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Serving the Loup Valley for 140 Years

Lions Club:

EnVISIONing A Clear Path For Youth

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Lions Club member Sherian Craft (l) of North Loup and Past Lions District Governor Wayne Hineman of Hastings prepare to start free vision and hearing screenings at area schools using the latest technology.

By Kate Wolf
   On Mon., Feb. 19, the North Loup Lions Club began its annual comprehensive vision and hearing screening efforts at local schools.  Lions with expertise in operating the extremely expensive, high-tech equipment began with the students at Ord Elementary, along with other club volunteers, to screen students for indications of sight and hearing problems which may be developing so they can be referred on to professionals who can help resolve the issues.  Deficits in vision and hearing have long term effects on a child’s ability to learn, as well as their subsequent success in school.
   Eighty percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.  The first step to prevention is awareness.  The second is early detection through this screening process.  One billion people live with vision impairment that could have been prevented or can be corrected.  Unaddressed distance vision impairment in many low and middle income regions is four times higher than in high income regions.
   Since 1990, SightFirst funds have enabled Lions, healthcare providers, and partner organizations around the world to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness, as well as assisting those who are already blind or visually impaired.  More than 538 million people have been impacted over the last 30 years.  Millions more still need help.
   Around the world, Lions partner with medical professionals and community leaders to screen young children, primary school students, and adults to identify those at risk for vision loss.  The venue for Lions’ vision screenings varies from schools, to workplaces, to community health fairs, to annual festivals and elsewhere but the results are always the same:  Early identification leads to timely referral, professional treatment, and improved or restored sight.
   Work in vision has been an integral part of Lions’ history since its founding in 1917.  The Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) SightFirst program has led the charge in Lions vision efforts over the last three decades.  So much has been accomplished over the years….so much more can be accomplished in the future with continued support and membership.
   Area schools served by the North Loup Lions Club screening process include:  Ord Elementary, Ord St. Mary’s, Ord High School, Springdale School, pre-schools, daycare facilities, as well as the communities of Arcadia, Elba, St. Paul and Palmer.  The effort requires three days to complete and a host of volunteers.  Local North Loup Lion Sherian Craft coordinates the screenings and helps line up the volunteers which included herself, Alan Babcock, Kate Wolf, Jerry Johnson, and Karen White.
   “The Lions provide a great service for the schools in doing vision and hearing screening,” Craft explained.  “The cameras that are in use are amazing in what they can do and diagnose.  I enjoy the interaction with the kids and the other Lions volunteers.”
   The service is free to the school systems but costs the Lions Club $500 to use the expensive, high-tech equipment over the duration of the screening process.  It takes several minutes to screen each child for both vision and hearing and a print-out is provided that identifies any developing problems which might require a referral to an eye doctor or audiologist.
   Lions Clubs also provide Individual Assistance for those financially struggling to obtain necessary eye glasses or hearing aids, as well as collecting used glasses which can be reground to match a different prescription.  They work closely with area eye and hearing professionals to serve those who might otherwise be unable to afford the all-important eye glasses or hearing aids, thereby improving the lives of countless individuals locally and around the world.  Find out how you can become a Lions Club member today.

   The complete story is in this week's edition of The Ord Quiz!

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