Atlanta Lions Club kicked off the White Cane fundraiser today with the “Million Penny Challenge” The goal is to raise $10,000.00 by June 15th to support The Georgia Lions Lighthouse and other Lions charities. We will be distributing buckets throughout the community asking “May we have your pennies?” For 62 days, from April 15th to June 15th, we are asking the Atlanta Lions and friends of the Atlanta Lions to support this effort by collecting change in these buckets. A portion of the monies, 50%, will go to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse. Here is a sample of the work that the Lions of Georgia and the Lighthouse perform:
At the age of 25, my lifelong battle against a rare, genetic and brutally painful eye disease finally took its toll and rendered me almost legally blind. My young son, who was just a year old at the time, was also experiencing episodic bouts of pain and severe sensitivity to light which meant he too had inherited the dreaded disease. Each erosion or, scratch across our corneas, occurred for any number of reasons; simply upon opening our eyes from sleep, or a wisp of hair across the eye, or for no known reason at all. Each erosion caused a lattice work pattern of abrasions to appear across the surface of the eye. Each and every time my infant son or I experienced an erosion, we were confined to bed. The extreme photophobias meant those days in bed were spent in utter darkness. Not a candle, not the flicker of a television, not a ray of sunlight could be tolerated. My son was so young that scarring of his cornea had not yet become a concern. The horror of the pain in someone so young? Yes. Blindness not yet. For me though, the recurrent corneal erosions and central corneal clouding had finally disabled me.
I had no insurance, could not allow myself to continue to drive, correcting my vision with glasses was not a reality and faking it at work was out of the question. Between his bouts and mine it was pretty hard to hold down a job for long. On good days when I could see it was a challenge. Without vision at least some of the time, we were done for. I was alone and I was scared. I knew I needed a cornea transplant. My Mother had one with moderate success and an Aunt and Grandfather had also been helped by the operation to some degree. Because I had been dealing with my disease, I mean just living with it and all its consequences as a part of my reality since birth, missing school, losing jobs, learning how to handle pain I did with no doctor I could call on.
There was nothing they could ever do to help me in my young mind, could not provide pain relief so my policy was, and why go? Still, I knew the transplants might restore, at least partially, my vision. How to do it with no money and no insurance? Fortune favors the brave; I believed this and so with the help of a friend, began to find corneal surgeons in the Atlanta area. I wrote letters to each of them begging them to help me, uninsured though I was and finally after a month of pleading I got a response.
Dr. Stephen Hamilton, a brilliant, kind and in my humble estimation, heroic surgeon, invited me into his office in Atlanta for a consultation. He confirmed what I knew to be true. A transplant was the way to go. In the exam room Dr. Hamilton made me an offer I’m sure might be shocking to many in the modern medical profession. He offered to do the surgery for free. However, we would need outpatient services and surgical accommodations from the hospital. We would also need a donor cornea and after care costs covered. Cornea tissue transplant recipients never reach a place where they are risk free from rejection and I would require lifelong care. How do you pay for that with no insurance?
It seemed to awful to bare. It seemed in that moment to me that there was no hope.
I was overcome with despair in that moment. An awful thing. We sat there together in the dark; me, close to tears, infant child on my lap, Dr. Hamilton serious and thoughtful.
Suddenly he snapped his fingers,”Lions!” he said.
“Pardon me?” Wondering if he was, as I suspected when he offered to do my surgery for free…crazy.
“The lions Lighthouse folks!” He said, almost giddy.
Dr. Hamilton put his hand on my shoulder, smiled and said, “Don’t worry Shannon, they will help us.”
In a great whirlwind of what I can only describe as caring and gentle, things began to happen. To be honest I truly don’t remember being asked to do much at all. I signed a few papers, a donor tissue was found much faster than expected and my operation was scheduled. The Lions and Dr. Hamilton’s office handled everything for me. I never received a bill; I never stood in a long line. I did not have to beg for help. They accessed my need, determined they could help, and then, they helped me. They covered all the costs. I had the operation and my life and the life of my son, were changed forever.
I could drive. I could read to him. I could work. I saw things I had forgotten existed. Leaves on trees had singular shapes and lines; they were not just one big glob of color at the top of a trunk.
Definition and meaning were mine. I got my miracle.
I don’t know any of the people who must have participated in the process at the Lions Club. The tireless fundraising, the administrative people who deal with the day to day realities of running a nonprofit that works. There must be many of them. If I could bake them all cookies I would. How do you thank people for helping you see your child’s face, the road ahead, a way through? You can’t really. They don’t expect it. I’d like to say thank you anyway. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
It has been 19 years since that operation. I still struggle with the episodes of pain and fluctuating acuity. I am still a visually impaired person traversing the world. My son also has his share to deal with. One day I will need another transplant. There is no cure for the disease…yet.
