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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Sterling Lions Club members attend state conference – Sterling Journal-Advocate

By Vaseline May26,2024
Sterling Lions Club members attend state conference – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Members of the Sterling Lions Club who attended the recent state conference include: back row, from left; Cary Bedford, Mickey Dubbs, David Castoe, David Conley, Don Carey, Gary Northup, Justin Blach (Yuma), Bob Blach, Tom Blach (Yuma), Tim Edgar. Front row, from left Carol Graybill, Audrey Carey. (Thanks photo)

The Sterling Lions Club was recently well represented at the annual state conference. Attendees heard updates on all Colorado Lions projects.

The Lions learned that the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation has a new fundraising goal of $50,000 to outfit the 5th floor space of the Eye Institute building at Fitzsimons Medical Center in Aurora. The institute also supports a Patient Assistance Program and eye research through contributions from Colorado Lions Clubs, individual Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation grants.

The Lions were reminded that the mission of the Colorado Lions Camp at Woodland Park is “to provide exceptional camping programs for individuals with disabilities that promote independence, challenge their abilities, and provide the opportunity to discover their own potential in a safe and positive environment.” In the summer of 2023 there were 187 campers, 9 of whom came from abroad. Disabilities treated included IDD/DD, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, deaf and blind, diabetes, traumatic brain injury, fragile X, Prader Willi and ADHD. The total budget for 2023 was $439,425, with nearly half of that coming from contributions from Lions members. The Sterling club participates in all funding opportunities for the camp and also provides two RV sites for local youth with disabilities to attend the camp for free.

The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank, also housed at the Fitzsimons Center, “fulfills the wishes of eye donors and their families to help another overcome blindness through transplantation and research.” Since its founding in 1982, the bank has facilitated more than 58,000 vision-restorative transplants in the U.S. and in 15 countries. Everyone is encouraged to “give the gift of sight” by registering as an eye tissue donor.

The state’s Recycled Glasses Project began here in Sterling in 2001. Working with the Colorado Department of Corrections, local Lions collected and sorted used glasses and sent them abroad to Third World countries. When the project moved to Denver a few years ago, the Sterling club had processed and shipped more than 1 million recycled glasses.

One of the goals of the Colorado Lions Foundation is to provide comfort to those in need. Among the most comprehensive needs covered include emergency relief funding for victims involved in natural disasters such as tornadoes, fires and floods in Colorado. The foundation also funds a number of programs and initiatives to address humanitarian needs, including at the local level, and provides a number of university scholarships.

The Colorado Kids Sight Program consists of trained Lions volunteers who go to preschools and Head Start programs with a specially made camera to take pictures of the children’s eyes. The camera can reveal a number of vision problems that affect a child’s academic performance. If necessary, children are referred to an ophthalmologist, with the club available to help pay the costs.

Theft. Collins Lions Club won the competition by collecting the most pop-top tabs from soda and beer cans. The club has raised more than £100 worth of tabs, which will be handed in for reimbursement. Proceeds will go to the Colorado Lions Childhood Cancer Fund.

Three high school students who won the speech competitions in their districts competed in the state speech competition. Speaking on the topic: “Do you have the courage to change the world through service, transforming community and working together, and in what ways would/could you do this?”, middle school students Jayla Hall, Pueblo Central High School, were sponsored by Charter Lions Club, Daniel Mitchell, Rocky Mountain High School, sponsored by the Fort Collins Lions Club, and Payment Fox, Chaparral High School, sponsored by Centennial Airport Lions Club. Lane Allen, North Fork High School, and sponsored by Hotchkiss Lions Club, was unable to attend. The winner of the competition was Jayla Hall, who will compete in the Lions International competition.

Eleven teams took part in the golf cart race for the blind, with Sterling Lions Don Carey and David Gastoe securing second place, 6 seconds behind the winning team. Everyone involved agreed that this race was the most fun in a while, as did the spectators. The event was a fundraiser for the Akron Lions Club.

A fantastic steak dinner completed the conference, with members of the Sterling Lions Grill Team lending a hand. Country music was provided by Lion Dave Parker of Basalt, Colorado.

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