Lions in Sight News

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New Newsletter Format

Now that we have The Lions in Sight News set up as an email newsletter we need to add everyone who wants to get a copy to our mailing list. The current list is made up of Lions Club Presidents, Governors, VDG's and the Directors and Advisors of LIS. If you know of anyone else who wants to be on the mailing list, please have them contact us at cdmsr69@gmail.comto be added to the mailing list.Our mailing host is very conscious of the Can Span Act and wants a positive response from anyone who is on our mailing list. There will also be a sign up sheet at the booth at the MD-4 Convention for new signups.

If you are receiving this newsletter and do not want to be on the mailing list please let us know. Everyone was sent a letter asking for permission to include you on the list. If you have changed your mind, or if you change your email address, please let us know.

Ted Fichter 

President's letter

As we come to the end of 2010 I would like to look back on some of the noteworthy events that happened at Lions In Sight this year.

Our new Lens Grinding machinery was installed in our new lab that was built in to our warehouse. It is now up and fully functional. We are now manufacturing our own new children's glasses. As many of you know, children's glasses are a rare commodity for us at LIS. Kids are hard on glasses. As a result of that, many of the children's glasses donated are in poor condition or have significant astigmatism correction and are not practical to store or use. Since the lens grinding equipment has been installed, warehouse volunteers gave produced 1500 pairs of new spectacles for children. Another 1000 pair have been produced and donated to LIS by Rex Baker an Optician from Jackson, CA. The equipment was donated by Adrian Tatarakis of VSP Corporation.

We opened our 58th permanent clinic in Jamshedpur India. COO Dr. Bill Iannaconne, Dr. Corina Van De Pol, 1st V.P. Khush Bodham, Maricella Robles, Adrian Tatarakis and I traveled to Jamshedpur India in late November to train the local Lions Club members to operate a permanent clinic. We donated $8,500.00 worth of optical equipment along with 15,000 pairs of glasses that we trained them to process with their new equipment. We also helped them conduct a temporary clinic for two days to give them practical hands-on training in the dispensing of glasses to patients. It is their plan to take their glasses out to the villages where very needy people with no means of transportation in to town can receive professional eye care.

We conducted 12 temporary clinics in Mexico in 2010. 48 Optometrist and 72 Technicians volunteered their time and covered their own expenses to go down to Mexico and partner with local Lions Club members to operate temporary clinics in twelve different locations in Mexico. Their combined efforts resulted in 8430 underprivileged patients receiving a comprehensive eye examinations and corrective lenses if needed. To all of those who volunteered on these trip I thank you. Imagine the difference you have made in all of those lives.  

One special project introduced by the Danville Lions Club was the partnering with the Boy Scouts of the Mt. Diablo district to collect used glasses through their Food collection drive. By including a post-it note with our request for glasses, we collected more than 20,000 pairs of glasses on one November Saturday. That was added to the 583,000 pairs of glasses collected by Lions Clubs, Board members, volunteers and our many collection sites this year. During the 2010 calendar year we distributed 455,690 pairs of glasses to our existing permanent clinics, Feed The Children and Peace Corps.

This may have been the best year yet for volunteer staffing at our warehouse in Vallejo. Walter Griffin loves to fire up the grill and BBQ for volunteer groups who come to the warehouse to help sort, wash and read glasses. While we had a good turn out this year, we are always looking for more volunteers. Please contact the warehouse if you know of a person or a group willing to volunteer their time. To all of our volunteers, member clubs and donors THANK YOU for helping to make 2010 a very successful year at Lions In Sight. With your help we look forward to continuing this momentum in to 2011. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!

Ted Fichter


Eyeglass case 

What to do with Eyeglass Cases

As most folks know, Lions in Sight has a great need for used eyeglasses. We have no need for the cases in which they sometimes arrive. So what do we do with the cases? In the few instances where we do get cases, most of them go into the dumpster. This goes against everything else that we do to recycle. A number of Lions clubs have better ideas on how to partner with other community groups and make use of those eyeglass cases.

One of our Lions Clubs sorts out the glasses then goes through the cases to find the ones that are in good condition. Those go to the local Cancer Society thrift store where they are sold for $1.00 to $2.50 each. That is not a lot, but every little bit helps another good cause. In return, the thrift shop keep an eyeglass box where they put the glasses from families who donate the clothes from loved ones who have passed away, along with glasses that are donated.

Another local Lions Club donates their serviceable cases to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop where they are also sold to help provide their services. I'll bet if you think a little, you can come up with an organization in your community which could benefit from those lightly used cases. You might also find an introduction to a potential future Lion in making the connection.

In this time of great need all service groups need to work together and help each other. What a great way to partner with another service organization in your community. If nothing else, you can raise the awareness of Lions in your community.  Also, in the words of Kermit the Frog "It's great to be green."

Jamshedpur clinic 

New Clinic in Jamshedpur India

In November a team of six team members from Lions in Sight went to Jamshedpur, India to set up our 58th permanent LIS clinic with the Lions of District 322 A. The team of Dr. Corina Van De Pol, PID Bill Iannaccone, Ted Fichter, Khush Bodhan, Marcela Robles and Adrian Tatarakas spent the week training volunteers  from the Jamshedpur Lions Club assigned to run the new clinic. They also worked to train local Lions to work with their area Optometrists to run the clinic for the future.

The goal for the local Lions was to run a clinic the opened at the beginning of December and to be able to see 1000 underprivileged patients per month. The team also operated a temporary clinic for two days at the new site where they used that opportunity to give the new clinic workers hands-on training exercise. More than 300 patients received complete eye exams and corrective lenses, where needed, during the clinic.

Lions in Sight sent over 15,000 pair of glasses and all of the optical equipment needed to process the glassed as well as the instruments required by the Optometrist to perform the eye exams. Another 100,000 pair of donated glasses will be shipped to the new clinic to keep in functioning for years to come. A majority of the funds needed to set up the clinic was from a generous donation from a Mumbai businessman who is a former classmate of Lion Khush.

The local Lions proved to be exceptionally competent in their new roles and showed the team tremendous hospitality and friendship. LIS will enjoy our working relationship for many years to come.

Summary of the October board meeting 


The Board of Directors met October 10th at Circus, Circus in Reno. At that meeting theboard accepted the eyeglass report by Lee Gile that we have received 170,318pair of glasses in the 1st quarter, including 90,000 from Hawaii Lions. The board approved expanding the Executive Committee to include representatives of the warehouse, the optometrist committee and the Latin America committee.

There was a motion passed to amend the Bylaws under Treasurer to change the limit on the cost of an audit from "not to exceed $1500" To not to exceed $10,000. John Holland has returned as the Bylaws Chair and will be joined by Linda Griffin and Larry Hidalgo. President Ted proposed to amend the Policy Manual to include a detailed expense report including original receipts to receive reimbursement.  The motion was passed.

Chris Morris was approved to fill the vacant position of 2nd Vice President.  There was a report on adding another prisoner to the workforce at Avenal prison. A new position will be funded by LIS at a cost not to exceed $750 per year.

The next board meeting will be Saturday February 5th at the MD-4 Convention in Primm, Nevada.


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Chris Morris, editor

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