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.

Santa and the Wizard of Yo make the annual Uniontown Lions Christmas party a success

Club members enjoying the evening festivitiesThe 2008 Uniontown Lions Club Christmas party (photo album)was held last night at the Uniontown Community Park. The park and clubhouse was festively decorated with wreaths and Christmas lights and we were treated with Hors d’œuvre before the festivities.

Our Christmas party chairman, Bob Moffat was the evening’s emcee and had Lion Bud Bourn lead the club in a verse of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”.

 

 

Eric Monroe, The Wizard of Yo

 

 

After dinner the kids all ran to the front pf the club to secure their seats for the entertainment and course arrival of the big man. The evening entertainment was provided by the Wizard of Yo AKA Eric Monroe.

Eric began playing with a classic wooden Yo Yo at the age of twelve and said it was winning a playground competition that gave him the passion to keep throwing and eventually landed him a job with Sports Illustrated and Universal. Eric said one of his inspirations had been the Smothers Brothers who was responsible for at least one of the resurgences of the yo yo.

 

 

Eric showed several tricks and had the club joining in laughing and clapping along, even from the back of the room I could her my daughters and niece and nephew howling at various tricks like shoot the moon, which Eric nicknamed the black eye. Monroe finished by having Spot, his imaginary yo yo dog, jump into his pocket. Moffat then led the club in a chorus of Jungle Bells in usher in Santa Claus.

Lion Jim and Marlene Raker with SantaSanta visited with the children on his way up the front of the room and joked about sitting on one child’s lap.  As I looked across the room I saw wide-eyed gazes from all of the children, this was indeed the moment that they had been waiting for. The children waited for their names to be called and then went to the front to visit with Santa.

It was a great night for children and adults alike.

 

 

 

View the Photo Album