For almost 100 years, the Lions Club name has been synonymous with saving sight, and for serving their community.
Lions Club International was founded in 1917 – eventually growing to be the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members and the Centre Lions Club is currently celebrating its 78th year of making a difference, having been chartered in 1938.
(left to right) back, Director-Terry Dean, Tail Twister-Phil Kellen, Treasurer -Ed Allen, Jr., 2nd Vice President-Gaylon Hammett, President- Diane Hardy, Immediate Past President- Linda Starr, Lion Tamer-Tom Salmoni, Director-Eddie Goldberg. (Front), Secretary-Yvonne Salmoni, Director-Debbie Taylor, Membership Chair-Ann Carr, and District Governor -Anne Shumaker.
We recently spoke with a Vice-President with the local chapter, Gaylon Hammett, regarding the process for receiving assistance:
2014 Radio Day Fundraiser. Lions Anne Shumaker, Mark Green, Norbert Falk, and Diane Hardy.
The Lions Club is also making the most of advances in technology – one of which has greatly simplified the process of determining the need for vision correction in children:
The 205 Centre Lions Club Scholarship Recipients
As a matter of fact – many people probably aren’t aware of the full-range of services offered by the Lions Club.
In addition to helping those in need with eye care and the purchase of glasses when needed they participate in the Adopt-A-Mile Program; work with the “Nettie King Brown Christmas Clearinghouse” to sponsor shopping trips for ten children each year; they also offer support for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes each holiday season; support Camp Seale Harris by sending a diabetic youth to Diabetic Youth Camp where the child learns about caring for his or her diabetes; and they assist and support other community organizations and relief efforts across the nation and the world. In addition they collect used eyeglasses which they recycle and distribute to those in need.
The Lions Club also sponsors the John L. Ellis, Sr. Youth Leadership Forum annually for the local high school juniors and seniors; and they fund five scholarships in the amount of $500 each for outstanding high school seniors:
Mr. Hammett also wished to express his appreciation for all those businesses and individuals who took part in this year’s Radio Day event – which raised more than $3,000; their annual Pancake Day event will be held next March (2017).
The Centre Lions Club meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon at Lanny’s Restaurant on West Main Street in Centre. For additional information on becoming a member of the Lions Club simply call Diane Hardy (256) 557-1808. Also visit the Centre Alabama Lions Club Facebook page or their official website at http://www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/centreal/
What To Do If You Need Assistance with Eye Exam or Eye Glasses:
- Go to the Cherokee County Department of Human Resources to fill out paperwork with a DHR staff member. Just tell them that you’re there to complete an application for an eye exam through the Centre Lions Club.
- The DHR office is located at 202 Hospital Avenue, Centre, Alabama. Phone number is (256) 927-1440.
- After you complete the paperwork a DHR staff member will send it to the Sight Chair person.
- The Sight Chair will review the request, and will either approve or deny that request depending on the circumstances.
- If request is approved, it will be passed on to the eye doctor.
- The doctor’s office will then contact the applicant and make an appointment.
“Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?” ~ Helen Keller