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WHO ARE THE VENICE LIONS

We Serve!

 

 

Our Venice club is part of the largest international service organization in the world. We support international efforts to save the sight of millions, provide measles vaccinations and disaster relief.

 At the local community level, Lions provide free vision and hearing services to those in need, screen the vision of preschool children and collect used eyeglasses.  They also sponsor and participate in many events such as the Sharks Tooth Festival, Halloween and Holiday parades, Youth Recycle Program, Peace Poster Contest and Easter egg hunts.

Every dollar donated goes back to the community in the form of grants, scholarships, and educational and fun activities for children.

Our members like serving in a club with a purpose.  It makes us feel good to give back to our community.  We are looking for people to bring inspirations, ideas and talents to our club.  We hope you will join us at one of our meetings to see what a difference you could make as a Venice Lion! 

Please call us at (941) 837-2789, email us at venicelionsclub@gmail.com or through the Contact link above for more information about our Club and to attend a meeting.

WHAT WE DO

Where there is a Need, there is a Lion.

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What We Do

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Newest service we offer:

  • Does low vision or physical disability prevent you from bicycling? You can ride again with The Venice Lions’ Club Random Tandem program. Thanks to a generous donor, the club placed a bicycle-built-for-two at Real Bikes Venice for free use by individuals with low vision or a disability and their “driver." Reserve the free-use bicycle by calling (941) 485-3113. Real Bikes Venice is located in Bird Bay Plaza, 581 U.S. 41 Bypass N, Venice, with easy access to the famous Legacy Trail.

 

Vision services we offer:

  • Vision and Hearing screenings, eye examinations, glasses, hearing aids, and eye surgery for eligible residents of the Venice and Englewood areas.

  • Children's Vision Screening, targets preschool children to identify at least six treatable eye conditions.

 
Engaging our youth:

  • Sponsor a Venice Little League team and volunteer at the concession stand.

  • Sponsor three schools for the annual International Lions Peace Poster contest.

  • Sponsor the Venice Halloween Parade downtown Venice.

  • Assist Venice Main Street's Easter Egg Hunt, the Eggstravaganza and offer a Beeping Egg Hunt for the Visually Impaired.

  • Promote eyeglass recycling through the Youth Recycle Program at local schools.

 
Supporting our community:

  • Collect eyeglasses for recycling.

  • Pick up litter during the monthly Venetian Waterway clean up 

  • Assist in collecting debris during the bi-annual Sarasota County Coastal Clean Up

  • Man a shark tooth hunting booth at the Shark's Tooth Festival.

  • Partner with Homeless Outreach Ministries to offer eyeglasses and examinations.

 
Offering financial assistance to our community members:

  • Grants to organizations in the community.

  • High School scholarships for college and vocational bound students.

Join Us!  Bring your time and talents and make an impact in our community.  Please call us at (941) 837-2789, email us at secretary@venicelionsclub.com or through the Contact link above for more information about our Club and to attend a meeting.

Venice Lions Club Board of Directors (2023 - 2024)
Jeff_Myles

Jeff Myles

President

 

Born in Attleboro, MA, Jeff attended Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, and attended St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT receiving a BA degree in English Literature. Jeff tried for a career in teaching after becoming certified to teach K-12 in Massachusetts. Eventually, he found a career in the computer industry, first as a field engineer and retiring as a Quality Engineering Manager. ​

Jeff has one daughter, Erin, who is a self-employed artist and business owner in Providence, RI. He moved to Venice with his wife , Lion Carole, in 2015. Having previously been a member of the North Attleboro, MA Lions, Jeff was reintroduced to the Venice Lions in 2016 and was inducted in October 2016.​

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Pamela Brown

First Vice President

 

Pamela’s interest in Lionism began in 2008 when she managed a Library for the Blind in Virginia Beach.  The local Lions Club brought their mobile vision van to the library’s parking lot to offer free vision screenings, and she was so impressed, she joined the same day.  After that beginning in Virginia, Pamela was a member of two Lions’ Clubs in Mexico.  She has seen what it means to be a member of Lions International.  Every local club works to improve the lives of their community’s most vulnerable neighbors in a vast network of assistance spanning the globe.  Pamela continues to assist blind and low vision individuals access free audio books from the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.

