The Uniontown Lions Paul Ruley Eyeglass Recycling Center in Ohio completed its 15th year of providing cleaned and graded eyeglasses. Since the center opened in 2001, 9,031 volunteer hours have been donated. Nearly 112,000 eyeglasses have been processed, and more than 109,000 eyeglasses have been delivered to overseas mission teams. Members of the Phoenix Phil-Am Lions Club in Arizona walked 4.5 miles as a team to raise funds and promote awareness of the importance of early detection to fight breast cancer and save lives. The Albuquerque Rio Grande Lions Club in New Mexico has raised approximately $4,000 from a poker tournament at a nearby casino each year for the past five years. Funds have been donated to a ranch for homeless boys, Special Olympics, a youth soccer team, food pantries and for eye exams and glasses for people in need. In addition to the tournament, Lions give a presentation about the club, explaining how Lions help their community and the benefits of membership. The Blackwater Lions Club in Missouri sponsored a fundraising dinner complete with an Elvis impersonator. In Wisconsin, the Allenton, Hartford, Hartford Kettle Moraine, Newburg, Richfield and West Bend Lions and West Bend Lioness clubs united to help provide a diabetes alert dog for a teenager. The Marathon Lions in Wisconsin donated $10,204 to Special Olympics Wisconsin. The proceeds were from the club’s annual Motorcycle Fun Run. The Tallmadge Lions Club in Ohio sponsored a “celebrity chefs” fundraiser. Sixteen prominent community members prepared and gave tastings of their culinary specialties. A free ride on the Goodyear blimp was offered as a raffle prize. Funds were donated to help provide a pilot dog to a blind person, and to continue funding services for the visually impaired and deaf members of the community. Benja Mize of the Canton Lions Club in Texas suggested that each member could help a food bank by donating $1 a month to purchase toiletries for people who rely on a community food bank for assistance. She received $305 from the 107 members to fund three months of necessities. Mize visits her local dollar store to purchase supplies, and Lions have donated more than 1,200 items to two food pantries. A member who is a dentist also provides toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash. Two middle school students were honored for their Peace Poster submissions by the Bluffton Sun City Lions in South Carolina. Each student gave a short presentation about how they expressed their vision of peace through art and received cash awards for their entries that won on the club and district levels. The Boardman Lions Club in Ohio was awarded a $7,000 grant from a foundation to purchase a Spot vision device for screening children. They test approximately 2,000 students annually as well as sponsor vision screenings throughout the community. Additionally, Lions purchase new winter coats for as many as 150 students each year and collect and recycle thousands of eyeglasses. Bill Favero of the Punta Gorda Lions Club in Florida performs a hearing test on a preschooler as part of the club’s sight and hearing screening campaign for children. Hundreds of children are screened annually by Lions. For the fifth year, Rockaway Lions and Leos in New Jersey sponsored Special Olympics games at a high school that drew 70 athletes and their families. More than 100 volunteers helped athletes during games that included bowling, volleyball, basketball and floor hockey. The Northwest Lions Club in California received 731 used eyeglasses and three hearing aids from students at 35 schools in the Glendale Unified School District. Lions collected another 300. All glasses were donated to the Lions in Sight missions overseas. Sugar Grove and Franklin Lions in West Virginia raised more than $91,000 and received a $75,000 Standard grant from LCIF to help double the size of a physical therapy department at a nursing home. Fundraisers sponsored by Lions included a golf tournament and a steak dinner. The newly expanded department will feature more equipment and private space for patient/therapist conversations. Quakertown Lions in Pennsylvania spent more than $3,300 last year providing eye exams and eyeglasses The Indianapolis Chapel Hill Lions Club in Indiana screened the vision of 4,314 students in 12 schools. About 35 percent of those tested were referred to the school nurse with vision issues. The Auburn Host Lions Club in California sponsors four Leo clubs. The 100 students who serve as Leos volunteer on Lions’ projects and sponsor food drives throughout the year, visit patients at Alzheimer’s care facilities and donated their tips from waiting tables at a Lions crab feed back to charitable organizations. The Leo clubs are Placer High School, Chana High School, EV Cain Charter Middle School and Bowman Charter School. Sandwich-Bourne Lions in Massachusetts collected 516 coats for kids and adults during their annual Coats for Kids drive. The annual event partners Lions with Anton Cleaners, which cleans and distributes through social service organizations all collected coats back to people in need in Cape Cod communities. Lions have been collecting coats for five years. Centre Hall Lions in Pennsylvania not only donated their meeting hall for a food packing project, but they also donated $500 to the effort and served as volunteers to pack and provide 10,000 meals for people in need around the world. Packages of vitamins, rice, dried vegetables and barley were put together by Lions and volunteers for Stop Hunger Now. Douglas Lions in Arizona distributed 200 flags to first-graders