story & photo
by Crystal Harpstreit
At their Thanksgiving luncheon on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 the Groton Lion’s Club and the Groton Ledyard Rotary presented a check for $5,708.08 to Groton Social Services.
The groups; which both volunteer in the community, teamed up to raise money that will go to helping needy Groton families during the holiday season. The Groton Lion’s Club raised $3,000.00 while The Rotary Club raised $1,281.60 and Liberty Bank gave $1,427.20 through their matching grants program.
Shelley Bernier the Manager of Liberty Bank in New London says, “Liberty Bank has matched the donations of Rotary and The Lion’s Club.”
Marge Fondulas, the Director of Groton Social Services said, “The check will be used to supplement our food locker and donation trust fund [which goes immediately to families in need].” Groton Social Services helps around 150 families per month on an ongoing basis, so all donations are appreciated. Many of the people who need help with basic needs such as getting food include seniors, the disabled and single parents.
While working as Director of Social Services, Marge has seen many members of the community come in and donate, which has always impressed her. She said, “We are fortunate that we have a generous community.”
The Navy was the guest of honor at the luncheon. The check was presented to Groton Social Services by R. B. Kent, Marge Fondulas, Shelley Bernier and two of the sailors who were invited to the luncheon. During the luncheon, the sailors introduced themselves and shared a little about their lives and interests in and out of the Navy. Some were from this area and said that they were glad to be living close to their families again.
R.B. Kent, a member of the Lion’s Club, has been in business in this area [Groton] for 36 years says, “I don’t have the money to be a philanthropist, but through the Club, I can help.” Raising this money took the efforts of many and will help some needy families have a brighter holiday season.