Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter editorial: They serve — we’re grateful

The renovation of the basketball courts off Bateman Road is an accomplishment that many can take a bow for making it a reality. George Kneeland, the driving spirit bringing the courts back to life and making it a community park for all, deserves a debt of gratitude from all Islanders, and so do school, town and Police Department officials.

The Shelter Island Lions Club and its Foundation have also once again come through for Shelter Island, by organizing a funding campaign for Islanders to contribute to the steep costs of making the site attractive and welcoming for recreation and all leisure activities. The Lions motto, “We Serve,” is constantly put into action. We’ve seen this especially during the arduous times that the COVID era has brought. When the pandemic descended upon us, the Lions immediately established a committee to dispense funds to families, individuals and small businesses who needed (and some who continue to need) financial assistance for food, clothing, medical expenses, fuel, utilities, and other basic living expenses. Leaders of the Island’s religious congregations noted the Lions’ purchasing and delivering 64 Thanksgiving dinners last year to Islanders in need, in lieu of the traditional community dinner at the Presbyterian Church.

A partial (very) list of the services the Lions have provided would include:

• Supporting the Shelter Island Action Alliance, a lifeline to the Island’s restaurants in the darkest days of the lockdown.

• Contributing directly and via a golf tournament at the Shelter Island Country Club to support a severely disabled Islander.

• Paying a high, overdue electric bill — a consequence of the pandemic — for an Island business, and one for an Island senior.

• Purchasing heating fuel for Islanders needing assistance.

• Purchasing IGA and Piccozzi fuel gift cards for Islanders in need.

• Working with the Senior Activity Center to lend laptops to Island seniors to videoconference with friends and loved ones while isolated. 

• Purchasing a cellular wireless modem with a mobile data plan for loan to seniors who would otherwise be without internet access.

• Donating $500 to the Fire Department.

• Coordinating donated labor and materials and supporting much-needed repairs to an Island home (whose owner could not otherwise afford them), including the roof, front door, bath and deck.

• Holding a virtual Snapper Derby for kids last August. 

• Providing tuition support to three Island students for college-level courses.

The Lions serve. The place Islanders call home is the better for it and the Club deserves everyone’s gratitude.