Halloween Parade offers way to help others

Written by Vanessa Junkin Staff Writer

halloween ParadeEach Halloween, children collect candy as they go trick-or-treating. But at Selbyville’s annual Halloween parade, residents can take part in a different type of collection by donating used eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses to those who need them.

For the second year, the theme is “Sight Night,” said Bruce Schoonover, who handles publicity for the Fenwick Island Lions Club, a co-sponsor of the event with the town of Selbyville.

Schoonover and Fran Pretty, parade chair, said members of the Indian River High School Leo Club will gather eyeglass donations to benefit those in third-world countries.

The first Halloween parade in Selbyville was more than 60 years ago, Pretty said.

“It’s just a long-lasting tradition here in Selbyville,” said Selbyville Town Administrator Robert Dickerson, who has been attending the event since roughly 1980.

Schoonover said he’s spoken with someone who remembered purchasing war bonds at the event back in the 1940s.

Pretty said the Fenwick Island Lions Club became involved four years ago, after the Selbyville Lions Club — which had served as co-sponsor for many years — disbanded.

The parade has a friendly, hometown atmosphere, Dickerson said.

“(My favorite part is) just seeing the excitement of the kids that are participating in the parade,” Dickerson said. “They really look forward to it.”

Roughly 25 floats, which can be antique cars or something else other than traditional floats, are normally part of the event, including local merchants, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, majorettes and gymnasts, Pretty said.

Performing in the parade will be marching bands from IRHS, Sussex Technical High School, Sussex Central High School and Stephen Decatur High School along with Steel the Show, a steel drum band from Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

John Syphard, a seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher at SDSA who is director and manager of Steel the Show, said the band won for “best float” for their performance last year.

Syphard said hearing the band’s name called at the judges’ booth and being with an enthusiastic crowd are highlights of performing in the parade with Steel the Show. The band includes about a dozen students, many of which are new this year.

“I like (this parade) ’cause it’s local and the crowd’s fairly appreciative of it,” Syphard said.

The parade starts off with a kid costume contest. Participants should be at Salem United Methodist Church by 6 p.m.

The Lions Club has been selling 50-50 raffle tickets for the past few months and raffle tickets will be for sale at the parade as well.

Ticket sales, at $1 per ticket or $5 for six, reimburse the school bands’ bus transportation to the parade, she said.

The Lions Club and the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Department each have food for sale.

Pretty said she enjoys working with the community and helping put on this family-oriented event.

“I think it brings the community together and it highlights what a small hometown is like,” she said.

Uniontown teen drops off prescription bottle for refill with marijuana inside

By: Mike Waterhouse, newsnet5.com

COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Deputies in Summit County said a teenager made the mistake of dropping off a prescription bottle to a drug store for a refill with marijuana inside.

It happened at the Rite Aid store in Coventry Township on Thursday.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said a 17-year-old from Uniontown dropped off the bottle at about 2 p.m. and the pharmacy suspected there was marijuana in it, so they called the police.

Deputies at the scene confirmed it was marijuana and charged the teen with possession of marijuana.

Bowling Green, KY Evening Lions Club gets financial boost

By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News

Lions Club gets financial boost A bundle of grants has enabled the Bowling Green Evening Lions Club to buy updated equipment to use in children’s vision screenings.

The club is one of several in the state to participate in KidSight, an initiative sponsored by the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation in which children ages 2 through 5 receive free, noninvasive vision screenings for eye conditions that include lazy eye and poor vision.

In the past, the local Lions Club has used equipment that resembles an oversized Polaroid camera to conduct the screenings.

Paul Young, club chair of KidSight, said the technology is effective, but also cumbersome to use and requires an ophthalmologist in Louisville to confirm results before identifying a vision problem and referring a child for further care, a process that can take several weeks.

The Evening Lions Club announced at its meeting Tuesday at Cambridge Market that it will receive a new device called Spot, a lightweight instrument that provides immediate screening results and is capable of printing and transferring data wirelessly.

Young said the Spot equipment will provide accurate results more quickly, enabling club members to screen more area children.

