Coming Attractions for the Lions Club

Learning Ally

The Jekyll Island Lions Club will be hosting Stacie Court, Production Director at the Athens Studio for Learning Ally, at the 16 January dinner meeting.  Learning Ally is a national non-profit dedicated to helping students with print disabilities, including blindness, visual impairment and dyslexia.  Lion Howard has volunteered with Learning Ally and is the point of contact for Stacie Court at this meeting.


Hygiene kit

The 6 February dinner meeting will include a mini-project; putting together hygiene kits for the homeless shelter run by the Brunswick Salvation Army.  Lion Cathy has all the “ingredients” for the kits and will bring them to the meeting for assembly.  The above photograph is of a kit made at the USA/Canada Leadership Forum in Portland, Oregon.  The Jekyll Island kits will have some different items.

lions diabetes awareness logo 2017

On 15 February, the Jekyll Island Lions Club is sponsoring a Diabetes Awareness Program in cooperation with the Southeast Georgia Health System.  Sue Ullrich, R.N., MA.Ed, CDE, the Diabetes Program Coordinator, will come to the Jekyll Presbyterian Community Church at 1:00 pm to discuss diabetes.  The event is free and open to the public.  Diabetes awareness is a new focus for Lions Clubs International.


Presidents’ Day is 19 February and the Jekyll Island Lions Club will again be displaying American flags in the Historic District and the Beach Village.


Erin Evors, Jekyll Island Authority Events Coordinator, will be the guest speaker at the 20 February dinner meeting.  Erin will discuss upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.  Note that most of the big events on Jekyll Island support charities and non-profits such as the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the Jekyll Island Foundation.

There will not be any blog entries for the next month.  They should resume by mid-February.



New Member, Salvation Army Check, and Flags


The Jekyll Island Lions Club gained a new member when Terry Frey was inducted at the 2 January 2018 meeting.  Lion Mike was his sponsor and President C. J. administered the oath.  The Club welcomes Terry to the fold!


Lion Mike organized a successful Salvation Army bell ringing collection effort in 2017.  Club members and community volunteers collected $2,446 during November and December.  Lion Rick presented the final check to the Brunswick Salvation Army office prior to the end of the year.

Lion Jim coordinated the Club’s American flags display on a cold and windy New Year’s Day.  Lions Mike, Howard, and Pete joined Lion Jim flying flags in the Historic District and Beach Village.


Lion Jim Becomes Melvin Jones Fellow


President C. J. presenting the Melvin Jones Fellow award to Lion Jim

The Jekyll Island Lions Club was proud to make Lion Jim a Melvin Jones Fellow at the 19 December Christmas dinner meeting.  Lion Howard nominated him for the award because of his dedication to the Club and his efforts supporting the Club’s various projects.

The Christmas dinner at McCormick’s Grill was a fun evening.  Spouses and retired Lions were invited to attend, which brought the crowd to 27.  Everyone was treated to a delicious dinner of steak, cheese mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, house salad, rolls and pumpkin pie.  Megan, President C. J.’s wife,  arranged the table decorations, and Megan, Lion Cathy and Lion Pam brought the appetizers.  Everyone was stuffed by the end of the evening.

At the meeting, Lion Rick reported that as of 19 December, the Salvation Army Bell Ringing effort had collected $1,607; the cheese sales had brought in $2,875; and telephone book advertisement sales netted $8,915.  Lions Pam and Howard were still accepting donations for the International Seafarers’ Center‘s Christmas-at-Sea project.  They expected to deliver the donations prior to Christmas.

Cheese Sale, Bell Ringing, Hygiene Kits and Eyeglasses


Lions Frank in the Santa hat and Rick sell cheese to a customer.

The Jekyll Island Lions Club ran a cheese sale in the Jekyll Island Beach Village on 16 December.  Lions Rick, Frank, Pete and Jim staffed shifts between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on a cool but sunny day.  Customers bought all sizes; the 1-pound wedge, the 2-pound wheel, and the 4-pound wheel.  Some customers were working during the sale so Lion Pete took orders and delivered cheese to them on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Club continued to ring the bell for the Salvation Army red kettle collection drive.  Club members and local citizens have signed up to ring the bell in the Beach Village Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Hygiene kit

When Lions Cathy and Pete attended the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in Portland, they participated in a project to put together hygiene kits made with used eyeglass cases for the homeless.  Lion Cathy discussed this project with the Jekyll Island Lions Club when she returned and she just received notification from the Brunswick Salvation Army that they are interested in participating.  She also obtained a donation of toothpaste samples from Howard Family Dental and hopes to get more donations from other sources.  Once enough donations are received, the kits will be assembled and given to the Salvation Army homeless shelter.

New Lions Jamie and Adam worked with My Eye Doctor in Brunswick to host an eyeglasses recycling box in their office.  They have taken responsibility for checking and collecting used eyeglass donations from the box.

