National White Cane Safety Day

White Cane DayThe Greencastle Lions and Lioness Clubs will team up Friday, Oct. 14 to raise funds for local sight projects through the White Cane Project. Members will be located at Tower Bank, Sunnyway Foods, Sunnyway Diner, Family Restaurant and Mikie’s Ice Cream throughout the day and evening.
The White Cane concept began with James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England.  In 1921, he became blind following an accident.  Because he was uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.  In 1930, George Bonham, president of the Peoria Lions Club in Illinois, introduced the idea of a white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility.  The Peoria Lions approved the idea.  White canes were made and distributed.  The Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right of way to cross the street.
News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions Clubs throughout the United States.  Their friends, with visual handicaps, experimented with  the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by individuals, blind and sighted alike, quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special needs for travel considerations among their sighted counterparts.
Today, White Cane Laws are on the books of every state in the US and many other countries, providing a person who is blind a legal status in traffic.  The white cane now universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind.
To make the American people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane and the need for mororists to exercise special care for the person who carries it, on Oct. 6, 1964, the US Congress approved a resolution authorizing the President of the US to annually issue a proclamation designating Oct. 15 as National White Cane Safety Day.
The Greencastle Lions and Lioness clubs look forward to community support of this fundraiser. All donations received will be used toward local sight projects.