Lions Club, vision van at North today to make sure students see clearly

By Sarah Campbell


CHINA GROVE — If students at South and North Rowan high schools weren’t already seeing clearly, they will be soon.

Members of the Salisbury Lions Club used the vision van, a traveling clinic equipped with the tools needed to test eyesight, to check the visual acuity of more than 150 students at South on Thursday.

Today, the vision van will roll over to North, where Lions Club members will provide vision screenings for the school’s freshman class.

Bryan Hoover is site coordinator for the vision van, which travels throughout the state. He said the Lions Club’s motto of “We Serve” is reflected in clubs across the state providing vision screenings at about 150 sites each year.

“We are trying to serve the public by doing this,” he said.

Hoover said the vision van has conducted more than 100,000 screenings since it hit the road in 1999.

Although 90 percent of those screenings were done in a community setting, the remaining 10 percent have been at schools.

“Most kids, if they have had a visual impairment since they were born, they don’t realize that they should be seeing any better,” Hoover said. “They have a really hard time learning in school if they can’t see clearly, so our goal is to help find those kids and try to get them the assistance they need to see better.”

Kady Samples, a student at South, said Thursday’s screening gave her a bit of peace of mind.

“I haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while, so it’s good to know my eyes are OK,” she said. “It’s really nice of (the Lions Club) to do this for us.”

Michael Childress, a sophomore, said he’s always had good vision, but he didn’t mind double-checking Thursday.

“It’s pretty cool they are here helping out,” he said.

Wayne Kennerly, a Salisbury Lions Club member, laughed with students Thursday before conducting their vision screenings. He’s been helping with the screenings for years.

“It’s good because we can help catch those kids who can’t see well and help get glasses for them,” he said.

Lori Swaim, another Salisbury Lions Club member, said she enjoys doing the screenings.

“They can help us detect some problems that they might not know about, so I think it’s very important,” she said. “In fact, I think it’s one of the most important things that we do.”

Vicky Slusser, executive director of Communities in Schools of Rowan County, said she contacted the Salisbury Lions Club for help with the screenings after the site coordinators at South and North indicated a need to get their students’ eyes checked out.

She said the club picked up the $130-per-day fee to have the vision van at each school.

“I was put in touch with their president, and then from there it was kind of just a chain reaction,” Slusser said.

Students who need to see an optometrist but don’t have insurance or Medicaid will receive a voucher provided through a partnership between Communities in Schools and Sight for Students.

“That provides them with one vision screening plus a pair of glasses,” Slusser said.

Slusser said vision and dental screenings have been on the student needs list all year, and she wanted to make sure at least one of those were met before the semester ends.

“If they are not able to see to read, they are not able to do their school work, and that’s going to be vital when they start doing end of the year testing,” she said.

Slusser said she’s still hoping to get dental screenings done, but hasn’t found an avenue to make it happen. She said poor dental health could prevent students from coming to school because of pain from decay or embarrassment because of missing teeth.


ArborGen partners with Lions Club

Arbor_Gen_Lions_ClubArborGen, a world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees for wood, fiber and energy, has partnered with The Summerville Noon Lions Club, District 32-B and donated 100 pine seedlings for the Azalea Park in Summerville, SC. The seedlings will be planted during the town’s annual Flowertown Festival on March 30th. ArborGen recently moved its corporate offices to Ridgeville, but it maintains strong ties with the Summerville community, which was home to the company for over ten years.

“Summerville is known as ‘Flowertown in the Pines’ and has been named a Tree Town USA for 30 consecutive years. Recently, Dr. Tam, Lions Club International president, challenged Lions Club worldwide to plant one million trees to help turn around our environment, and I in turn have challenged our 34 clubs to plant a total of 250 trees,” said District Governor George Jenkins of Lions Club District 32B. “Partnering with ArborGen has been a true pleasure and we are thrilled to plant these 100 pine seedlings in Azalea Park in time for the annual Flowertown Festival which draws about 200,000 visitors each year. Since the Lions motto is ‘We Serve,’ volunteering within our community is very important to the Lions Club, so it’s great to work with another local organization in serving our community.”

The Lions Club is the global leader in humanitarian services, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

“The Lions Club is one of the most well respected organizations in the world, serving and volunteering in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers, working hands on to make our communities and world a better place,” said Nancy M. Hood, director of public affairs and sustainability of 2011 Broadbank Court Ridgeville, South Carolina 29472 ArborGen.

