Alert: Wheelchairs Needed

The Greater Olney News July 12th Edition provided information about the new incoming officers of the Sandy Spring Lions Club (SSLC) under the leadership of King Lion Bill Lavely and a staff of volunteer Lions.

One of the Sandy Spring Lions Club (SSLC) programs that serve the local public is their long-standing medical equipment loan program. Each year the SSLC members exert hundreds of volunteer hours to collect and redistribute items such as walkers, crutches, rollators, canes, potty chairs, raised toilet seats, knee walkers, hospital beds, personal lifts, scooters, and wheel chairs.

Donations and loans ebb and flow during the year but at the present time the SSLC has a critical shortage of standard wheel chairs and transport chairs.

They are calling upon the giving spirit of the community to go through stored items in the their attics, storage units, garages, basements that may have accumulated from relatives and friends to determine if an old wheel chair collecting dust bunnies can be recycled. SSLC loans these out to healthy folks who had accidents; those having orthopedic surgeries; or relatives visiting to observe their son/daughter graduate from high school, college, or athletic events.

SSLC requests residents in the Greater Olney community to search through stored items to determine if they have gently used wheel chairs and other portable medical equipment items that can be donated to their medical equipment loan program.

Past District Governor and Past King Lion Brother Pattie will be selling vacation raffle tickets in front of Dempsey’s of Ashton Restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to about 1:00 PM during July, August, and several weeks into September. Donated wheel chairs can be dropped-off with him and gratefully accepted on behalf of the next needy recipients of our community.

The SSLC can be reached at telephone 301-288- 1393, or email:


July Program: King Lion Bill Lavely

IMG_20170724_194508 King Lion Bill Lavely led his first meeting with a rousing call to arms on membership and opportunities to volunteer.  We have a very busy couple of months coming up and we need everyone involved and active so we can be successful.

King Lion Bill also distributed the lists of chairs of our committees, a calendar of events, a budget for the year, and our roster.

King Lion Bill regaled us with the stories of our club members visit to the International Convention in Chicago for our Lions Centennial Celebration.  The parade and flag ceremony were extra special this year because of the sheer number of Lions attending the event.


Upcoming Events: August

The following are opportunities to come out and see Lions at work this summer!

Monday, July 24 – July Regular Meeting at Salem United Methodist Church – If you are interested in Lionism, come to a meeting!  Just call or e-mail us at the address on the “Contact Us” link of this site and we would be happy to extend you an invitation.  Dinner is served and we have community members presenting about their community service projects.

Tuesday, July 25 – MedStar Montgomery Women’s Board Picnic and Bazaar – Lions will be cooking and shucking corn all day at the bazaar!  Stop by the food line and say hello.  We will also be doing free vision screenings at this event.  This is always a signature event for our community and we are proud to be a part of it.

August All Month – Yearly Lions Travel Raffle – Enter our raffle to win a wonderful vacation to a destination such as Riviera Maya, the Dominican Republic, or another trip of your choice!  Tickets are sold by individual Lions and at Dempsey’s restaurant in Ashton on weekends.  If you don’t know a lion, just use the Contact Us link to find one!

Tuesday, August 1 – National Night Out Olney – Stop by this community event at the Fair Hill shopping center to meet members of our local fire and police force.  There will be Lions there, ready to meet and greet you!

Tuesday, August 8 – Blood Drive at Ashton United Methodist Church – We will be putting on our bimonthly drive in August at the Ashton Church from 1 to 6.  Drop-ins are welcome, or you can register with the red cross directly or by contacting a Lion.  Blood collection is one of our signature activities, with many members having donated over a gallon in their lifetimes.  Save a life and come join us!

Saturday, August 12 – Adopt-a-road at Ednor Road – We will be doing road cleanup along Ednor Road at 9am on Saturday.  A light breakfast is usually served beforehand and vests and bags are provided.  If you’re driving by, you can wave to us, or if you’re interested to help, please join us anytime!

Sunday, August 13 – Club Picnic – We will be having our annual club picnic in Sandy Spring.  Join the club or contact a member and you can join us for the food and fellowship!

Wednesday, August 16 – Montgomery County Agricultural Fair Ice Cream Barn – Join us as we serve ice cream to the hungry patrons of the county fair!  Lions from many clubs run the barn throughout the week, and this is our day.  Come and have some lovely ice cream, a float, a shake, or even a Sundae!

Monday, August 21 – August Regular Meeting at Salem United Methodist Church – If you are interested in Lionism, come to a meeting!  Just call or e-mail us at the address on the “Contact Us” link of this site and we would be happy to extend you an invitation.  Dinner is served and we have community members presenting about their community service projects.

September Program: Cued Speech

Our September guest speaker

Our September guest speaker

We had a busy September regular meeting.  There was an induction of a new member and many reports of our activities that are ongoing.

We also had an excellent program:  Linda Balderson, a certified interpreter for the deaf, gave a talk on cued speech.  When used in addition to sign language, cued speech can help improve literacy in children as it allows them to learn English phonetically and translate that language to our phonetic alphabet.  Ms. Balderson told us about how, when she and her husband learned their daughter was deaf, they were able to learn how to perform cued speech in less than a week.

Cued speech works by using hand gestures near the mouth and throat to represent the different sounds that can look similar when lips are being read.  The hand gestures, instead of simple lip reading, make it much much more obvious what is being said.  Ms. Balderson works as an interpreter in college and high school classrooms, cuing all the speech that is going on in the classroom to help the deaf students follow what’s happening.

Lions Night Out @ Urban BBQ on 8/5


The Sandy Spring Lions invite you to join us at Urban BBQ in Sandy Spring on the evening of October 5th.  This is our second restaurant fundraiser where we try different restaurants around Sandy Spring.  Several Lions sampled the fare at Urban BBQ and enjoyed it immensely.  Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Tribute to Benny and the Our House boys

The Lions very much appreciate all the efforts and assistance Our House has given us over the years.  This is a much well-deserved honor for a man who runs a great program filled with hard-working young men.

Richard “Benny” Bienvenue and Our House featured on CNN Heroes

You may have seen Our House residents working in various community events, like the Strawberry Festival, Taste of Olney, Brookeville’s Bicentennial Celebration, and at Salem UMC.  Richard “Benny” Bienvenue and his Brookeville based nonprofit, Our House, have helped more than 350 at-risk young men from the Washington, D.C., area rebuild their lives.

The entire interview can be viewed at:

August Program: The Salute Military Golf Association

At the August meeting, Colonel John Barnes gave a presentation on “The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA)” at the Sandy Spring Lions Club dinner.

SMGA provides rehabilitative golf experiences and family-inclusive golf opportunities for post-9-11 wounded war veterans in an effort to improve the quality of life for these American Heroes. Eligible veterans include those wounded or injured in post 9-11 military operations, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and /or traumatic Brain injury (TBI).

Contributions can be made to SMGA at their site.

The following video, courtesy of Maryam Esmaili, gives you a taste of the presentation.

Come to a Lions meeting and join us in seeing these excellent programs!