First Responders Lions Club hosted their first fundraiser event at Denny’s Restaurant on Saturday, July 23rd, where Mayor Eric Adams stopped by to share a few words of encouragement to the Lions, supporters and the youth in attendance.
The sold-out breakfast was also attended by three NYPD Commanding Officers: Captain Frantz Souffrant (78th Precinct), Deputy Inspector Adeel S. Rana (84th Precinct) and Deputy Inspector Rohan Griffith (75th Precinct).
First Responders Lions Club was founded by Dimple Willabus, a small business owner, and her husband, Winston, a retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran and NYPD Lieutenant.
There were a few surprises: Lions Past District Governors Anthony Cochran and Pauline Francis received recognition for their support in setting up the new Lions Club; NYPD Detective, second grade, James Tillman of the 73rd Detective Squad received a plaque for his community service and leadership; and Kathy Ann Nagim-Kerr received the Melvin Jones Fellow recognition.
Also, the Fletcher family who lost the head of their household during the pandemic was invited. The three children and their mom enjoyed breakfast along with a few gifts from First Responders members and local businesses.
“We want our community to know that it does take a village to raise a family and while we cannot fill the void of their loss, we will be here to support the families in our community in whatever little ways we can!” said Lions Club President Willabus.
Additionally, Officer Joseph Robinson and some of the coaching staff from the 62nd Precinct Blue Chips program were invited with the youth they mentor and coach.
The teenagers were very excited to meet with Mayor Adams while enjoying breakfast at Denny’s and learning about Lionisim.
Willabus said that the goal was twofold. On one hand, to connect with the community and on the other hand, to display what it means to rally around supporting our youth and their families who were faced with various challenges. She emphasized that we cannot keep talking about changes in our community without taking meaningful action.
“During the pandemic, police officers worked long hours and were not in a position to focus on self-care. As the spouse of a member of service, I have always donated my time and countless resources to my community and city but wanted to do something to assist our first responders. They put their lives on the line every day for strangers,” said Willabus.
First Responders Lions Club is only five months old but is making a positive impact throughout our community and city!
Courtesy of First Responders Lions Club