“We were thrilled to team up with The Lions Club by donating these seedlings to ensure there will always be greenery in the ‘Flower Town in the Pines’.” Starting in 1972, the town of Summerville has hosted the annual Flowertown Festival. It is held the first weekend of April in the Summerville Azalea Park, this year it will be occur from March 30-April 1, 2012.

This nationally acclaimed festival is South Carolina’s largest Arts & Crafts festival and has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. This family-oriented 3-day event is a fundraising event for the Summerville Family YMCA and is held each spring set against the backdrop of blooming azaleas in Azalea Park. In 1925, Summerville’s Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan “Flower Town in the Pines” because of the abundance of azaleas in the town.

Pine trees are one of the most valuable and versatile commercial trees because they are a source of wood, fiber and energy and they are grown across a wide range of soil types and geographies. The Southeastern United States is the largest market for planted trees in the United States and pine is the most widely planted species for commercial applications. The Pine species most commonly used for commercial purposes in the Southeastern United States are Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda), Slash Pine (pinus elliottii) and Longleaf Pine (pinus palustris).

Chardon shootings a reminder for schools to be vigilant

By Lisa Reicosky and Lori Monsewicz

The fact that school shootings are rare may offer some peace of mind to parents who send their children off on the bus each morning.

But when they happen, especially as close to home as Chardon, site of the most recent deadly school shooting, parents and school administrators are harshly snapped back to the reality that it could, indeed, happen here.

Complacency is not an issue with local districts.

In fact, all Ohio districts are required to conduct a school safety drill early in the school year that focuses on the threat of violence or an act of terrorism.

“We do lockdown drills, and we have a great relationship with our safety forces,” said Lake Local Schools Superintendent Jeff Wendorf, who, as with many Stark County administrators, reached out to his district’s parents Monday night to offer reassurance.

“The best defense we have is that kids, staff and parents communicate. We need to know right away if a threat is made,” he said.

Wendorf said when we look back at the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 and those that followed, we often hear people in those communities say, “This just doesn’t happen here.”

Lake Township and Chardon, he said, are similar in size, socioeconomic status and other demographics, and this serves as a reminder we need to take precautions and be aware of students who are troubled.

“These (actions) come from kids who are hurting. You have to pay attention,” he stressed.


In Canton City Schools, all of the buildings that were built under the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) construction program in recent years have rooms that can be locked from the inside.

Interim Superintendent Chris Smith said the safety drills they run are designed to get students to these secure rooms.

All of the districts’ schools have comprehensive safety assessments and a process in place to make sure all teachers and students are familiar with what they should do in case of an emergency.

“The thing we are reminded of is to constantly be on alert,” Smith said of the Chardon incident. “Be cognizant to people who don’t belong in the building.”

Both superintendents said metal detectors are not being considered for their schools.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Department oversees school-resource officers in Plain, Marlington and Canton Local school systems.

Chief Deputy Rick Perez said the deputies participate in lock-down drills with those schools, as well as the Tuslaw School District, which is in the sheriff’s jurisdiction.

Lions Clubs in Virginia helping Students Make beautiful music

By: Star-Exponent staff | Culpeper Star Exponent

Music rang out from Culpeper Baptist Church Sunday afternoonin in Culpepper VA.Music rang out from Culpeper Baptist Church Sunday afternoon.

No, it wasn’t a reverential church service, but an opportunity for musically inclined school students to show off their chops.

The Culpeper County Lion’s Club Bland Foundation concert sent two first place winners onto the regional concert March 17.

Mary Caroline Matricardi won first place in the vocal competition while Emma Ellon Butler came in second.

In the instrumental division, Madeline Clore took first place while Matthew Hudson came in second.

First place winners receive a $75 prize and second place winners receive $50.

“The concert was a great success this year. We had 17 contestants — up two from 15 last year,” Justin McFarland, past president and board of directors member of the Culpeper Mid Day Lions Club said. “The Lions Clubs in Culpeper have always taken great pride in the work they do to help foster young folks in our community. We are instrumental in sight and vision screenings in all of the public and private schools. We support the Leo Clubs (youth version of Lions) at EVHS and CCHS. Specifically the Culpeper Mid Day Club has budgeted nearly $13,000 for college scholarships in Culpeper.”

