The Association of Lions Clubs (later renamed Lions Clubs International (LCI)) was formed in Chicago, IL, in 1917 by businessman Melvin Jones. The clubs’ initial goal was to reach beyond local business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. One of the first public issues they felt needed attention was vision impairment. Additional vision impairment issues became obvious after Helen Keller, herself blind and known as a tireless advocate for people with vision disabilities, addressed the Lions National Convention at Cedar Point, OH, in 1925. There she urged assembled Lions to continue their tireless efforts in supporting the blind and those with vision problems and proudly branded the Lions as “Knights of the blind in the crusade against dark ness.” Since then, Lions Clubs have worked vigorously to help those individuals with vision difficulties.
Today, the Lion Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) proudly continues these efforts by offering unique and impactful initiatives, programs, and grants. One of LCIF’s most notable programs is SightFirst which celebrates 30 years of funding efforts in fighting blindness and provides aid to persons who are blind or have visual impairment. Since 1990, SightFirst has helped more than 488 million people, with millions still requiring support. Locally, Lions Clubs support eye research and rehabilitation programs at the Lions Vision Center and Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
To learn more about our many vision programs and help continue funding vision programs, visit us on “Vision Days” at JBK Hardware and Redners in Chestertown on April 14th-15th from 5pm-8pm and April 16th from 9am-12pm at JBK Hardware, Redners, Molly’s, and Chestertown Farmers Market. For more information about Chestertown Lions Club vision programs, please visit our webpage at www.chestertownlions.org or on Facebook @chestertownlions.