BARKER — In 1927, Helen Keller came to the Lions International Convention and said: "The opportunity I bring you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation of the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you, Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing; you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness? I thank you."
Since that time, Lions have sought to aid those who need. Barker Lions are proud to continue this work.
At a recent Lions Club meeting, the members and partners-in-service stuffed envelopes for the annual Blind Seals Campaign. The funds raised are used to provide those in the community who need, but cannot afford, glasses and hearing aids. During the past year, the group also built ramps at homes for those with physical challenges.
In addition, the club sponsored scholarships for graduating seniors who volunteered in our community, held a Halloween party for elementary school students, and sponsored a Boy Scout troop and Little League team. Lions could also be found volunteering at the local food pantry, Tour de Cure and at the Barker Homecoming Parade.
Our outreach into the community includes hosting pancake breakfasts and chicken barbecues. The club often partners with another organization such as the Barker Music Boosters or Foreign Language Club to aid their fundraising activities.
Asked why he is a Lion, current club president Tom Ware said, "Although I've only been a member for five years, the projects we do are so important. I've been helping with the eye screening in the school. Knowing that students with vision challenges can get help to overcome them has been satisfying. Our other projects, such as providing eye glasses, to helping the food pantry, to distributing the items in our loan closet, means we are doing what we can to help those who need it. At the same time, we have fun being together."
Other current officers of Barker Lions Club are vice presidents Tim Leising, Scott Ecker and Dale Corwin, secretary Matt Costello and treasurer Jim Bittner.
To receive a club flyer, email Roar@BarkerLions.org or call 778-7001. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 123, Barker, NY 14012.
Barker Lions Club invites the members of our community to join us by volunteering for one of our projects, visiting or speaking at one of our meetings, making a donation and/or asking about membership. For more information about our activities, please check our website, www.BarkerLions.org.