Lions give awards for community service, tuition help


The Lions Club of Valley Stream presented a local high school graduate with a scholarship and two of its members with awards for their activities at the club’s scholarship dinner at King Umberto restaurant in Elmont on Aug. 6.

“Your successful achievements in the realms of academics, community service, and the sacrifices that you have made, are indeed the reasons you are being honored here tonight,” said club president Jose Pastrana as he presented Nicole Marie Quaranto with a check for $1,000.

Quaranto attended Valley Stream South High School, where she was ranked eighth in a class of 216. She was president of her class council, president and editor of the yearbook, a treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of the National, Language and Arts Society. She participated in school-sponsored food drives, served as an after-school tutor and plays the violin.

She plans to study to be an elementary school teacher at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in the fall. Her mother, Alice, also attended the dinner.

Pastrana said Quaranto was a deserving candidate for the scholarship, which is being offered for its forty-sixth year.

“Most important to remember is that each of the traits that you demonstrate are the sum of the guidance of the many in your life that brought you here today. Keep in mind that it takes small actions to get to the big picture,” he said.

T.J. Anand, first vice-district governor for the region, presented to the Robert J. Uplinger Award to members David Basile and Edward Yelsits for displaying the “highest examples of Lionistic character, ideals, purpose and service” in their community service activities with the club.

Basile was not in attendance, but Yelsits received his plaque and a pin along with accolades and applause.

“You do a lot of work for our club, you’re at practically every event, you’re a real trooper and workhorse,” Anand said.

He honored Basile with a statement: “He has never leaned to say ‘no,’ except when we ask him to step up to be the president. He is one of two or three who was instrumental in organizing the annual ‘Pick 3’ calendars, flea market and fruit sale fundraisers, and the list goes on.”

The Lions Club’s next flea market is scheduled for Sept. 13 in the Valley Stream pool complex’s parking lot.