Last week DVWorks President and CEO, Diane Johnson, was invited to speak at the 61st Lions Club Dinner for people that are blind. For 61 years members of the Burnaby Host Lions Club have picked up people who are vision impaired and taken them to dinner at the Lions Club.
The Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization with over 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members – they are also one of the most effective. For nearly 100 years their members have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Lions volunteers have taken part in projects that have:
- Saved the sight of more than 15 million children by providing eye screenings, glasses and other treatments through Sight For Kids.
- Established or strengthened pediatric eye care centers that have helped more than 120 million children.
- Helped halt the spread of Trachoma in Ethiopia by providing 10 million doses of the sight-saving drug Azithromycin annually.
- Prevented serious vision loss for more than 30 million people worldwide.
- Improved eye care for 100 million people by training more than 650,000 eye care professionals and building 315 eye hospitals.
- Distributed more than 147 million treatments for River Blindness (also known as Onchocerciasis).
- Provided nearly 8 million cataract surgeries.
- Vaccinated 41 million children in Africa against measles, a leading cause of childhood blindness.
Since 1990, Lions have raised U.S. $415 million through two SightFirst fundraising campaigns to help provide vision for all. In addition, their members around the world are actively involved in recycling glasses at 17 centers worldwide, supporting Lions Eye Banks that provide eye tissue for sight-saving surgeries, screening the vision of hundreds of thousands of people every year and preventing blindness by providing treatment to those at risk of losing their vision.
In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness“. The Lions accepted the challenge and then some! Today, sight programs remain one of their defining causes.
At the 61st Lions Club Blind Dinner, Diane spoke about Described Video and the shows DVWorks are presently describing and brought the house down with the screening of a clip from one of our favorite shows, I Love Lucy.
To learn more about Lions Club International, to volunteer as a Lion or to donate to their many wonderful programs, please visit: www.lionsclubs.org
Special thanks to longterm Lions Club member Kirk Dickson of the North Burnaby Lions for providing us with so much invaluable information.