St Pete Lions Club Projects
Vision, Hearing, & Diabetes
Health screening events are scheduled throughout the year for Infants, Children, Adults, and Seniors. St. Petersburg Lions are available to conduct screenings at your community centers, churches, schools, or other special events. Screenings are fast, painless and free! Additional volunteers are always welcome to assist us!
Diabetes Screenings at the Sunshine Center for Seniors
In July 2015, the St. Petersburg Lions Club began to offer monthly screenings for diabetes at the Sunshine Center. The screenings are scheduled for the third Friday of each month from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. All screenings are conducted free of charge. Clients are asked to fast for at least 1 hour prior to the exam. The Sunshine Center is a nationally accredited multi-service center where seniors gather for support, socialization, fitness and/or other services provided for older people. The Center also houses the Lions’ Sight Clinic, where manager Alan Waddell discusses the Lions’ financial assistance program with applicants and will guide the clients in completing the necessary forms. Reading glasses are also available free of charge for Sunshine Center clients.
Screenings with KidSight USA
KidSight USA is a national initiative to screen children between ages 1 and 5 for problems that cause amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye. The key components of the KidSight program are early detection, professional referral, and follow-up. Amblyopia is the most common cause of poor vision in children and is easy to treat. Doctors treat amblyopia with glasses, patches, or exercises, in some instances surgery may be necessary. Between July 2013 and June 2014, the St. Petersburg Lions visited 25 daycare centers and screened 2,849 children referring 376 for sight and 146 for hearing problems, which included 25 children with very severe conditions.
Screenings with Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Inc.
The Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas focuses on early care and education by ensuring programs and services are available to assist young children during their formative years so they can succeed. The coalition collaborates with the St. Petersburg Lions for vision, hearing and diabetes screening at pre-school and child day care centers. The Lions’ screenings are quick and free and the parents are sent the results of the screenings to follow-up as necessary!
Partnering with the Junior League: Back To School Care Fair Screenings
An annual partnership with the Junior League finds St. Petersburg Lions at a local community center meeting hundreds of students returning to school. The Back to School Care Fair offers the Lions some one-on-one time with kids really eager to return to school. Lions perform a simple vision screening and for those that may need professional eye exams or glasses, the Lions provide their parents with referrals to our Sight Clinic at the Sunshine Center. The Lions also conduct diabetes screening at this event for kids and parents in high-risk categories. In 2015, the Lions partnered with the YMCA to offer exercise programs and with St. Anthony’s Hospital to offer nutrition classes for at risk families.
Partnering with LensCrafters: The OneSight Vision Van
During the school year, the OneSight Vision Van parks at a central Pinellas County school for two days. The van is staffed by optometrists and technicians who perform dilated eye exams and refractions tests, and write eyeglass prescriptions. The prescriptions are made on-site and put into frames provided by Sunglass Hut. In two days, Lions processed 137 students who received their glasses during their visit to the OneSight Vision Van. Students from twelve local schools have been given the opportunity to participate in this program.
Partnering with Sri Sathya Sai Baba Center of Tampa Bay: Eye Camp
The Sri Sathya Sai Baba Center of Tampa Bay hosts an Eye Camp for the homeless, low income or uninsured at the Pinellas County Health Department in the fall. The Lions provide free reader glasses, and offer financial assistance to those that need prescription eyeglasses. The Lions also conduct the bloods sugar screenings and offer information from the YMCA and St. Anthony’s Hospital to adults at risk for developing diabetes.
Partnering with the Pinellas County: Project Homeless Connect
Project Homeless Connect, an offshoot of a national effort, is designed to provide dignified assistance in a one-stop setting. Volunteers assist at least 1,200 people, among them families and veterans. First organized locally by the city of St. Petersburg and the Homeless Coalition in 2007, the event has become a collaboration of groups that include the city, Pinellas County Health and Human Services, the Homeless Coalition and the Salvation Army. Lions can perform sight screenings, offer financial assistance to those needing professional eye care services, and offer free reading glasses.
Partnering with In-School Nurses
School nurses are sometimes the first to recognize a student’s difficulty in learning due to poor vision. In 2012, the St. Petersburg Lions Club began providing in-school nurses with vouchers to refer students for free professional eye exams and eyeglasses at participating service providers.
Dining In the Dark
In 2015, the St. Pete Lions hosted their first Dining in the Dark, an elegant affair with a guest speaker on nutrition and its relevance to healthy vision. Proceeds from this event benefit the St. Petersburg Lions Club Sight Program. The dinner is open to the public!
Walking with The National Federation of the Blind
The St. Petersburg Lions Club joins the National Federation of the Blind during October to raise awareness of Florida Statute 316.1301, often referred to as the White Cane Law. Every October, the Pinellas Chapter of the NFB hosts a “meet the Blind” picnic at Lake Seminole Park that includes demonstrations on white cane and guide dog skills.
Walking for The Foundation Fighting Blindness
VisionWalk is a signature fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The Foundation funds leading edge research in genetics, gene therapy, transplantation, artificial retinal implants and pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. Since 2006, the St. Petersburg Lions Club has joined Foundation Fighting Blindness to raise awareness and funds for sight-saving research during VisionWalk.