Club Projects
The Lake Sumter Lions are proud to support our local & state communities
through various club projects. 

Hole-in-One for VIP Golfer

Visually Impaired people (VIP) Golfer scored a hole-in-one on the 7th tee on the El Santiago golf course in November 2019.  Congrats to VIP Golfer Pat Lohse, assisted by Lion Jim Braxmeier. Wow! This is the second VIP golfer to have a hole-in-one.   Every second Saturday afternoon, Lake Sumter Lions assist VIP golfers to play a 9-hole round of golf.

VIP Golfer Pat (right) with Lion Jim. (From left to right) VIP Golfer Mike Mulanax, Lion Jim Braxmeier, VIP Golfer Pat Lohse, VIP Golfer Dot Williver, and Lion Glenn Ridenour.


Lions 2019 Peace Poster Contest
Theme - Journey to Peace

The Lake Sumter Lions recently held one of their meetings at The Villages Charter Middle School where members judged 39 entries in the 2019-2020 Lions International Peace Poster Contest.   The winners of the Lake Sumter Peace Poster Contest are listed below.

Winners were awarded checks for $100, $75, $50, and $50 respectively. The First Place winning poster will be forward to District 35-O for the further competition at that higher level.

Thanks goes to the Charter's School Art Department who encouraged students in their artistic endeavors. Also, thanks to Lion Jaci Newmark, the Lake Sumter Lions Peace Poster Chair.

First - Madison Price Second - Felicia Simmons
Third - Ezra Balthaser Fourth - Liberty Campbell



This news article appeared in the Daily Sun newspaper.


Lions Sponsored New Vision's Blind Walk
New Vision for Independence, a nonprofit that provides training for people with visual impairment, hosted their second annual Blind Walk at Sumter Landing in The Villages in honor of White Cane Safety Day.  The event allowed sighted people to get a brief look at the difficulties the visually impaired deal with and how they adapt. Attendees walked around the square, learning how to be a safe human guide for a visually impaired persons walking with white canes.

The Lake Sumter Lions again served as the event's sponsor for the second year.  Many Lake Sumter Lions attends this event to show their support.



Diabetes Screening at Health Fair

Lions Jan and Cecile conducted diabetes (aka glucose) screening at a Open House and Health Fair at Steeplechase Retirement Community in Oxford, FL.  They didn't screen as many people as they wished but they provided visibility for the services provided by our lake Sumter Lions Club.


Diabetes Train-the-Trainer Training

Lake Sumter Lions Jan, Cecile, and Jane attended diabetes and retinopathy Train the Trainer refresher training at the MD35 Convention in Maitland.  Past District Governor (PDG) Norma conducted the training and reviewed training procedures and forms.


First Eyeglass Sorting of the 2019-2020 Lions Year

Chairman John H reported that club members collected and sorted 5,775 pairs of eyeglasses recently.  This includes prescription, prescription sunglasses, and regular sunglasses.  Sixteen boxes of these eyeglasses were handed off to 2VDG Steve, who is President of the Project Right to Sight in Ocoee, FL.  Also collected were several used hearing aids which will go to needy people in Lake and Sumter counties.


Used Hearing Aids

Lake Sumter Lions also collect used hearing aids in the boxes with used eyeglasses.  Used hearing aids and the many many batteries are routinely donated to the Deaf and Hearing Services (DHS) of Lake and Sumter Counties, located in Leesburg.  You can learn more about this organization at their web site:



Lions Sponsor a Guide Dog


The Lake Sumter Lions donated enough $$ to the Southeastern Guide dogs (SEGD) to sponsor and name a Guide Dog.  The Club held a raffle among its members to name our guide dog.  Lion Lorraine won the raffle and submitted the name of "Keller," after Helen Keller who provided to Lions Clubs International the mission of assisting visually impaired people.


Born August 12, 2018

"It will be a while before she grows into her jacket.   The puppy breath is gone, the teeth are more dull and the brain is starting to engage."

Keller UpDate at 6 Months

  Keller is now putting his basic obedience skills into practice with more complex outings.  With his puppy raiser, he is venturing out to malls, restaurants, and on public transportation.  He is learning the "switch" command when at a doorway as he needs to switch to the opposite side of his handler.  He will also practice the "down/under" command when the handler is seated at a table or desk.

A Chance Encounter

While at the bowling alley, Club Secretary Lion Doris encounter a puppy-in-training.  She knew not to pet the puppy when he has the harness on.  However, when she found out the name of the puppy was Keller, she screamed and asked to hug Keller.  The handlers agreed after learning that the Lake Sumter Lions club had sponsored Keller.  

