Jekyll Island Beach Clean Up and a Funeral

Beach Clean Up

Lion Pete with Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff member Allie King.

Jekyll Island Lion Pete joined the Georgia Sea Turtle Center‘s beach clean up on 17 June. The team began by downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app onto their smart phones and configuring it for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.  The goal was to pick up and log trash on the Jekyll Island beach from Great Dunes Park to The Westin Hotel.  The team divided into groups of two with one person holding the trash bags and the other logging the type of trash into the tracker.  Hard plastic items were put into one bag and all other trash was put in another.  The clean up ended after two hours and the trash was hauled away.  When the logged trash on the app was submitted online for research purposes, the team learned they had collected almost 1,000 pieces of garbage in a one mile stretch of the beach!

In sad news, the wife of former Lion Buck Edwardson passed away.  Her funeral was held at the Jekyll Island Presbyterian Community Church on 17 June and one pew was reserved for Lions.

Jekyll Island Lions Help with Eyeglasses


Once a month, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation hosts an eye clinic at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) in Brunswick, Georgia.  Jekyll Island Lions usually volunteer at every clinic.  For the June clinic, Lions Pete and Cathy helped out.  Lion Cathy helped patients pick out eyeglass frames while Lion Pete filled out their paperwork.

Lion Pete also took the opportunity to give over 300 pairs of used eyeglasses to the Foundation.  Lion Pete collects the glasses from donation boxes at four businesses on the island: Ameris Bank, Jekyll Island Campground, Judy Kay’s Salon, and The Quality Inn.   Lion Jim goes off island and visits optometrist offices to collect frames, readers and used eyeglasses.  The Foundation takes the donated glasses, cleans them, measures the prescriptions, and then sends most of them overseas with medical mission trips.  Readers and sunglasses are also redistributed to the needy in the United States.

Jekyll Island Lions’ Flags, Blood and Cheese

Lions Sign (3)

The new Lions Club sign on the causeway just before the bridge onto Jekyll Island.

The Jekyll Island Lions Club has been busy since the Georgia State Lions Convention ended, even though the Club is technically on break.  Every summer, the Club stops meeting for three months because it is “high season” on the island.  Hotels are full, restaurants are crowded, and tourists are many.  The Club resumes meeting in September when the pace slows down and life returns to normal.  Ironically, a new Jekyll Island Lions Club sign at the entrance to the island went up just as the Club was going on vacation.  It is still nice to have the sign reappear; it had gone missing during road construction awhile ago.

The day after the State Convention ended was Memorial Day and the Club once again displayed American Flags in the Historic District and the Beach Village.  Lions Norm, Jim, Howard and Pete got the flags out of the warehouse at 7:30 am and flew them until 3:30 pm.

On Thursday, Lions Howard, Cathy, Bob and Pete volunteered at the American Red Cross blood drive in the Presbyterian Community Church.  Lion Howard continued to serve as the Jekyll Island blood drive coordinator and he donated blood, too.  Lion Cathy worked the check-in desk while Lions Pete and Bob volunteered as donor escorts and snack table monitors.

More Cheese Lions

Lions Mike and Pam giving Georgia Lions Camp Director Mike Williams 21 wheels of donated cheese.

On Sunday, Lions Mike and Pam delivered 21 two-pound wheels of Guggisberg Baby Swiss Cheese to the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind near Waycross, Georgia.  The Club did not sell its entire inventory of cheese this year and it was decided to donate the remaining wheels to charity.  The Camp accepted half of the Club’s inventory and Lion Rick volunteered to find another charity that would take the rest after 16 June.  In the meantime, cheese wheels will be available for sale.

Georgia Lions Clubs Convention Review


The annual Georgia Lions Clubs convention took place in Atlanta from 26 to 28 May and one Jekyll Island Lion attended.  The opening ceremony was conducted at the Delta Flight Museum next to an airliner!  Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle was the guest speaker and Lions Clubs International (LCI) International President Bob Corlew also said a few words.  It was an impressive start to the convention.

The convention was attended by members of Georgia Lions Clubs and several non-profit entities like the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Learning Ally, Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., and Leader Dogs for the Blind.  Most of these organizations had separate booths in the hotel lobby.

On the second day of the conference, the Lions had breakfast with their respective District members (18-L, 18-I, 18-O and 18-N).  The Tail Twister for 18-N played some games, then past LCI International President Jim Ervin and current LCI International President Bob Corlew stopped by with encouraging words.  Learning Ally also came in to present certificates of recognition with the Jekyll Island Lions Club earning one for 15+ years of support.  The Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind gave the Jekyll Island Lions Club a Bronze Award.

