Lions logo

The Jungle Jargon

A Monthly Broadcast to and from

The Lions Club of Cranbury, New Jersey

Contact us at:

Lions logo

Ideals in Government
Civic Betterment

Mutual Helpfulness

Social Progress

President:  John Kobland
1st Vice President:  Pat Meehan
2nd Vice President:  Dave Cook
3rd Vice President:  Dave Shaffer
Secretary:  Bob Virgadamo
Treasurer:  Dean Koehler
Associate Treasurer:  Elaine Homoky
Immediate Past President:  Mike Kaiser
Membership Chairman:  Jon Goldstein
Information Technology Chairman:  Phyllis Johnson
Tail Twister:  Peter Turner

Directors - 1 Year:  Rick Burke
                                 Jeff Grundy
                                 George Smith
Directors - 2 Years:  Andy Jost
                                  Andre Mento
                                  Neal Wagman
Lion Tamer:  Frank Marlowe
Publicity Chairman:  Christine Thompson
Jargon Editor:  Bob Virgadamo

April, 2010

April 6 - Board of Directors Meeting - 7:30PM, Boy Scout Room (Town Hall)

April 7 - Regular Meeting - 7PM, Cranbury Station; Dinner: Chicken Alfredo

Program: Dan Mulligan, of Cranbury, will talk about Ed Randall's "Bat for the Cure", which is an organization whose main purpose is to increase the public's awareness of prostate cancer and to educate the American people about cutting edge techniques in treatment, prevention and detection. Ed Randall, the host of the radio program "Ed Randall's Talking Baseball", is a prostate cancer survivor and founder and CEO of "Bat for the Cure". Dan is the project's Chief Information Officer; at this writing, Ed Randall will be available to attend the meeting.

April 21 - Annual Joint Zone Meeting and Lion of the Year - Spouse Night - 7PM, Cranbury Station Restaurant; Dinner: TBA - Sign-Up Sheet is being circulated

Program: In addition to the Cranbury Lions Club announcing our Lion of the Year, we will have the opportunity to meet, greet, and discuss topics and solutions with the other Clubs in our Zone, namely: Milltown and North Brunswick. District Governor Jim Dougherty will be our Guest Speaker.

May, 2010

May 4 - Board of Directors Meeting - 7:30PM, Boy Scout Room (Town Hall)

May 5 - Regular Meeting - 7PM, Cranbury Station; Dinner: Oriental Beef and Broccoli

Program: Peter Wise, former Director of TASK will speak about TASK and hunger in Trenton.

May 19 - Networking Meeting - 7AM, Teddy's; Breakfast: Choice

Program: Members to interact with each other as well as Cranbury residents in general.


All dues are payable, in advance, on a quarterly basis after receipt of an invoice. Members may, but are not required, to pay dues annually or by the half year. There are a number of our Lions who are a quarter or two behind, however, some of our Members are seriously behind in the payment of dues by a year or more; these members have received letters requesting immediate payment in full. It is imperative that we close our year (June 30) "in the black", and are asking all Members to meet the fiscal responsibilities agreed to upon accepting membership in the Club. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN INVOICE, CONTACT SECRETARY BOB OR TREASURER DEAN KOEHLER ASAP!

Things To Know

We'd like to remind all members to PLEASE, share the Jargon with your Spouse, so that our events may be better scheduled on your personal or family calendars for better attendance and participation. Please Note that Spouses are not only invited to attend all meetings, but to become Members under the Family Membership Initiative. In any event, Spouses are wholly encouraged to attend our quarterly "Spouse Night" meetings. Our next Spouse Night is our Lion of the Year Meeting, and our District Governor will be our Guest Speaker.

The Slate of Officers for Lion Year 2010-11 was read at both the March 3rd and March 17th meetings; there were no write-in votes, and the slate of nominations was duly voted upon by the Members in attendance on March 17; the Slate was unanimously approved, and our new Officers and Board of Directors will be honored at the Regular meeting on June 16.