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Timothy Werla

Second Vice President

 

Lion Tim grew up in Columbus, Wisconsin and in 1982 joined the United States Navy where for 22 years he worked in Aviation Ordnance, Bomb Disposal, and Deep-Sea Diving.  During this time, he met Lion Kim, married, and had twins (boy and a girl). Nick is in the Navy as an Air Traffic Controller, and Katie is fulfilling her dreams in working as a wedding planner. 

Tim has an Associate degree in Culinary Arts, Bachelors in History and a Master’s degree in Management and Organizational Behavior.  He and his wife Kim work together as Realtors at REMAX Alliance Group here in Venice, Florida.  They also are members of VFW and the Patriot Riders who go out and help Veterans in need. 

Tim likes the beach, taking a boat out to look for dolphins and traveling.  He looks forward to working with his fellow Lions in order to help those in need.

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Bev Flynn

Secretary

 

Lion Beverly joined the Venice Lions Club in 2006.  For over twenty years she had participated with the Lions Club providing eyeglasses for the needy in our community through her optical business.  During that time, she realized the importance of the service that the Lions Club provided.  She decided to become a member of the organization that provided vision with the same dedication that she has had since becoming a licensed optician.

Lion Beverly has served the Venice Lions as our Tail Twister, Secretary, 2nd and 1st Vice President, and then President for two 2 year terms.  She has served as our Zone Chair and the District’s Hearing Foundation president as well.  In 2006-2007 she was presented the “Rising Star” award.  She received the honor of “Lion of the Year” for 2007-2008, was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Award in 2010 and a Progressive Melvin Jones in 2012, and received a life membership in the Florida Foundation for the Blind, Inc.  District 35I awarded the Mildred Conklin Crusader Award to Lion Bev in 2016 for her service in Lions.

Lion Bev has also served as co-chairperson of “The Mane Event Fashion Show” since its inception in 2008.  She enjoys designing and decorating for all of our social events.

Born in Covington, Kentucky, Lion Bev moved to Bradenton, Florida when she was two.  She now resides in Venice.  She loves to travel and spend time with her family.  Her hobbies are gardening, reading and event planning when she is not participating in a Lions project.

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Terry Burke

Treasurer - Administration

 

Lion Terry is  originally from Maryland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD. In 1986 he married Lion Melissa and they have three daughters. Megan the oldest, Becky the middle daughter, and Emma the youngest. Lion Terry worked in the IT field for 41 years before retiring  in 2018. Lion Melissa and he moved to Englewood that same year to get away from the cold. This is their first time in a civic organization,  having  joined the Lion’s in January of 2023. Both Lions Melissa and Terry also volunteer at Englewood Community Hospital.  Just in his short time with the Lion’s Terry has learned what it means to serve and  to help people that truly need it. And according to Lion Terry, "the truth be known, I am getting a lot more than I give."

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Barbara McGillicuddy

Treasurer - Foundation

 

Lion Barbara learned about Lionism at an early age as her dad was a Lion in Bridgewater, MA. Years later when her husband Joe decided it was time to give back to their NH community, she suggested the Hampstead Lions Club.  They both became involved and he steadily worked his way through all the club and district offices reaching the position of District Governor of NH District 44-H.

Lion Barbara has been a member of the Lions family since 1974 when she joined the Hampstead (NH) Lioness Club. She became the first Lioness District President in New England and earned five club extension awards. When Lions International dissolved the Lioness District organization she joined the Hampstead and then Portsmouth (NH) Lions Clubs and served as Treasurer of Lions Camp Pride (NH) for 4 years prior to relocating to Venice in 1994.  Upon her departure from NH the Hampstead and Portsmouth Lions Clubs joined in naming her a Melvin Jones Fellow and in 2009 the Venice Lions Club awarded her a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Since then Lion Barbara has served the Venice Lions Club as Secretary, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Vice President, as well as two terms as President in 1998-99 and in 2008-09.