The annual business meeting followed breakfast.  The delegates from the different clubs heard a variety of reports and voted on quite a number of resolutions.  LCI International President Bob Corlew also addressed the group.  In between the voting, a campaign rally was held for Lion Haynes Townsend, who is running for LCI International Third Vice President.  Voting for his position will take place at the Chicago Convention.

The Melvin Jones Luncheon took place after the business meeting.  Once people finished eating, the new Melvin Jones Fellows were presented and 38 different state awards were handed out.  After lunch, several concurrent sessions and meetings were held.  They included the Blind Lions of Georgia meeting, Leader Dog meeting, Ethics training, E-Sight presentation, Georgia Lions Camp general session, Zone Chair training, Mentoring training, Fun & Games, and the LEO Council meeting.  The Jekyll Island Lion attended the Georgia Lions Camp general session.  Among the speakers was Garrick Scott, a new hire at the camp who is developing advanced programs designed to teach blind people life skills so that they can lead independent lives.



Lion Garrick Scott discussing his advanced program for blind students at the Georgia Lions Camp.

That evening was the District Governors’ Banquet, a fancy affair with the head table in bow ties or gowns.  Both past LCI International President Jim Ervin and current LCI President Bob Corlew address the gathering.  Hearing both of them speak with such enthusiasm for Lions Clubs International brought the crowd to their feet.  After their presentations, awards and gifts were handed out to deserving individuals.  It was quite an inspiring night.

In the morning, there was a necrology service to honor all the Lions who had passed away during the year.  Their names were read and taps were played.  The final session of the conference followed with reports by the Council Secretary, Council Treasurer and the Lions Clubs International Foundation.  Bids on future state conventions were discussed and it was announced that the next convention will be held 18-20 May at Unicoi State Park near Helen, Georgia.  The Centennial Celebration Brunch followed with speaker, John Stephenson, Esq., from Chick-fil-A, who discussed football and the Peach Bowl, which Chick-fil-A sponsors.  Historically, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse for the Blind founded the Peach Bowl as a charity event and it still receives funds from the game.  Last year, Chick-fil-A and the Peach Bowl gave it $100,000 for LCI’s centennial year.  LCI International President Bob Corlew provided the closing comments for the brunch and the conference.



Jekyll Island Lions Paint Memory Matters House

Lion C.J.

Lion C.J. uses a roller to paint the former dining room.

Three Jekyll Island Lions helped paint two rooms and a kitchen at the Memory Matters House on 19 May.  Memory Matters is a local independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports individuals with memory impairment and their caregivers. The Southeast Georgia Health System rents the house to Memory Matters for a nominal fee but the organization must maintain and renovate the former residence on its own. The interior of the building needed updating and painting and that’s where the Lions volunteered to step in.

Lions C.J., Howard and Pete joined with other volunteers at the House to paint.  The “Florida” room was the largest and most challenging; it had paneling on two walls with large “ceiling to floor” windows on the other two.  The paneling required a coat of primer first, then a coat of regular paint.  The kitchen and what probably was once the dining room just needed painting, no priming. Lion C.J. relied on his past experience as a professional house painter and made the work go quickly.  By closing time at 4:00 pm, the walls were finished, leaving only trim painting for another group of volunteers expected the next day to complete.  The Memory Matters staff made sure we were well fed, too!

Work Day at the Georgia Lions Camp


The Jekyll Island Lions Club joined the Golden Isles Career Academy for a work day at the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind on 5 May.  The Career Academy students and staff painted buildings, raked the grounds, and completed several construction projects. Approximately 37 students, staff and Lions turned up to make the day a success.

Prior to the work day, the Jekyll Island Lions Club decided that its “legacy project” in honor of the Lions Clubs International Centennial would be the annual awarding of a scholarship to a senior attending the Golden Isles Career Academy.  It was agreed that the scholarship would be presented during the work day at the camp.   This year, the scholarship winners were Laurann Herrington and Alexandra Tuttle, seen below with Club President Mike on the left and Career Academy CEO Rick Townsend on the right. 


In related activity, Lion Jerry donated a Telesensory “Aladdin Classic” to the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind.  The Aladdin Classic is a video magnifier that performs magnification of printed materials for those with low vision who cannot be helped with a magnifying glass.


Memory Matters to Jekyll Lions

Rhonda Lathem from Memory Matters was the guest speaker at the 18 April Jekyll Island Lions Club dinner meeting.  Memory Matters, formerly Alzheimer’s of Glynn/Brunswick, is a local non-profit organization that focuses on adult onset memory impairment.  In particular, it provides support to caregivers, educates the public about dementia, and organizes social interactions for those with memory problems.  Memory Matters has a house near the hospital in Brunswick which, we learned, would accept volunteer support.  In a follow-up conversation, some Club members offered to help paint three rooms at the Memory Matters House which are then going to be used for a new Memory Cafe. The Cafe will become a facility where caregivers can drop off patients for a few hours while they take care of their own affairs.  The painting party will take place 19 and 20 May.