Winners of the Culpeper contest compete at the regional level from 1 to 4 p.m. March 17 at Gainesville Methodist Church.

It is important to instill a community spirit within our young folks,” McFarland said. “Lions understand that promoting service starts with the youth. This gives us a chance to show the younger generation that we can do something positive with our time and help others.”

Under the aegis of the Lions organization, the Bland Foundation has been providing performing opportunities as well as scholarships to gifted music students, both vocal and instrumental, since 1948.

The purpose of the foundation is to promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented young people in Virginia (primarily of high school age).

This goal is achieved through progressive competitions, beginning in February, at the local Lions club level, and culminating in May in a competition among 12 finalists. The Bland Foundation oversees the running of the competitions and also provides $18,000 to the 12 finalists.

The scholarships must be used for college tuition, music lessons, summer music programs or other music education endeavors. As tuition and lessons are extremely expensive, the Bland Foundation provides needed assistance to these talented, hard working music students and their families.

The Bland concert in Culpeper was a joint collaboration between the Host, Dawn, 92 Lions and the Club-Culpeper Mid Day Lions clubs

Lions Club Central continues to serve the community after 32 years

By Kerri Gooding

lions Club Barbados CentralThe Barbadian society has been the benefactor of the service provided by the Lions Club of Barbados Central for the past 32 years.

Under the motto ‘We serve’, the Lions Central Club has been doing precisely that, achieving their goal one individual, charity or community at a time. Through donations, contributions of time and effort, and community outreach, the Lions have been delivering service of the highest standard.

Since last year’s mid-year church service, this Lions Club has expanded their projects and programmes to include the hosting of their annual Language Arts quiz in the schools, sight and visual conservation, providing scholarship and prize awards, organising outreach and youth programmes and conducting life skill training, to name a few.

President, Jocelyn King said at this year’s mid-year service held at St. Barnabas Church that in 2012 the Lions will continue to serve under the theme, ‘Serving with Gratitude’.

In the future as the charitable organisation continues to grow from strength to strength, King pledged that they will seek to work with more members of the society who are underprivileged and less fortunate.

They will also proceed with providing assistance to children who require expensive medical treatment and forge bonds with more organisations such as the Thelma Vaughn Home, HIV/AIDS Food Bank and the Welfare Department, which they have partnered with in the past.

Sharing in the occasion for celebration were members and presidents of the sister Lion Clubs in Barbados. Lions Club of Barbados Central accepts that to serve is their ultimate goal and have plans to expand their reach even more to mitigate and satisfy the growing need which exists in the society.

Lions Clubs protecting local communities

Lions Clubs protecting local communitiesLions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world with more than 1.3 million members in 46,000 clubs spanning 206 countries and geographic areas. Lions Clubs are composed of men and women who volunteer their time by dedicating themselves to helping and serving others in need, and ultimately helping to make communities better and safer places to work, live and raise families.

The local Lions Clubs in District 4-C4 which includes approximately 42 Lions Clubs from San Francisco to Palo Alto have now developed a new program to not only “serve” the public, but now to “protect and serve” the public, as well as the members in our own Lions Clubs, as well.

The new program being implemented is named, “Operation Guardian Angel.” Lions District 4-C4 obtained grants for the purchase of four Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) from both the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Peninsula Health Care District. In addition to the grants, Lions District 4C4 is working with both of these agencies to help provide Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and basic AED training to our Lions volunteers at little to no cost.

During large community events sponsored by various Lions Clubs who work to help raise funding for local charities, schools, homeless programs, etc., what could the Lions Clubs do if a member of the public was to suffer immediate cardiac arrest? Local emergency services do an outstanding job responding to medical emergencies, but minutes and seconds can save lives or even prevent permanent brain damage.

Our new program “Operation Guardian Angel” will now provide the availability in each of the 4 Regions within the Lions District 4-C4, with an AED which will be made mobile and taken to large Lions sponsored community events by a Lions Volunteer trained in the use of CPR and the AED. In the event of a medical emergency, a trained Lions volunteer can, if necessary (and prior to the arrival of emergency services), provide life saving CPR or use the AED to aid the citizen or even a fellow Lions volunteer who might be stricken when volunteering at the event.

District 4-C4 Governor Esther Lee, her District Cabinet officers and every single Lions Club member within San Francisco County, San Mateo County and the city of Palo Alto not only adhere to our Lions organization motto, “We Serve,” but are now taking our service and commitment to our communities a step further to now “Protect and Serve” those who we help and support.”

