Lions Club of Corona plans Bayside chapter

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (c.) is welcomed by the Corona Lions Club during a recent dinner−dance event.
By Nathan Duke

A Corona−based Lions Club is planning to launch a chapter of the community service organization in Bayside following the dismantling of the neighborhood’s longtime Kiwanis Club last month.

Little Neck’s Donald Frain, a member of the Corona Lions Club, said the group was attempting to form a club in Bayside to make up for community services lost when the Bayside Kiwanis Club shuttered its doors after 69 years in early March.

“We heard about the Kiwanis Club being disbanded and we felt bad,” Frain said. “So we’d like to assist in establishing a Lions Club in Bayside. Its focus would be on anyone who wanted to do something for the community. It could run the gamut of ages and professions.”

A spokesman for a neighboring Lions Club in Little Neck said his group would be willing to provide assistance for the launch of the Bayside club.

Corona’s 30−year−old club hopes to draw anyone interested in the Bayside chapter to its next meeting May 7 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars site on 108th Street in Corona, Frain said.

Bayside’s Kiwanis Club was founded in 1940 as a neighborhood institution to provide community service and aid neighborhood students. But the group, which in its heyday had as many as 60 members, saw dwindling membership in recent years. It gave its final donation to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside earlier this year.

Frain said a Bayside Lions Club could pick up services that the Kiwanis Club once provided to the community, including assistance toward scholarships for neighborhood students, aid and transportation for senior citizens and other charitable services.

Most clubs also incorporate a Leos Club for members below the age of 18, Frain said. These groups typically take part in holiday gift drives, sending care packages to military serving overseas and other community service activities.

At least 20 people would have to sign up to form a chapter, but members would not need to hail from the community. The group would also need to designate a community site at which to meet at least once a month.

“It seems to me that Bayside is a nice area where people take care of each other,” said Patricia Terranova, second vice president of the Corona club. “We’d wanted to start a club there a few years ago, but we saw there was a Kiwanis Club and didn’t want to step on their toes. So, when we found out they were closing up, we realized Bayside was left without a major organization.”

Corona’s club has more than 70 members.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

More from Around New York