After 30 years, Lions have a woman president


February 07, 2002|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE MISSION OF the Clarksville Lions Club is service to the community. But in 30 years, the group never had a woman as president - until now. Susan Bonura of Finksburg took office as the group's first female president in July.

The Lions Club, which had been an all-male organization, began admitting women in recent years. Prior to that, women served in a supporting position as Lionesses.

Although Bonura says she didn't set out to lead the way for women in the club, she feels her role as president is noteworthy. "I'm breaking some boundaries by being president," she said.

Bonura joined the Lions Club in Connecticut in 1996. That club's members, who were quite active, were all women. When Bonura and her husband, Martin, moved to Dayton in 1999, she transferred her membership to the Clarksville club.

She quickly became involved in the club's many community service ventures and held a variety of positions in the group. Club members have welcomed the new role of women in the Lions, Bonura says, and longtime members are happy to have new faces in the organization. "In a club with so much history, many people have done everything," she said.

Lions Clubs across the country collect used eyeglasses to be distributed to the poor in developing countries. The Clarksville Lions Club provides drop-off boxes for glasses at the Clarksville and Highland post offices. The club also collects and recycles hearing aids.

In December, the group conducted a blood drive, donated gifts to needy families for the holidays and sponsored a coat drive. The Lions also keep a portion of Route 32 clean as part of the county's Adopt-A-Road program. And on March 9 they will answer telephones at the Maryland Public Television telethon.

The Lions also maintain a "loan closet" of wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and other medical appliances that can by borrowed without charge by area residents.

But because it takes money to provide these services, fund-raisers are part of the Lions' agenda. The group will hold its annual bull roast April 13 at the Laurel American Legion Hall. Tickets are $30.

"All the money that we raise from the public goes back to the public," Bonura said.

She notes that the Clarksville club boasts three former Lions Club governors. Members Ken Shipley of Dayton, Robert Bruce of Highland and Ed Mullinix Sr. of Fulton all have served as district governors. "It's prestigious to have so many governors in our club," Bonura said.

The Clarksville Lions meet at the Coho Grill at Hobbit's Glen Golf Course at 7:15 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. After a buffet-style dinner, they hold a business meeting and listen to a speaker.

The group will celebrate its 30th anniversary in June. "There are many opportunities to serve," Bonura said. "We're always looking for new members."

Information: 443-535-0378, or

Math scholars

River Hill High School's Rajesh Krishnaswamy placed second in the Mathematics Olympics sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers. The competition is part of the Maryland Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program, which prepares students to study math, engineering and related fields in college.

Also, the River Hill High School Math Team placed second in the Howard County Math Meet last month. The team, led by math teacher Rhonda Rust, is ranked third in the county, 1 point behind Centennial High School.

The next county math meet, to be held at River Hill, will be Wednesday.

Robotic adventure

The Glenelg High School Engineering Team needs your help. The enterprising young students, assisted by engineers and other professionals, want to build a robot to enter in the US FIRST Robotics Competition to be held in Grand Rapids, Mich.

But if the Glenelg students are not able to raise enough money, they might not be able to attend. The team of 31 students has received a grant from NASA to construct their robot, but money is needed for traveling expenses. The team is also looking for professionals who can advise them in the construction of the robot.

If you would like to support the GHS Engineering Team, contact Susan D'Angelo at 410-442-2874 or Jennifer Grim at 410-442-3274.

Citrus sale

If you haven't tried the fresh citrus that the River Hill High School Music Boosters are selling, you're in for a real winter treat. The Boosters are offering a variety of fruits, hand-picked in Florida and shipped to the school.

Red grapefruit and navel and temple oranges will be available in full or half cases, and tangerines are available in half cases.

Orders must be received by Wednesday for pickup at the Clarksville school from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 23. Information: Pam Griesbach, 301-596-9055.

Credit is due

I neglected to mention in last week's column that Aaron Llanso created the Web site that he and Andrew Acs used to protest the move of "rising juniors" from River Hill High School to other high schools during the redistricting process. The Web site address is

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