Local people with a concern for helping others
are the people who join the Lions Club.

2015-16 Club President Thomas E. Rusert  (716) 773-2439
Corresponding Secretary Annette Boies-Lobl (716) 773-3530

Mission: "We Serve" is the Lions' Motto. The mission of the Grand Island Lions Club is to help those in need in our community with special emphasis on the vision and hearing impaired, and children with disabilities. Major fundraisers include a spaghetti dinner in the spring and a "White Cane" drive in August. Our major event is the "Special Kids Picnic" in July when around one thousand special needs children from the Erie-Niagara area are treated to a picnic that includes a lunch along with boat rides, pony rides, and other entertainment. We also perform MTI Photo-screening of children's eyes (for early detection of eye disease) coordinated through the local school systems. In addition we collect eyeglasses and hearing aids for the disadvantaged and have a "loan closet" for distribution of walkers, wheelchairs and other durable goods. Our club is also active in a number of  drives both locally and internationally to help the vision impaired. Our Club also recognizes the importance of youth in our community.  We participate annually in a Peace Poster Contest, which encourages our middle-school age children to creatively express their concept of world peaceWe award scholarships to high school graduates, based on their community involvement, scholastic achievements and other criteria.

The Grand Island Lions held their annual Christmas Party on December 9th 2015 at Byblos Resort and Spa. Lion Fred Ruocco and his Wife Tammy hosted the party and entertained everyone with holiday games, song and good cheer. The Club collected donations for the Neighbors Foundation as well as gifts for the Erie County SPCA and many bags of clothing for Journeys End, a refugee resettlement organization.   

Special Kids Picnic 2015

On July 15th the Grand Island Lions Club held their 57th annual “Special Kids Picnic” at the Buffalo Launch Club.  Over 840 kids with special needs and their chaperones enjoyed a variety of entertainment including boat rides, pony rides, Shriner mini kar rides and face painting and entertainment by Step in Time Baton Dancers.  Sabretooth and the Lions mascot, magicians and Pringles the Clown, milled through the crowd  and engaged the children. Lunch included hot dogs, hamburgers, soda and popcorn. Lion Annette Boies-Lobl, picnic chairman, gave credit to the 90 volunteers who helped our club carry this out. Volunteers included Lions from other clubs in the district including Gasport, and our sister Club of Merritton Ontario, Canada  as well as members of  the Knights of Columbus, the High School Football Team,  Kenmore Boy Scout Troop 104 and the Schnettler Face Painters. Special thanks goes to the Buffalo Launch Club for donating their facilities, to Island Prescription Center as the lead sponsor, to the boat captains and Collins Marine who donated their boats and time including the Excalibur Boat  and to Tops Markets, Tim Hortons and  Dunkin Donuts for their donations.    .

Helping the Neighbors Foundation


Lions with gifts for the Neighbors Foundation. Lt-rt Lions Al Ackerman, DG Clancey Burkwit, Donna Lavallee, Tom Witkowski, Bill Wind, Brooks Rimes, Shelia Ferrentino, Tom Rusert, Dave Chervinsky, Dick Planavsky, Ed Payan, John McCartney, and Mike Steinagel. Obstructed and holding the banner is Fred Ruocco.


Miracle League 
 Lions donate $75,000 for  Miracle League!
The Grand Island Lions Club has been working with Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York for the last six months helping with fundraising,  submitting grants and getting other Lions Clubs involved with Miracle League. We now report our grant application to Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/lci-foundation/index.php has been fully funded.  Because the $75,000 requires matching funds, the Grand Island Lions Club has been working together with Miracle League with various fundraisers.  In addition, Other Lions Clubs in the District are participating. The Lancaster Lions have co-sponsored the grant application while the Amherst Lions donated $1000 from a recent pancake breakfast fundraiser. Lions District 20N, of which the Grand Island Lions is a member, also donated $1000. Our Grand Island Club also has three smaller grants that will be submitted to help Miracle League.  Lions Club District 20N Governor Gary Carini presents a check for $75,000 to Teresa Hooper, President of Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York. Also present 2nd from left Grand Island Lions President Dave Chervinsky, 2nd Vice President Tom Witkowski and Grand Island Lions and Miracle League member Mike Steinagel.

Grand Island, New York is one of the world's most unique locations. To those who live here, it is much more. It shares the natural brilliance of neighboring Niagara Falls, as well as the vibrancy and vitality of nearby Buffalo. Grand Island is located on the Niagara River, an international border between the United States and Canada. While serving the Community of Grand Island and Western New York, Our Club interacts and shares in activities of our "Sister Club" the Merritton Lions Club of St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. To visit our "Sister Club" go to:Merritton Lions Club

To see an enlarged view of the above photo click here
Photo courtesy of Paul McCarthy and the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce
Taken by Mark Dettmer - Angel Arts Publications
Available as postcard, Chamber Office (5/$1.00)

If you are a member of this organization, we need your help. GIECOM.Net has partnered with the Connections program to help Grand Island as a community "Get it Together." Please visit our website G-I-Together.ORG and fill out our SURVEY. Every group on Grand Island will have its own FREE web page showing: meeting times and location, contact persons, your Mission Statement and a listing of events. We will also be linking your news events that appear in the local media and on IsledeGrande.Com, Grand Island's E-News Source, to your page, maintaining an archived journal of pictures and news. This is the perfect opportunity for your group to connect with potential new members and the community.

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