Lions Clubs International Foundation Newsletter for September 2010
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Lions, you are helping to save sight and prevent blindness, for people down the steet, but also around the world. It doesn't matter that these are people we may never meet. They need us! And Lions roll up their sleeves and respond. I would like to encourage all Lions to participate in a sight project, particularly in October, as we focus on sight.
Just last week I attended the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Regional Games in Warsaw, Poland. There, we celebrated the 10th year of our Opening Eyes partnership with Special Olympics. At this event we screened the 200,000 athlete. Isn't this an impressive accomplishment in such a short time? This partnership is giving hope-hope for a brighter tomorrow and hope that these athletes will run faster, jump higher and throw farther.
At this event I took great pride in fitting a pair of glasses onto the smiling face of Tomasz, a badminton player from Poland. All of us experience what we call "the touching moments in life." You know what I mean. For me, one of these moments was to give these glasses to Tomasz. Due to the tremendous cooperation of Lions Clubs International and Opening Eyes, Tomasz's new glasses helped him score gold in Doubles Badminton and a silver in Singles Badminton.
October is also Lions World Sight Day, an opportunity to celebrate our many accomplishments through our SightFirst program. We've restored sight to 7.6 million people through cataract surgeries. Every one of these individuals has an improved quality of life, thanks to you. But we aren't content to stop there, are we? We must ensure their children and grandchildren will also have improved vision and the chance at a better life.
Lions, I ask you to join me in making a commitment to continue, and expand, our efforts to save sight.
With my cordial regards,
Eberhard J. Wirfs
Celebrate Lions World Sight Day
Lions Clubs International will mark Lions World Sight Day (LWSD) in Osaka, Japan on October 7-8. Lions members from District 335-B, Japan, will sponsor several events, marking the first time LWSD will be held in the country. A number of projects will be conducted through a SightFirst grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Additional activities are planned locally and globally around LWSD to educate communities about the need to prevent blindness and preserve sight.
Generosity to LCIF Continues
The commitment of Lions to providing aid long after disasters strike is unparalleled. Some examples of Lions' generosity in recent weeks include US$500,000 from MD111, Germany, to rebuild lives in Haiti and US$81,000 from Lions in Norway, US$66,000 from Lions in Sweden and US$47,000 from MD105, British Isles and Ireland, for relief in Pakistan. Additional examples of Lions' generous support to LCIF for these disasters is listed online, and photos are also posted online. Through Lions' generosity, LCIF continues to bring hope to those in need.
Supporting Cataract Surgery in Mexico
The Edith Walters and Kenneth E. Behring Operating Theater was inaugurated in August in the town of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The event marks the successful completion of the first project funded by the Global Health and Education Foundation (GHEF) through a US$250,000 gift to LCIF. The clinic will provide free cataract surgery to 140 people monthly and is an integral part of a larger clinic campus that includes a diabetes clinic, substance abuse clinic, soup kitchen and physical therapy clinic.
Lions Quest Expands to Three New Countries
Next month, the Lions Quest program will be implemented in three new countries: Bulgaria, Malawi and the Philippines. All three will be conducting their first workshops to promote and educate people about this positive youth development program. The program will now also be in two additional languages: Bulgarian and Filipino.
Special Olympic Testimony
Aphiwe, a Special Olympics athlete from South Africa, was far sighted and unable to read in class. When he was screened through the Opening Eyes Program, it was the first time he tried on glasses. Receiving glasses allowed him to read words and numbers in books for the very first time. Because of Lions, Aphiwe is now a better student and athlete alike.
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