Lions Donate To NYFS, Present Progressive Melvin Jones Award

Published: December 12, 2018 at 08:30 am


Newtown Lions Club recently presented a donation to Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS).

Located at 15 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook, NYFS provides outpatient mental health counseling for those with depression, anxiety, grief, anger, trouble coping, family conflict, or marital discord. It also provides addiction counseling.

NYFS additionally provides an array of year-round activities, programs, and events for all ages. These programs provide opportunities to learn new skills, stay active, and connect with the community.

The agency has a parenting education program to educate parents about the many issues children face when the family situation changes. These situations include divorcing or living apart, adjusting to parent separation, cooperative parenting and conflict management, dispute resolution techniques, and stress reduction for kids.

There is a program for rising kindergartners called Safety Town, which is a one-week, hands-on course developed to teach them life-saving lessons on strangers; traffic; fire; pedestrians; poison; drugs; and playground, bus, and water safety.

There are social/recreational programs for youth with autism spectrum disorders or other social difficulties. They engage in activities and recreational outings with guidance from trained staff. This program promotes individual growth, confidence, independence, flexibility, and patience.

In addition, there is a peer-to-peer mentoring program and a homework club that allows children a safe, quiet place to complete homework, receive tutoring, and enrich their organizational skills.

NYFS is not a crisis center. For additional information about its offerings, call 203-270-4335 or visit

The Newtown Lions Club also recently presented Ray Keegan, left, with a Progressive Melvin Jones Award. The honor is presented to a Lion who does humanitarian work deemed above and beyond the call in the community and the world. Mr Keegan had been instrumental in securing a grant from Lions Club International to help fund an eye clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, to fight the major causes of blindness and visual impairment. It was during a Newtown Lions Club meeting in 2014 that Mr Keegan was spurred to action, after a presentation by Karen King, a fifth grade teacher at Reed Intermediate School. Ms King spoke of her involvement with Unite For Sight, which will use the grant of $500,000 secured by Mr Keegan to build and staff an eye clinic — which will reportedly be the first one in the country — with a cataract surgeon and an ophthalmic nurse. Joining Mr Keegan for the award presentation was Ms King and Newtown Lions Club member Walt Schweikert.


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