REGION — The Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club was among clubs and members recognized for their achievements during the serving kindness celebration held Sunday, June 12, at the Buker Community Center in Augusta.

Lions Club International Director John Youney spoke of the global impact Lions Club International Foundation has had on people’s needs. He then recognized the Maine clubs that have had every member donate $100 to the foundation this year: Jay/Livermore Falls, Gardiner/Augusta, and Skowhegan.

Model clubs, those whose members have donated $500 or more per member to the foundation over the last five years were recognized: Bangor, Falmouth, Jay/Livermore Falls, Portland, and Skowhegan. Waterville committed to becoming a model club.

New Melvin Jones Fellows – clubs or members donating $1,000 to the LCIF for disaster relief or empowering services – were recognized by Youney and Rod Wright, past international director. For each $1,000 donated 1,000 credits are issued and may be used to recognize an individual with a MJF plaque. This is the highest recognition given by the foundation.

This year 31 new MJF have or will be recognized. John Davis, Verona Duguay, Donna Greeley, Bruce Jellison, Greg Jellison, Vickey McDonald and Cami Warren from Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club are among them.

The above recognitions could have impacted the lives of more than 12,700 people in need, Bruce Jellison, foundation coordinator and member of the Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club, said.


Three Lions Clubs qualified to receive community impact grants: Falmouth, Jay/Livermore Falls, and Skowhegan.

Jellison said the grants at minimum are $750.

“We will figure out what the needs in the community are after the grant amount is known, can’t plan until then,” he noted.

On Thursday, June 30, he emailed the local grant is expected to exceed $950.

John Kustron, Massabesic Lions Club of Waterboro discussed the mobility worldwide program which manufactures hand-peddled three-wheel vehicles for people who have lost their legs. Worldwide 400 of these vehicles have been distributed. The cost is $350 each, and donations are welcome.

Jay/Livermore Falls had donated funds for one annually prior to COVID-19 and donated money for half of one this year, Jellison said.


Kim Dunlap, Massabesic Lions Club spoke of the project recycle program. They collected and distributed to third world countries 46,624 used eyeglasses, 325 hearing aids and 942 cell phones.

Jellison said Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club member Al Godfrey estimates his club has donated more than 1,000 eyeglasses, 15 hearing aids and 16 cell phones.

Massabesic Lions Club was presented the Clubs Service Projects Award by Michelle Crocker of the Manchester club.

Lyn Jellison, Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club spoke about the Maine Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation’s role in serving the public. The foundation partners by giving grants – and with support from the Lions clubs – gives eyeglasses and hearing aids to those who qualify. The Jay/Livermore Falls Lions Club has a hearing aid clinic about every three months and “it is very rewarding,” she said.

“That’s been a good program, I wanted to start it years ago,” Bruce Jellison said Friday, June 24. “We finally got it. People come from all over the state. It is the only one in the state.”

“The program was set up in 2017,” he said Thursday. “The Chuck Wagon Restaurant donates a room for the clinic. Attendees from Bangor to Southwest Harbor to Damariscotta to Scarborough have received their over-the-ear hearing aid. We also donate eyeglasses to those who qualify.”


Connie and Al Godfrey, Jay/Livermore Falls Club highlighted the Vision Screening Program. District Lions Clubs vision screened over 5,000 children in the State of Maine this year.

The Jay/Livermore Falls Club screened 1,700 students in 13 schools with about nine percent needing referral to an optometrist, Bruce Jellison said.

Michelle Shores, Waterville Lions Club spoke of the Stories That Warm the Heart program and introduced first place winner Louise Neuts. Her entry was shared by Dawn Connelly.

Linda Deming, Freeport Lioness Lions Club provided results of a survey on Maine Lions donating to their communities. There were a wide range of donations from youth programs to hunger to community betterment. Even during the pandemic they found ways to continue to serve, it was noted.

Neil Iverson, Stratton-Eustis Lions Club gave a presentation on membership.

Wright gave a presentation on Lions Clubs International Foundation.


Paula Beach from Skowhegan Lions Club, Regal Naseef and Gwen Bassinger with Falmouth, and Jeff Woolston from the Winthrop club sang with back-up music provided by Mike Mahoney of M&M Entertainment.

Other clubs involved in the celebration were: Bridgton, Camden, Clinton, Cumberland/North Yarmouth, Farmington, New Portland, Oakland, Searsport, Searsport Bay Area, Westbrook, and Yarmouth.

Lions Clubs International (LCI) was formed in 1917 by Melvin Jones, a businessman who believed that by developing clubs with caring people they could serve the needs of their communities. LCI has expanded to over 200 countries and territories with 1.4 million members serving their community’s and world needs.

LCI formed a 501(c)(3) Foundation in 1968 and has awarded over $1.1 billion in grants for disaster relief, vision, diabetes, hunger, childhood cancer, youth, humanitarian causes, and the environment.

The Jay/Livermore Falls Club currently has 24 members. It has provided meals for Civil War re-enactments at The Norlands in Livermore and sponsored a Home Show at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay. An ongoing fundraiser are the collection boxes for bottles and cans at area redemption centers.

Members have held food sales and yard sales to support club programs. The most recent was the yard sale held in the Jay Plaza June 18 and 19.

“We are getting back from COVID-19, giving back to the community,” Bruce Jellison said. “The Spruce Mountain [High School] Envirothon team helped us clean up afterward the yard sale. They will be visiting our club, we’ll be helping them out on their trip to the national competition. We have always done that.”

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