By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — As the first year of service draws to a close; the East Knoxville Lions Club, the largest chapter in East Tennessee came together to celebrate and make plans for serving the inner city in 2019.
The first year has seen the club live up to the Lions International motto, :”We Serve” with a mighty roar.
The club has held countless vision fairs and partnered all thru the city; participating in
health fairs, going into day cares, senior centers, and partnering with different organizations to come and hold screenings on different sites. The efforts have produced many success stories. The club has even donated funding to help citizens in the community procure prosthetic eyes and has referred many to the eye bank for further assistance.
A main focus of the club this year has been an effort to provide eye care for the children of Sarah Moore Green Elementary School. The club offered vision screenings to the children and 200 received vision screenings. An alarming number of 110 failed the screenings. Of those children only 49 returned the permission slips. “Getting a higher return rate on the permission slips from the parents is one of the goals for 2019”. said Albert Nelson, club president.
The club also plans to move into other inner city schools and will begin the service with Maynard Primary School.
The members of the club are close and very active. They are dedicated have participated in a diabetes awareness program with the international club, having been featured in a
Peach Bowl commercial, and partnered with Faith of Steel Ministries to provide socks and throws for over 700 children and elderly in a multi state charity project. In their first year they have received commendations and awards from both the City and County Mayors and other organizations in the city.
The club closed out its first year with a new member, a huge party, an ugly sweater contest, singing and testimonies, and a delicious pot luck dinner, ready for 2019…ready to serve.