in their community. Lions have been giving flags to students for 30 years to mark President’s Day each February. Since 2004, Knowlton Lions in Quebec, Canada, have sponsored a giant “garage sale,” one not held in a garage but in a huge tent to accommodate the hundreds of shoppers looking for bargains. The annual event is the club’s biggest fundraiser. “We accept just about anything in good condition,” says Lion Errol Frechette. “It’s a tradition now. People doing their spring cleaning always think of us first.” Rocklin Lions in California have collected 400,000 pairs of eyeglasses in 12 years. The club’s sight committee aggressively pursues the eyeglasses by contacting the lost and found departments of cruise ships, casinos and public agencies including colleges and police departments. Toms River Lions in New Jersey gave $2,000 to the Toms River Police Department to purchase bulletproof vests for two new police officers. More than 1,500 people in need were given meals by Lions from 10 clubs in District 404 B2 in Nigeria. The project cost nearly US$2,500. According to Ikeja Golden Lion Mercy Omosun, this effort was the first of several planned projects to meet the Centennial Service Challenge by feeding the hungry. The Patton Lions Club in Missouri purchased and distributed 450 frozen turkeys to families in need. “The response from the community was terrific, and we added some new members after they saw the results of our club in action,” says Lion Murray Dunn. The St. Andrew Lions Club in Jamaica served breakfast to 160 residents of a homeless shelter in Kingston. Yankton Lions in South Dakota collected and donated duffel bags and stuffed animals to a domestic violence shelter for children staying there. The club also gave 2,000 diapers, baby clothes and other needed supplies to River City Family Connections, which aids families and children in crisis. Members of the Houston Westbury Lions Club in Texas were among the hundreds of volunteers helping the 25,000 runners participating in the Chevron Houston Marathon. They were part of the “Ask Me” volunteer crew who helped answer any questions runners had before, during and after the event. The Ft. Vancouver Lions in Washington collected and donated winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves to an agency that helps the homeless and underserved population. The club also gave funds to purchase 75 new winter coats to help meet rising need. Members of the Arlington Host Lions Club in Virginia support an organization that helps women and families in crisis. Each month Lions bring toiletries, diapers and other necessities for the group to their club meetings for delivery to Doorways for Women and Families. Brusly Lions in Louisiana sponsored their second basketball game between the Harlem Ambassadors, an offshoot of the famous Harlem Globetrotters, and the Hometown Heroes team, composed of notable locals including a television weatherman, the mayor and police chief. The event raised $7,500, which will help provide scholarships, meet community needs and support the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation and the Louisiana Lions Crippled Children’s Camp. The Noida Leo Club in India organized a cultural dance competition in which more than 600 students from 250 schools participated. The Circle-Lex Lions Club in Minnesota partnered with the Lexington Fire Department to sponsor a food drive at a grocery store. Shoppers could immediately purchase a $5 bag of necessities to be donated on the spot to help feed children identified as being in need by the school district. Firefighters also collected cash in their boots to pay for “power packs” of food for students. The school district distributes an average of 280 packs weekly to hungry children. North Augusta Lions in South Carolina participated in a community health fair that drew more than 100 vendors. Lions promoted vision and hearing loss prevention. Pell City Lions in Alabama screened the vision of more than 500 middle school students. Twenty percent of the children were discovered to have vision difficulties and were referred for follow-up care. Donations from the Brandon Wheat City Lions Club in Manitoba, Canada, helped purchase seven vehicles for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in 34 years. The South Brunswick Lions Club in New Jersey gave $500 to a community assistance organization to feed the hungry. The Capitol City Lions Club in Delaware donated nearly 200 items to a facility that provides case management, food and housing needs for homeless families on a short-term basis. Terryville Lions in Connecticut have adopted a community campaign to inspire others to acts of kindness in their community. The Plymouth Keys for Kindness project was developed by parent leaders and others who wanted to salute Plymouth’s heritage as the former location of the Eagle Lock Company. It’s also home to the Lock Museum of America. With the slogan “You hold the Key,” colorfully-painted old keys are turned into “thankyou” keys given to individuals who show kindness to others. Recipients then “pay it forward” when they see another individual being kind. Lions donate to the project as well as volunteer on the coordinating committee. The Enterprise Lions Club in California gave $6,000 to several community groups. Recipients included the Salvation Army, a church food pantry, a fly fishing program that helps the rehabilitation of military veterans and Homeward Bound, which provides assistance to families of veterans. The Fennimore Lions Club in Wisconsin donated $250 to the police department to help purchase