“It does not print out a prescription (for eyeglasses), but it certainly gives something very close to a prescription,” Young said. “This will be so much faster and so much simpler to operate.”

Tom Matney, past director of the International Association of Lions Clubs, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting about the KidSight program’s increasing reach in Kentucky.

Matney said doctors recommend at least two eye screenings for children in the first six years of life to detect and correct potential vision problems.

“Eyesight develops so rapidly that the earlier you can catch those deficiencies, the more you can prevent and correct them,” Matney said.

Statewide, Lions Club chapters have performed screenings on more than 8,000 children in the past year.

In the local chapter, three teams of four club members visit day care centers and preschools with the technology to conduct screenings.

Young said the local chapter screened 527 children last year at 22 screening events, and about 5 percent of them were referred to a doctor for further care.

The Evening Lions Club anticipates receiving the new equipment in about four weeks, Young said.

Several grants enabled the club to purchase the instrument, which costs nearly $11,000.

The Lions Club International Foundation approved a grant application for $4,800 toward buying the instrument. Also, Bowling Green’s Modern Woodmen of America contributed $2,500 after Modern Woodmen regional director Scott Turner pledged to contribute up to that amount in matching funds in conjunction with money raised by the recent Lions Club Hole in One contest.

A third grant for $2,200 came from Lil’ Angels Attic, a children’s consignment shop directed by Broadway United Methodist Church.

Leslie Smothers, an administrator with the church’s Early Learning Center, said she became a supporter of the Lions Club’s mission to preserve eyesight after her two young sons received vision screenings.

Smothers’ older son was found to have a vision deficiency after undergoing a mandatory screening before entering kindergarten.

“Had we done (the screening) sooner, he could have had glasses much earlier,” Smothers said.

Over-the-counter reading glasses, helpful or harmful?

Over-the-counter reading glasses, also known as readers, magnifiers or half-eyes are frequently used by people who need help magnifying the print they are reading. The magnification provided by these “readers” clears vision and/or reduces eyestrain. How do these readers differ from prescription eyewear? Prescription eyewear is customized for your vision by providing a lens that matches the power in each eye.

It is more often than not that the prescription between each eye is different, necessitating prescription eyewear that is different in one lens than the other. Over-the-counter readers cannot precisely meet the vision needs for most people for this reason. While they might make the print larger and easier to see, a prescription is likely to do an even better job. Another factor is “astigmatism”.  Astigmatism describes the way light is bent when it travels through parts of the eye that are not spherical. Most people have some small amounts of astigmatism, and no over the counter readers correct for it, so, once again, the readers might help but not as much as a full corrective prescription written by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist).

Another factor that reduces the effectiveness of over-the-counter readers is based on the optical center of each lens. In a prescription pair of glasses, the optician is careful to measure the distance between the center of the pupil of each of your eyes, and make the lenses so that the center of the lens lies directly over the center of the pupil. Generic over-the-counter readers can’t do this.

If the prescription of the over-the-counter reader is high enough and the lenses are off center significantly wearing them can lead to eyestrain. In a worst case scenario, let’s assume many people have

  1.   Unequal prescriptions,
  2.  Slight astigmatism and
  3. Readers that don’t line up exactly over their pupillary line of sight in each eye. In this case, while they may report seeing better with over-the-counter readers than wearing nothing at all, a prescription pair of reading glasses would serve them much better.

There is nothing wrong with wearing the over-the-counter readers in most cases, but be sure to ask your eye doctor.

Lions battle against preventable blindness

Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center handles 500,000 donations annually
BY JENNIFER KOHLHEPP Staff Writer
Individuals across the country annually drop about 6 million pairs of glasses into local Lions Clubs’ refurbished mailboxes, but not many donors know where those used spectacles go.

JENNIFER KOHLHEPP Allentown Lions Club President Robert Strovinsky sorts glasses with various prescriptions at the club’s eyeglass recycling center in West Trenton where they are readied for distribution to needy groups and individuals in other countries.
Lions Club International has nine approved eyeglass recycling centers operating in the Unites States. The New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center at the Katzenbach School in West Trenton handles approximately 500,000 of those donations annually. The center cleans, neutralizes and determines the prescription of the used eyeglasses and then stores and packages them for distribution to needy groups and individuals in other countries.

