From the King Lions Notebook – January 2012

WOW!

The New Year of 2012 is off to a flying start!  On Wednesday January 11th we had the pleasure of hosting District Governor Dave Gauch’s visit and the swearing in 5 new Uniontown Lions Members.  Our population is currently at 61.

The Annual Reverse Raffle is in the final stages of the planning session. Always a lot of fun but sadly all 200 tickets are spoken for. As always the contribution of $60.00 per ticket is one of the best bargains around.

Our next bus trip is currently being finalized.  We are going South this time and Canada in the fall – more lately.

The Club donated 180 pair of glasses to a missionary in Swaziland last week.  Same as last year. Our Club has been asked to do a presentation of our eye glass recycling program at the up-coming District Convention being held in Canton on March 16, 17, 18.  Dr Kail is also planning to attend if his schedule allows.

We did deliver 2100 pair of cleaned, repaired, and RX identified to Dr. Kail’s office earlier.  He and his team leave for Honduras on the 27th of this month.  Our thoughts and prayers go with them.

The ‘Adopt a Highway’ program has been approved once again by ODOT.  We are waiting on a safety session from them late February.

Working with the Hartville Lions Club, we join forces to purchase 2 new electronic eye charts, used by the Lake School District, to give eye exams to the K-1-3-5 grade students annually. These gifts will be used in both Uniontown as well as Hartville buildings.

The Annual Spouses Night is being held on February 2ed this year at the Hartville Kitchen. Always a great evening

That’s it for now

King Lion Gary

Uniontown Lion Paul Ruley bring clear vision to thousands each year

Longtime Uniontown resident, Paul Ruley, has been deeply involved with the Uniontown Lions club’s efforts to collect used eyeglasses, evaluate their prescriptions and match them up with those in need of glasses in third world countries.

Each Monday morning and Thursday evening you’ll find Paul and members of the Uniontown and neighboring Lions Clubs gathered together in the Uniontown Community Park building in an effort to bring clear vision to thousands of needy folks in Latin America.

“There are people in villages and towns in third world countries who cannot accomplish menial tasks without eyeglasses,” informed Steve Sinsabaugh, the club’s media representative. “Many can’t support themselves financially without our help,” he said.

The eyeglass recycling project began with Uniontown Lions in 2001 when Doctor Braden Kail visited the club to talk about his trip to Honduras to provide eyeglasses to the needy. Kail explained what his biggest challenge was the preparation and evaluation of the glasses for the trips. Ruley chaired the sight committee for the Lions in 2001 and led the club’s efforts to collect used glasses at several locations, including Goodwill stores. Instead of turning over unprocessed glasses, Paul began processing them so that they would be ready to be used by impaired citizens upon arrival.

The process involves sorting the glasses into plastic or metal frames, regular prescriptions or bifocals, sunglasses or safety glasses.

At this point the glasses are washed, prescriptions are evaluated and necessary repairs are made. With the help of analog and digital lensometers, Ruley’s technical expertise has impacted citizens from Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador and Honduras. The prescription is recorded before shipment for an optician in the Third World country to match as closely as possible with each patient.

“Because of Paul’s leadership and with the help of members Bob Jones, Al Spigelmire, Dave Rhodes and Dom Trifero we took on this process here in Uniontown and it continues to grow,” said Sinsabaugh.

Processing the glasses has become easier since a digital lensometer was approved for purchase by District 13-D of the Lions Club. The analog versions are still in use by experts such as Paul Ruley, but the digital is easier for a novice to read. Glasses are beginning to come in from other districts for evaluation. Due to the foresight of Paul and the Uniontown Lions Club, between 200 and 400 pairs of glasses are collected each month for recycling, with over 26,000 pairs shipped thus far.

Big coin needed to ship medical supplies

bigcoinneeded_today

Anyone who shipped off a parcel to family or friends this past holiday season knows it can be costly to get gifts to their destinations.

Langley Lions Club member Ray Tremblay knows only too well the difficulties of shipping items abroad, only his gifts are the size of shipping containers and the gifts are medical supplies Canadians no longer need.

Thanks to generous donations, another shipping container full of supplies are ready to be sent off to Honduras to help some of the poorest communities in the world.
But the Lions needs public help to cover the transportation costs of $8,500. Tremblay said that’s the only hold-up.

This is the fourth shipment Tremblay has overseen and the second one leaving from Langley. It all started with Lions collecting about $60,000 in school supplies which were delivered in 2002, helping about 13,000 kids. Children there can’t attend school is they can’t afford school supplies.

While the education materials were cherished, the Lions, including Tremblay, who went down to Honduras saw that the medical system was critically ill and started collecting supplies and equipment.

In a handful of undisclosed locations, the club has squirreled away used hospital and retirement home beds, computers, cast-off medical equipment, and much more.

“We have all kinds of stuff in hospitals here that is thrown away,” Tremblay noted.

A couple of medical/dental shipments, each containing donations worth more than six figures, have already been sent to South America, and given to hospitals, health clinics and even a fire department. (Tremblay is a retired firefighter).

The Lions have sent a used ambulance, packed to the ceiling with supplies.

“The ambulance has been converted into a medical clinic, a mobile clinic,” he explained.

When some Lower Mainland dentists merged their practices into one building, they donated all the gear from their former offices.

As word spread throughout B.C., health-related groups and organizations, such as retirement homes, would offer up their surplus goods.

Tremblay said once a person has been to a country like Honduras and seen the conditions, they can’t ignore the need.

“You come back a changed person,” he commented.

The Lions have provided what amounts to life-altering supplies to impoverished people where there is little or no social safety net like Canada’s.

“If you help somebody – a child or a person – it doesn’t matter whether they live across the street or across town or in another country,” he said.

The Langley Lions Club receives help in its efforts from the Lions Multiple District 19, the regional organization that includes the 64 clubs of B.C. and the Pacific Northwest U.S. as well as Lower Mainland hospitals and seniors homes that donate old equipment and supplies. CARE, the international relief organization, has a long history of working with local Lions Clubs and helps ensure the materials are distributed when they arrive in South America.