Monday, April 27, 2009

April 18 Humanitarian Dinner

The entertainment for our evening was two piano duets by Nathan Brown and his daughter Sarah. Nathan is Anne Fisher's nephew. Sarah studied piano with her father as a beginner, but is now a student with another teacher. She recently was the featured and only pianist in a solo recital, with the exception of two duet numbers with her father. They live in Riverton.

The Pleasant Grove Lions Club was presented with 360 pairs of used eyeglasses collected by a young Lindon girl, Courtney Ricks, as a service project. Courtney and her parents, Glen and Valarie Ricks, brought several large boxes filled with the glasses. Courtney had prepared a poster showing her project as a candidate for Little Miss Lindon this year. Each candidate chooses a service project as part of the pageant. Courtney chose collecting eyeglasses because she herself needs eyeglasses, and she wanted to help others who need eyeglasses and cannot afford them. These 360 pairs will go to a Third World country where there is great need. Courtney knew that Lions Clubs devote great efforts to sight conservation all over the world.

Pleasant Grove Lions Club presented the Humanitarian of the Year Award for 2009 to Dr. Kenneth E. Hooton, optometrist, at their regular April meeting. He has been given this award in recognition of his generous and ongoing help to the efforts of the Pleasant Grove Lions Club in eyesight conservation and service to the communities. Dr. Hooton and members of his family have traveled several times in past years to Mexico where he did eye exams and distributed eyeglasses. Dr. Hooton's office is in American Fork. Accepting the award for him in his absence were his wife Angie Hooton and their daughter Jannie and their office manager Marie.

Several times a year, the Pleasant Grove Lions Club receives requests for help with acquiring eyeglasses for those in need of them. Often, the schools will determine that a student is having problems with eyesight and can't afford treatment, so they are referred to the Lions Club. Dr. Hooton has generously donated the eye exams, and as the need for eyeglasses is determined, the Lions Club pays for those.

Dr. Hooton and his staff have "read" hundreds of pairs of used eyeglasses donated to the Lions Club for humanitarian projects. The eyeglasses must be "read" to determine what the prescriptions reading is, then they can be matched to a recipient who needs that particular prescription. The eyeglasses go with various humanitarian service groups as they make these trips to Third World countries.

Pleasant Grove Lions Club was able to send a large number of eyeglasses with a humanitarian group who are preparing to go to India in May. The group is "Unite for Sight", a national organization. Jennie and Cody Forsyth, representing the group, presented their information to the Lions Club early in March.Cody is one of the students from UVU who will be volunteering with this project and they will be in India from May 10 through May 20, working mostly in remote villages. The volunteers and interns will be working with optometrists and ophthalmologists who will examine and treat those who need help with eyesight problems, even with needed surgery. The eyeglasses they will take with them are cleaned and packaged by Lions Club members and volunteers. Then after having been read by a qualified optometrist, they are labeled with the proper prescription reading, to be matched to the person receiving the glasses.

Pleasant Grove Lions Club is part of Lions Club International whose mission, in part, is sight conservation and service. Lions clubs "Recycle for Sight" projects help people all over the world. Pleasant Grove Lions Club would welcome any service minded person or family to become part of their group serving the communities. Please contact Milt, 801 913 2533 or Darlene, 801 785 2669 for information.