Officers and the Board of Directors for the Lion Year 2010-2011


1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
3rd Vice President
Associate Treasurer
Past President
Director - 1 Year
Director - 1 Year
Director - 1 Year

Dave Shaffer
Andy Jost
Neal Wagman
Christine Thompson
Bob Virgadamo
Dean Koehler
Elaine Homoky
John Kobland
Dave Cook
Pat Meehan
Andre Mento

Director - 2 Year
Directors - 2 Year
Directors - 2 Year
Tail Twister
Lion Tamer
Info-Tech. Chair
Publicity Chair
Membership Chairman
Jargon Editor

Tim Demarest
Mike Kaiser
Frank Vesci
Joe Carroll
Frank Marlowe
Phyllis Johnson
Neile Wright
Jon Goldstein
Bob Virgadamo

New Jersey Lions Night at Prudential Arena with the Jersey Devils was Saturday, March 20. Once again, thanks to the efforts of Lion Joe Carroll, the Cranbury Lions sold 75 tickets, which will infuse our Charitable Budget by $750 when the Devils send us a donation check at the end of the season. Thank you, Lion Joe.

White Cane Days are coming! With the approval of the Board of Directors, Lion Jeff Grundy has planned our Spring White Cane Collection for Friday and Saturday, April 16 & 17.There is a sign up sheet going around at the meeting, or you can contact Lion Jeff directly. Jeff has been responsible for showing us that White Cane CAN BE a lucrative fundraiser - all we have to do is show up! ALL MEMBERS are asked to please volunteer for at least one 2-hour stint during this 2-day event and help make this White Cane a success.

The Habitat for Humanity house is now in the construction phase; the house is in Hightstown and volunteers are needed for everything - little to big - from getting coffee to installing windows. Interested volunteers should contact Lion Dave Shaffer to become part of our construction team.

The District 16-D Charity Ball is the 16-D Charitable Foundation's only fundraiser each year, and depends on our support to provide its support. This year's Charity Ball is at the East Brunswick Chateau on Sunday, April 25; Cash Bar Cocktail reception at 2PM; Dinner at 3PM; tickets are $45 per person. As a Club, we would like to fill at least one table (10 people). All Cranbury Lions Interested in attending should contact President John ASAP.

By now, everyone should have received an allotment of tickets for the our Super 50/50 Spring Raffle. This is one of our most important fundraisers for the year, and its success lies solely with the membership and how many tickets we sell. In a time when raffles are complex and expensive, we have kept the Spring Raffle simple and inexpensive: a $10 donation provides a chance to win one of three prizes, totaling up to $5000; if we sell all 1000 tickets the Club will make $5000 for our Charitable Budget. The Board of Directors asks that each member make every effort to sell your entire allotment of tickets, but would like to remind us that at least five (5) tickets per member must be sold to provide sustainable prizes. All cash and ticket stubs AND unsold tickets MUST be returned for accounting purposes; returns to either Raffle Chair Henry Behnke, Secretary Bob Virgadamo, or Treasurer Dean Koehler; all returns would be appreciated by Sunday, May 30, but returns may be made to the Raffle Table at the Parade on Memorial Day. As always the drawing will be held on Memorial Day.

And, speaking of Memorial Day, planning has begun for the Memorial Day Parade. Recently elected to the Township Committee, Lion Dave Cook has asked to stay on as Event Chair, but with a Co-Chair who can act as Parade Master, since Dave will march with the Township Committee; Lion Andre Mento has agreed to act as Co-Chair and Parade Master. A sign-up sheet will be passed at the meetings beginning in April, but anyone who wishes to volunteer for Parade duty can contact Lion Dave or Lion Andre.

The 89th Annual Multiple District 16 - New Jersey State Convention will be at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Somerset on May14 and 15. With 66 members we are allowed 7 Delegates and 7 Alternates for voting at the Convention; being one of the larger Clubs in the State, our delegation can be a powerful voting block. Last year we saw a change in how the Hospitality Suites were handled; this will continue this year - all Sub-Districts will be in one large area, which we saw last year, makes the Friday Night Hospitality Event much more fun. The Board of Directors would like to have "decent" representation at the Saturday Night Reception and Ball; members who plan to attend the convention, and especially the Saturday Night Dinner, should advise President John or Secretary Bob. All members who plan to attend - even just as a delegate for the Saturday AM & PM voting sessions - MUST complete a Convention Form for a badge; If you have not received a form in the mail, please contact Secretary Bob ASAP. To obtain a room discount at the DoubleTree, reservations must be made before April 21, 2010.

Our new LEO Club advisors, Lions Tim Demarest and Fay Kobland, have been doing all they can to get the word out about the start of a new LEO Club in our community. Posters or other advertising medium will be placed in Teddy's and Cranbury Pizza; articles are being run in the Cranbury Press. The Board of Directors asks that members - especially members with school age children - offer their assistance on this LEO Club project. We will keep your informed of the progress.

In an effort to thank Members for their continued years of service to the Club and the community, the Board of Directors has voted to bring back Longevity Chevrons for our Members with ten or more years. We will be giving out these Chevrons to our members at the Installation Dinner in June. More information in next month's Jargon.


