At our meeting on May 11th, the Lions Club of Easton was honored to be the recipients of a bequest from Ann P. Lawrence to be used for the advancement of eye research. Ann’s generous bequest of $10,000 will be used by the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund (MLERF), which funds grants for Massachusetts institutions performing research related to the prevention and cure of eye-related diseases. It was through George Mussari, a long-time Easton Lion, who made the connection with Paul Silvia and Bette Kireili. sharing with them all the good works the Easton Lions have done over the years in the Easton community and our annual donations to the MLERF.
Ann Lawrence passed away February 13, 2015 at the age of 103. She was born in her family’s 3-decker on Ames St, in Brockton and died as a resident of that house. In between, she graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and soon thereafter married Dr. James Lawrence, who had an extensive career as a Psychologist in the U.S. Army, as a College Professor, and as the Chief Psychologist at the ‘Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. He later became area chief for the Veterans Administration for the New England and New York regional area. Ann and Jim were married for 56 years until he died in 1995.
Ann and her family were long-time supporters of displaced World War II refugees from Lithuania. They took several friends and family members into their home and sponsored them to relieve them of the necessity of a one-year indenture program that was in place for such refugees.
She became blind in her later years. She believed strongly that improving eye sight was a noble and great cause of the Lions Club. She also supported the Perkins School for the Blind in her will. Ann could not decide which Lions Club to leave her bequest to so she left it to “the Lions Club that my Co-Executors deem appropriate”. Her Co-Personal Representatives, Paul Silvia and Bette Kireilis were both strongly impressed with the Lions Club of Easton and its International reputation for top-notch quality service to members of the community and to those people with eyesight deficits all over the world. They also took special note of Easton Lions receiving the award for Best Lions Club in the World at the international convention in China recently.
They wish to give special thanks to George Mussari for making the connection with Paul Silvia, a Back Bay Bagel friend in Brockton. Without George spreading the word about the good deeds of Easton Lions the bequest would have gone to some other area club.