ORANGE — The Orange Lions Club recently announced that it will provide a limited number of mini-grants to eligible community organizations and/or individuals in Spring 2014.

The program is intended to provide funds to worthy causes and activities in the town of Orange that might not otherwise be funded, announced Orange Lions Club President Ronald Ruotolo.

“While our Lions Club continues to provide funds to Lions blindness prevention programs, aid for the blind, and eye research, which are long-time Lions Club priorities, we feel strongly that it is important to support local projects as well,” said Ruotolo.

Ruotolo emphasized that this funding is in addition to several college scholarships which the Orange Lions Club awards to Amity High School graduates from Orange each year.

Ruotolo has appointed Lion Michael Muttitt of Orange to chair the community mini-grants program this year.

Muttitt stated that blank applications for the community mini-grants program are now available at the High Plains Community Center in the Community Services Department, at the Peoples United Bank branch on Orange Center Road, at the Case Memorial Library, and from any Orange Lion.

“In addition to our ongoing commitment to fund anti-blindness programs and provide aid to those with sight problems, the Orange Lions feel that it is crucial to continue to use some of our fund-raising resources for local community-based projects and activities,” said Muttitt. “We have an outstanding review committee which will enable us to make fair and appropriate decisions regarding all allocations.”

Completed applications are due to be submitted to the Orange Lions no later than March 15. All Orange non-profit clubs and related nonprofit organizations, individual Orange residents, and Orange government entities are eligible to apply.

The recipients of Orange Lions mini-grants will be announced in March after the selection committee completes its review of all timely applications.

In addition, the Orange Lions continue to conduct such community activities as the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, free Eye Screenings, Easter Egg Hunt, and Seniors Pizza Party. The Orange Lions also collect used eyeglasses for restoration and distribution to needy people all over the world. Drop boxes for used eyeglasses, used hearing aids, and cell phones are located in the Case Memorial Library, the High Plains Community Center lobby, and Dr. Regina Johnston’s office at 501 Boston Post Rd. The Orange Lions also co-sponsor, in conjunction with the Milford Lions Club, a Leos youth group at the Foundation High School, located in Milford, for special needs youths.