Officers 2023 - 2024
President/LCIF Coordinator, Martin G. Knight
Marty was sponsored into the Winsted Lions Club by Past District Governor, Milan "Mike" Knight on October 11, 1972. He then transferred into the Middletown Lions Club in September, 1976. From 1973-2001, Marty was a member of the Advisory Board for the Lions Gallery of the Senses at the Wadsworth Athenaeum. From 2002 to the present, he has been President of the Middletown Lions Club three different times, and Zone Chairman from 2003-2007. Marty is a Lions Club International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow, and a Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation Knight of the Blind.
Marty was a Darkroom Technician for Middlesex Hospital from 1974-2008, and in 2004, he was the First Runner-up for the Frank R. Corocoran Employee Recognition Award.
First Vice President, Ada Spillane
Second Vice President, Tammy P. Heckstall
Tammy was fully sighted until 2009. Because of Glaucoma she lost most of her vision.
“I started doing my independent living training at the Carrol Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts”, Tammy said.
Tammy is taking Karate classes for self-defense and to prove to herself that she can do anything she attempts.
Tammy is great at crocheting all sizes of blankets. She is very active with her grandchildren. Tammy also interacts with seniors and assists at the Senior Center in Cromwell.
On May 16, 2017 the Middletown Lions Club presented Tammy an Optilec Closed Circuit TV that enlarged printed materials for people with visual impairments. From that meeting on, Tammy came to many of our other meetings to see what other work the Lions did. “I was so happy when the Middletown Lions Club assisted me. I wanted to help others in return”, Tammy said.
Secretary, James T. Beyer
James “Jim” Beyer graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 2011 with a degree in professional writing.
After losing his Grandma at an early age and discovering the pitfalls and complicated areas of healthcare Jim decided to focus on making a difference and became a licensed insurance agent and has been for the last 8 years.
He was first introduced to the Lions Club in 2017 while assisting fellow lion Marty Knight with insurance planning.
A couple sayings Jim lives by are “You have to give, to get” and “One hand washes another”.
“I immediately wanted to be a lion when I found out they followed similar principles to the way I lived my life”, Jim said.
Treasurer, Catie Yarlott
Membership & Fundraising Chair/Club Administrator, Elderrean Paules
Elderrean “Ellie” Paules has been in the Lions organization for thirty years. Twenty years was spent serving the Pennsylvania community. In 2007, moved to the Middletown area and became a member of the Middletown Lions Club.
“I got very interested in the Lions when the Lions of Pennsylvania sponsored me for my first guide dog”, she said.
Ellie has held the positions of President, 1st Vice President, and Membership Chair of the Middletown Lions Club. She plans on being a Lion for many years to come.
Ellie is a Lions Club International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow.
Tail Twister, Audrey Klein
“I always wanted to help others”, Audrey said.
After a summer volunteering as a Candy Striper at a veteran's hospital, I was not a good candidate for a nurse. In high school I participated in a community project to help teachers in various classrooms. As luck would direct me into my future career, my assignment was the Sight Saving class. I knew what I wanted to do!
Northern Illinois University was one hour from my home in suburban Chicago. My major was Elementary Education/Visually Handicapped and Blind.
I traveled to Louisville, Ky for one year of experience and to help pay for my student loans. This is where I met my ex-husband and had two children. While at The University of Louisville completed two master's degrees in Learning disabilities and Career Assessment. After twenty five years, retired and moved to Maine. Taught as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired for a few years ... then moved to teach in New Britain Schools, for 12 years. I am now retired after 43 years of teaching.
Board Member, Michelle M. Beyer, Esq.
Board Member, Lee Heckstall
Board Member, Tom McVerry
Board Member, Richard Pelletier
Richard “Rich” Pelletier has lived in Middletown all of his life, and attended local schools.
He worked at different occupations growing up from a Friendly's worker to working at Raymond Engineering. In 1987 Richard started working for the State of Connecticut, and retired in 2016.
In 1990 Rich started his journey in to politics. He was on several building committees, but his most rewarding experience was watching Middletown High School be built and overseeing the handicap facilities at the high school.
Rich was Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer for Matt Lesser during his campaigns for State Representative. He has been on the Planning and Zoning Committee for over 8 years and chaired the committee for a year.
He was one of the founders of The Spiritualist Church of Love and Light, which he attended and was Treasurer for 6 years.
“In 2016 I decided to join the Middletown Lions Club because I could be of service and help out an organization that helps people in so many different ways”, Richard said.
Board Member, Helen Shramek
Helen was born in Stamford, Connecticut and went to the Oak Hill School for the blind. She graduated from Weaver High School, in Hartford, and then attended the University of Bridgeport.
Helen married and had three children, and now has three beautiful grandchildren.
In 2006 Helen was introduced to the Business Employment Program and was given the opportunity to manage the food service at Middlesex Community College, and has been there until retiring in 2022.
Helen was encouraged to join the Middletown Lions Club by then First Vice President, Elderrean Paules.
Associate Member, Howard A. Geltman
Howard Geltman graduated from the University of New Haven in 1977, and worked in Connecticut and New York radio until 1983.
He went on to further education in Systems Development, and worked for a major hospital in Boston as a Systems Analyst.
Howard went on to further education in the culinary field and managed both institutional and commercial kitchens until 1994.
In 2010, Howard was appointed as a member of the Wethersfield Advisory Council for People with Physical Disabilities (WACPD), and served three terms until 2012.
Howard has been club President, Secretary and Treasurer multiple terms, and Publicity Chair for two years. Howard is a Lions Club International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow. He is the developer of the Middletown Lions Club website, and its webmaster.
Howard has been a Certified Guiding Lionand has assisted with the Eye Glass Extravaganza numerous times.
He has served the district on the Homeless & Hunger, St. Baldrick's, Information & Technology committees, and the multiple-district Information & Technology and Long-Range Planning Committees. He has been a Zone and Region Chairperson numerous times.
Associate Member, Terri L. Geltman
Terri Geltman has been involved in different service organizations in the past. She was involved in Big Brothers & Sisters in Massachusetts along with volunteering for Muscular Dystrophy. She was the first female Lion in Massachusetts and has been a member of our club since 2013. She has volunteered her services for many different community events that our club participates in. “Something tells me that I will be doing this and a lot more”, she said.
Terri is a Certified Guiding Lion.