Stand Down” Veterans Assistance Event

Unfortunately, veteran homelessness continues to be a persistent problem in Connecticut and across the country. These men and women sacrificed immensely to protect us, our freedom, and our way of life. To give down on their luck veterans a little leg up, a “Stand Down” event was held in September. Stand Downs provide needy veterans with medical attention and information regarding state and federal programs designed to help them get back on their feet. A “Stand Down” in the military is a time for servicemen and women to recoup, relax, and get medical attention. Government sponsored Stand Downs are designed to do the same thing for homeless and struggling veterans all across the country.

Members of the East Haddam Community Lions Club served our veterans by volunteering at the hearing clinic.  Our members were touched by the veterans who came to them for assitance and were so appreciative of the services that they received.  

The Lions motto is "To Serve" and it is very fitting that our Lions would

"Serve Those Who Have Served"

Enviromental Committee Service Projects


The Environmental Committee this year took on two new projects, our club adopted the stewardship of the Davidson Walking Trail, this entails walking the trail regularly and reporting any damage or encroachments to the Land Trust who are the custodians of the property, ensuring the trail is kept in good order.

Veiw from the Davidson Walking Trail, June 2017View from the Davidson Walking Trail, June 2017 



Lions Arnie, John and Jiffy with grandson on Davidson Trail


​    Lions Jiffy and Linda walking the Trail 

​Music on the River

We also were asked to provide recycling at East Haddam’s Music on the River events that take place every Monday evening in July and August at Goodspeed Landing. We have a team on volunteers who set-up, monitor and collect the recycling in receptacles that we provided. This event is very well attended and offers Free concerts funded by voluntary donations. Over the years trash removal had become a challenge, and offered no recycling receptacles, our club saw this as an opportunity to offer a environmental service that benefits everyone…… plus we have a great time at the concerts too.

Music on the River July 2017

Our club signage at the concert

Recycling team enjoying the concert July 2017

Our Recycling Team enjoying the concert. 

KidSight USA



If you could save a child’s sight with the press of a button, wouldn’t you?


According to educational experts, 80% of learning is visual. So if a child can’t see well, he can’t learn well. Yet most young children don’t get their vision screened until they have problems learning or paying attention in school. By then, it may already be too late. Unless vision problems are detected early and corrected, they risk becoming permanent by age 7.

The Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation (CLERF…. of which every CT Lion is a member) through its Lions Eye Health Program has funded WelchAllyn SPOT paediatric scanners that are available to every Lions Club enabling us to screen FREE of charge ALL children from 6 months through Grade school with the primary emphasis on the 0-6years.

The East Haddam Community Lions actively promotes this program in East Haddam, the Elementary school and Kindergartens taking advantage of this program offered free by the Lions, resulting in early detection of vision issues and allowing them the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Last year our district (Middlesex, Tolland, Windom and New London Counties) have screened over 17,000 children in pre-schools, Kindergartens’ and Elementary schools. The protocols we use are HIPPA compliant and everything needed to carry out this program is funded by CLERF using donations from CT Lions; thanks to the success of this program, many Nurseries and schools, are now taking advantage of this free service, when they see the scope of the screening offered. (It is over and above the simple acuity charts used still in schools) why wouldn’t they. Lions Clubs International (LCI) when launching this program nationally as KidSight USA proudly uses our CT program as one of its models,

Our mission is to ensure Free Vision screening is given to all kids because every child deserves to learn and see the world clearly, it is our children in our communities who benefit. …. there are approximately 250,000 children in our target age range (0-6years) in CT. Last year we screened over 45,000 and we hope to reach every child as this program becomes more visible to childcare facilities and schools

This program is easy to implement, the scanner is very user friendly, requiring no cognisant input from the child. Screening results from the past 4 years show that typically 10-12% of kids screened in this area will be referred for a follow-up exam by an eye-care professional. Approximately 5% of all children in this age group (6mths-6years) will have amblyopia, a treatable disorder that can result in permanently reduced vision when not addressed by an early age. The screening devices detect risk factors for amblyopia, such as strabismus (eyes that cross or wander out), refractive errors and unequal vision between the two eyes, and potentially even more serious issues such as cataracts and eye cancer. It is non-invasive, takes less than 10 seconds, it is just like taking a photograph and gives the parents an immediate printout via a wireless printer that they can take to an Optician of their choice if necessary.


Special Olympics Opening Eyes


A number of East Haddam Community Lions Club members volunteer each year for Special Olympics Opening Eyes.  Volunteers performed a variety of duties including vision testing to those who participate.  Athletes in need of glasses are able to leave with a brand new pair through donations by various partners of the event.  Our members find the event to be very rewarding and have even said that it is the one thing that made them a true Lion.


Some History....

In 2001, the Lions Clubs International Foundation awarded Special Olympics the first grant in a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment. Since then, the foundation has given more than $1 million each year. Together, these two organizations work to bring proper eye care to Special Olympics athletes around the globe through the Healthy Athletes Opening Eyes program. The commitment is more than just financial. Lions Clubs has supported the Opening Eyes program with thousands of volunteers from more than 80 countries. Lions play a crucial volunteer role, assisting with registration, color vision testing, visual acuity tests and distribution of glasses and protective sports goggles. In some cases, members also conduct some of the actual vision tests.

​Opening Eyes Brochure 2017:

Through our fundraisers and your donations, the East Haddam Community Lions Club is proud to support the following local organizations:

East Haddam Food Bank

East Haddam Fuel Bank

East Haddam Free Public Library

Rathbun Free Memorial Library

Project Safe Halloween

East Haddam Youth & Family Services

Music on the River

Project Graduation

Holiday Giving


We sponsor the following annual events:

5K & 1/2 Marathon Road Race

KidSight USA Eye Screenings

Spring Tea Party

Annual Solicitation Letter

Ice Cream Social

Light Up the Holidays

Peace Poster Contest



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