State Projects

Association of Blind Athletes of New Jersey

c/o Monsignor Emmanuel Capozzelli 
29 Newfield Street 
East Orange, NJ 07017-5410 
Tel: 973-673-6384 Fax: 973-673-0803 

This Association became a state project in 1983. Lions provide funds that enable blind New Jersey athletes to compete in national and international "Blind Olympiads." Funds are used tc provide training facilities, transportation and other expenses involved in preparing for or participating in the games. Proven athletes help with the training of a new generation of blind athletes.

Camden Eye Center, Inc.

400 Chambers Avenue Camden, NJ 08103 
Tel: 856-365-1811 Fax: 856-365-1379 
MaryAnn Ragone, IPDG 

The Camden Eye Center and Lions Low Vision Center is a non· profit 501 ©) (3) tax-exempt facility that was established tc provide comprehensive eye care to the indigent. In addition tc primary eye care services, the Camden Eye Center provides ophthalmic eye wear, low vision rehabilitation services for the partially sighted and visually impaired; and Ophthalmological anc surgical services. The Center provides and coordinates eye care vision screening programs for the Mobile Vision clinic available to District 16C Lions Clubs.

The Eye Institute of New Jersey

c/o Doctors Office Center 
90 Bergen Street 
Newark, NJ 07103 
Lions Referral Coordinator, Paula Tarantino, PDG 
Tel: 973-483-5631 

The Eye Institute has three primary goals: Service, Research and Education; Service to the community in eye care, Research to apply the most advanced technology to a variety of ocular/visual problems, Education through medical education and a residency program and health care. 
An immediate goal is to assist raising funds for the Lions Research Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology, by matching donations from LERF up to the limit of donations made to the eye Institute by Lions. 
The Institute provides eye care for Lions Club referrals with no charge for the first visit to the patient or sponsoring Lions club. If follow-up care is needed, counseling on insurance procedures and how to obtain financial assistance through the University Hospital (Newark) for those without insurance.

Housing and United Services

c/o 47 Center Avenue Leonardo, NJ 07737-1533 
Michael Marrazzo, Executive Director 
Tel: 732-872-1990 Fax: 732-291-7216 

This project was adopted at the 2001 State Convention. The organization serves blind and the sight impaired in such areas as comprehensive information and referral service, housing information and consultations, multi-media transcription services (raille, large print, audio cassettes, etc.), transportation consultations, organization planning, counseling people with blindness and adjustment counseling of the newly blind and their families. A newsletter providing information on these programs and services is published periodically.

John D. Young Memorial Lions Blind Center, Inc.

100 Crestview Avenue 
Absecon, NJ 08201 
Tel: 609-677-1199 
Ann Burns, Director 

The Lions Blind Center serves the blind and visually impaired community of Atlantic county and North Cape May County. It helps to empower the blil,d and visually impaired to set goals and to achieve in an environment where sight loss will not impede progress. The new facility in Absecon helps to open the world of high tech to the blind and visually impaired. It offers computer classes, exercise classes, Braille and peer support. The Center also provides information, referral and advocacy.

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International

Central Jersey Chapter (Essex, Monmouth, Ocean)

740 Broad Street 
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702 
Attn: Stephanie Coolick 
Tel: 732-219-6654 Fax: 732-219-8722

Mid-Jersey Chapter (Mercer)

25 Kennedy Blvd., Suite 180 
East Brunswick, NJ 08816 
Attn: Deborah 
Tel: 732-296-7171 Fax: 732-296-1433

South Jersey Chapter (Burlington)

1415 Route 70 East, Suite 502 
Attn: Steve Blocher 
Tel: 856-429-1101 Fax: 856-429-1105 

This organization was accepted by the Lions of New Jersey as a State Project in 1979. Lions throughout the world have joined hands in donating funds for research in attempting to discover a cure for this dreaded disease, one of the major causes of blindness children and adults. 

The increasing prevalence of diabetes makes it important to increase research directed to finding a cure. Blindness caused by diabetes is our main concern. The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation provides an efficient medium through which individuals, businesses and industries can invest funds in diabetes research. These funds are distributed throughou~ the country to promising and productive research programs.

Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley

401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305 
Philadelphia, PA 19123-4101 
PID Gene S. Polgar, President/CEO 
Tel: 1-800-743-6667 Fax: 215-563-3081 

Lions Clubs members from the states of New Jersey, Delaware and southeast Pennsylvania founded the LEBDV in 1957. What was once a volunteer effort has grown into a professional, nonprofit organization. Since 1957, the eye Bank has provided tissue for more than 30,000 individuals who have received the "Gift of Sight" through corneal transplant. Countless others haVE been helped through medical research and education make possible with tissue recovered by the eye Bank staff. 
Mission Statement: The Eye Bank of Delaware Valley is committed to enhancing a person's quality of life by restoring or improving vision through corneal transplantation, medical research and education. 
Vision Statement: The Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley will be the region's leader in the procurement and processing of the highest quality ocular tissue.

Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey

841 Mountain Avenue 
Springfield, NJ 07081 
800-653-9379/973-921-1222 F: 973-921-1221 
Executive Director: Margaret G. Chaplin 

The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey (LEBNJ) was founded in 1970 at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of Newark. Known then as the Eye Bank of New Jersey, it became the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey in 1988 when it became a Multiple District 16 Project, and in 1993, became a State project. LEBNJ serves the 14 northern and central counties of New Jersey. 

On August 25, 2005, LEBNJ became a subsidiary of Midwest Eye-Banks, headquartered in Michigan. Midwest Eye-Banks is a nonprofit corporation that also owns and operates Illinois Eye-Bank and Michigan Eye-Bank. LEBNJ is accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). 

The mission of LEBNJ is the restoration of sight through (1) recovery, evaluation and distribution of corneal tissue for transplantation; (2) research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions; (3) public and professional education programs that support eye, organ, and tissue donation; (4) eye banking services offered at no charge when patients are unable to afford transplant procedures. 

The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey operates as a 501(c)(3) public charity with a 15-member board of trustees. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, a majority of the board members must be Lions from New Jersey. Two other members of the board are from Midwest Eye-Banks, and two board members from LEBNJ serve on the Midwest board. 

LEBNJ Board of Trustees 

Chairperson……………….. Lion Richard Chittum, PDG 16A 
Vice Chairperson…………. Lion Elspeth Moore, PDG 16A 
Secretary………………….. Lion Horace Brown, PDG 16B 
Treasurer………………….. Lion Stanley Grossman, PID 16-E 
Lion Kenneth Mattfield, PDG 16E 
Lion Eugene Renkar, PDG 16E 
Rev. Lion Lois Schembs, PCS 16E 
Bradley Tennant VP for Clinical Operations, Midwest Eye Banks 
Lion Benjamin Yashinski, PDG 16D 

Music Association for the Visually Impaired Students of New Jersey (MAVIS)

P.O. Box 173 
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-0173 
Attn: Ed Tauber, President 
Tel: 732-826-8216 Fax: 732-254-3795 

Voted a state project at the 2005 State Convention, MAVIS is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing musical instruments and specialized music instruction to legally blind persons throughout the State. Students benefit by gaining confidence, greater independence and improved opportunities for socialization and employment. 
MAVIS receives referrals from the NJ Commission for the Blind and other sources. MAVIS will then provide the student with the instrument of their choice and reimburse the student or family for the instruction received. Due to budgetary constraints, MAVIS has a backlog of people awaiting entry to the program. 
A favorite component of MAVIS' program is band composed of adults who are former students. The band performs at fundraising events and at various community functions. These performances become a showcase for MAVIS as well as its current and former students.

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association, Inc. (Camp Happiness)

18 Burlington Avenue 
Leohardo, NJ 07737 
Attn: Douglas Scott, Executive Director Tel & Fax: 732-291-0878 

Camp Happiness is wholly owned and operated by New Jersey Blind citizens Association, and is the oldest blind organization in the state. It was founded in 1910 and incorporated in 1917. It has been operating a free summer vacation program for blind and visually impaired adults since 1930. 
Today, Camp Happiness is a year-round facility for the blind. The day program offers a host of projects and activities. The computer program, featuring a narrative software (Jaws) and zoom text, has become the cornerstone of the day program. A new computer program for blind/visually impaired children commenced in 2005. The Lions of New Jersey provide invaluable financial and work program support for the Camp.

New Jersey Camp for Blind Children, Inc. (Camp Marcella)

P.O. Box 422 
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07064 
Tel: 973-728-9085 Attn: George Bassett 

The New Jersey Camp for Blind Children, commonly known as Camp Marcella, Inc., has provided a summer camping experience for blind children for over a half a century. It has grown into the premier facility it is today primarily from the support of the NJ Lions. A two week camping experience is provided each summer for more than 200 visually impaired children ranging in age from 5 through 16. Activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, skating, bicycle riding, basketball, bowling and arts and crafts are provided. In addition, a computer facility and a library are also available for the campers' use. The NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides funds for the operation of the facility. It cooperates with this private foundation in providing the physical needs of the camp while the summer funding for capital improvements as well as hands on assistance in the maintenance of the buildings.

NJ Foundation for the Blind (Diamond Spring Lodge)

230 Diamond Spring Road 
Denville, NJ 07834 
Tel: 973-627-0055 
Executive Director Iris Torres 

Commonly known as Diamond Spring Lodge, this project is owned and operated by the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind, inc. Founded in 1942, the Foundation provides social, recreational and rehabilitation activities for blind adults. 
Year-round instructional programs are designed to build self· confidence and promote independence for individuals who arE blind or have a loss of vision. Activities of daily living includE cooking, sewing, housekeeping, shopping orientation ane mobility, Braille, communication skills and nutrition are designee to enable a person to live successfully in his/her home 

environment. Computer skills including keyboarding througr advanced computing are offered using assistive technology. During the summer, a residential program is offered whicr includes instructional and rehabilitative programs as well a~ recreational activities. Located on 36 acres, the grounds feature an Olympic-size pool, greenhouse, and a pottery studio for attendees use. The Foundation was founded by an initial gifj from the Lions and has been a state project for many years. Ir recent years, it has also drawn support from corporate and private sources in addition to ongoing support from the Lions of New Jersey.