All of the clubs in Lions District 4-C4 thank both local health care districts for their generosity and sharing our Lions vision to help and protect the citizens in every community we serve in, but also to help protect our Lions volunteers who work so hard serving others in need.

Donation to help fund animal surgical table


Sarasota Lions ClubBecause of a donation from the Sarasota Lions Club, an ophthalmic surgical table will be purchased for the Southeastern Guide Dogs’ veterinary facility in Palmetto.

Members of the Lions presented the $5,000 donation during a luncheon Oct. 3 at the Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Discovery Center in downtown Sarasota.

The donation came after the Lions Club Council of Governors visited the Palmetto facility, where dogs are bred and trained to eventually be matched with a visually impaired person.

During the visit, Southeastern Guide Dogs CEO Titus Herman challenged the Lions to fund an eye clinic at the Palmetto facility so the puppies’ vision could be screened at various stages during their training.

“We had recently taken a group of dogs that were ready to be matched with their new owners to the vet for a final checkup,” recalled Helen Arnold, community outreach coordinator for Southeastern Guide Dogs. “During the visit, we discovered that three of the dogs had cataracts and couldn’t be placed. Sophisticated equipment could have prevented that.”

In response to Herman’s challenge, Arnold said, the International Lions Club agreed to match 50 percent of the funds generated by the Florida Lions to put toward the clinic.

The Sanibel-Captiva Lions presented Southeastern Guide Dogs with a $10,000 for ophthalmological equipment, staff training and reference material for the clinic’s prescreening room.

The $5,000 that the Sarasota Lions donated will fund the purchase of a surgical table for the clinic, said Dr. Jerry Edington, director of Breeding and Veterinary Services at Southeastern Guide Dogs.

“Prior to this, we had no place to conduct the eye exams,” Edington said. “We had to do them on the floor.

“Thanks to the Lions’ generous donations, we now have a specific place to do the eye exams. Now that we have a much more controlled setting, we no longer run the risk of missing anything or damaging the equipment.”

Edington said the table also will be suitable for physicals and dental procedures, making it an important multipurpose addition to the veterinary facility.

Locally, the Lions were one of the first organizations that helped Southeastern Guide Dogs get off the ground, Sarasota Lion Bill Riley said.

The Lions also have made several contributions to Paws for Patriots, a Southeastern Guide Dogs program that pairs veterans with guide dogs, veteran assistance dogs and therapy dogs.

The money provided for the eye clinic and surgical table is some of the first to be donated by the Lions for a specific purpose, Riley said.

“Historically, the Lions have always been great supporters to guide dog schools,” said Marjorie Singer, a Lions Club member and the outreach coordinator at Southeastern Guide Dogs. “What they do is absolutely paramount to the future of guide dog organizations everywhere.”

Meet the Carmi Lions Club’s new mascot!

Carmi Times

cami lionGina Brown’s third grade class at Jefferson Attendance Center in Carmi is the winner of the Carmi Lions Club’s “Naming the Lion” contest. The club recently adopted a new pet lion and it needed a name. So the club asked the White County grade schools to help. It offered the winning class a pizza party with the pledge that their picture would be taken with the lion and published in The Times.

The class suggested the winning name: Carmion the Lion.

“Congratulations to the students in Mrs. Brown’s class for naming the lion,” said a club spokesman. “The club also would like to thank every student who entered the contest. There were a lot of great names.”

Lake Local makes another ballot bid staff report

Lake elementaryLAKE TWP. — Overcrowding in classrooms and one building that is nearly 90 years old are reasons why Lake Local Schools officials are pursuing a bond issue next month.
The district is asking voters to support a 2.3-mill measure. Plans are to use 1.8 mills toward bonds to pay for new construction, while a 0.5-mill continuing levy will generate money for building maintenance.Local money — just less than $12.8 million — raised will be matched with about $23 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission to build a new high school building and improve existing buildings.

“It’s a need, not a want,” Lake Local Superintendent Jeff Wendorf said of Issue 26.

Lake tried to pass the same measure during the May primary election. The attempt failed by 167 votes.

The district actually has made three bids to secure local matching money to go with OSFC funds. In February 2009 the district sought voter approval of a 4.9-mill issue and overwhelmingly rejected the measure. That defeat convinced school officials to change their plan and reduce the amount of their request.