a bicycle for patrol around their community. Knowlton Lions in Quebec, Canada, are sponsors of the “Guardian Angel” project developed by the Brome Lake Fire Department’s efforts to keep children safe from fires. Lions rent simulation equipment so that firefighters can use an educational module to show students how quickly a fire can spread and how to quickly react to save lives. Lions also purchase 90 smoke alarms each year to be distributed by the fire department as part of its educational outreach program. Waconia Lions and their families in Minnesota delivered 510 poinsettia plants to nursing homes, senior apartments and assisted living facilities as a holiday project. “Each recipient got a poinsettia and a personal greeting and a little ‘chit chat’ from Lions and their families. What a great way to start off the holiday season!” says Lion Rick Wagener. The Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari in Kenya organized a poetry recital for 87 children from 11 schools. They ranged in age from 4 to 7 years old. Contestants in each age group were given a choice of four poems to recite. The Malpeque Bay and Area Lions Club, Prince Edward Island, Canada, raised $2,500 for an elementary school breakfast program, Meals on Wheels, a day care and another senior meals program. The Howards Grove Lions Club in Wisconsin collaborated with the Parent Teacher Organization in their community to raise money for replacement playground equipment at an elementary school. A combined bake sale/bratwurst fry and book sale netted $1,800. Iron River Lions in Wisconsin built an access ramp at the home of a veteran who uses a wheelchair. The Chambersburg Noon Lions Club in Pennsylvania gave $10,000 to a library to pay for a new casual seating area. Members of the McKeesport Lions Club in Pennsylvania helped the local American Legion post place flags on the graves of every veteran in the McKeesport-Versailles Cemetery on Memorial Day Horton Brockaway Lions in Pennsylvania donated more than $5,000 to a family in the community who lost a daughter and grandson in a house fire. Lions sponsored a spaghetti dinner, auction and 50/50 drawing to raise the funds. The Francis Scott Key Lions Club in Maryland has been donating nonperishables to a food pantry for more than 10 years. Members bring canned and boxed goods to each meeting for donation to help feed the hungry. Lions also collect and donate children’s books, puzzles and school supplies to elementary schools. The South Tucson Lions Club in Arizona screened more than 4,000 children in the Sunnyside Unified School District. Lions provided further exams and eyeglasses for 300 of those children. Lions plan to expand the program to test more than 13,000 elementary school children annually. The Alberta Beach and District Lions Club in Alberta, Canada, gave 40 holiday hampers packed with turkeys with all the trimmings and toys to families in need. The club also donated $1,000 to a food bank. Livingston Lions in Texas celebrated their club’s 75th anniversary by sponsoring an informational daylong event to which local merchants, organizations and agencies were invited to disseminate information to attendees. Lions also served food and offered door prize drawings. The Lancaster Lions in Pennsylvania donated $10,000 to VisionCorps, a center for the blind, to purchase equipment. After reading about a similar Lions’ project in Wisconsin, President Christopher Stank of the Mechanicsburg Lions Club in Pennsylvania suggested that his club also illustrate the importance of giving to school children. Members agreed and gave each of the five 5th-grade classes at a school $100 to “pay it forward.” After voting, representatives of each of the five charities selected were awarded donations in a general assembly at school, also attended by Lions. The Peterborough Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, initiated a Message in a Bottle program, in which residents are able to receive a free empty pill bottle in which to store their medical information in case of emergency. First responders will be alerted to look for the bottle by a label on the outside of the refrigerator door. Lions worked with more than 30 pharmacies and medical clinics on the initiative. Fairhaven Lions in Massachusetts distributed 70 “gently-used” bicycles to Mass in Motion, a program sponsored by a state agency that prompts residents to eat healthier and exercise more. The bikes were collected by another organization and Lions gave them to children in need. Middletown Lions in Kentucky celebrated their 40th anniversary with the community. “We celebrated with about 1,000 of our best friends,” says Lion Kay Mills. The club grills bratwursts as a fundraiser each month at the same park when concerts are performed, and this generates approximately $3,000 annually. Since the anniversary coincided with the concert, Lions served park-goers cake while school bands performed. Lions displayed photos of club activities throughout the four decades it has served the community, and recognized three of its charter members in a ceremony. The Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club on Prince Edward Island in Canada donated $51,672.47 to Queen Elizabeth Hospital/Eastlink Telethon Chair. The club has donated each year since the telethon began 20 years ago and has reached a milestone of $500,000. The Grand Junction Lions Club in Colorado sponsored its 87th annual parade, carnival and raffle. Lions have raised more than $5 million for service activities in the nearly nine decades since the first parade was held. The Mattituck Lions Club