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Lions learn results of charitable support

“Try to imagine if you were suddenly stricken blind today.” The words of Helen Keller speaking to a Lions convention more than 80 years ago still strike a chord.

The Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association (ALSCA) reaches out to those young and old alike who are battling loss of sight and lack the insurance to seek medical treatment.

Julie Beckham, executive director of the ALSCA, shared the ways the program benefits Alabamians with the Greenville Lions Monday.

The Lions viewed a new video featuring actual patients discussing how they were assisted through the program.

“You don’t really appreciate how important (your vision) is unless you lose it,” said one gentleman whose sight was restored after cataract surgery.

“It is wonderful to see our role in helping people and changing their lives for the better,” Beckham said.

Services offered through the ALSCA include medically necessary eye care for the indigent; screening for glaucoma and visual acuity, and mobile screenings.

In 2007, Alabama Lions Sight provided 475 pairs of eyeglasses, 254 surgeries, 300 eye drop prescriptions and many other medical necessities to 17,000 children and 700 adults across Alabama.

Lions are committed to saving sight for a number of reasons, Beckham said.

“Our efforts allow people to maintain employment so they can support their families. They give elderly people more autonomy, allow children to succeed better in school and in general, promote a much better quality of life,” she said.

Beckham said the Greenville Lions were in the top five as a club in contributions to ALSCA, giving over $9,000 to the program in 2007. The local club has also sponsored several vision screenings for elementary students in the county and made arrangements for area citizens in need to receive eye exams, glasses and surgery.

The Greenville Lions will be raising more funds for Lions Sight and its other sight-saving charities October 29 during their annual Radio Day at Q-94. To learn more about ALSCA, visit www.alsca.org or call toll-free 1-800-96-SIGHT. To support Lions Radio Day, contact Lion president Hubert Little at 382-6383 or any Lions Club member.