The proposed changes touch every level of the district, Wendorf said.

A new high school classroom building would be part of the current community center campus, which includes the existing high school and middle school. Most of the campus was developed after Lake Local residents in 1999 approved a 6.9-mill bond issue that generated $26.4 million for construction and building improvements.

More classroom space is needed at the high school to accommodate a larger student population. Right now the district has a leased trailer outside the school to provide additional classroom space.

“Trailers are a horrible investment. Horrible,” Wendorf said. “And not ideal for instruction.”

The new high school would be built on the northwest corner of the campus. The current high school would become the middle school, and grades 3 to 5 would move from elementary buildings into the current middle school.

Early designs are for a high school building with flexible classroom areas where classes geared to collaboration, problem solving and communications can be taught. Wendorf said it’s a chance to build a space to help prepare students for college and the workplace.

The building would be connected to existing facilities, where the district already has an auditorium, competition gymnasium and other amenities.


The Lake and Uniontown elementary buildings would house kindergarten through second grade, along with pre-kindergarten classes. Right now the district leases space for the pre-kindergarten classes. Wendorf said Uniontown Elementary was built to accommodate 350 students, but there are 500 using the building.

The changes would allow Lake Local to stop using Hartville Elementary, which opened in 1922.

The building is polished and cared for, but it’s outdated, Wendorf said. A new high school would be more energy efficient and less expensive to operate than the aged high school, he said.

Passing the issue also gives the district a permanent improvement fund to provide $207,000 for general maintenance of district buildings. Right now the general fund must cover building maintenance, which takes money away from education programs.

Without the permanent improvement fund, the district will go through its operating funds faster, which will force it to seek another levy sooner, Wendorf said. The district has eliminated $3 million of spending to absorb state funding reductions, he said.

Wendorf said he hopes district voters agree to pass the bond issue while the state still has OSFC funding in place. He’s concerned the state will decide the money is needed elsewhere and end the program before Lake receives its share of funds.

Uniontown residents rallying against drilling proposal

Uniontown LandfillResidents unhappy about plans for an oil well on property across the street from the Industrial Excess Landfill are planning to storm Monday’s township trustees meeting.

Ohio Valley Energy, based in Youngstown, has applied for a permit to drill a directional well on property in the 12600 block of Cleveland Avenue NW. The land is on the east side of Cleveland Avenue. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which approves drilling permits, is reviewing the company’s request.

Residents are concerned about the location of the proposed well, because it’s across the street from the closed landfill. They are worried that drilling and hydraulic fracturing — a process used to break up buried rock formations — might occur close to the landfill.

Uniontown resident Elizabeth Dixon said she believes the proposed well is too close to the landfill, as well as residences and schools. Dixon said she’s not opposed to drilling, but believes it must be done carefully. She plans to tell the trustees about her concerns.

“I don’t think this is right,” Dixon said of drilling in residential areas. “We don’t need to risk the safety of my family or the families around us.”

Trustee Ellis Erb said the three-member panel will listen to residents, but he doubts the trustees can do much.

“That’s not ours to do,” Erb said, noting that ODNR reviews and issues drilling permits. “We have no control over drilling.”

The proposed well hopes to tap the Clinton Sandstone formation, which usually produces natural gas and oil. There are nearly 3,000 natural gas and oil wells in Stark County, including several in the Uniontown area, and most tap the Clinton sandstone.

But while oil companies have been drilling in the area for more than 100 years, interest has increased as new companies try to access the Utica shale formation. Companies use horizontal drilling to reach the shale and hydraulic fracturing to break up rock and release trapped gas, oil and other hydrocarbons. Hydraulic fracturing involves forcing a slurry of water, sand and chemicals into the well to break up the shale.

Horizontal wells are much larger than the directional and vertical wells that have been drilled here. The hydraulic fracturing process for a horizontal well uses about 5 million gallons on fluid, compared with less than 300,000 gallons used in a traditional well.

If Ohio Valley Energy receives the permit, the company hopes to begin drilling later this year or early next year, spokesman Ben Funderberg said. The well will be more than 4,000 feet deep and directed south. It will be more than 500 feet from the road.

The company operates 450 wells in northeastern Ohio, including some in Stark County. It also holds interest in another 500 Ohio wells.