New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center

P.O. Box 5131 
Trenton, NJ 08638 
Executive Director George Johnson 
Tel: 609-882-3332 Fax: 609-882-5677 

The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Program was adopted as an official project of the Lions Clubs International in October 1994, and approved as a state project in May 2000. The goal of the program is to promote eyeglass collection and recycling to mee1 the demand for quality eyeglasses in developing nations. 
All Lions clubs involved in eyeglass collection are asked to send eyeglasses, eyeglass frames and sunglasses including cataract glasses to the Center, c/o Katzenbach School for the Deaf, 320 Sullivan Way, West Trenton, NJ 08628. 
At the eyeglass recycling center, Lions and other volunteers inspect and clean individual pairs of eyeglasses and prepare them for shipment to Lions eye care missions and other organizations overseas. 
Eyeglass collection is simple and an inexpensive way to become part of this program and assist others worldwide.

NJ Training School A/K/A Jamesburg Home for Boys

State Home Road 
P.O. Box 500 
Monroe, NJ 08831 
Tel: 732-521-0030 (School) 

The NJ Training School is located just off the New Jersey Turnpike, in Middlesex County. For over 50 years, the Lions Clubs of New Jersey have been supporting this project. It is known to Lions as Jamesburg Home for Boys. The function of the facility is to help wayward, juvenile boys. Lions have tried to provide educational experiences with tools and equipment plus recreational services. In the past, Lions have provided athletic equipment, uniforms and an indoor swimming pool for recreation. 
For job training, Lions have provided an extensive optical lab and boys are trained to make and repair all the eyeglasses for the NJ prison system. Recently, Lions purchased a computerized embroidery machine. This trains them not only in the use of the equipment, but they also must know computers, mathematics and learn business skills. They embroider items for people and must learn pricing. All these experiences will prepare them to be better skilled and prepared for employment in a trade upon their release.

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D)

69 Mapleton Road 
Princeton, NJ 08540 
Tel: 609-759-1830 
NOTE: This is the New Jersey Unit. 

This has been an· approved sight project for the Lions of New Jersey since 1979. It is the only national non-profit organization that supplies free-on-Ioan recorded textbooks, library services and other educational resources to people who cannot read standard print material. It is used by people who are visually impaired, dyslexic or have other physical disapilities. All donations from New Jersey Lions go to the New Jersey Unit, which produces recorded material in digital and analog form for textbooks from kindergarten through graduate school. This Unit also has an outreach program to help students from, New Jerse~ through RFB&D's "Learning Through Listening" TM program Your support makes their academic success possible.

St. Joseph's School for the Blind

761 Summit Ave , 
Jersey City , NJ 07307 
Asst. Director Ed Lucas 
Tel: 201-876-5432 ext. 162 

The school is a private non-profit agency owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. The purpose of the school i~ to serve blind, visually impaired and blind multi-disabled childrer from infancy to 21 years of age. Service to the multi· handicapped began in 1962. The children, in addition to bein~ visually impaired, have one or more of the following handicaps epilepsy, brain damage, cerebral palsy, emotional problems muteness and deafness. The ultimate purpose is to educate children, multiple handicapped blind, to the extent of their ability to learn, to train them in the activities of daily living and te provide pre-vocational training. 
The school provides a ten-month program that will fostel physical, emotional, intellectual, social, functional, and effective growth of each student. This is achieved by means of ar excellent staff to student ratio, highly individualized instruction and a caring and consistent environment. In terms of curriculum this means training in daily living skills, arts and crafts, mobility skills, physical therapy, listening skills, pre-vocational skills concept development, music therapy, socialization ane recreation activities. 
Physical facilities include fully equipped kitchen, indool swimming pool, gymnasium and pre-vocational skills center The recently opened residential hall, Concordia House, locatee at 761 Summit Avenue, Jersey City, can house fifteen of the students from throughout the state. 

NOTE: LERF is not a state project but is a state sight organization founded by New Jersey Lions from all districts

Lions Eye Research Foundation of New Jersey, Incorporated

P.O. Box 8207 
Princeton, NJ 08540 
Executive Director Jim Hynes 
Tel: 609-275-1691 Fax: 609-275-5816 

A fully independent, charitable organization which serves Lions Multiple District 16. It is unique in that all Lions in good standing in New Jersey are automatically members of this Foundation. The Board of Trustees is composed of five elected trustees from each of the 5 sub-districts and as well as each of the 5 current District Governors as voting Trustees of the Board. The aim of the Foundation is to raise money through individual contributions, corporate grants, Club donations and various fundraisers, and to use the money to support eye research, particularly at the Lions eye Research Center which is housed at UMDNJ in Newark, and to help provide necessary equipment used in the service of eye research. Th!3 current focus is to raise money for the Lions Ophthalmology Research Chair at UMDNJ. The interest from the Chair Fund will support research efforts to develop new treatments for the major causes of blindness. The Chair will not support any salaries and such incidental expenses as travel to meetings

Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online