Tag Archives: Lions Club

Club to give away 100 trees


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Bayside - Whitestone Lions Club

A breath of fresh air is on its way to northeast Queens.

The Bayside – Whitestone Lions Club held its monthly meeting at the law office of Vallone & Vallone to discuss several community service opportunities, including the upcoming visit to the St. Albans Community Living Center to deliver the handmade knitted scarves, sweaters, and hats to the veterans.

The Lions also are planning an upcoming tree replanting and give-away of 100 trees to community residents on April 28. Last fall, the community suffered from the tornado that destroyed many beloved trees. In response, the Lions Club applied to the NYC Million Trees Program and was distinguished with the honor of being named as a host to distribute 100 eight-foot trees.

“It’s going to be another big project, but well worth the sweat and effort,” said Lions President Paul Vallone.

Many green-thumbed members were quick to volunteer a range of helpful contributions, including trucks to transport the trees, horticultural knowledge, and temporary storage while a large community-centered event is in the making to celebrate the achievement.

Ann Jawin, founder of the Center For The Women of New York, a non-profit women’s help and empowerment group, came to inform the members about her service organization, but ended up mentioning how impressed she was with all of the community members banding together to get the tree planting project off its feet.

“We work with any group that helps women because it’s all for the community,” said Jawin.

The Bayside – Whitestone Lions Club will meet Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at the law offices of Vallone & Vallone. Everyone is encouraged to attend. For more information, call 718-428-7285

A lending ear — and eyes — for the needy


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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The need to help others seems to run in the Caiazza family.

Four months ago, Matthew Caiazza rounded up the community to help him send care packages to U.S. Marines serving in Afghanistan.

Now, twin brother Thomas, a life scout from Boy Scout Troop 139 in Howard Beach, is heading up his own plan to bring sight and sound to the less fortunate.

As part of his Eagle Scout Project, Caiazza’s goal is to collect and donate as many new and used eyeglasses and hearing aids as he can. So far, the 15-year-old has collected more than 75 items since his project began over the summer.

“I’m hoping to get a whole lot more, but it’s a big step to already have so many pairs,” Caiazza said. “I already know that these pairs are going to people who need them. Even if I got one, I would have been happy. That’s just another person out there who can hear and see now.”

To get the ball rolling, Caiazza teamed up with the Lions Club, an international volunteer service organization. Through the Lions Recycle for Sight program, donated eyeglasses and hearing aids are cleaned, sorted by prescription strength, packaged and sent to the needy in developing countries.

The idea stemmed from personal habits of his own family members.

“Everyone in my family wears glasses. When they get new pairs, they sort of just leave the old ones lying there,” Caiazza said. “I asked myself, ‘What could I do with everybody’s glasses that they’re not using anymore?’ I figured people around the world could use them.”

So far, Caiazza has spent several hours collecting at two local senior centers. He has also left donation boxes around the community.

The Caiazza parents couldn’t be more proud.

“He’s always looking to help people in need and this is very thoughtful and efficient,” said father Oscar. “He decided to do something helpful for the community and he’s been very aggressive in following up and looking for places to collect.”

On the success of both twins, mother Barbara said: “I’m really proud. They were able to accomplish all this at the age of 15.”

Thomas plans on collecting for a few more months before sending in his final set to the Lions Club. He will hold a collection at St. Helen’s Church on Sunday, October 16.

“It feels like a big step of maturity for me,” he said.