|Governor Jack Walters of District 28T for the Lions Club. He is the overseer of the southern region for the Lions Club.|
Emery County residents who are members of the Lions Club held a picnic in the Huntington City Park. Those present at the meeting welcomed District 28T Governor Jack Walters of Richfield. Walters is the overseer of the southern region of Utah for the Lions Club. His responsibility is everything south of Point of the Mountain.
Judy Lang, Huntington Lions Club president, said, "We are happy to welcome Lion Jack to Huntington. This meeting is to familiarize all of our members of an upcoming event that we are participating in. On Sept. 24, an Emergency Preparedness and Health Fair will be held at the Emery County Recreation Center in Castle Dale. The Lions Club will have a booth at the fair and we will provide eye examinations for children who cannot otherwise pay for an examination.
"The district has purchased a polaroid-like camera with which close up photos are taken of the children's eyes. The photos are sent to an eye doctor and he examines the eyes for irregularities. Many problems can be easily brought to the attention of parents with these early exams.
"The Lions Club pays for the film, and a member reads the photos for free, and these exams can be an early warning for children, at no cost to the families," said Lang.
The Lions Club is available to pay for examinations and glasses for children who cannot otherwise afford vision care. Dr. Barry Cook, of Price, is involved with the Lions Club. An ongoing project is the collection of eyeglasses. Used eyeglasses are collected and then sent to the Cedar City club. The experts there read the prescriptions and categorize the eyeglasses. At least once a year, Dr. Cook goes into third world countries and provides the eye examinations, then fits the people in those countries with eyeglasses from the donations.
Originally founded in 1917 as a mens organization, the Lions Club now welcomes women into their organization. The original members decided the group should take on service oriented projects. In 1925, Helen Keller attended the convention and challenged the club to become the "Knights of the Blind".
They accepted her challenge, and all members since that time have worked on sight-related issues.
In more recent times, the Lions Club has taken on more than just sight-related issues. Club members now work with anyone in a community who needs help, in whatever form that may be. Some critically ill people may need transportation for a doctor's visit and cannot afford to make the trip. Lions Club members will see that the transportation is provided, and overnight lodging if that it also needed. One other project taken on by the worldwide Lions Clubs has been providing housing for the tsunami victims.
Another project of the Lions Club is providing service dogs to people with disabilities. These leader dogs are trained and given to those who need either a seeing eye dog or a hearing dog to assist them in daily living.
The clubs hold many fund-raising projects each year to finance the needs of the community members. In Emery County, the club has a concession stand at Heritage Days in Huntington on July 4.
Other fund-raisers are a Halloween chili supper and a Valentine's Day dinner in honor of Misti Downard. Locally the group has assisted a young man in Ferron who had leukemia to get to Provo for treatments and doctor visits.
Also, another person from Cleveland has received help, as well as three club members.
Lang stated that any school age child in Emery County, who cannot afford to pay for eye exams or glasses is urged to come to the Lions Club for help.
Contact Lang at 687-5349 or Sally Walls at 687-9307.
Remember, the motto of the Lions Club is "We Serve", so if you or someone you know needs assistance, call a Lions Club member.