LIONS “Opening Eyes” at Vermont Special Olympics Summer Games
Health professionals and volunteers from across New England gathered at the University of Vermont to provide comprehensive health screenings for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at the Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games on June 2nd. A Special Olympics partnership with the Lions Club International Foundation supported vision care for the participants. In total, 118 volunteers provided 563 health exams in one day.
At the Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games at the University of Vermont on June 2nd and 3rd, dental, vision, and hearing exams were offered to all Special Olympics athletes. Through Opening Eyes athletes have access to vision screenings. Custom glasses and sunglasses are made available as needed at no charge to the athlete.
Of the 435 athletes competing in the 2018 Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games, 242 received a dental screening and 17 of those were identified as needing urgent follow-up dental care. 153 received an audiology screening, and 168 received a vision screening. This represents a 23% increase over the previous year and an all-time record for Healthy Athletes screenings.
The Arlington Lions club had a great time hosting (and competing) in the first annual Redneck Warrior Lions Den Challenge on June 23rd!! We had a great turnout even with the uncooperative weather. We have plenty of plans on how to make the event even bigger and better for the future. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates on next years event.
June 22nd and 23rd the Lions Striders team competed in the 8th annual SLAM T1D Vermont Summer Classic Wiffleball tournament held at Little Fenway in Essex Vermont. SLAM T1D is a non-profit that raises funds to improve the lives of people living with TID. They accomplish this by partnering with the Barton Center for Diabetes Education to host the Vermont Overnight Camp. They also work to broaden public awareness of diabetes and seek to empower TIDs of all ages to advocate for themselves, develop optimal T1D-management regimens, and to live life in full.
Middlebury Lions Paul Desabrais and Jesse Gillette led our team effort, joined by PDG Ken Emory and a great group of volunteer players who just wanted to have fun and play ball. The odds on the Lions Striders had us ranked 8th prior to start of the tournament. No one was more surprised than the team when we found ourselves placing second overall in the Championship game.
The real winners are the kids who will benefit from our fundraising efforts. The Lions Striders were able to donate $4,385 to SLAM T1D and we thank all those Lions and Lions Clubs who stepped forward to donate. The 14 teams donated a combined $71,895 to SLAM T1D. That’s a lot of kids attending camp and a lot of services provided to area diabetics.
The experience itself was rewarding. We had a chance to meet and compete with Cayden and his team the “Fighting Wifflers” Cayden was diagnosed with T1D when he was only 2 years old. He is now 8.
The "Breaking Ballers" team was formed by Carrie Ashley. “My 18 yr old son Eli (photo below left, he's on the right), was diagnosed with T1D on his 5th birthday. Eli has never known what it's like to be at school, play sports, work or be with friends without worrying about his T1D. It is a relentless, non-stop 24/7 disease that never takes a break. Let's improve the lives of all children and adults living with T1D by raising awareness. As our children grow up and become independent, they should feel safe, whether it's at college, at a job or anywhere, awareness can save lives!”
MMU LEO Joanna (Jody) Wright honored
On June 3rd, after a fun afternoon volunteering at Special Olympics, the Mount Mansfield Union Leo Club members, along with family and friends celebrated their year of Service with a picnic. The Leo Advisor, Lion Will Wright, (Jericho-Underhill Lions Club) recapped the Leo club's yearlong accomplishments and recognized several individual members for excellence in hours volunteered to the community. Congratulations were also given to all of the MMU Leo's for what they accomplished together.
The 2018 Vermont Lions Charities Richard Dutil "We Serve" Leo Award was presented to Leo Joanna Grace Wright by Brandon-Forest Dale Lion Jackie Dutil. Leo Jody was honored for her many volunteered hours, innovative thinking leading to numerous accomplishments, and her leadership skill. Also noted was her forward thinking to train others with leadership skills; building confidence and keeping participation enjoyable and long lasting.
About the VLC Richard Dutil “We Serve” Leo Club Service Award
As an active member of the Brandon/Forest Dale Lions Club and VT District 45 for more than three decades, Rick Dutil showed dedication to his club, VT District 45, and his community through countless hours of and acts of service to others.
At the time of his death, Lion Rick was President of Vermont Lions Charities. Donations were received from family, friends, and lion’s club members throughout VT in his memory, establishing an annual $2,000 “We Serve” Leo Award in his honor.
To qualify as a possible recipient, a graduating Senior Leo Club member shall have demonstrated a similar history of personal commitment of service to their community, and been an active member of their Leo Club for more than one year.
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