Keller UpDate at 12 Months

Keller has had a wonderful first year. He has been mastering house manners and now that he is older, practicing basic obedience such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come” in environments with increasing distractions. He has been asked to walk on various surfaces, and demonstrate focus on his puppy raiser while training in public. It won’t be long before Keller returns to Southeastern Guide Dogs campus for Freshman Orientation, to begin assessments and training with our certified trainers.  is now putting his basic obedience skills into practice with more complex outings.

Keller at White Cane Days

Keller, along with her trainer, recently assisted the Lake Sumter Lions at the White Cane Days.  Keller soon will be leaving The Villages to go back to Southeastern Guide Dogs facility for final training and placement with a visually impaired person.


KidSight Vision Screening

Lake Sumter Lions Club screened nearly 50 children at the First Back to School event hosted by the United Way of the Lake and Sumter Counties.  The screening was held at the Midway Baptist Church in Leesburg.




Lions Scholarship Recipients

The Lake Sumter Lions Club awarded 2019 scholarships to five well deserving seniors from The Villages Charter High School.  King Lion John attended the High School's Awards Ceremony and presented the scholarships to the five recipients, pictured below.
Applicants were required to write an essay of 450-500 words outlining their goals and how they have served their community during their 4 years of high school. 

Abigail Brock Alexandra Lussier
Amanda Calkins Graylin Skates
Paloma Telfort  


Third Eyeglass Sorting of the 2018-2019 Lions Year

Precisely 3,732 used eyeglasses were sorted and boxed at the third eyeglass sorting event this Lions year.  Eyeglass Sorting Coordinator Lion John gathered Lake Sumter Lions at Lake Miona Rec Center to sort through the many bags of collected used eyeglasses.  These eyeglasses will be taken to the Ocoee Center near Orlando where they will be sorted according to strength and packaged for distribution to needy people in Florida and overseas.  Lions also collect used hearing aids which are donated to the Deaf and Hearing Services (DHS) of Lake and Sumter Counties, located in Leesburg. 





Diabetes and Retinopathy Screenings at Vision Expo

Lake Sumter Lions conducted diabetes and retinopathy screenings at the Vision Expo held at the Eisenhower Recreation Center.  This is the 4th year that the Lake Sumter Lions participated in this Health Fair.  Lions conducted diabetes screening for over 80 people.  Inside a dark, black tent, Lions Cecile and Jane conducted retinopathy screenings for over 40 people.  Lions also set up a table inviting VIPs (Visually Impaired People) to join the monthly Lions VIP Golf Outing. Thanks goes to Chairwoman Jan for coordinating with the VIP Club, setting up this screening and organizing the needed supplies.



Giving Showcase

Lake Sumter Lions participated in The Villages Giving Showcase with a booth displaying the Club's various service activities, to include KidSight screenings.  Held at Lake Miona Rec Center in early February, this was the first year for the Showcase.  The purpose of the Giving Showcase was to highlight local organizations who give back to the community.  



KidSight and Diabetes Screenings at Leesburg Health Fair

Lake Sumter Lions conducted KidSight and diabetes screenings at the Leesburg Resource Center in January.  Chidren's eyes were screened with the KidSight digital camera while their parents were screened for diabetes.


KidSight - Three Years and Going Strong

Three years ago, Lake Sumter Lions Club purchased two Plusoptix Vision Screening Camera, thanks to the support of the public of our club's fundraisers.  Using these vision screeners, Lions screened young children's eyes for various disorders, to include hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, anisometropia, anisocaria, and strabismus. 


KidSight screenings
Lake Sumter Lions screen approximately
4500 children annually.


KidSight Chairman Chuck is screening a young child's eyes.

The Lake Sumter Lions Club members now spend their days screening children's eyes at day care centers and county libraries in Sumter and Lake County.  Led by Lake Sumter Lions Chuck, Jon, John and Ralph, certified Lions spent, on the average, two mornings a week screening the eyes of young children.  Referrals are sent to an Ophthalmologist in Gainesville for further evaluation.  Parents are then notified if further testing was recommended.  Each child receives a yellow sticker, shown below.

Lion Jon looks through a specially made box for screening childen's eyes in a sunny or light environment.

For more info on Lions KidSight USA, click here.   Click here to view the Club's brochure on KidSight.




