Joni and I departed from Germany yesterday, but are still reminiscing of the sights we saw and the people we met. While we were there, we attended “Lions Boat Night,” a fundraiser dinner put on by the Lions of Germany. The boat set sail at sunset. During our excursion through the waterways of Berlin, we chartered a new Leo Club. The evening with a spectacular fireworks display that was synchronized to Strengthen the Pride.
Traveling all across the globe has allowed me to meet so many wonderful members of the Lions family, and in a few weeks Lions from all over will be coming to Hawaii for our 98th International Convention. I am looking forward to seeing you all there! Let’s end this year strong and continue to Strengthen the Pride!
Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.
Today’s guest post was written by Lion Corita, Secretary of the Bonnyville Lakeland 2000 Lions Club and local “Get Swabbed” organizer. For many years, the Lions have been committed to volunteering with the Canadian Blood Services Mobile Donor Clinics. Follow the Bonnyville Lakeland 2000 Lions on Facebook for more information regarding the “Get Swabbed & Register” event.
The Bonnyville Lakeland 2000 Lions Club and Knights of Columbus have been committed to helping the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) with their Mobile Blood Donor Clinics for years. This year, our club helped organize and implement our area’s very first CBS “Donate Blood, Get Swabbed & Register” event on May 12th.
“The swabs are for the OneMatch program, which seeks to create a database of unrelated stem cell donors for those in need of life-saving donations,” Peter Lozinski wrote in an article for the Cold Lake Sun. It only takes about 20 seconds to receive a DNA sample via cheek swab.
Members from our club volunteered to help out the OneMatch “Get Swabbed & Register Event” while the Knights of Columbus helped out at the Mobile Blood Donor Clinic. It was a huge success! We would like to thank the 40 new OneMatch registrants enrolled in the database, and the 150 participants who donated blood.
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Starting off the Lions Worldwide Week of Service in May, the First Miskolc Lions Club in Hungary organized an event to serve children in need. A carnival was held for blind and visually impaired children and their families. They received balloon animals made by a clown, watched a puppet show, listened to music and more. There were over 20 children in attendance for this event. Follow the First Miskolc Lions on Facebook for more pictures and information on this project.
Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital in far northeast India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, has one of the first dedicated pediatric eye care centers in north Bengal. The facility is equipped to address both common and major pediatric eye disorders, including refractive error, childhood cataract, glaucoma, amblyopia, squint, retinal disorders, congenital abnormalities, and more. For several years, the hospital has been a Sight for Kids (SFK) program site, providing community outreach and teacher training, in-school screenings for students, eye doctor referrals and treatment. The needy students referred often receive their first comprehensive eye exam and treatment, ranging from free eyeglasses to free or greatly reduced-cost eye surgery.
Ms. Ety S. is a local school teacher at Dakshin Santi Nagar Hindi Primary School. Aside from teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, Ms. Ety and local Lions are also trained to deliver SFK vision screenings to her students. Over the past two years, Ms. Ety has coordinated 44 school screening camps in concert with Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital. Altogether, she has screened more than 4,800 local children and referred 442 on for comprehensive eye examinations and treatment.
One of the recent children Ms. Ety referred was a 10-year old girl named Suman. Young Suman already faced challenges, having only one eye, and was in need of eyeglasses to preserve her limited sight. During a Sight for Kids screening, Ms. Ety referred Suman and her parents to Siluguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital for an exam and to receive the new eyeglasses she needed at no cost.
“Many local children are suffering from eye problems,” explains Ms. Ety. “Unless they go through such screening, they do not know or seek treatment. This kind of program can really save the sight of children which is a big contribution for her schooling, her family and for society.”
SKF West Bengal’s successes are more than just a local effort. Since 2011, the program has also received additional generous funds from the Ultimo- and Melbourne-area, Australia office staff of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care teams through sausage sizzles, raffles, coupon books, 5K runs and personal donations. Each year, these dedicated “Sight for Kids Champions” raise several thousand AU$ to benefit the SFK West Bengal program. Through their efforts, they ensure that many more children like Suman receive much needed SFK community outreach and eye care from the program’s local optometrists network.
This is part of an ongoing LCIF blog series on the Sight for Kids program, one of LCIF’s largest and longest running partnership programs helping to provide eye care access to underserved students around the world. Sight for Kids is made possible through the dedicated support of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies, its dedicated global employees and Lions club volunteers. Please be sure to subscribe or else visit www.lcif.org/sfk for ongoing program updates.
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