also support many sight and hearing organizations.


DG Marianne congratulated the Club on its achievements.  The District Governor presented Chevron Award Certificates from Lions International to Lion Carolyn Maroney for 10 years of service.  The club presented the DG with a gift basket of Schoharie County items.

The club’s charter was on display, as were history boards with articles about the club’s early history and milestones.  The Town of Wright/Schoharie Valley Lions Club represents two clubs which merged in 2001.

The Town of Wright Lions Club was chartered on April 16, 1975, serving the towns of Wright and Schoharie, and the Schoharie school district.

The Middleburgh/Schoharie Valley Lions Club was chartered on February 18, 1984, and later merged with the Gilboa/Conesville Lions Club. They served the towns of Middleburgh, Schoharie and Gilboa, and the Middleburgh and Gilboa-Conesville school districts.

During the 1990’s, the TOW/SV and Middleburgh/SV Lions clubs partnered for several projects which included fundraisers, installation ceremonies, district governor visitations and a “Join Hands Day” project which paired youths and adults for a community service project. Following the 1996 Schoharie County “flood of the century” the two clubs worked together to obtain a $10,000 Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) grant and went door-to-door in all affected areas of the county delivering emergency relief vouchers.

So it made good sense that in 2001 the clubs officially merged to become the Town of Wright/Schoharie Valley Lions Club with a Charter date of April 16, 1975. The Lions club provides service to the towns of Wright, Schoharie, Middleburgh and surrounding areas, and the Schoharie and Middleburgh school districts. 

The club continues to provide disaster relief. In 2011, the “500 year flood” struck Schoharie County. The recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee are still continuing. Although several counties were affected, the damage to the Schoharie Valley was by far the worst.

The District applied for a LCIF grant.  The TOW/SV Club received a total of $6400 in LCIF funding for emergency supplies. The club dedicated part of this grant to helping older adults over age 60 by obtaining referrals from the Schoharie County Office for the Aging.  Additional donations from District Clubs and the NYS and Bermuda Lions Foundation amounted to $6,600. Private donations also came in from PDGs and individual Lions.  Club members managed the distribution of these funds.


The TOW/SV Lions Club members provided direction to Lions from around the District who joined the relief effort. The Bethlehem Lions donated $2250 in gift cards from Wal-Mart, and gas cards from Hess, Mobil and Stewarts. The Galway Lions Club delivered a trailer load of supplies to the Schoharie County Community Action Program (SCCAP), which was the lead coordinating agency following the disaster.  The Lions also delivered clothing, beds and furniture to the Richie Rich Store in Richmondville, which distributed used items to anyone in need at no charge. The Saratoga Lions Club donated to the community food kitchen in Middleburgh and hosted the final dinner.


The TOW/SV Lions has made subsequent monetary donations to the Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT) to assist the ongoing recovery efforts. The Lions have purchased CPR kits and signs for local emergency shelters.


In 2012, Lion Tom Snowdon received Lion of the Year honors from the District and the Leadership Achievement award from MD20 Past District Governors for work coordinating the Lions recovery efforts.


Highlights of the past 40 years include:

Built the town park, picnic pavilion, tennis, and basketball courts at Gallupville. Continues to service and maintain some equipment.

Constructed the Wright recycling building;

Hospital equipment loan-out program: (beds, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) in cooperation with the Schoharie County Office for the Aging;

Veterans’ activities: Served as WW II and Korean War Commemorative Community; sponsored USO shows, escorted veterans on Honor Flights; support Blue Star Mothers;

Youth activities: Annual scholarship awards, Boy Scout Eagle project, HOBY Leadership Seminars;

Support local organizations: Food pantries, Scho-wright Ambulance, Middleburgh Emergency Volunteer ambulance;

Major fundraisers include: collection and redemption of deposit containers, Lions mints, pumpkin raising and sales, painted pumpkin raffle, farm fresh pecan sales.




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