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Louise Elleo

Immediate Past President

 

Louise grew up in Clifton, New Jersey as the youngest and only girl with three older brothers. Following schooling, she made her way across Pennsylvania and played golf with Arnold Palmer in Latrobe, PA and lived there for 10 years. She relocated to Cary, North Carolina in 2000.  Heading South was always in her future.​

Louise was blessed to have found her soulmate Keith in North Carolina and married him in Capri, Italy in October 2014. Their family consists of two Macaw Parrots, Ollie and Casey.​

Louise has held several managerial positions in the medical device, pharmaceutical and technology fields.  Her last position before retirement was 15 years at Cisco Systems.  In her spare time she loves to be active playing tennis,  golf, water aerobics and traveling the world. Her next adventure is a Safari to South Africa in October 2020.
Louise finds happiness helping those who can't help themselves.  Colon Cancer and Alzheimer's are close to her heart; she lost her parents to these deadly diseases.

Louise is proud to be a Venice Lion and recently received the Governor's Award from her sponsor Agnes Woros.

Lion John Tayge

John Tagye

One Year Director

 

John was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Business Degree from Lasalle University. Shortly after graduation, he began his life long career at Ryerson Steel.  During his 34 year  tenure at Ryerson, he and his wife, Rose of 55 years, raised their family of four children. 

 

He transferred to Dallas Texas in 1971 where they lived for 13 years. In Dallas, he also completed his Masters degree in Business from the University of Texas at Dallas and also joined the Knights of Columbus in Dallas. In 1984, he was transferred again to Chicago, Illinois and eventually retired from Ryerson in 1997. 

 

Retirement opened the world of volunteering and John dove right in starting with SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives), Habitat for Humanity, Knights of Columbus Wheaton and the Wheaton, Illinois Lions Club. Here he served as Co-Chair for the vision screening services offered by the Lions Club for children 6 months to 6 years old, served on the Board, and helped with other activities. In addition to volunteering, John loves spending his retirement with his 10 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter.

 

John and Rose always enjoyed wintering in Venice and decided to move to the area full time in August of 2020. John transferred to the Venice Lions Club at this time. He likes the Lions Motto: To Serve and appreciates the opportunities to continue to serve now with the Venice Lions.

Lion Jody Fall

Jody Fall

One Year Director

 

Lion Jody Fall is originally from Mount Vernon, Ohio. She and her husband Jerry lived in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area for 25 years before moving to Venice in 2017.

Most of her professional career was spent working in the field of Ohio workers compensation, representing Ohio employers regarding their administrative hearings. She owned her own business for 18 years. Most recently she was a licensed realtor selling residential and commercial real estate. In Ohio she was an active Kiwanis member and past president of the Fairfield Kiwanis Club. She was also active in Corvettes of Hamilton, Life Span, Butler County United Way and Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

In 2007, Jody lost her only child, Rob Forman, from a virus of his heart. She is part of a grief support group of mothers here in Venice.

In addition to the Lions Club, she is active in the Venice, Florida Corvette Club and their social committee. Lions Bob and Cheryl Winstel sponsored Jody in the Lions Club on 2/6/20. Lion Jody has enjoyed participating in The Lions Water Way Clean Up, the Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Easter Egg Hunt, the Mane Event Luncheon and greeting members at our monthly meetings. She has enjoyed her experience with the Lions and looks forward to our future events.

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Judy Terrell

Two year Director

 

Lion Judy was born in New York and she’s the first to admit she’s had some interesting work experiences. She’s worked on New York’s Wall Street, worked for the administrator of a 360-bed hospital in New Jersey, managed an inspection office, and eventually found herself living on a boat in Key West, co-owner of The Ugly Rooster Café, engaged to the man who stole her heart. They were lucky enough to travel through much of Europe and the Caribbean before Jim’s health prevented them from continuing to travel. They moved to Pasco County for a time and Judy volunteered as a docent at the Tampa Theater and participated in several 5K’s. She also found time to become a Florida Master Gardener Volunteer. But Key West called again so they packed up and headed back to the Southernmost point. Judy worked at Audubon House and Tropical Gardens, became a notary, and performed weddings in the Gardens and on cruise ships, beaches, etc. She also helped couples write their own vows. Judy joined the Venice Lions on September 15, 2022, attended her first Board Meeting on October 13, and has been a regular attendee ever since and has never looked back. She’s been involved in several projects including ones for Our Mother’s House, the Bags-to-Benches Trex program, and the elementary school nurse program. She’s also been involved with the Lions Halloween Parade, the Christmas Parade, the LOVN Chat Health Fair and the Easter EGG-Stravaganza. Judy looks forward to more projects as opportunities present themselves and more ways to serve the community as a Venice Lion. She has one son from a previous marriage.

