It always gets my goat when I read about a judge handing out
a sentence that includes “community service.” When did serving the community
become tied into punishment? Personally, serving the community is a privilege
and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
For those of you who don’t know me, I will use this
opportunity to share a bit about myself with you. A resident of Cranbury since
1991, I sought to live here because of the “town center” feel many new and
existing communities are now trying create. I grew up in Middletown
a 40 square mile township severely lacking a small-town feel (and a case study
in why regionalizing school districts is not necessarily a good idea). There
were 3,000 students enrolled at MiddletownHigh School in 1972 in a school
designed for 900.
The first opportunity I saw to become involved in Cranbury
was with the C.A.R. E. committee in 1995. This group of volunteers, led by
former Mayor Michael Mayes, formed to make sure the need to pass the bond
referendum would be well-communicated to all residents. Our efforts got the
referendum passed and the 1997 wing at CranburySchool is the result of our
I then joined the Cranbury Board of Education for a 3 year
stint. The Chief School Administrator (and fellow Lion) Dr. Robert “Bob”
Bartoletti and then Vice-Principal Carol Malouf were running a Blue Ribbon
school as well as you would expect. I became involved in a rather time
consuming Superintendent search as the liaison to Princeton Regional Schools.
If I learned anything from the search experience, it was that the community
doesn’t necessarily know what is really going on, that even highly educated
people with remarkable positions in education in business can make poor
decisions that affect many, and lastly, that ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Soon after leaving the Board, I joined the Cranbury
Education Foundation (also founded by Michael Mayes, Richard F.X. Johnson and
Linda Schilling). This group helps to finance special projects requested by
teachers, needy students and/or contribute to projects that benefit the
community. I helped out with advertising for the Annual Craft Show, which is a
significant fund raiser chaired by Chris Moll.
If I had the time, I would also be interested in joining the
Cranbury Arts Council, the Historical Society and perhaps serving local
government in some capacity. Our town affords many different choices to serve,
and I am grateful I have been able to participate.
I understand that the President of the Cranbury Lions is
primarily to help keep the meetings on track make sure the Vice-Presidents are
getting the support they need.
As I mentioned during the Lions Club meeting last Wednesday,
we have a wonderful opportunity to “turn up the volume” this year and
capitalize on the 75th Anniversary of the Cranbury Lions Club. My
background in design and marketing for communications seeks to create specialty
items and events to raise awareness of what we do and how we serve.
My agenda includes: 1) retaining existing members, 2)
encouraging more active participation, 3) recruiting new members, and 4)
helping to bring the Lions Club into the year 2007 by entertaining ideas to
keep it fresh and moving forward.
I have already committed to join Lion Bob Virgadamo at the
USA-Canada Forum in Columbus, Ohio
in September. Here I will learn valuable information about how other clubs are
serving their communities and share creative ideas about fundraising as well. I
do want to emphasize the FUN in FUNdraising, and make our 75th
Anniversary a year we will all remember fondly.
Please contact me anytime to share your ideas or thoughts. I
look forward to being of service.
Things To Know
As it has in the past, the “summer schedule” for the Jargon
will be a bit “off”; This issue (August) is being written after the mid-July
meetings; The September Jargon will not be sent out for approximately 7 weeks,
or after the September Board meeting. If need be, important information will be
distributed via e-mail.
Dress Rules are in effect during July and August. For those who are unaware
of the “Summer Dress Rules”, Members may wear appropriate summer attire,
including shorts, to regular meetings.
though we have begun sending a new “Calendar
of Events” with the dues mailings, we’d like to remind all members to please,share the Jargon with your Spouse,
so that our events may be better scheduled on your personal, or family,
calendars for better attendance. Please Note that Spouses are invited to attend
the “off-premises” meeting at the Grape Escape, to assist in the Club Project
of making wine as a table favor for our 75th Anniversary
The Cranbury Lions Club Annual
Family Picnic and Barbeque was hosted by Lion Joe and Suzanne Carroll at
their home on July 15. Due to our need to schedule early, many members were
away or had other commitments, which cut back on attendance from last year.
But, like last year, those who attended had a great time, and are looking
forward to next year’s event. Lion Joe remarked that next year he “hopes we get
a hundred people.” The Club would like to thank Joe and Suzanne for their
generosity of spirit and offering their home and yard for the annual picnic.
August meeting, normally held on the third Wednesday, will be on the first
Wednesday, August 2, due to the scheduling for the Club Project; the meeting will be at the Grape Escape, same time as
usual – 7PM. This is the third meeting in our wine making project. In this part
of the process we will “Rack” our wine which entails emptying and cleaning our
barrel, then we will put the wine back
in the barrel for aging. But the ‘exciting’ part is that we have an opportunity
to taste the wine at that point! For your calendar: the fourth “wine meeting”
will be Friday, February 2, 2007;
this is when we will actually bottle and label our wine. Since we need to
cater the meeting, reservations are required; there will be a sign-up sheet at
the July meeting, or call Lions Andre Mento or Bob V.