Some months ago, Lion Peter Turner did a "Tail Twister Assignment", asking the members (as "table groups") to provide subjects for discussion, changes they'd like to see made, benefits we have or benefits we need, and comments in general. Lion Peter's instructions were to also provide suggestions to all commentary, and both commentary and suggestions are reported here, verbatim, from the comment sheets. Only one table that submitted comments, didn't provide names; all comments and responses will be addressed by table …

Subject(s) from Anonymous:
1. "More people should come to the meetings and volunteer for the projects we already have."
2. "Be quiet during the meetings so we don't have to send out paper copies and repeat stuff."
Response to Anonymous:
As a comment to your first question, the Board of Directors has been asking the total Membership for years, what the Club can do to attract members back to the meetings; to date, the BOD has received no answer to the question. As for your second comment, this seems to have gotten slightly better in recent months and members will be reminded, as necessary, not to talk while a speaker has the floor, and if a comment must be made, to use their "inside voices". It should be pointed out that this was a "problem/solution" exercise; you provided no possible solutions.

Subject from Monte Hagerty, Bill Keller, Mahlon Thompson, Christine Thompson, Frank Vesci:
"Propose that the club members receive more information about money that is being spent before it is spent."
Solution provided:
"Discussions and decisions about financial issues - especially over $1000 should be brought to meeting for entire membership to hear and comment on"
The Members of the Board of Directors were quite concerned about the nature of this comment and solution. The BOD is (and has always been) empowered by the Constitution & By-Laws to approve expenses in amounts less than $1000 with post-approval notification to the membership; amounts in excess of $1000 must be brought to a meeting for a vote by the membership (in attendance); the former fact notwithstanding, ALL spending decisions are brought to the membership at a meeting, usually twice: the first time as informational or for a vote (if over $1000), and the second time as part of the Treasurer's Report. If these members have a specific item, or items, in mind, this matter should be revisited and resolved to alleviate misunderstanding and instill trust.

Subject from Don Swanagan, Frank Brennan, Don Herr, Gordon Stults, Ed Lawson:
"More publicity on all the public services that the club does."
Solution Provided:
"Newspaper coverage as often as possible."
Although it may not seem like it, notification of every donation we give, every public service we provide, every fundraiser we hold, every act of charity we perform is provided to the Cranbury Press - but for some reason, we get little or no photo coverage and our press releases never seem to make it the paper. By way of example: we collected nearly two hundred coats for the needy - no story in the Press; we collected over 600 toys for Toys for Tots - no story in the Press…well there was the story about the Mother's Club who collected 75 toys and had a full dress Marine at the house for a party. We have an excellent Publicity Chair in Lion Christine Thompson, but she can't hold a gun to the Press Editor's head and say "print this". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Subject from Bobbie Marlowe and table:
"For a night at the 'Grape Escape' instead of a catered dinner - have a 'pot luck' where each member brings something to share"
This statement seems to be a subject and a solution in one: vary the meeting place to alleviate any perceived "monotony". While it appears reasonable on the surface, the Board doesn't know how many more meetings we can, or if we even should, hold away from our 'normal venue' - nor at what point such off-site meetings begin to negatively affect one of our most generous sponsors. In fact, we have normally held at least three off-site meetings per year (Holiday, LOTY, and Installation), and in recent years have held one or two Breakfast Meetings at Teddy's, and 2-3 meetings at the "Grape Escape" for our Club Winemaking Project(s); that's 8 out of 22 meetings. [Ed.Note: this past year, to date, there has not been enough participation for either the holiday party or the LOTY dinner to be held at another restaurant, although we did have the holiday meeting 'off-site'.] Having the Holiday Meeting/Party at a Member's home worked out so nicely that if we can continue to get a volunteer in the future, we may consider doing that again; such action would be brought to the membership for opinion and a vote.

