Lions Club 'Lights up the Season'

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
East Haddam - posted Mon., Dec. 16, 2013
Linda Bradshaw, donning antlers, was actively decorating right up to the start of the party and silent auction. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.
Linda Bradshaw, donning antlers, was actively decorating right up to the start of the party and silent auction. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.

Despite the sleeting rain, the East Haddam Community Lions and their guests showed up at the Rathbun Library on Dec. 6, to raise money for a good cause. Just over the last five years, the local Lions have raised more than $27,000 cumulatively at the annual “Light up the Holidays” event, according to Linda Bradshaw.

Bradshaw, Mary Lee Abkemeier, Nancy Veronneau, Diane Bielski were like elves, creating the event and setting up cookies, wine, sodas and plates of food. They decorated the library with the baskets, wreaths and small trees, as well as other uniquely crafted gifts that were on display for a few weeks before the silent auction that night. They also created gifts and baskets to be auctioned off.

The proceeds go to the East Haddam fuel bank, food bank and Youth and Family Services.

Town resident Sharon Fritz said she heard about the event at the senior center and decided to join in the fun, as it was open to the public. A charming Christmas tree caught her imagination. “It is so creative, unusual and slim,” she said.

The decorated baskets ranged from Santa Claus with chocolates to a unique gingerbread house that was made with a licorice roof. Bradshaw said a group of friends create one every year, which they call an “Adirondack Christmas House.”

Other displays included a set of Olin skis, two hand-made quilt-like pieces that could be used as wall hangings or table runners, baskets of books, wine, a martini basket, and, of course, lots and lots of holiday cookies.

Bradshaw said she has been involved with the Lions for the last 10 years, after she emigrated from England to East Haddam 13 years ago. She was delighted to join the Lions of East Haddam. “In England, you really have to be asked and if you do not know who is a Lion, it is nearly impossible,” she said, but here the Lions are so active and visible, everyone knows one another and people are friendly. “We wanted you! Of course we did,” said another Lion. There are 1.35 million Lions in 236 countries today, according to the East Haddam Lions Club.


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