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.

Jekyll Island Lions Club Events

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Before discussing upcoming events, let’s do some bragging about the Jekyll Island Lions Club Awards Banner.  The Club has been active over many years earning a variety of awards, and these achievements have been displayed on the Club banner.  Since the Club does not have a club house and has moved to different restaurants for meetings, the banner ended up being shuffled around and has fallen into disrepair.  In fact, it has not been displayed at Club meetings for over a year.  Lion Cathy is reviving the banner and it will once again be prominent at meetings (once a replacement stand is found).

The Club’s Board of Directors met on 23 October and mapped out activities for the next two months.  Fundraising will resume with Amish Baby Swiss Cheese sales and bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  There are also two American flag displays in November.  Here is the events calendar for next month:

7 November: Dinner meeting at McCormick’s Grill.  A new member will be inducted at this meeting!

11 November: Veterans’ Day American flag display in the Beach Village and Historic District.  Lion Jim is the contact.

18 November: Amish Baby Swiss Cheese sale in the Beach Village.  This year, the Club will be selling 1 pound wedges, 2 pound wheels, and 4 pound wheels.  Lion Rick is the contact.

21 November: A special Thanksgiving dinner at McCormick’s Grill.  Spouses are invited!  Glynn County Commission Chairman Bill Brunson will be the guest speaker.

23 November: Thanksgiving Day American flag display in the Beach Village and Historic District.  Lion Jim is the contact.

24-25 November: Lions will be ringing the Salvation Army bell in the Beach Village.  Lion Mike is the contact.

lions diabetes awareness logo 2017

In addition to the November events, the Club will be using social media to discuss diabetes awareness, a new focus of Lions Clubs International.  Diabetes has become an international medical epidemic and Lions are addressing it.  Lion Cathy will be leading the online charge for the Club.


The Jekyll Island Lions Club lost a treasured member this past week.  Lion Clay had been a member of the Club since 2000.  His wit and charm at meetings will be missed.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Jekyll Island MOSAiC Project Discussed at Lions Club Meeting


22489951_932465590244364_1800788629187719480_nMr. Bruce Piatek, Jekyll Island Authority Director of Historical Resources, was the guest speaker at the Jekyll Island Lions Club dinner meeting on 17 October.  He focused on the renovation and updating of the Jekyll Island Museum, which will be known as MOSAiC.  In addition, he touched upon plans for upgrading The Wanderer memorial, the proposed colonial garden at the Horton House, and the status of the Gould Casino in the Historic District.  After answering several questions at the end of the talk, First Vice President Pete presented Mr. Piatek with a handsome Lions Clubs International coffee mug.

In other activity, Secretary Cathy created a Club email address:  The intent is to use the email address for official business.  The account can then be used as a consolidated repository for Club activity and business.  It will also provide a single contact point for people corresponding with the Club, including potential new members.

Jekyll Island Lions’ Flags, Beaches and Glasses

The Jekyll Island Lions Club displayed 12 American flags in the Beach Village and 10 American flags in the Historic District on 9 October for the Columbus Day holiday.  Lions Jim, Howard and Pete put out the flags at 8:00 am and flew them until 5:00 pm.  While the weather was threatening rain in the afternoon, it held off and the flags remained dry.  Many in the Jekyll Island community expressed appreciation for the flags display.

Beach Clean-Up

Lion Pete with Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff members Matt and Sera.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center has been hosting a series of beach clean-up events since Tropical Storm Irma damaged Jekyll Island in mid-September.  Lion Pete joined the clean-up team on 10 October at 5:30 pm for a sweep of Driftwood Beach.  The debris collected was divided into recyclable materials and trash.  Each item collected was logged in the Marine Debris Tracker app for further analysis to understand the types and amounts of garbage in the ocean environment.  The team worked until 7:00 pm and collected a wide variety of trash blown onto the shore by Irma.

Lions Cathy and Pete volunteered with the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation eye clinic on 11 October at the Coastal Medical Access Project in Brunswick.  Foundation managers Javina Belton and Kamesha Walker ran the clinic, which fitted nine patients with glasses.  When the team arrived, they discovered several donated bins, boxes, and bags of used eye glasses for recycling, which probably were left by another local Lions Club.  The next clinic in Brunswick will be in December.

Jekyll Island Lions Resume Golf Fundraiser

The Jekyll Island Lions Club met on 3 October after taking an unscheduled break thanks to Tropical Storm Irma.  There was a lot of business to discuss before having dinner together at McCormick’s Grill.  Lion Harry explained that the Club’s agreement with McCormick’s Grill requires him to submit the number of attendees several days in advance so that they know how many meals to prepare.  It is therefore important for Lions to respond promptly to his attendance requests.