Lion Jim along with Lions Bill and Linda from the Brunswick Lions Club volunteered to assist the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation eye clinic team at the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP) on 13 December.  They fitted 16 patients with eyeglasses.  Prior to the clinic, Lion Jim visited several optometry offices in Brunswick asking for eyeglass and frame donations.  Lion Pete also gave him a box of used eyeglasses collected on Jekyll Island.  Altogether, Lion Jim had five boxes of eyeglasses to donate, but the clinic team was only able to fit two boxes into their van.  The other three boxes will be saved for the next clinic, scheduled for February.

Jekyll Island Lions are Volunteers

Jekyll Island Lions volunteer for both Club signature activities as well as other non-profit organizations.  Signature activities are those that the Club as a whole undertakes.  During the first two weeks in December, the Club’s signature activities were ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, putting together gift boxes for the International Seafarers Center‘s Christmas-at-Sea effort, recycling used eyeglasses, working on the Jekyll Island telephone book, and selling cheese.

Lions have also volunteered with a wide variety of non-profit organizations.  For the first two weeks in December, these have included the Brunswick Senior Center, Daughters of the American Revolution, Friends of Historic Jekyll Island, Humane Society of Coastal Georgia, Jekyll Comic Con, and the Manna House.  Jekyll Comic Con donated some of the proceeds from their convention to Bolin’s Heroes (suicide prevention) and No Kill Glynn County (animal welfare).  That’s just for the first two weeks in December!  “We Serve” is an apt slogan for Lions Clubs!

Jekyll Island Lions Induct New Members

Adam Jamie Sanders Induction

From right to left: President C. J., Lion Pam, Lion Jamie, Lion Adam, and Lion Mike

The Jekyll Island Lions Club hosted First Vice District Governor Billy Carroll and inducted two new members at its 5 December dinner meeting.  The new members are Adam and Jamie Sanders, full time island residents and business owners.  Lion Pam sponsored Jamie and Lion Mike sponsored Adam.  The Club welcomes them to Lionism!

1VDG Billy Carroll

First Vice District Governor Billy Carroll

Lion Billy visited Jekyll Island as part of his effort to meet with as many MD-18N clubs as possible before he takes over as District Governor.  He is a charter member of the Hephzibah Lions Club, where he has served as President and on the Board of Directors.  He also has filled the position of Zone chair.

At the end of Billy’s presentation, he gave service longevity awards to Lions Pam, Mike and Rick.  Rick also received a centennial award from Jekyll Island Lions Club President C. J. for sponsoring Lion Norm, who has stayed a member of the Club for over two years.


In regards to membership, President C. J. is running a competition to encourage the membership drive.  The Lion who recruits the most new members before summer break will win a Melvin Jones silver proof coin.

JI Lions Brochure

The Club received its new brochure from the printer last week.  Each Lion who attended the 5 December meeting received one.  The plan is to include one brochure with each telephone book sale, once the telephone books come back from the printer, probably in late January or early February.  The Jekyll Island Citizens Association “Welcome Person” has been given a stack of brochures to include in the welcome packages that are given to new residents.  Some local businesses will display the brochures as well.

In other activity, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive in the Beach Village is bringing in about $100 in donations per day.  The drive runs through 22 December.  Telephone book ad sales have topped $8,600 and Lion Rick sent a preliminary check to the printer.  Cheese sales so far have brought in $1,813 and the next sale in the Beach Village is scheduled for Saturday, 16 December.  Lions Pam and Howard delivered donations for the Christmas-at-Sea collection effort to the International Seafarers Center in November.  The next delivery will take place prior to Christmas.  Donations can be dropped off at Jekyll Realty, Pam’s house, and at the next Club meeting on 19 December.

Lion Howard coordinated the 30 November blood drive on behalf of the American Red Cross.  Some Jekyll Island Lions either volunteered to help with the drive or donated blood.



Jekyll Island Lions and Holiday Fund Raising


The Jekyll Island Lions Club continued its holiday season fund raising efforts with bell ringing on behalf of the Salvation Army, 24 and 25 November, the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The kettle was set up in the Beach Village at the corner by the Jekyll Market.  Unlike years past, the bell ringers had competition from the Merry Shrimpmas Festival in the Historic District.  Due to Hurricane Irma, the annual Shrimp & Grits Festival held in September was canceled so to recoup some of the lost revenue, it was decided to mash together a mini-Shrimp & Grits Festival with the annual Christmas Tree lighting to create Merry Shrimpmas.  While the event brought a lot of people to the island, they went to the Historic District and not the Beach Village.  Regular bell ringing begins 1 December.

One other note about Merry Shrimpmas, the Club considered selling cheese at the festival, possibly in conjunction with another organization.  A booth would have cost $180, and if shared, it would have been split to $90 each.  The booth would have had to be manned during the entire festival.  An effort a few years ago to sell cheese at the Christmas Tree lighting resulted in no cheese being sold and a loss for the Club.  While this festival was different, the Club was not sure if it could sell enough cheese to cover the financial outlay nor man the booth for the entire time, especially since it was conducting bell ringing in the Beach Village at the same time.  The decision was made not to sell cheese.  The next cheese sale is Saturday, 16 December, at the same place in the Beach Village.


