Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Community Service ‘A Family Affair’

Newly inducted Saddle River Valley Lion Jeff Smyrychynski is no stranger to community service. As the fifth generation of his family to work and volunteer in Upper Saddle River it is certainly a ‘family affair.’

Acquiring his formal education at Rutgers University and Ramapo College, Smyrychynski developed his interest in local history as a child listening to stories told by his relatives. “I learned so much about Upper Saddle River,” Smyrychynski explained, “from observing how much a part of the community my parents and grandparents were. I share their sense of service to others so becoming a Lion was just a natural step for me.”

Smyrychynski explained that “my father, Steve, was a USR police officer for twenty nine years. My grandmother, Rosemary [nee Odo] also worked in the department, serving as a dispatcher under my great-uncle, Andrew Otens, who was himself a 25 year veteran and former chief of the USR PD.” In addition, the new Lion’s grandfather, Peter Odo, served the community as well, working for thirty years, first as the borough clerk and then as the town administrator. Professionally, Smyrychynski is now following in the community service tradition of his family. Previously affiliated with Federal Express, he was recently appointed as Upper Saddle River’s Assistant Treasurer.

In his spare time Smyrychynski likes most outdoor activities, particularly skiing, kayaking, golf, and swimming. In addition, he said he is “looking forward to taking part in the many activities sponsored by the Lions Club.”

This year the Saddle River Valley Lions Club will celebrate its sixtieth year of service to the communities of Allendale, Mahwah, Ramsey, Saddle River, and Upper Saddle River. Classified as a 501C(3) non-profit entity, the club has raised and distributed more than $2,350,000 during its sixty year history. 100% of the net proceeds derived from activities such as the Herb Bodensiek Golf Classic goes directly to the charities that the Club supports. None of the funds raised are used to meet the club’s administrative expenses, a cost borne by the Lions themselves.

To learn more about the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, including membership opportunities or any of its other programs, supported charities, and activities, visit The club can also be found on Facebook.