In other upcoming news, the Jekyll Island Lions Club and many students from the Golden Isles College and Career Academy are planning to join the work weekend at the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind near Waycross.  Dr. Rick Townsend, CEO of the Career Academy, was a previous guest speaker at a Club dinner meeting and his visit has blossomed into this joint activity.  The students and many of the Lion volunteers will be at the camp on 5 May.

Last week, an attempt was made to arrange a schedule between members of the Jekyll Island and Brunswick Lions Clubs to volunteer at the monthly eye clinics in Brunswick. The clinics are run by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) facility.  Alternating dates didn’t work for the Brunswick Lions POCs, so Jekyll Lions will remain the primary volunteers.

CMAP Eye Clinic Changes

April 2017 CMAP

Eye Clinic volunteers from (left to right) the Jekyll Island Lions Club, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, and the Brunswick Lions Club (2).  A Jekyll Island Lion is taking the picture.

There have been some changes with the monthly Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation eye clinics at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) in Brunswick, Georgia. Previously, the clinic was held on a Saturday, which allowed CMAP to host both a doctor for conducting eye examinations and a volunteer staff for fitting glasses.  A few months ago, the clinic day was changed to Wednesday.  Since Wednesday is a normal work day for the clinic, no room is available for examinations; those are now done at optometrists’ offices as regular appointments.  Only eye glass fittings are conducted during the clinic, and these are done in CMAP’s conference room.

There are three active Lions Clubs in this area: The Jekyll Island Lions Club, the Brunswick Lions Club, and the Golden Isles Lions Club on Saint Simons Island. Historically, the Jekyll Island Club has always had at least one volunteer at the clinic.  On occasion, volunteers would show up from the other clubs.  With the current clinic only fitting glasses in a small conference room, only two volunteers can be accommodated and stay busy.  At the last clinic, two volunteers from Jekyll Island and two volunteers from Brunswick showed up.  In discussing the situation, they agreed that more volunteer coordination would be beneficial.  Lion Cathy from the Jekyll Island Club drew up a schedule and is coordinating it between the Brunswick volunteers and the Jekyll Island volunteers.

Lions Work Weekend and Cheese Sales


The Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, also known as The Georgia Lions Camp, runs two “work weekends” in the spring to get the camp ready for the summer campers. Lions across Georgia are invited to attend and do routine maintenance work.  Two Jekyll Island Lions drove out to the camp, which is near Waycross, on Friday, 7 April, to do their fair share.

On that Friday, there were a few volunteers from other clubs.  The Jekyll Island Lions were assigned to repair and paint two large picnic tables.  The larger table needed a new top and some cross supports.  They pulled off the rotten wood, replaced it, and painted the table a hunter green.  The other table was weathered but otherwise in good shape so they just painted it.  The whole project took about 4 hours to complete and then it was time for lunch; ribs and potato salad.

The next day, Saturday, 8 April, was the Brunswick Lions Club BBQ Beach Bash at Mary Ross Park in downtown Brunswick.  The Brunswick Lions Club offered free space to the Jekyll Island Lions Club to sell Guggisberg Swiss cheese wheels, Tennessee moonshine cakes, and Jekyll Island telephone books.  Lion Rick showed up early with the merchandise and set up a table in front of the stage.  Lion Rick was then joined by Lion Pete.  The sun kept getting hotter, the sand gnats began biting more, and when the music started at the stage, the Jekyll Island Lions asked for permission to move to another location under a tree.  At 1:00 pm, Lion Pete was relieved by Lion Jim.  Sales were very disappointing and the Club closed up shop before the end of the event.  The question now is what to do with the left over cheese and cakes.

Rick Selling Cheese

The Brunswick BBQ Beach Bash



The Jekyll Island Lions Club raises money for a variety of charities.  One of the big annual fundraising activities is selling Guggisberg Swiss Cheese Wheels and, new this year, Tennessee Moonshine Cakes.  In years past, the cheese inventory would have been completely sold by now but the Club still has 60 2-pound wheels on hand.  Therefore, the Club will be selling cheese and cakes at the Brunswick Lions Club BBQ Beach Bash on Saturday, 8 April, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The BBQ Beach Bash will be held in Brunswick at Mary Ross Park.

In other activity this week, Ruthy Stephens, Community Engagement Coordinator, from the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation addressed the Club during the dinner meeting on 4 April at McCormick’s Grill on Jekyll Island.  She discussed the services offered by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation and the role that local clubs play.  The Jekyll Island Lions Club gave her a $500 donation to support the organization.

GLLF 500 Check

Aside from providing donations, the Jekyll Island Lions Club supports the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation through volunteers at the monthly eye clinic it hosts at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) and by collecting used eye glasses for recycling.