International Seafarers’ Center Christmas-at-Sea donation list

The Club is still accepting donated items for the International Seafarers Center’s Christmas-at-Sea effort.  Donations from the above list can be dropped off at Jekyll Realty from now until Christmas.

For the first time in a long time, the Lions did not display American flags on the island over Thanksgiving day.  Rain started around 7:00 am and continued through 4:00 pm, prompting the Club to cancel the display.  On a side note, one flag that was put out over Veterans Day was observed still flying two weeks later in the Historic District.  It has since been brought back inside.


Lion Jim Karvunis

Former Jekyll Island Lion Jim Karvunis passed away on 26 November after a long illness.  He was an active Lion, often helping to display American flags with the Club, before moving away.


Cheese Sale, New Member, and County Commissioner’s Talk


Jekyll Island Lions selling cheese and signing up Salvation Army bell ringers

The Jekyll Island Lions Club held its first fundraising cheese sale of the season on 18 November from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Beach Village.  The cheese is the same Guggisberg Baby Swiss Cheese that the Club sold last year.  It comes in 1-pound wedges ($8.00), 2-pound wheels ($15.00), and 4-pound wheels ($29.00).  Lions Rick, Stan, Mike, Pam, Joan, Harry, Howard, Jim, Frank, Pete and (at the time) prospective Lion Bob participated in the sale.  The four-hour event generated over $1,600 in sales.

At the same time and place as the sale, Lion Mike signed up members of the community to ring the Salvation Army bell along with Lions during the holiday season.  The bell ringing effort is a tradition with the Club and starts the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The Club also collects items and prepares gift boxes for the International Seafarers Center’s Christmas-at-Sea program.  Seafarers on the huge cargo ships coming into Brunswick receive these packages during the holidays because they are away from their home countries and families.  One of these gift boxes may be the only Christmas present a seafarer receives.  A few donated items were dropped off with the Lions during the cheese sale.  More donations are needed!

At the Lions’ Thanksgiving dinner meeting on 21 November, President C. J. inducted Bob Sowinski  into the Jekyll Island Lion Club.  Bob’s sponsor was Lion Pete.  Afterwards, the Chairman of the Glynn County Board of Commissioners, Bill Brunson, discussed county taxes as well as the county’s response to Hurricane Irma in September.  Commissioner Brunson’s primary residence in the county was flooded during the hurricane and he has been living on Jekyll Island while his home is being repaired.

Jekyll Island Lions Gain New Member

The Jekyll Island Lions Club gained a new member at its dinner meeting on 7 November.  Joan Mirasola was sponsored by her father, Lion Frank, and will be a welcome addition to the Club.  Bob Sowinski was a guest at the meeting and expressed his interest in joining the Club, too.


Flags in the Historic District

Lion Jim organized the display of American Flags in the Beach Village and Historic District on Veterans Day, 11 November.  The flag displays are sponsored by the Jekyll Business Association and fly from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

lions diabetes awareness logo 2017

Lion Cathy has been promoting diabetes awareness through the Jekyll Island Residents Facebook group.  Lions Clubs International has adopted diabetes as a new focus and the Jekyll Island Lions will follow up the awareness campaign in November with a public presentation on the topic in February.


The Club will be selling Guggisberg Baby Swiss Cheese on Saturday, 18 November, in the Beach Village.  There will be 4-pound and 2-pound wheels for sale as well as 1-pound wedges.  Cheese sales are one of the Clubs biggest fund raising activities.

Jekyll Island Lions Attend District Cabinet Meeting


Jekyll Island Lions C. J. (Club President) and Pete (Club First Vice President) attended the Multiple District (MD) 18N meeting in Richmond Hill, Georgia, on 28 October.  There was a workshop on service projects and fundraising, lunch, the business portion with committee reports, and some fun by the Tail Twister.  The leadership had a mummy-wrapping contest to see who could wrap their mummy the fastest with toilet paper!  Lion C. J. won the door prize.

The Richmond Hill Lions Club has a new clubhouse, the Burnard Exley Building, with plenty of space for meetings and other gatherings.  It has a full service kitchen, too.  The club served subway-style sandwiches with muffins and brownies for dessert.


As a District fundraiser, they were selling yellow T-shirts at $15 each.  Both Lions C. J. and Pete bought one.  When working on projects or doing Lions Club activities, it is always useful to publicize that we are Lions and these shirts do just that.

Most of the MD 18N leadership attended the meeting and addressed the group.  Current District Governor Len Cutuli presented former District Governor Larry Vernadoe with an award (left picture).  Treasurer Rick Mizell gave the financial status of the District (top right).  District First Vice Governor Billy Carroll (bottom right) will be coming to Jekyll Island to address the Club on 5 December.

Towards the end, the District leadership team divided into two groups and then had a contest to see which team could wrap a mummy the fastest.  It was good fun and a nice interruption from the business portion of the meeting.