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Villager Dedicated to Helping Others with the Lions Clubs

For more than 20 years, Gary Nelson has been a Lion. He is committed to supporting people in the world, having been a part of a group in St. Louis before becoming a member of each of The Villages’ groups after shifting to Florida.

Gary Nelson considers assisting those in the group to be as normal as breathing.

“It’s like helping a friend or neighbor, but with a bigger effect,” the Village of Poinciana resident explained.

Every time he walks out the door, the Lake Sumter Lion demonstrates his commitment to his group, from assisting at local food drives to spending countless hours raising funds for other causes. His most recent initiative entails the construction of containers where people can drop off used eyeglasses to be recycled and distributed to those in need.

“I really wanted to make a difference,” he said, “and this seemed like the ideal opportunity.”

He’d been a Lion for over 20 years, beginning with a chapter in St. Louis before heading to The Villages and becoming a member of both the Lake Sumter Lions Club and the Lady Lake Orange Blossom Gardens (OBG) Lions Club.

“When you’re out there doing something to support people, it’s an incredible feeling of achievement,” he said.

Gary, according to his mom, Sharon, is still searching for ways to join in and support.

“He assisted with the collection of containers for used eyeglasses,” she said, “but, since he does a lot of woodworking, he’s always searching for ways to incorporate it wherever he can. He’s even made podiums for members of the executive branch. “

Mildred Murray, the Nelsons’ next-door neighbor, said she’s seen a lot of Gary and Sharon’s work with the club.

“I was invited to attend the group,” Murray said. “Since I am involved in a variety of activities, I support the club on the side and aim to help recruit others because I know how much he has been and continues to be invested in the club.”

Murray has known the Nelsons since 2005 and said she appreciates their efforts to support others.

“They’re wonderful people. They are so selfless and committed to others.”

Gary said that he loves the club for reasons other than helping others.

“It’s a time to get together and meet new people. They’re more than just friends; they’re almost like family. If one of the members becomes ill, the rest of the group will gather to check on them or do something good for them.”

Sharon expressed her delight that Gary’s work was being remembered.

“He’s a wonderful guy who needs to be remembered,” She beamed. “He’s amazing at what he does, and he has such a wonderful personality that he’ll lend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Despite the fact that we already have five bases for the eyeglass containers in our garage, I know that if anyone asked him for assistance with anything else, he would instantly say yes and get to work, because that is the type of person he is.”

Visit for more information on the Lake Sumter Lions.

Attributed Source, The Villages Daily Sun