Sunday, January 23, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Why We Are Lions

The following unsolicited letter was received by Russ Herrmann, eyesight chairman of the Marco Island Lions Club:

To whom it may concern:

I want to thank each and every one of those involved in helping me get my new pair of glasses. I have been using these magnifying cheaters which were getting me by but wasn’t enough. These new glasses sure make it nice to see clear again.

Also Dr. Eads’ office and staff were extremely nice, courteous and very helpful in getting the lens and frames that are my best. Again, thank you again for all your helping me see clear again.

Sincerely, C. D. S. in Ft. Myers

It serves to point out one of the many services that Lions all over the nation provide for those in need. This was a simple case of arranging an appointment with a cooperating physician and underwriting the cost of the examination and prescription.

In many other cases, we collect old or unused eyeglasses and hearing aids and distribute them to various communities in this state and abroad where people might have none at all. You may have donated such items yourself in the past.

But our work doesn’t stop there. We provide financial support for Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto as well as to the Florida Lions Conklin Center, a residential training facility for multi-handicapped blind people in Daytona. We also help out with National Camps for the Blind in Florida and other states and Canada. We contribute to the Lions Eye Bank in Miami, and to an organization known as Lions Club International Foundation which acts in, national disasters. It should be mentioned that many of the recipients of our help are veterans or people with multiple disabilities.

Locally we donate to Lighthouse of Collier in Naples, and you probably know that we provide screening for pre-school children and adults in the area of sight, hearing and diabetes, the most prevalent cause of blindness in the world. Some of this screening is done locally, and sometimes we travel to Naples and Immokalee for joint projects.

This is not all: we often work through the Florida Lions Foundation when surgery is needed by someone without funds to pay for it; such operations can cost many thousands of dollars. On another front, we support the Radio Reading Service, which provides an oral version of the local newspaper and magazines.

We engage in various fund-raisers, primarily with our “White Cane Days” twice a year in November and February when you will find us at store fronts collecting money from shoppers. Once a year in the spring we put on a popular pancake breakfast here on Marco Island. Our only other source of financial support is through memberships and donations from interested people.

You need not have an eye problem yourself to roar like a Lion—we welcome any interested people to our monthly dinner meetings and would love to have you as members. Call President (King Lion) Bill Horton at 239-642-8928 for details.

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