Lions Club members from throughout New Jersey empty their yellow and blue mailboxes throughout the year and take the donated eyewear to the center. For example, the Allentown Lions Club has a collection box in front of the municipal building on Church Street that garners between 1,200 and 1,500 glasses each year, according to Secretary Dave Strovino.

Glasses collected by Lions Club members in refurbished mailboxes across the state wind up at the club’s eyeglass recycling center.
The Lions accept all types of used eyeglasses and sunglasses, prescription and nonprescription, for children and adults. Donations of reading glasses are particularly useful for workers who have to perform close-up tasks. Sunglasses are sought for people living near the equator, especially those with cataracts.

“People in Third World countries and impoverished

countries get the opportunity to have good vision,” Allentown Lions Club member Rich Holman said. “It’s a shame that we can’t use recycled eyeglasses in this country.”

Due to legal constraints against dispensing used prescriptive devices in the United States, most of the recycled glasses are distributed in developing countries where individuals and families are frequently pushed into deepening poverty because of their inabilities to see well and afford glasses. According to the Lions Club, at least 13 million children (ages 5-15) and 45 million working-age adults (ages 16-49) are affected with these inabilities globally.

Allentown Lions Club members use lensometers to determine the prescriptions of donated glasses.
“This is a great way to recycle and help people in need in other countries,” Allentown Lions Club member Tim Stolzenberger said.

Members of local chapters of Lions Clubs volunteer at the eyeglass recycling centers to minimize operating costs. The New Jersey center also reduces costs by giving residents at the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center in Avenel and the Edna Mahon Correctional Facility in Clinton the opportunity to process donated glasses.

Most of the equipment and other goods used in the recycling process at the center, such as shipping boxes, are donations from Lions Clubs and area businesses, which also keeps costs down.

Biff Searing, the Allentown Lions Club member who chairs the recycled eyeglass project, said eyesight conservation is the Lions Club’s primary focus. He said theAllentown club has raised funds for and donated two lensometers to the center. These machines determine the prescription of the lenses.

Since eyesight comes first, the Lions process all types of eyewear, including those with 14-karat gold frames. However, if a pair of gold glasses is damaged and cannot be processed, the center sells the gold to further offset operating costs. The same goes for all recyclable materials, including damaged metal chains that the center cannot process.

Lions and other optical mission groups organize teams of eye care professionals and volunteers to travel to developing countries all over the world to conduct vision screenings and dispense the recycled glasses free of charge to children and adults with impaired vision.

In their battle against preventable blindness, New Jersey Lions also work with companies like Lenscrafters to get underprivileged children in local communities glasses at a fraction of the price they would regularly pay. New Jersey Lions also sponsor an eye-mobile that travels to various community events across the state providing free eye exams, including a screening for glaucoma.

Lions Clubs see a need for local optical care

By Pamela Dickman Loveland Reporter-Herald

preschool eye screeningSteven Elwell was 76 when he had his first eye exam. “I’d never had my eyes checked by a doctor,” said the Loveland resident. “I’d always used reading glasses.” But when he noticed new problems, his daughter got him in touch with the Loveland Lions Club, which helps residents who can’t afford eye care.

“The Lions Club fixed it up so I would get an exam, and they gave me a pair of glasses.” That exam, Elwell said, uncovered a cataract, for which he is scheduling further eye care. Elwell is one of 179 Loveland residents the Lions Club helped with eye exams in 2008, a 31.6 percent increase over 2007.

The biggest increase in requests for help occurred in the last six months of the year — a trend Allan Leach expects to continue into this year. “Maybe layoffs from jobs and things is one reason,” said Leach, who coordinates the eye care programs for the Loveland Lions Club. “I also think we’re getting the word out.”

Like Lions Clubs across the country, the Loveland group focuses most of its philanthropy and the bulk of its budget, about $10,000 per year, on eye care programs. Lions Club members earn money in a variety of ways, but the biggest moneymaker is a small train that runs through North Lake Park every summer. Each year, the train tallies 22,000 to 24,000 rides. Of the 75-cent ticket, 50 cents goes directly to the Lions to help community members. The two biggest ways the Lions Club helps are by providing exams and eye glasses for residents in need and making sure preschool children receive eye screenings.