When it’s time for me to do it again will I be able to cover cost with private insurance? Will my son? I don’t know. I do know help is out there. Good people are out there who care. You can find them if you know where to look. You can even help someone yourself just by giving freely your time and your money. The Lions Lighthouse Foundation gave me the gift of sight and never ask me for a thing. That’s a story worth sharing. Thank you for allowing me to do so.
ATLANTA BRAVES VS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
SATURDAY JUNE 15th | 4:00 p.m.
Help send your high school baseball team to the Braves game by supporting your local Lions Club. If you wish to attend this game, please feel free to purchase your ticket, too. Lions support Leader Dogs for the Blind – Leader Dog’s Mission is to “Empower people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for independent travel and work.”
Download form to order tickets and share the flyer: Lions Club Braves Ticket Flyer 2013.
For the first three weekends after Thanksgiving, Tradition Trees will sell Christmas trees on the green space of the main entrance of Town Brookhaven. Each tree sold generates $5.00 to the chapter to be used for the general fund. Town Brookhaven is creating a great holiday experience by hosting the tree sale and the center has teamed up with the Atlanta Foundation for Public Space in hosting a Holiday Shop “Pop Up” Market featuring over 35 local artists and craftspeople.
The Christmas tree lot will be open Friday through Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. Tradition Trees will bring fresh cut Fraser Firs each week for your selection. Trees start at $20.00 and there will be a fine selection of wreaths and greenery as well. Don’t forget your stand as Tradition Trees always will put your stand on and safely get it in or on your car. Delivery and Installation are available as well.
Find more information at www.traditiontrees.com!
Please support the Atlanta Lions by visiting the Town Brookhaven Tradition Trees Christmas tree lot for your tree.
Download the flyer and pass it along!
Christina Lennon, executive director of the Lighthouse, was interviewed by WABE’s Steve Goss about the non-profit’s mission and its origin over 60 years ago.
2nd ANNUAL COCKTAILS FOR CAMP
ATLANTA’S LARGEST HAPPY HOUR
A Fundraiser Benefiting Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind
Join over 1,000 professionals for Atlanta’s largest happy hour of the year, at Aja, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM! There will be complimentary appetizers and drink specials for all that attend. Raffles tickets will be sold at this event, last year we had 15+ prizes valued between $300- 500.00 each. Live music on the patio with a DJ inside. Free valet parking and self-park validation.
Promotional Codes offered through hosting organizations. $10 discount until 6/30/12 and $5 discount until 7/20/12. Contact your organization for code or additional information.
NEEDED: YOUR SUPPORT!
The goal of the Georgia Lions’ Camp for the Blind is to provide a residential camping experience for blind and visually impaired individuals residing in Georgia. Though full utilization is made of staff and facilities, a recreational emphasis is placed on social, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth. It is the function of the staff member through the small group living process, to aid in the achievement of the following objectives:
- to foster positive self-concept development of campers
- to provide the opportunity for social interaction and the development of social skills
- to foster the desire for participation in all camp activities
- to develop in campers, a sense of responsibility and respect for others
- to provide the opportunity to develop a more positive attitude toward their disability
- to enable the camper to learn to accept ways of competing and cooperating with others
- to stimulate in campers greater independence, self reliance, resourcefulness, and initiative
- to help the camper learn new skills and to explore one’s individual abilities
- to encourage participation in, and shared responsibilities of a democratic society
- to provide opportunities for understanding and appreciation through an awareness of the natural surroundings
- to aid the camper to achieve self-realization, self fulfillment and personal identity and have fun!!
All contributions are greatly appreciated and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Camp for the Blind.
Leaderdogs for the Blind will be the community spotlight of the night during the Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Atlanta Dream vs Chicago Sky, at Philips Arena!
Show your support for the Leader Dogs for the Blind and the Atlanta Lions Club…..And enjoy a great game at the same time!
Click above to purchase tickets for the game!
Be sure to bring your family and friends, and spread the word!
Download the flyer below and email it to everyone you know!
The Atlanta Music Project and the Atlanta Lions joined forces with others from the community to support a tremendous youth program. Special thanks to all Atlanta Lions who turned out for this very special evening. David Proulx, Wes Gifford, Jessica Black, Michael Byrd, Melissa Toole, Emma Folkes, Jay Austin, John Hagan, Phil Minnes and Scott Rogers were in attendance. Extra special thanks to Melissa Toole, Jessica Black and Phil Minnes for organizing the event. Most importantly, the 12 boys and girls who performed last night and their parents had a wonderful time.
