The Marlboro-Milton Lions Club honored Optometrist Dr. Sam Schenker at a special dinner that was held for him at the Raccoon Saloon in Marlboro.
After his older brother spoke highly of the Mid-Hudson region, Schenker moved up from the city, opened his business in Marlboro and after 27 years has never looked back.
“We do primary healthy eye care for the most part although we do treat glaucoma, red eye and injuries,” he said.
Dr. Schenker said his landlord Pete Neckles sponsored him at his first Lions Club meeting soon after moving to the area.
“Every person at the meeting was a prominent person in the town. They were born and raised here, they were business owners and were very well respected,” he recalled. “They took me in and I went to all of the meetings and they supported me. I’ve been a paying dues member forever.”
Dr. Schenker said slowly but surely the community came to him for eye care.
“I’ve always said to this day that the single biggest push to make me successful as an unknown in this town was the Lions Club,” he said.
Dr. Schenker has provided checkups and eyeglasses without charge to those who cannot afford his services as a way to give back to a community that has been so supportive of him.
“If I get a referral from the Lions Club of a kid or family in need for glasses, they come to my office, no questions asked, and we make them glasses and we also make them feel good. We don’t make them feel like they’re getting something for free,” he said.
Dr. Schenker said he was surprised and humbled to be named a Melvin Jones Fellow by the Lions Club. Melvin Jones [1879-1961] founded Lions Club International in Chicago, sparked by his personal code that, “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.” In his practice, Dr. Schenker has echoed that sentiment, “That’s what Lions is about; it’s about giving back to the community.”
Marlborough Supervisor Al Lanzetta presented Dr. Schenker with a Pride of Marlborough Commendation on behalf of the entire Town Board. On the plaque it reads that Dr. Schenker, “has used his services to provide charitable care for citizens in need and by his altruistic actions improved the quality of life for our community members. Be it resolved that the Town of Marlborough is pleased to bestow this honor with sincere appreciation.”
Lanzetta, who is also a member of the Club, said the Town Board fully supported giving Dr. Schenker the Commendation.
“We acknowledge people who have done service for the betterment of the community; the town wanted to also show their appreciation for all that he has done. He is one of those guys who doesn’t boast, he is modest,” Lanzetta said. “It was an honor and a pleasure to bestow that on him to show our appreciation.”
Lions Club President Stephen Jennison said the club, through Dr. Schenker, has been sponsoring an eye screening program for pre-school age kids to catch any vision problems early.
“We thought it was the right time and we just wanted to thank him for his years of service to our community,” Jennison said.