(L-R Torrington Lions Club Membership Chairman Phil Dzurank, Captain René Jarvis, and District Governor Mike Wilcox.)
TORRINGTON – Arriving in July from her previous appointment in Middletown, Connecticut, Captain René Jarvis has hit the ground running as the Corps Officer in the Northwest Hills. Her community networking has most-recently entailed joining the Torrington Lions Club. Captain Jarvis had previously been approached by one of the Lions Officers (now her sponsor), as a way of introduction, to tell her a little about the club, and to ask her to consider membership.
On Thursday, October 2, the Torrington Lions Club met at P Sam's Café in Torrington, with one of their agenda items being to induct Captain Jarvis. Responding to why she ultimately decided to join, she commented, "Lions Club members are men and women who strive to make a difference in their local community. I therefore saw it fitting to join, because we in The Salvation Army are concerned foremost with bringing the gospel to others, but we do so by being involved in the community." This induction of Captain Jarvis continues a local history of partnership between the two organizations that will continue to benefit both groups in a multitude of ways into the future.
Since the Torrington Lions Club's inception in 1925, the members of the club have dedicated themselves to SERVICE. Through the many community and statewide projects, they have distinguished themselves as extraordinary citizens, by donating unselfishly their own time to the success of these civic programs.
Early dedications to community projects were very apparent in the early 20's, when Lions donated a cup for Torrington High School Sports. In the 30's and 40's, they assisted in raising funds for use in the Torrington School System and large-type books were donated to the Torrington Library.
In the 50's and 60's, scholarships began to be granted to students attending the University of Connecticut at both the local level and the Storrs level. In the 70's, funds were contributed to the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital for an X-ray therapy unit.
In the 80's and 90's, the club continued to make contributions to various local organizations; State and International Lions Sight Programs.
A major step in the club's history occurred in the 90's, when women were welcomed into the club as members, bringing fresh ideas for new projects and much needed enthusiasm.
Lions not only contribute financially, but also contribute manual labor when needed. They helped clean up Torrington after the flood of 1955 and again when tornadoes devastated Litchfield and Bantam in 1989. They also provided transportation for patients to eye clinics and medical appointments.
During their 75th Anniversary celebration year, the Torrington Lions raised $20,000.00 to sponsor a Fidelco Guide Dog and presented this wonderful dog to one of the local citizens on Christmas Eve day 2001.
The club survived the Depression of the thirties; hurricane of 1938; World War II (40's); flood of 1955; and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The deeds accomplished by the members dramatically reflect the above mentioned events and in spite of these catastrophic periods, the club has contributed more than $350,000.00 to worthy community activities during its 85 years of service.
The Torrington Lions Club has been made possible not only by the efforts of all past and present members, but with the help and support of the great City of Torrington residents and Business Owners, without whose help and support they could not exist.