Second Eyeglass Sorting of the 2018-2019 Lions Year
Lake Sumter Lions met for the second time this Lions year to sort and box used eyeglasses at Lake Miona Rec Center.  These eyeglasses will be taken to the Ocoee Center for further sorting and distribution to needy people in Florida and overseas.  Used hearing aids are also collected and taken to the Deaf and Hearing Services (DHS) of Lake and Sumter Counties, located in Leesburg. 


First Eyeglass Sorting of the 2018-2019 Lions Year
Gathering at Lake Miona Rec Center, 13 Lions sorted and boxed nearly 4400 used eyeglasses, cases and hearing aids.  These used eyeglasses and hearings aids were collected through the generosity of Villagers who deposit used eyeglasses and hearing aids at various Rec Centers and businesses south of Route 466.  Sorted Eyeglasses will go to the Lions Project Right to Sight in Ocoee for cleaning, sorting and redistribution to needy individuals, both in Florida and overseas.  Usually, the Lake Sumter Lions conduct these sortings 3 to 4 times a year. 

Folks can donate used eyeglasses and hearing aids at various locations within The Villages.
Click here for locations.


Grilling for the VIP's
Nine Lake Sumter Lions prepared and served a summer cookout of hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, salads, watermelon, cake and drinks to members and guests of the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) Club.  The cookout was held at the Bridgeport Rec Center in The Villages.
  Left photo below: Lions Bob, Eileen, Bunny and Mary Alice.  Right photo below: Lions John W and John H. 
Not pictured are Lions Bob, Jan and (photographer) Cecile.

Deliver the Difference

Lake Sumter Lions Cecile, Mary Alice, and Bob participated in the Deliver the Difference meal packing day at the Salvation Army in Leesburg.  Their assignment was to seal the bags of food before they were boxed and packaged for delivery. For more info on Deliver the Difference of Central Florida, click here.


Delivering Sorted Eyeglasses

Four Lake Sumter Lions delivered the sorted eyeglasses to Ocoee where the Project Right to Sight has their warehouse of used eyeglasses.  Lions Ralph, John W., John A. and John H. made the hour trip to view the massive operation and to provide a $$$ donation from the Lake Sumter Lions Club.  Project Right to Sight "provide reconditioned, recycled eye glasses, at NO COST, to homeless and uninsured people living in our Central Florida Community. Eye glasses are also provided for Vision Projects to aid people in need throughout the world."  Go to for more info.


Diabetes and Retinopathy Screenings

As a service project for the community, Lake Sumter Lions conduct both diabetes (glucose) and retinopathy screenings.  Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness and Lions seek to prevent such sight problems with screening and possible early detection of the disease. Lions are trained and recertified to perform diabetes screenings and retinopathy screenings under the auspices of two MD35 Lions Foundations:  Diabetes Awareness Foundation of MD35 and the Florida Lions Diabetic Retinopathy Foundation.

Click here for more info about Florida Diabetes Awareness Foundation


KidSight - News Article in the Daily Sun


Golfing with Visually Impaired Persons (VIP)

VIP Golfer scores a Hole-in-One!


Above is a picture of Mike Mulanax picking his golf ball out of the cup on the 100 yard ninth hole od El Santiago Golf Course. Mike, playing in the Lake Sumter Lions VIP golf outing on May 12, recorded a hole in one using a five iron. This is the first hole in one recorded since we started the VIP Golf program. As Mike’s wife, Carol said, “Not bad for a blind guy”.
At a recent club meeting, Lake Sumter Lion Kevin presented Mike with a Plaque honoring his hole-in-one achievement.


VIP and Lions' Golf Outings

What better place to host a golf outing for Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) than The Villages, a golfing community.  Lake Sumter Lions joined with the VIP club members to play a round of golf at the El Santigo golf course.  One Lion is paired with one visually impaired golfer.  Lions drive the golf carts and assist VIP golfers in lining up their shots and in providing directions on the course. 
This is an ongoing project.  Lions meet with VIP golfers the 2nd Saturday of every month.  Thanks goes to Lion John Thomson who initiated and coordinates this project. 

Look who landed on the front page of the Sports section of The Villages newspaper The Daily Sun!  Lion Tim is providing guidance to a VIP golfer.

VIP/Lions Golfing continues to be a popular sport with a growing number of VIP golfers joining this activity. 


  • The VIP Club meets the first Thursday of every month at 1pm at the Bridgeport Rec Center.
  • The VIP Club hosts Game Day on the second Thursday of every month from 1-3pm, at Laurel Manor Rec Center.  Games are designed for the VIP.










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