“We Serve” ~Lions Club International Motto

Recently I visited the Polish Club to sit in on a meeting of the Bridgewater Lions Club. I received a warm welcome and witnessed the group’s camaraderie first hand. Mike Courtemanche, the club’s incoming treasurer, gave me an overview of the group’s 90 plus year history and its ongoing work in the community.

As a service organization, the Lions Club is unique: they are the largest charitable organization in the world, yet the group has no administrative overhead. In the words of Bridgewater’s Club President Jim Campbell: “We’re one of the few charities that if you give 100 dollars, 100 dollars goes to charity.”

Globally, the Lions Club focuses primarily on eye health, research, and treatment. Locally, our Bridgewater Lions seek to fill the community’s needs as well, often responding to specific requests for help. Recently, the Lions did just that, installing a ramp for an anonymous disabled Bridgewater resident.

Wheelchair-bound and in need of frequent dialysis, their mobility was extremely limited. With help from the folks at Ben Ellis Towing and members of the local Laconia Lions, the Bridgewater Lions brought the ramp from Laconia, New Hampshire and installed it at the resident’s home.

The addition of the ramp has dramatically improved their quality of life. Though the ramp is valued at over $9000, the Bridgewater Lions were able to purchase it for much less from the private individual from New Hampshire. The seller was able to take a tax deduction due the 501C3 charitable status of the Club.

Other recurring projects of the Bridgewater Lions Club include an annual children’s fishing derby, decorating Bridgewater Common with Holiday Lights, providing scholarships worth $1000 to Bridgewater-Raynham high school graduates, and the ongoing use of the district Eyemobile and Spot Camera for early detection of many eye related issues. An effort to install a pickle ball court at the Senior Center is also underway.

The Bridgewater Lions Club raised over $14,000 in their fundraising efforts just this past year.

The Bridgewater Lions Club welcomes and openly encourages more volunteers to join their ranks and be a part of their essential community projects. The Lions meet at 6:30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from September 2018 to June 2019. Their meetings are at the Polish Club, located at 123 Spring Street. Anyone can attend a meeting. To learn more, you can also visit www.thebridgewaterlions.org.

Respectfully Submitted,
Daniel Flockton

Images Courtesy of Mike Courtemanche.

Ousamequin for the Win

On June 6th, the Ousamequin Club set out to repair the police shack in downtown Bridgewater. As of now, it has been re-painted, re-roofed, and re-juvenated. Thank you to Jean Guarino, Beccy Mugherini, Irma Sankunas and Leslie Dorr of the Club for all their hard work.

And also a special thank you to Tim Dorr, the project supervisor; Sandy Higgins who provided sandwiches and drinks and moral support; Lucky Star gas station for offering their dumpster for old shingles; and to Bridgewater Savings Bank for their donation to buy the supplies.

What a phenomenal result!

Images & Story Courtesy of Ousamequin Club.

Award Type: Outstanding!

Congratulations to Giants Alum, Bryce Shaw who was honored earlier this month at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School. He received the Lion Club “Eddie Cripps Memorial” award for outstanding back.

Bryce will be attending the United States Naval Academy in the fall.

Photo Courtesy of Raynham Giants Youth Football.

16th Annual Christopher’s 5k Run & Walk for Diabetes

On Monday, May 28th, the West Bridgewater Council on Aging hosted the 16th annual Chistopher’s 5k Run & Walk for Diabetes.

This race is held in honor of Chistpoher Nelson, now 19, who was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after turning 2-years-old. His family, determined to make a difference, began this race event.

To see the results of this year’s race, you can click here. We are so happy to see so many people come together for this great cause!

Photo Courtesy of Ana M Bulger-Roland.

We Appreciate You!

It’s Volunteer Appreciation at the Council on Aging! A special Luncheon was held on June 6th for those who volunteered 20 or more hours from July 2017 to June 30, 2018. Together they’ve logged in over 3,400 hours. Their “gift of time” is worth $70,890 to our town.

Attorney Jason Rawlins from Bridgewater was one of 7 volunteers who received the Volunteer of the Year Award. He gives his time one day a month with free legal advice to seniors and family members in Halifax. He’s been doing it for over 6 years!

Jason Rawlins, far right

 

Marie Burke, middle

Also recognized was the Counselor of the Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) program, Marie Burke. She received the SHINE Award for giving many volunteer hours at the COA on Tuesdays for the past 6 years. She has helped many seniors with health insurance, medications & costs, getting them on the most beneficial plan, etc.

Thank you for all you’ve done!

Images and Story Courtesy of Barbara Brenton
and the Halifax Council on Aging