Agents of service: Bauer, LB Lions Club offer medical equipment to locals in need

Date Published: 
October 16, 2015

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.When fictional Los Angeles is in trouble on the hit television series “24,” they call Jack Bauer. And when lower Sussex County is in trouble in real life, they do, too.

Ocean View’s Jack Bauer may not be an FBI agent, but he is a board member of the Lord Baltimore Lions Club and leading the cause to meet one of the area’s growing issues: rising demand from those in need of medical equipment but without the means to pay for it. And even though the club’s been offering the service for almost 70 years, it’s never been at the level it is now.

“The club has been doing this since it was formed in 1946 in some capacity, but not like what we do today,” explained Bauer. “There’s absolutely a big need for it.”

“There’s people that come out of the hospital and can’t afford things, so we loan them,” added LB Lions Club 1st Vice President John Monahan. “Jack finds out what they need and delivers it to people.”

After stockpiling through donations an inventory of hospital beds, wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other medical devices, Bauer and the club have been donating them to those in need, free of charge. And in some cases, they’ll even deliver.

“We do not charge anything,” added Bauer. “Even if they can get something through Medicare, they still have to pay for it. People sometimes can’t afford that monthly charge.”

Since he took over as chairman of the project in March of 2007, Bauer said, the Lions Club has loaned out approximately 2,450 items, and members have volunteers more than 3,400 service hours to the cause. However, even with the time and effort put in, none of it would be possible without donations from the community.

“People are very generous in donating equipment when they’re done with it,” Bauer explained. “That’s how this program continues and has grown over the years.”

Another local community member stepping up to assist the Lions mission is Gerald Hocker, who lets the club store at one of his facilities a growing stockpile of inventory waiting to be loaned out.

“The mission is service, but not every Lions Club handles medical equipment, because primarily they wouldn’t have a storage facility,” Bauer said. “Gerald Hocker has been very generous with our club over the years.”

“I was a Lion in New York. We didn’t have anything like this there,” added Monahan.

But not only do they offer wheelchairs to those who need them, the Lions will even go the extra mile to build a ramp so that it can be put to use. It’s another demand so pressing that, since the ramp program began in 1988, the committee has built approximately 400 of them.

Between the medical equipment program, ramp construction program, getting involved at national disaster relief efforts, as they did with Haiti in 2010, and everything else the Lions Club takes on, Bauer said that the doors are always open for those interested in joining the cause.

“We’re always looking for new members,” he said, noting that anyone who’s interested should check it out themselves at one of their introductory dinners at Magnolia’s in Ocean View. “That kind of a dedication to help others is what being a Lion is all about.”

For more on the Lord Baltimore Lions Club, visit their website at www.lordbaltimorelionsclub.com. To inquire about medical equipment, call Jack Bauer at (302) 537-5175.