If certain eye issues are caught early, they can be treated before they become a bigger problem, said Leach. That is why Lions volunteers visit every preschool in Loveland every year and offer a free vision screening to 2- to 5-year-old children. “We feel very fortunate that they do this service,” said Vicky Vinton, director of the Kids Harbor Sunshine House. “It’s a great service for our families.”

With a hand-held machine, Lions Club volunteers take a reading that measures for muscular problems. A pediatric ophthalmologist at The Children’s Hospital reads the results then sends them to the parents. The screening is quick and simple but can prevent future complications by alerting parents to eye issues early on. About 90 percent of the children’s readings come back normal, but not all.
“We have even found a cataract in a small child,” said Leach. Another child, he said, needed corrective surgery but is now doing fine, he said.

If residents meet the financial need qualifications, the Lions Club will pay for an eye exam and glasses. Dr. Ken Vanamerongen, who belongs to the Lions Club, performs the exams and sells the glasses at a discounted rate. “We try to keep our costs as low as possible so we can do more,” said Leach. The Lions’ goal, according to Leach, is to ensure that people who need eye care receive it.
Floyd Gonzales Sr. and his son, Floyd Gonzales Jr., both received exams and new glasses through the Lions Club.

Gonzales connected with the Lions through the Loveland Disabled Resources Center. “My son’s glasses broke, and I couldn’t afford to get him new glasses,” said Gonzales Sr. “I’m on disability, and I’m the only one with an income.” Both father and son, he said, received much-needed new prescription lenses and frames. “With the old glasses, I was starting to see fuzzy,” said Gonzales. “With the new prescription, it’s back to like it was before. “I really appreciate the Lions Club.”

Lions International unveils new Drug Prevention Resources

Lions Clubs International has joined a coalition of community groups to support the Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)’s endeavor to make parents aware of the dangers of drug and alcohol use in teens. The ONDCP has made resources available to help parents prevent children’s risky behavior, and to help develop healthy teens. The flyers below can be used to support parents and educators in their efforts to prevent activities such as combining prescription drugs and alcohol or other illegal substances.

Prevention Flyer
Prevention Flyer for Educators
For additional resources to assist parents, visit:  Parents. The Anti-Drug.

Uniontown Lions Recycling Program

Lions Recycle For SightThe Uniontown Lions Club collects old or unwanted eyeglasses for distribution to the visually impaired in developing nations. While 130.4 millions Americans wear prescription eyeglasses, according to the Vision Council of America, many children and adults in developing nations struggle through life with poor or severely impaired vision, due to expensive and limited eye care resources. According to the World Health Organization, the eyesight of one-in-four people worldwide can be improved through the use of corrective lenses. In some developing nations, an eye exam can cost as much as a month’s wages and there may be only one eye care physician available for several hundred thousand people. You can make a dramatic difference in the life of a child or adult by simply donating a pair of eyeglasses.

Despite the profound need for eyeglasses around the world, 68% of eyeglasses still languish in dresser drawers or get thrown away, according to a survey sponsored by Lions Clubs International. In fact, more than 75% of Americans who purchase prescription eyeglasses do not recycle their old eyeglasses when they buy a new pair, and more than half (62.2%) of those surveyed purchase new eyewear at least once every two or three years.

All types of eyeglasses and sunglasses, prescription and non-prescription, are acceptable. Exceptionally strong or weak prescriptions are needed. Reading glasses are very useful because many recipients are craftsman in need of visual correction to help them perform close-up tasks. Sunglasses are needed by people living near the equator, especially those with cataract, to shield their eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

eyeglass rcycling centersThe eyeglasses you donate are processed by our club members. The glasses are cleaned, the prescriptions are read with our digital lensometer, and the glasses bagged and labeled. We then provide these glasses to several local optometrists who travel to Latin America to fit them to the poor. The glasses you donate today could be helping a poor villager see in a few months.