The London Lions Club has set an ambitious goal. Members want to collect 1,000 pairs of used eyeglasses in the month of November. That’s more than the club collects in a year, let alone one month.
“One thousand is a huge goal, but we figured, why not go big and see what happens,” said member Greg Eades.
The main mission of Lions Club International is to help people with sight impairments. Locally, the London chapter collects used eyeglasses which are checked for prescription then redistributed to people who cannot afford glasses. The group also has donated low-vision readers to libraries in Madison County and annually buys dozens of new pairs of glasses for people who need them.
For the November collection drive, the London Lions have placed collection boxes at banks around London, which supplement year-round drop boxes at Walls & Bennett Realty and First United Methodist Church.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 8, Lions members will be at Save-a-Lot and Kmart on Lafayette Street. On that day only, each person who donates a pair of glasses at either location will be entered into a drawing for an Ohio State University-themed prize.
“If you donate one pair, you get one chance. If you donate five pairs, you get five chances,” Eades said.
The winner will be announced at the Lions Club’s second annual “Bash the Maize and Blue Bash,” which will take place on Nov. 22 at the Red Brick Tavern in Lafayette. Doors will open one hour prior to the start of OSU’s football game against Michigan. (The time of the game has not yet been announced.) The game will be shown on a big-screen television.
Tickets to the family-friendly fundraiser are $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. The price includes all the tailgate food you can eat—burgers, brats, wings, side dishes, and desserts. Alcohol will not be served in the Presidents Room where the bash is being held.
“Seating is limited. We will sell 80 tickets total. We have already sold half of them,” Eades said. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to contact a Lions Club member. Some tickets may still be available for purchase at the door the day of the bash.
In addition to the game, an auction, raffle and door prizes are planned. A trivia contest will take place during commercial breaks.
The auction features OSU-themed items, including a pie safe with an OSU logo made by Lions member Dick Hughes, a cornhole set signed by Heisman trophy winner Archie Griffin, and a 1945 “Illustrated Football” magazine featuring Bill Hackett on the cover. The Madison County native was an all-American football player at OSU in 1944.
“We also might have a football signed by John Cooper, Earle Bruce and Jim Tressel, and we’re still collecting more items that will end up either in the auction or the raffle,” said Eades.
In keeping with the Buckeyes theme, the Lions Club is decking out the party space with posters celebrating the people from London who played football at Ohio State: Mark Cox, Tim Cummins, Bill Hackett, Billy Hackett, Dick LeBeau, Dave Tingley and Andre Tyree. They also will post the numbers and accomplishments of other players with Madison County ties, including Warren Amling and D.J. Jones who moved to London, Vic Palmer who had a business in London in the 1970s, Robin Priday from West Jefferson, Brian Stoughton from Madison-Plains, and Donnie Nickey from Jonathan Alder.
The Lions Club raised $2,000 at its first “Bash the Maize and Blue Bash” in 2007. Proceeds go toward the club’s vision mission and other causes. Over the years, the club has sent disabled children to camp, provided food baskets for needy families, sponsored college scholarships, and supported diabetes research, Boy Scouts and Armory youth programs.
For more information about the eyeglasses collec-tion, to donate auction items or buy tickets to the “Bash the Maize and Blue Bash,” or to learn more about the London Lions Club, contact Liz Finchum at 740-852-3911, Greg Eades at 740-852-4090, or Greg Buckley at 740-604-0868.
Monetary donations may be made out to “London Lions Club” and mailed to: Howard Reynolds, treasurer; 1565 State Rte. 665, London, OH 43140.
West Jefferson Club busy, too
The West Jefferson Lions Club is doing its part, too, to help people with vision impairments.
The relatively new group set a goal of outfitting 10 local people with eyeglasses this year. Through referrals and donated services and glasses, they have already assisted five people.
Additionally, member Lori Clark secured 90 frames from Eyeglass World, a store that is going out of business at Polaris Parkway in Columbus.
Clark worked at the store and saw that the frames were going to be discarded. She sal-vaged them for reuse through the Lions Club. The West Jef-ferson Lions meet at the Coun-try Table in West Jefferson at 7:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month and at noon on the third Thursday.