Illuminate Somers Organized By Somers Lions Club
In 1966 the Somers Lions Club was chartered and has grown to a group of 125 dedicated men and women who volunteer their time, skills and energy to make a difference in people’s lives, both in our community and for the charities we support. Lions can be found working on “hands on” projects, fundraising, and running numerous community events around Somers. The Somers Lions Club has a long history of involvement in community projects. This year we will focus our efforts on 4 main pillars of support: local families in need, Pediatric Cancer/Health, Diabetes, and Vision. All of the monies raised from our events go directly to the aforementioned causes.
You may not realize but the Somers Lions helped in the construction of the pavilion, bandstand and one of the first handicapped kiddie playgrounds at Reis Park. The first set of lights installed on the Somers High School Football Field and the construction of the new playground behind Primrose School were both community projects where our Club was instrumental. Recently, the Somers Lions Club led the expansion of the kitchen at the “Van Tassell House” which provides a diverse program of activities and services addressing the nutritional and social needs of many local seniors.
Our club not only performs community projects but often are called upon for special fundraising or hands-on projects to help local residents in need. We have assisted homeowners with clean-up or repair of their property due to storm damage as well as from the individuals’ inability to maintain due to infirmity. The club also assisted a local family with purchasing and setting up a voice activated computer system for a disabled parent as well as acquiring technology for a visually impaired youngster and helped a local child achieve his Dream through the Make A Wish Organization. Last year we created the Somers Angels Fund which resides within the Somers Lions Charitable Foundation (501c3) which accepts donations to satisfy acute financial needs of local residents such as, food, heating oil, emergency auto or home repairs, funeral expenses, etc. Anyone can donate through our charitable fund anonymously to directly help other residents in need. These are just a few examples of the work we do behind the scenes in serving the community and helping people in need.
In addition to the numerous “hands on” projects, the club has also sponsored and run the Somers Lions Club Track Meet, one of the largest scholastic track meets in New York State. For more than ten years, the Somers Lions Club has spearheaded the Somers Independence Day Celebration at Reis Park where the main attraction of the day is always the terrific fireworks display just after dark. The club also sponsors the Somers Lions Club Carnival in April and the Fall Festival in October including the “Trail of Terror” in Upper Reis Park. Every spring, our Pancake Breakfast draws a huge crowd and we share the proceeds of the breakfast with the Somers recreation programs and scouting programs.
Our largest fundraiser is our annual Car Raffle where we raffle off a brand new high-performance car at the Somers Independence Day Celebration and the winner can either take the car or a cash prize. All the net proceeds from our fundraising endeavors go towards Lions Club projects and to assist the local charities we support as well as the residents of Somers. All donations must be deposited in the Somers Lions Charitable Foundation, a (501c3), a requirement of Lions Clubs International rules. The local charities we regularly support are: The Friends of Karen, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Vacation Camp for the Blind, Camp Sunshine, YMCA, Somers Senior Citizens. Additionally, every year the club awards five scholarships to graduating seniors for their unselfish service to others.
The Somers Lions also sponsor the Somers LEOs Club, a youth (9th– 12th grade) Community Service Organization. We are excited to have one of the largest and most active LEOs Clubs in NY State with over 200 members who perform over 3,400 hours of volunteer service each year. They are often working, side by side, with Somers Lions and Community leaders who offer mentorship, guidance and a laugh while working to improve the lives of many in our community.
As I now assume the role as president of this extraordinary organization, I am proud and honored to be part of a club that makes such a difference in the lives of so many. If you are a community minded individual who can volunteer some of your time and energy, we invite you to join us and experience your own “Lions Moment” where you will realize and see that one person can make a difference. If you know of anyone who needs assistance in our community, please reach out to me to discuss how the Somers Lions may help.
Lions phone: (914) 302-4546