After the nominations and election were held, we were still
without a Tail Twister and a Publicity Chairman. A laurel and hardy handshake
to President Rick, who volunteered to fill the position of Publicity Chair in
addition to his duties as Club President. However, as you can see from the
banner top of the Jargon, the Board position of Tail Twister has not been filled; any Member interested in this
position should speak with President Rick. In the interim, a different Board
Member will be an acting Tail Twister at each meeting.
For the seventh year in a row, the Cranbury Lions will
sponsor a Trenton Thunder Baseball Game
for the residents of Cranbury, their family and friends. The game is between
the Thunder (AA affiliate of the NY Yankees) and the Portland Sea Dogs (AA
affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). The game is at ,
Saturday, August 19, 2006.
Tickets are $10; call Lion Bob V. at 395-7050. Please place your orders as
soon as possible as there are only a limited number of tickets and we must
confirm our numbers to the Thunder by August 4.
Reminder…Hold the date for the Cranbury Lions 75th Anniversary Celebration –
Saturday, June 23, 2007.
The following committees have been formed (and Chairs selected) in an effort to
makethis historic event a successful
event: Publicity (Rick Burke), Promotions (Jon Goldstein), Marketing (Pat
Meehan), Ticket Sales (Walt Caldwell, Don Herr, Mahlon Thompson), Entertainment
(Bob Virgadamo), Program and Printing (Ray Dickey, Dave Shaffer, Andre Mento,
Bob Virgadamo). Lions Andre and Bob, on behalf of the Club, would like to thank
the following Lions who have already stepped up as volunteers is various
positions on these committees: Frank Brennan Jr, Frank Brennan III, Dave Cook,
Jeff Grundy, Paul Hayden, Elaine Homoky, Alex Johnson,John Kobland, Frank Marlowe, and Peter
Turner. Any Lion who wishes to assist in a particular area should contact one of
the Chairpersons mentioned above. Open discussions about the Anniversary
Celebration are encouraged at ALL meetings.
The will be in Columbus, OH,
September 14 –16, 2006. The Forum is an excellent learning tool, and can
have enormous benefit to the Club if a number of Members attended. All Club
members, especially Board members,
should consider attending this highly effective learning seminar. Lion Bob V is
2006 District Chairman for the Forum, and has applications for any Member that
wishes to attend the Forum.
– Membership – Membership
always we are looking for new members. The Lion year just ending was not an
exemplary membership year. With so many new homes in Cranbury, there are many
opportunities for new members. We ask all Cranbury Lions to try to bring in New
Members. Membership applications can be obtained from Secretary George Smith or
from membership Chairman Mike Kaiser. Let’s try to keep our Lions Club from
being Cranbury’s “best kept secret”.
On the flip side of the membership coin, we also seem to be
having a problem with attendance. Over the last couple of years meeting
attendance has diminished from an average of 45+ members per meeting to an
average of plus or minus 25 members, per meeting. Our core volunteers have
always come from sign-ups at the meetings, and with meeting attendance down, so are the number of volunteers.
While we would love to see “a packed house” at every meeting, it is
understandable that many of our Members can’t make every meeting due to the
demands and obligations to their jobs and families, however, the Board of
Directors is asking every member to try to attend at least one meeting per
What’s Happening In Other Clubs
The South Brunswick Lions
Club will hold their Annual Cole Beatty Circus Fundraiser on Labor Day
Weekend. More information on this event will be forthcoming.
Frank Marlowe has been our Program Chair for a few years
now, and has done quite an excellent job lining up speakers for our meetings
each month. You can all imagine how difficult it can be, finding 20 speakers
per year that will be of relative interest to all our Members!We all come in contact with someone
interesting on a regular basis. When you
do, or if you have any
suggestions for speakers, please give Frank a call.
Even though we have a few new fundraisers, the Cranbury
Lions Club is always in search of additional new fund raisers – different,
entertaining, and most importantly, fun. Any member who has a fundraising idea
should share the idea with President Rick, or bring it up at one of the
meetings. The list of potential fundraisers, and the input from interested
Lions, will be discussed at a Board of Directors meeting, and presented to the
general membership at a regular meeting.
While it is important that we increase our fundraising
capability, it is equally important that we do it without continually
requesting donations from our small community on a too frequent basis. With
over 300 commercial locations in our immediate area, the website is one of the
easiest and best fundraisers we have. We ask every member to please try to bring in at least one new advertiser per year.
Refer all advertising leads to Lions John Kobland, Ray Dickey, or Dave Shaffer.
Any member who learns of the sickness or death of another
member, or in a member’s family, or any other similar incident or emergency,
should contact Lion Frank Marlowe (Chair, H&W) and/or Lion Dave Cook to
activate the “phone tree”, and/or Lion Bob Virgadamo (e-mail notifications) so
that all members may be notified.
Ed Lawson (5 S. Main)
Lion George Smith
will be the “permanent” pick up driver for Lion Ed. Lion Frank Marlowe
has volunteered to be the “permanent” back-up driver.
Drivers: if you cannot make your pick-up, or need to switch,
please notify Rick Cusworth as soon as possible. Riders: please notify the
assigned driver if you’re not going to make a meeting.