Now, here is the best news…..We raised $2,500.00 last night making the Atlanta Lions a GOLD SPONSOR for the upcoming May 19th Concert at the Coan Recreation Center!!
Here are the details:
Saturday May 19, 2012
ATLANTA MUSIC PROJECT SPRING CONCERT PRESENTED BY TBS and co sponsored by the ATLANTA LIONS CLUB
Coan Recreation Center 1530 Woodbine Avenue SE,
Atlanta, GA 30317
The Atlanta Music Project wraps up the 2011-2012 school-year in style, combining the students from our Coan Recreation Center and Gilbert House sites for one, mega, end-0f-year concert! The festivities begin at 2:00pm. Special guests to be announced soon!
This Spring concert will be covered by Channel 2 news and portions of the concert will be conducted by guest conductors from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra!!
Wonderful job Lions!!!
The Night of Spectacles will be held April 28th, at the Buckhead Theater from 7:00PM to 11:00PM.
Visit www.nightofspectacles.org to find out more!
Night of Spectacles began as a way for the
Lighthouse Foundation to meet its growing
funding needs while engaging the local
Optometrists and ophthalmologists model
fashion designs incorporating recycled
eyewear from our eyeglass recycling
Over 450 supporters, including 200
medical professionals and their spouses
attended the 2011 event.
In contrast to a traditional gala, the
cocktail party atmosphere allows for more
mingling and networking.
The event has raised over $350,000 for
uninsured Georgians in the last four years,
enough to provide nearly 300 surgeries or
14,000 pairs of eyeglasses.
Snag a fabulous deal at our silent aucƟon
featuring LASIK surgery, designer eyewear,
jewelry, vacation getaways, date nights
To see designs from last year’s event
Former Atlanta Falcons Coach Dan Reeves will be our guest speaker for the next Atlanta Lions Club meeting on Friday October 14th. Coach Reeves is a dynamic and inspirational speaker and we are honored to have him. Please contact us by Monday, October 10th, if you wish to attend this meeting.
Born in Rome , Georgia and a native of Americus, Georgia, Reeves began his pro career as a free agent running back for the Dallas Cowboys in 1965. He had been a quarterback during his collegiate career at South Carolina and has been inducted into South Carolina’s Hall of Fame. An all-purpose offensive back during his eight seasons (1965-72) on the Dallas roster, Reeves finished his playing career as the Cowboy’s fifth all-time leading rusher, despite a series of injuries that slowed him in the later stages of his career.
Reeves stellar coaching career began when he joined the Dallas coaching staff in 1970, taking on a dual role as player/coach for two seasons. He was a full-time offensive backfield coach in 1972, but spent 1973 in private business before rejoining the staff again as backfield coach in 1974. In 1977, he took on the job of offensive coordinator, in which his duties included coaching the quarterbacks and wide receivers.
He was the youngest head coach in the NFL when he assumed command of the Denver Broncos in 1981 as Vice President and Head Coach. A genuine leader, Reeves coached the Broncos to six post-season appearances, five divisional titles, three conference crowns and three Super Bowl appearances during his 12-year tenure. He was the only AFC coach in the decade of the 1980′s to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl appearances and his Broncos appeared in the Super Bowl three times during a span of four years. His success continued as he was named the 1991 AFC Coach of the Year. Additionally, he has played or coached in a record nine Super Bowls, including Super Bowls XXI (1986), XXII (1987) and XXIV (1989) as the Broncos’ head coach, and Super Bowl XXXIII as the Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
Before taking the helm of the Falcons, Reeves served as New York Giants Head Coach from 1993-1996. Reeves’ success with the Giants made headlines. In his first season he led the Giants to an 11-5 record and a berth in the playoffs. Reeves’ 1993 season record is the best ever for a first-year Giants coach. Reeves was named the 1993 Associated Press Coach of the Year after helping the Giants improve from a 6-10 record in 1992.
It is evident that Reeves is an intense competitor who continues to influence those around him with his own strength of character and positive outlook on life.
Again, please contact us by Monday, October 10th, if you wish to attend this meeting.
October 24, 2011
9:00 AM Shotgun Start
The Golf Club at Bradshaw Farms
3030 Bradshaw Club Drive
Woodstock, GA 30188
$75 a person includes range balls, golf, cart and buffet lunch
Pam Schloemer: 770-298-0215
Wes Gifford: 404-944-7145
Jessica Black: 478-494-4726
To register, visit http://www.lionslighthouse.org/events/golfregistration