Subject(s) from Dave Cook, Rick Burke, Pat Meehan, Alex Johnson, Judson Hagerty:
1. "Increase Membership"
2. "When a change of the Constitution/By-Laws, provide a hard copy @ dinner meeting"
3. "Communicate event expectations in advance"
Solution(s) provided:
1. "Come up with a reason ("hook") for why you should join; invite at least three friends of acquaintances"
2. Inherent in suggestion
3. Inherent in suggestion
1. Over the past 'few' years our membership has gone from 87 to 66 members; meeting attendance has gone from 40+ to 25+/-. While membership has always been a priority in our Club, the Board of Directors, through Membership Chair Jon Goldstein, has been actively asking members for years to bring just one friend or neighbor to a meeting, fundraiser or service project to help infuse our dwindling membership. For some time now, and dovetailing with the comments from the anonymous table, above, the Board has asked the general membership to provide reasons why our own members are not participating in the activities of the Club, and has asked for suggestions as to how we can bring back our existing membership, which would be a catalyst for bringing in new members. The "hook" for new members is that one gets a sense of personal satisfaction in knowing that you've assisted someone who really needs help, and that we have fun, as a group, doing such humanitarian work. But unless we can infuse our numbers, the 'fun' may somehow be diminished, and create a snowball effect that negatively affects the Club in general. We still need help from the entire membership - suggestions, comments, participation.
2. Any and all modifications to the Constitution & By-Laws are brought to the Membership, first in writing, through the Jargon (providing every member with a copy), then at a meeting; since it has always been presumed that members would bring their individual hard copy to the meeting, only one hard-copy per table was provided at the meetings. Since this suggestion was made, however, a hard copy has been distributed at the meetings (when a change is discussed) to every member present at the meeting.
3. The Board didn't quite understand the subject, as written. Every event to be held by the Club is listed, and generally explained, in the Jargon at least two months in advance, asking members to sign-up at the meeting or directly with the Event Chair; when appropriate, sign-up sheets begin circulating 3 meetings prior to the event; and, finally, either the Event Chair or the President explains the what, when and where of every event at the meetings when the sign-up sheets are being circulated. If there is more to this comment, please let the Board know so that it may respond.

Coming Soon...

The Drug Free Fair on May 8 at the Cranbury School.

The Annual Golf Outing - Monday, June 7, 2010 at Peddie Golf Course

The Annual Trenton Thunder Super 50/50 will be held Saturday, June 12, 2010; the Thunder will be playing the Binghamton Mets which usually insures a packed house and better sales.

We have also made arrangements for the 11th Annual Trenton Thunder Baseball Outing on Saturday, August 7, 2010; the Thunder will be playing the Mets. Tickets will be $10 and will be available in January.

Membership - Membership - Membership

As we've said so often, membership is the key to our survival! New members will rejuvenate existing members and help to keep us ALL young-at-heart, active, and viable! President John is asking ALL members to assist Membership Chair Jon Goldstein in attracting and bringing in new members. Some of our members have said that the reason it took so long to become Lions was that no one asked! Ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to give a little of their time to serve and to give back to the community, while having a good time doing it with new friends. If every one of our 66 members asked just one person to join and only 25% of those people joined this year, we would increase our membership by 17 people! To get information about membership options or to obtain membership applications contact Membership Chair Jon, Secretary Bob, or President John. In any event, we MUST maintain a proactive campaign to bring in new Members and keep our Lions Club from being Cranbury's "best kept secret".

...And Attendance...

President John is asking EVERY Cranbury Lion to provide suggestions on how we might be able to make the meetings more appealing to a broader range of the membership, in an effort to build a stronger Cranbury Lions Club. Since attendance is such a problem, there must be a reason or reasons; please provide your suggestions to President John directly. We can't fix it until we know what's broken!


The Club requires that all Members wear a Lion Vest when we are at a fundraiser or Service Project. If you do not have a vest please contact Club Secretary Bob to obtain one. You may also order a baseball cap; these items are at "cost" to our members. Vests @$40 (S-M-L) or $45 (XL, 2X); larger size vests (to 6X) are available as a special order; hats are $12. Ladies Cut for vests are available, same pricing.

To access the Club Directory on-line, use the case-sensitive pass codes which were printed herein past issues, or contact Lion Phyllis Johnson for the pass codes.

Do you know of an interesting speaker? You may be an interesting speaker! Please advise Program Chair Frank Marlowe with any and all suggestions for speakers at our meetings.

Any member who learns of the sickness or death of another member, or in a member's family, or any other similar incident or emergency, should contact Lions Frank Marlowe (Chair, H&W) and/or Christine Johnson ("phone tree"), and/or Bob Virgadamo (e-mail notifications) so that all members may be notified as soon as possible.

Member Pick-Up - Ed Lawson (5 S. Main)

Lion George Smith has volunteered to be the "permanent" pick up driver for Lion Ed; Lion Frank Marlowe has volunteered to be the "permanent" back-up driver. Drivers: if you cannot make your pick-up, please notify President John as soon as possible. Riders: please notify the assigned driver if you cannot make a meeting.