in New York has sponsored 35 dogs during the past 25 years for the Guide Dog Foundation. Puppies are usually named after previous members or in honor of deceased Lions who were instrumental in support for club projects. The club’s Strawberry Festival is a 60-year tradition that is the biggest fundraiser for Guide Dog Foundation support. The festival is so successful that it also raises money for an annual holiday toy drive and other causes. The Medway Lions Club in Massachusetts provides scholarships to middle school students to attend an environmental camp, supports a summer camp for special needs children and paid for a child to attend a camp for diabetic youth. Lions also sponsor a high school’s peer counselor program to train teens to be aware of dangerous behaviors that incoming freshmen may exhibit. Plattsville Lions in Ontario, Canada, hid hundreds of chocolate eggs at a soccer field for 100 children during the club’s annual Easter egg hunt. The Papillion Area Lions Club in Nebraska has raised more than $350,000 for Project Harmony, a child advocacy center that helps abused and neglected children. Lions sponsor an annual “Hops for Harmony” event that brings together artisan brewers from several states and restaurants to provide food and drink to hundreds of attendees. Lions find corporate sponsors and vendors who donate their profits, sell tickets, solicit silent auction donations and handle the details of organizing the event. In 2016, more than 40 brewers and 12 restaurants served nearly 1,000 people. The Madoc Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, donated $600 to an organization that assists military families after the club partnered with Support Our Troops to sponsor a concert. Chickamauga Lions in Georgia gave three scholarships to graduating seniors. The Columbia Community Lions Club in Missouri established a “Little Free Library” housed in a box at a bus stop. Patrons take about 50 books a week to enjoy. Each book is stamped by the club with the words, “Take a book, leave a book.” The Saratoga Springs Lions Club in New York sponsored its 12th annual Duathon, a three-stage race and biking event. Proceeds from the event help support the Lions Eye Institute in Albany and the Lions Vision Center at Saratoga Hospital’s Community Health Center. Lions also support the Saratoga War Horse, a nonprofit that assists veterans suffering from non-visible, psychological injuries. Additionally, the club recently collected 2,000 pounds of food for food pantries. St. Maarten Lions donated $1,000 to a local organization to host the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association Junior Men’s and Women’s Championships. The Bel Air Lions Club in Guyana celebrated its 43rd anniversary by completing 43 service projects—one per day. Among the daily projects were medical and vision tests, providing large trash receptacles for use at schools, and feeding more than 400 people. Lions spent $5,000 to complete the 43 service activities. The Plainfield Lions Club in Wisconsin built a splash pad for children at Veterans Memorial Park. Lions gave $30,000 and raised an additional $85,000 for the project; $75,000 in services and equipment was donated. The club’s 22 members did the majority of construction on the splash pad. The Thorsby and District Lions Club in Alberta, Canada, gave a donation to an elementary school for its preschool breakfast program for students. Pearl Beach Lions in Michigan screened 540 students at an elementary school in partnership with two eye care businesses. Lion John Schuck (right) works with an eye care specialist to help test a student’s vision. Eyeglasses were provided free of charge. The South Charleston Lions Club in West Virginia partnered with a church group to sponsor a Breakfast with Santa as a fundraiser. Proceeds were used to provide food baskets for families in need. The Eagle/Glenmoore Lions Club in Pennsylvania has installed seven park benches in their community. The last bench Lions installed was in memory of deceased Lion Henry “Heisie” Greiner. Members of the Emmitsburg, Francis Scott Key and Middletown Lions Clubs in Maryland participated in a joint vision screening at a community health fair. The Eureka Springs Lions Club gave food donations to schools and a food bank in Arkansas. The Western Monongalia Area Lions Club in West Virginia donated paper products and puzzle books to a Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown. Lions also contributed 36 gallons of recycled pop can tabs to the facility. Natoma Lions in Kansas gave volunteer emergency medical technicians (EMTs) the club’s “Good Citizens Award.” The volunteers were recognized by Lions at a city hall meeting with an engraved plaque thanking all EMTs for their service to the community. Dinuba High School Leos promote the building of a new library in London, California, during the community’s Christmas parade. Dinuba Lions and several other organizations in the small rural community are working together to raise funds to build the facility. North Shreveport Lions in Louisiana have “adopted” the residents of Harmony House, a nursing home for elderly patients in need. Lions visited the home during last year’s holidays and distributed gifts to each of the more than 100 residents. The Brevard Lions Club in North Carolina spent $11,000 for new eyeglasses for 132 low-income people in the county. Lion Ed Brackney says, “Need has grown over 35 percent every year since the 2008 financial crisis. Prior to that, requests for help averaged about 20 pair a year.”
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