Estacada Lions Club does its part
Local service group focuses on helping the blind
The Estacada Lions Club has played an important role in the success of the Oral Hull Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides recreation opportunities for the blind.
Oral Hull is observing its 50th anniversary this month.
The Lions were started about a 100 years ago and its original edict was from Hellen Keller, who said the No. 1 goal would be to support those individuals challenged by blindness, said Estacada Lions Club Secretary Jack White. Now weve also moved into diabetes, which is a leading cause of blindness.
With the goal of helping people challenged by blindness, the Lions and Oral Hull form a natural partnership.
The camp was started by the Sandy chapter of the Lions Club, but that group has struggled in recent years.
We volunteer at Oral Hull, where they have a chicken feed as their primary fundraiser, White said. We help with serving food or at the carnival.
The Estacada Lions also help recuit sponsors for Oral Hull, which helps offset the cost operating camps.
For the most part, the camps are run by volunteers aside from just a couple full-time coordinators who work year-round.
Outside of Oral Hull, the Estacada Lions focus on their own community and those who are in need particularly children.
We do a lot of fundraising so that no kids go without glasses, White said. We also do screening for diabetes, sight and hearing, and other tests that come with the multiple screening unit we bring out a couple times a year.
Through all they do in the community, the most rewarding thing for White is when the club gets a chance to hear from the people they help.
When we get a letter from people that we have helped, its very emotional, he said. When they say, Now I can see, I can get a job, Im successful, this has helped me get back on my feet,' its the acknowledgement that we have helped them.
On the flip side, sometimes the presence of a testing machine also can be the bearer of bad news and just how many locals are in need of help.
Its unfortunate when you learn how many people live within the confines of the town without a house or anything, White said. Once in a while, we find kids who arent very successful in school and weve been active in making sure no kid goes without glasses. Weve also gotten more into hearing aids, and its surprising how many people have hearing problems.
For anyone interested in learning more about the Estacada Lions Club, contact Dave Stockner at 503-637-3630. The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Viewpoint.