Lions plan a Broadneck pride


April 25, 2002|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AT LAST COUNT, there were 44,000 Lions Clubs around the world and almost 1.4 million members. That includes the 35 clubs and nearly 1,200 members in Central Maryland, as well as the seven clubs in Anne Arundel County and the approximately 50 members of the Severn River Lions Club.

Organized in 1956, the Severn River Lions Club draws its membership from Severna Park, Arnold and Millersville. But, like any successful organization, the Severn River club is not satisfied with the status quo.

Uncle Leo wants you, they say - that is, if you live along the Broadneck Peninsula.

A new Broadneck Lions Club is being organized by the Severn River club, and interested men and women over age 18 can learn all about the club at informational meetings on May 1 and May 9 at Christ Our Anchor Presbyterian Church at the corner of Holly Drive and College Parkway in Severna Park. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m.

To get an idea of what kinds of things the Broadneck Lions Club will do, take a look at the Severn River club's activities. This group is best known for its annual sales of Florida citrus fruit from November through April and the free ice pops that members distribute to sun-baked celebrants at the Greater Severna Park Fourth of July parade and festival.

Thanks to the fruit sales and other fund-raisers, the club is able to donate more than $35,000 each year to its service projects, which include Meals on Wheels, the Severna Park Assistance Network and the Severna Park High School Band Boosters.

"We pay for all the trophies awarded at the high school's annual fall Tournament of Bands," said Bob Muchow, past president of the club and former governor of the Central Maryland clubs.

Severna Park High band members have to earn part of the money necessary to pay for band trips, he said, and some of the musicians work at the club's fruit sales to earn their share.

The club supports the Boy and Girl Scouts and the LEO Club, a youth service organization. The club contributes to Lions Camp Merrick in Charles County, a summer camp for youths who have diabetes or are sight- or hearing-impaired.

The club also supports Lions Quest, a program to develop curricula for teachers to help students deal with problems like conflict and drug use. The club sponsors teachers to be trained in the curriculum they chose.

The club awards renewable $1,000 college scholarships each year to seniors at Severna Park and Broadneck high schools and contributes to a scholarship endowment fund for students at Anne Arundel Community College.

The Severn River Lions are among the clubs from Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia that together contribute $200,000 annually to the Lions Low Vision Center in the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The money is earmarked for research to help those with problems that can no longer be corrected by medicine or surgery maintain the vision they have, Muchow said.

The club also supports Leader Dogs for the Blind, a Michigan school where blind individuals are trained to use guide dogs.

For information about the Severn River Lions Club or the new Broadneck Lions Club, contact Muchow at 410-647-4551, Ken Pyle at 410-647-9645 or Dale Strait at 410-987-4879.

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