Exeter Lions Club celebrates 65 years serving the Greater Pittston community


Exeter Lions Club celebrates 65 years serving the community

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com



Jack Brogan, an Exeter Lions Club member for 63 years, speaks at the annual dinner in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with roses for deceased Lions Club members.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, installs Ettore Anselmi as the Exeter Lions Club president at a dinner held Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti, left, passes the torch to newly-elected President Ettore Anselmi.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

The Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary. From left, Michael Burke, Jack Brogan, Marilyn Gubbiotti, Len Bonfanti, Richard Anselmi, Mickey Briggs, Lori DeAngelo, Toni Valenti, Nick DeAngelo, Ettore Anselmi, Lorraine Backo, Madeline Dick, Caroline Kudasik, Linda Hyzinski, Joe Esposito, Janet Serino, Dan Truskowski, John Serino and Richard Shields.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lorraine Backo, from the Scouts Organization, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with a certificate of appreciation after the club donated $300 to the scouts.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

The Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Marilyn Gubbiotti, right, and Mary Kilvitis toast during the annual Exeter Lions Club dinner on Friday, June 10.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

HELPING THE COMMUNITY

Over the past 65 years, the Exeter Lions Club has been involved in the following projects, among many others:

Helped demolish St. Cecilia’s Church

Establish a successful little league program

Provided eye surgery for Exeter child

Aided Salvation Army in Christmas collections

Provided eye glasses to needy residents

Build a sitting park in town

Annual Goblin Watch and presented candy

Sing Christmas Carols at nursing homes

Sponsored the Lions Quest Program

EXETER — Jack Brogan has been a member of the Exeter Lions Club for more than six decades. It was only fitting he spoke about the history of the club at the annual dinner.

Brogan, along with many other Lions Club members celebrated the club’s 65th anniversary during the annual dinner held Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club. As part of the dinner, the club donated $300 to the Boy and Girl Scouts, and installed new officers for the upcoming term.

Brogan spoke about the history of the club to open the event.

“As we begin our 65 years of service to the community, we can look back on the last 64 with a sense of pride and accomplishment,” Brogan said. “In some small way we have made this town and this world a better place to live in.”

The Exeter Lions Club was founded in November 1951 with the sponsorship of the Duryea Lions Club. The original objective of Lions Clubs worldwide was to prevent blindness.

“That’s still the principal goal,” Brogan said. “The role of the club has changed along with the needs of the community.”

Current President Toni Valenti was the first female to be a member of the club seven years ago. Since then, the club has grown to have 10 women members.

Valenti said there weren’t any females not because the men didn’t want any, but because none ever applied to be in the club.

“One of the members wanted me to join,” said Valenti, who is in her second term of presidency. “At first I was a little reluctant. I parked in the parking lot for a couple meetings at Marianacci’s and I finally went in. They really excepted me.”

Valenti handed off the presidential duties to Ettore Anselmi on Friday, who will begin his term in the coming months. She was happy to share the 65th anniversary dinner with Brogan.

“Every year we do a dinner, but this was special because it was our 65th,” she said. “To have Jack be a part of it for 63 years, that’s why we made him speak.”

Over the years, the organization has contributed to many local and national organizations, including the Exeter Lions Little League, Boy and Girl Scouts, the Wyoming Free Library and the West Pittston Library, along with fire and ambulance companies.

In the past, some of these yearly donations have exceeded $10,000. In order for the Lions to fulfill all of their endeavors, the club holds fundraisers throughout the year. The biggest, a Night at the Races, brings in around $4,000, Valenti said. Also new this past year was the Christmas tree lighting, as well as an arts and crafts show that brought in $2,000.

“We do all of our own fundraising,” she said. “It’s all about giving back.”

Lions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis was on hand to install the new officers of the club and present roses to the recently-deceased Exeter Lions Club members.

To become a Lion or be involved in the Exeter Lions Club, applications can be retrieved from any Lions Club member. Currently, the Lions are working on buying two “Welcome to Exeter” plaques to be placed on Wyoming Avenue. One will be near First Street, while the other will be near Barber Ford.

“Over the years, the various men and women who have proudly worn the Lions Lapel have proven themselves worthy of the task,” Brogan said.

Jack Brogan, an Exeter Lions Club member for 63 years, speaks at the annual dinner in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions1-1.jpgJack Brogan, an Exeter Lions Club member for 63 years, speaks at the annual dinner in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with roses for deceased Lions Club members.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions2-1.jpgLions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with roses for deceased Lions Club members. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, installs Ettore Anselmi as the Exeter Lions Club president at a dinner held Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions3-1.jpgLions Club District Governor Richard Kilvitis, of Avoca Lions Club, installs Ettore Anselmi as the Exeter Lions Club president at a dinner held Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti, left, passes the torch to newly-elected President Ettore Anselmi.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions4-1.jpgExeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti, left, passes the torch to newly-elected President Ettore Anselmi. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

The Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary. From left, Michael Burke, Jack Brogan, Marilyn Gubbiotti, Len Bonfanti, Richard Anselmi, Mickey Briggs, Lori DeAngelo, Toni Valenti, Nick DeAngelo, Ettore Anselmi, Lorraine Backo, Madeline Dick, Caroline Kudasik, Linda Hyzinski, Joe Esposito, Janet Serino, Dan Truskowski, John Serino and Richard Shields.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions5-1.jpgThe Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary. From left, Michael Burke, Jack Brogan, Marilyn Gubbiotti, Len Bonfanti, Richard Anselmi, Mickey Briggs, Lori DeAngelo, Toni Valenti, Nick DeAngelo, Ettore Anselmi, Lorraine Backo, Madeline Dick, Caroline Kudasik, Linda Hyzinski, Joe Esposito, Janet Serino, Dan Truskowski, John Serino and Richard Shields. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Lorraine Backo, from the Scouts Organization, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with a certificate of appreciation after the club donated $300 to the scouts.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions6-1.jpgLorraine Backo, from the Scouts Organization, presents Exeter Lions Club President Toni Valenti with a certificate of appreciation after the club donated $300 to the scouts. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

The Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions8-1.jpgThe Exeter Lions Club held its annual dinner on Friday, June 10 at Fox Hill Country Club in celebration of the club’s 65th anniversary. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Marilyn Gubbiotti, right, and Mary Kilvitis toast during the annual Exeter Lions Club dinner on Friday, June 10.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ExeterLions7-1.jpgMarilyn Gubbiotti, right, and Mary Kilvitis toast during the annual Exeter Lions Club dinner on Friday, June 10. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch
Exeter Lions Club celebrates 65 years serving the community

By Nick Wagner

nwagner@timesleader.com

HELPING THE COMMUNITY

Over the past 65 years, the Exeter Lions Club has been involved in the following projects, among many others:

Helped demolish St. Cecilia’s Church

Establish a successful little league program

Provided eye surgery for Exeter child

Aided Salvation Army in Christmas collections

Provided eye glasses to needy residents

Build a sitting park in town

Annual Goblin Watch and presented candy

Sing Christmas Carols at nursing homes

Sponsored the Lions Quest Program

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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