Lion Cathy talked about her experience at the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum and the project seminar where she joined other Lions in putting together personal hygiene kits for the homeless.  She then led a discussion about service in which each member explained why they joined the Lions.  Lion Cathy is the Club Secretary and requested that her fellow Lions submit their volunteer hours to her so she can record them.

Lion Pam advised the Club that the St. Augustine (Florida) Lions put on a huge Seafood Festival every year.  The next festival is 16-18 March 2018 and volunteers from other Lions Clubs can earn money for their Clubs at the festival.  She suggested that volunteering at this festival would be a good fundraising opportunity for the Jekyll Island Lions Club.


Years ago, the Jekyll Island Lions Club was known for the annual golf tournament that it used to host as a fundraising event.  President C. J. and Lion Howard recommended bringing the tournament back but perhaps at a more modest level.  Lion Harry has experience running golf tournaments and he thinks the Club’s membership can put one on.  He suggested a 2-person scramble limited to about 90 people.  The Club approved hosting a tournament and it will be held on 8 March 2018.

2018 Golf


USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum

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Jekyll Island Lions Cathy and Pete attended the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in Portland, Oregon this year.  The Forum consists of a series of seminars related to Lions activities punctuated by luncheons and dinners featuring guest speakers.  The Forum was held in the Oregon Convention Center, which also hosted the Forum Store (LCI logo items) and the Exhibitors Hall.

This year, the special guest speakers were former astronaut Dr. LeRoy Chiao, gymnast Jen Bricker, LCI President Naresh Aggarwal, and motivational speaker Dr. Willie Jolley.  All of them were engaging and interesting.  Dr. Jolley accepted an invitation to become a Lion at the end of his presentation!



The Forum hosted 88 different seminars throughout the three days.  Lions Cathy and Peter participated in the following ones:

  1. It’s More Than “Just Ask:”Make a great first impression, share your story and welcome new Lions to your group.
  2. We Want You! We Need You!: – Engage younger people to serve. Keep your clubs vital with young energy and enthusiasm.
  3. Hands-On: Serving the Citizens of Portland:See below!
  4. Social Media – Making It Work for Service:Do you know how to build your network, enhance your social media presence and connect platforms?  Join us to learn.

Hands-On: Serving the Citizens of Portland was an actual service project.  Portland has many homeless people; they are visible in the parks and under the bridges.  Most live in small tents or have no shelter at all.  The goal of this service project was to make personal hygiene kits for them.  The Lions implementing this project saved the used eye glass cases that they found in their recycle eye glasses donation boxes.  Each case was disinfected prior to the Forum.  The seminar participants jobs were to insert into each case 3 band aids, 3 wet wipes, deodorant gel, body lotion, shampoo, tooth brush, tooth paste, emery board, comb, and ink pen.  A Lions Club label was then pasted on top and the hygiene kit was put into a plastic bag.  Teams of 13 Lions lined tables with boxes of the items and in an assembly-line fashion, they put together 2,000 kits in 90 minutes.

Lions Cathy and Pete picked up a few LCI logo items in the Forum shop.  The shop offered dozens of logo shirts in addition to all sorts of pens, decals, signs, cups, etc.  Most of the items are not available through the online LCI store.  The neighboring exhibition hall included booths for Leader Dogs for the Blind, Zenni Optical, Paws with a Cause, Diabetes Education & Camping Association, Global Initiative for Health & Wellness, Plusoptix, Eversight, Welch Allyn, the LCI Rose Parade Float group, MyLion App, and many others.

The Lions University Graduation was the final activity in the seminar spaces.  Lions Cathy and Pete were in the group who received their Bachelor’s degrees.  Others received their Master’s or Doctorate’s.  Some even obtained multiple diplomas.  LCI President Naresh Aggarwal shook each graduate’s hand while they were being photographed.  Afterwards, graduates could take their own pictures in front of the Forum back drop (see below).


On a side note, Lions Cathy and Pete stayed at the nearby DoubleTree Hotel.  They discovered a nice restaurant for breakfast called the Village Inn.  As it turned out, that’s where the local Lions hold their meetings.  The restaurant even lets them sell Lions mints to raise funds.

The next USA/Canada Leadership Forum will be held in Columbus, Ohio.  The Ohio Team was very enthusiastic and closed the Forum with a pep rally and slide show.