SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- Bucking the national trend of declining membership in service organizations, the Saddle River Valley Lions Club continues to attract individuals seeking to improve the quality of life of those in need.
Upper Saddle River resident Mark Stephan became the latest example of this trend when he was welcomed into the club as the newest member of the 58-year old organization. Stephan’s membership brings the club’s roster to 40 individuals residing in communities throughout the Saddle River Valley.
Stephan was recently inducted into the club by undergoing the organization’s traditional initiation ceremony, led by Lions District Governor, John Romano. It began with Stephan’s sponsor, Lion Gene Leporiere, placing a blindfold on the candidate for membership and handing him a lighted candle. Romano then explained the significance of this act stating that “in spending a few moments in darkness you are experiencing something the sightless live with every day of their lives.”
'I’m truly looking forward to working with my new friends to help those in need,'' Stephan said upon his acceptance into the organization.
Stephan has spent the past 30 years of his career in the fields of banking, public accounting, and healthcare. He is currently the senior vice president and chief internal auditor at Columbia Bank.
A graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management, Stephan also holds a Master of Business Administration in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University along with numerous other professional certifications. He and his wife, Victoria, have four children who attend local schools.
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs across more than 210 countries and geographical areas around the world.
The Saddle River Valley club meets the first and third Tuesdays at the Ramsey Golf & Country Club at 105 Lakeside Drive in Ramsey. Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Saddle River Valley Lions Club website .