The Syracuse Lions Club will hold its semi-annual White Cane Day Fundraiser Saturday, May 28. Proceeds will help to fund vision related programs and community service projects supported by the local club.
Syracuse Lions, wearing yellow vests, will be located at the Syracuse Newmarket from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at Shopko from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each donor is given a white cane lapel sticker to show his/her generosity in assisting the Lions in our community service and work with the visually impaired.
Funds collected are used in the local community for eye testing and purchasing eyeglasses for needy children in local schools and for providing financial support for other community eye related needs. Local residents benefit from corneas and surgical assistance grants provided by the Indiana Lions Eye and Tissue Transplant Bank, guide dogs and talking pocket GPS units made possible through Leader Dog, Inc., and services provided to visually impaired students in our Wawasee Schools by the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. All of these programs are supported annually by the Syracuse Lions Club.
The Syracuse Lions collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids in our yellow drop box in front of Newmarket. The eyeglasses are cleaned, cataloged and taken on the district’s annual Lions Eyeglass Mission to Mexico. During each mission, five to seven thousand children and adults receive free eye exams and eyeglasses which enable them to once again read, work and support their families.
The Indiana Lions “Operation Kidsight Program” screens the vision of preschoolers to detect developmental eye problems, which if not addressed by the age of six can cause irreversible vision loss in children. Since May of 2004, the Syracuse Lions have provided this screening to over 700 children in Syracuse preschools. Several have been identified as possibly having developmental eye problems, and their parents were notified to have them evaluated by an eyecare professional.
Last fall Syracuse Lions assisted the school nurses by screening the vision of third, fifth and eighth graders in Syracuse, North Webster and Milford schools through the new Indiana Lions “School Sight Program.” Plans are already in place to do this again in the fall.
Syracuse Lions are extremely proud of Wayne A. Madden, from Auburn, who served as Lions Clubs International President three years ago. He and his wife, Lion Linda, traveled the world meeting Lions and visiting and participating in their service projects. His signature project was the Reading Action Program to address the worldwide problem of illiteracy. This program will continue for ten years as a Lions Clubs International project. Following his year as International President, Madden served as Chairperson of the Lions Clubs International Foundation and again traveled the world promoting our foundation and the services it provides to those in need.
Every dollar raised by Lions from the public is used for charity. The support of the public is greatly appreciated by the Syracuse Lions, our programs, and the people who receive help as a result of proceeds donated to this project.