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Jean Spitzer

Two Year Director

 

Lion Jean grew up in Iowa where she finished her education with a degree in Speech Therapy. Most of her career was spent working in San Francisco at rehabilitation hospitals. Her two children are now adults with families in California. In the Fall of 2022, Lion Jean and her husband became permanent residents in the area after ten years of being snowbirds. Her interests include reading, volunteering, singing in a church choir, and swimming. Her hobby is also being a grandmother to four grandchildren under ten. The Lions appealed to her after learning so much about the Club from her neighbor, Lion Barbara McGillicuddy.

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Judy Rocquin

Tail Twister

 

Judy grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada. After nursing school she and several classmates moved to New Orleans for job opportunities and fun. She met Rocky at a holiday party and they married the following year. This year will be their 44th anniversary. They have two children and two grandchildren.

 

Judy’s nursing career was varied and very fulfilling. After obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Nursing (she already had an Associates Degree) and a Master’s Degree in Education, Judy spent most of her nursing career teaching, coaching and facilitating organizational development. She was actively involved in The American Society for Training and Development, an international organization for training professionals in all industries.  She served as the New Orleans Chapter Club President and was the Chair of the Host Committee for the 1992 international Convention which had 10,000 attendees. 
 

In 1995, Judy and her family moved to Aberdeen, Washington. It was there that Judy became involved in the local Lions Club.  She served on several committees and helped coordinate the Aberdeen Lions annual “Toast the Harbor” wine tasting and silent auction fundraiser. 
 

When she retired and moved to Florida in 2015, joining the local Lions club was a priority.  She and Rocky help coordinate the float decorations and volunteer participation in the Halloween and Christmas Parades. In her role as Tail Twister, Judy is able to reconnect with her teaching roots.  

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Bob Winstel

Lion Tamer

Until moving to Venice, Florida in 2015, Lion Bob lived in Cincinnati, Ohio.  While attending the University of Cincinnati, he started his working career in the trucking industry, working in various aspects. For the last eighteen years of his working career, he was a General Manager for a  regional tire and service company. 

 

Lion Bob and his wife, Lion Cheryl, a retired Physical Education teacher, have been married for 35 years.  Lion Bob's hobbies are diverse: woodworking, biking, kayaking, shooting sporting clay, and driving his Corvette.  He has owned Corvettes for the past 40 years and belongs to the Venice Corvette Club and Corvettes of Hamilton , Ohio.  

 

Lion Robert Spong invited Bob and his wife Cheryl to join the Venice Lions and the experience has truly enriched their retirement. 

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Louise Elleo

Membership Chair

 

Louise grew up in Clifton, New Jersey as the youngest and only girl with three older brothers. Following schooling, she made her way across Pennsylvania and played golf with Arnold Palmer in Latrobe, PA and lived there for 10 years. She relocated to Cary, North Carolina in 2000.  Heading South was always in her future.​
 

Louise was blessed to have found her soulmate Keith in North Carolina and married him in Capri, Italy in October 2014. Their family consists of two Macaw Parrots, Ollie and Casey.

Louise has held several managerial positions in the medical device, pharmaceutical and technology fields.  Her last position before retirement was 15 years at Cisco Systems.  In her spare time she loves to be active playing tennis,  golf, water aerobics and traveling the world. Her next adventure is a Safari to South Africa in October 2020.

 

Louise finds happiness helping those who can't help themselves.  Colon Cancer and Alzheimer's are close to her heart; she lost her parents to these deadly diseases.

Louise is proud to be a Venice Lion and recently received the Governor's Award from her sponsor Agnes Woros.

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