The Future of AZLVH Foundation of MD21

Provided by Lion Donna Harris,
board president, AZLions Vision & Hearing Foundation

Fellow Lions Members,

The Arizona Lions Vision and Hearing Foundation is operational and is in the process of reorganizing to allow vision services to be extended beyond just the Phoenix metropolitan area. You may have heard the Foundation must move from our current home of many years; however, we are in talks with the property owner to possibly extend our lease beyond November 2024.

As an example of the new direction, a team was assembled for a pilot project to include mobile optometrists plus their assistant and our own optician to provide 49 students from the Cartwright School District a free acuity screening, eye exam and eyeglasses. These students were referred by Lions Club members’ vision screenings. 

This new direction of bringing the eye doctor to the school is the result of past experiences whereby referred students were never seen by an eye doctor. This pilot project was made possible through a current grant and the goal of the Foundation is to duplicate this program throughout the state using new applied grant funds to include eye surgeries. Currently the Foundation board members’ focus is on vision first and then hearing. See the pilot program.

In the coming months, the Foundation will restart eyeglass sorting for clubs’ projects and offer classes on how to read a lensometer. This class will be taught by Jon Clark, the Foundation’s optician.

The Foundation continues to undergo a significant transformation to be more responsive to all Arizona Lions with respect to vision. Another important change is that a new website is currently being designed that will offer information on vision related eye issues, the Arizona State vision law, printable flyers, tri folds, for Lions members to use during their events, a calendar of events to sign up lensometer classes and eyeglass sorting. The Foundation will also make Spot screeners accessible to remote clubs for a longer period to allow Lions to serve their communities.

Changes take time. The Foundation board members are motivated, dedicated and focused on the successful future of the Foundation. We are here to serve. The board members welcome your ideas and want to hear from you. The Foundation is your state project and always needs your support be it with donated glasses, monetary donations or by serving on the board. The Foundation has open positions for both MD North and South. We want to hear from you.

Please join the Foundation on its new journey to better serve all those in need of good sight.

Nomination to the Board of Directors

Board Elections Cover letter

Mission of Mercy Made Memorable

Provided by Lion Donna Harris, board president, AZLions Vision & Hearing Foundation

This year marks the seventh that Arizona Lions have volunteered at AZMOM (Arizona Mission of Mercy) and it’s the fifth year Lions returned to offer vision screenings, eye exams and eyeglasses. This year a generous donation sponsored the Medical Mobile Eye Unit to be onsite for the first time to provide eye exams. The Unit was staffed by Greg King, John Clark and four dedicated ophthalmologists who volunteered their time to provide eye exams to those in need at the December 9-10, 2022, event at the Phoenix Coliseum arena.

During the two-day event, 208 patients were provided a vision screening, and 62 patients received a referral for eye exam due to poor vision.  Thirty (30%) percent of referred patients received their eye exams onsite by the volunteer ophthalmologists.

Prescription glasses were provided by a grant from the AZ Lions Vision and Hearing Foundation of MD21 and VSP gift certificates. At least 153 reading glasses were provided, as well as 180 pair of sunglasses were provided.

All-in, the value of the vision screenings was $41,600, and the eye exams and VSP certificates boosted that number another $10,285. Add-in the reading and sunglasses, and the total value of services provided (non including volunteer hours) was $55,260.