The Rye City Lions Club will honor Cliona Cronin with the James A. and Marian M. Shea Community Service Award at its annual dinner Wednesday, November 17 at Whitby Castle. The Award was established in 2003 to recognize an individual(s) who lives or works in the Rye community and has contributed to enhancing the lives of its citizens by volunteering services of an outstanding nature.
When Cliona moved to Rye 16 years ago, she hit the volunteer ground running. One of the initiatives Cliona launched at Rye City Schools was a spirit campaign to raise funds for the RHS PO by selling lawn signs congratulating high school graduates. This fundraiser has become a Rye High tradition that raises over $10,000 each year.
One of her most inspiring volunteer initiatives came after the Sandy Hook tragedy in December 2012. Always looking to support those in need or crisis, Cliona organized a team of over 100 Rye moms to host 109 Sandy Hook moms for a day of healing in May of the following year. Over the course of that extraordinary day, the women participated in art, yoga, boot camp, and Zumba classes, kayaking, paddle boarding, meditation, and walks at Oakland Beach and Rye Town Park. The day culminated in a luncheon and small memorial service at which a bench was dedicated in honor of the Sandy Hook families. The special relationships forged between Rye and Sandy Hook moms continue to this day.
In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, when there was a critical mask shortage, Cliona, along with Kim Mulcahy, started the Rye Mask Project. She organized 200 volunteers to sew over 12,500 masks, half of which went to hospitals and the remaining half to food pantries and the underserved. Masks sales netted more than $15,000 which was then donated to Feeding Westchester.
Most recently, Cliona stepped up to help the Rye community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. She created the Laundry Fairies, a group of Rye moms who provided free laundry service to those who lost their washers and dryers in the flood, including those living in apartment buildings and condos where the laundry rooms were flooded. Cliona was also part of the team that organized Rye Relief, creating a list of resources, coordinating meals, volunteers, and emergency supplies for those impacted by the floods.
The Rye City Lions Club is honored to recognize Cliona Cronin with the 2021 James A. and Marian M. Shea Community Service Award.
Tickets to the event are $125 per person. If interested in attending, contact Brian Jackson, Club President, at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 10. All proceeds from the event will go to support the Club’s mission to help meet the ever-increasing needs of our society, with a special focus on those who are blind or visually impaired.