CHESTERTOWN – The Chestertown Lions Club will be offering their annual Vision and Diabetes Awareness Day from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, April 14 and again from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 15 in front of the JBK Hardware and Redner’s stores in Chestertown. The Club is making the public aware of the various services they offer in regard to vision – including this year their support of diabetes awareness, since the disease affects vision.
Vision assistance is one of the key programs of the International Lions Clubs, and the Chestertown branch is involved in that regard by subsidizing eyeglass purchases for those needing financial help, collecting and cleaning used eyeglasses for distribution in disadvantaged countries (U.S. law does not allow distribution of used eyeglasses in the U.S.), contributing an eye screening device to screen Kent County elementary school children for eyesight problems and assisting in future screenings. Lions Club members also provide free rides to and from eye doctor appointments for qualifying individuals.
The Club also grants annual financial contributions to the Lions Leader Dog Programs, to vision research at the Wilmer Vision Research Foundation at Johns Hopkins University.
In the area of diabetes awareness, they are offering the National Prediabetes Risk Assessment test. Also, they will be accepting used eyeglass donations.
Our 37th Bay to Bay Jim Gent Memorial Ride is scheduled for Sunday, June 25, 2023.
On the fourth Sunday of June each year, the Chestertown Lions Club welcomes cyclists to its summer bicycling challenge, the Bay to Bay ride. The tour consists of five routes between 26 and 102 miles in length. The flat loop routes take in the scenery of the heartland of the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware including farmlands, old country homes, quaint towns, and great country stores. The 26-mile ride goes through historic Chestertown for those who want a less challenging ride.
Spend the day touring the town, then return to join your friends just up the hill from Betterton Beach. Temperatures of mid-June lend themselves to a pleasant swim in the Chesapeake Bay at the end of the ride.
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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.