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


Lake Sumter Lions Food Drive

Answering a community need in these pandemic times, the Lake Sumter Lions sponsored a food drive at 6 Rec Centers within The Villages: Colony Cottage, Eisenhower, Everglades, Laurel Manor, Rohan, and SeaBreeze. The public dropped off food items and paper supplies without leaving their cars. Afterwards, items were sorted at Lake Okahumpka Park.  Then various local food pantries picked up the contributions.
Lions collected over one ton of items, specifically 2,167 pounds!
Congrats to Lions John and Chuck who coordinated and organized this service project.  Yea!
Coloney Cottage Eisenhower Everglades
Laurel Manor Rohan SeaBreeze


There was great news coverage of this service project.  Chair Lion John was interviewed, describing the event in a video to be broadcast on The Villages channel.  In addition, Lions Bob and Jaci were interviewed by The Daily Sun newspaper reporter.  

The Club recieved over $500+ from donation jars placed at each location.  The money was donated to 4 food pantries:  Beyond the Walls Food Pantry in Fruitland Park; Our Mother of Mercy Food Pantry in Wildwood; Christian Food Pantry in Lady Lake and Wildwood Food Pantry.


Lions Scholarship Recipients

The Lake Sumter Lions Club awarded 2020 scholarships to six well deserving seniors from The Villages Charter High School and (for the first time) from the Wildwood Middle High School.  Congrats!


Second Eyeglass Sorting of the 2019-2020 Lions Year

Lake Sumter Lions met for the second time this Lions year to sort and box 4,886 pairs of 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. 

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


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 5th year that the Lake Sumter Lions participated in this Health Fair.  Lions Bob and Ed conducted diabetes screening while Lion Jane conducted retinopathy screenings.  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.



Hole-in-One for VIP Golfer

Update:  At a recent Lions meeting, Coordinator for the Lions VIP Golf Lion John presented VIP Golfer Pat
with a plaque which honored her hole-in-one achievement.

Visually Impaired Persons (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.


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 and VIP Golf.  Held at Lake Miona Rec Center in early February, this was the second year for the Showcase.  The purpose of the Giving Showcase was to highlight local organizations, like the Lions, who give back to the community.  Attendees talked to Lions and learned about our club's service events and fundraisers.


Judging the Science Fair

Lake Sumter Lions were among those who judged the Science Fair at The Villages Charter School.  It was fun and informative as 200+ High School and Middle School students briefed judges on their science projects.  To say thanks to all the judges, the Charter School hosted a delicious lunch, provided by the parents of the school.


Lions 2019 Peace Poster Contest

Theme - Journey to Peace

UPDATE:  Madison's poster won at the District 35-O level.  DG Greg visited the Lake Sumter Lions Club and presented the District Certificate and $$ to Madison.

(left to right) Lion Jaci, Lake Sumter Lions Club Peace Poster Chairperson; Lions District 35-O Governor Greg; Madison; her Mother; Principal of The Villages Charter School; and Art Teacher 

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

Lake Sumter Lions got an unexpected bit of publicity recently for their collection of eyeglasses with this article in the Daily Sun newspaper.

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:



Lake Sumter 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

   Keller at 12 Months

Keller has had a wonderful first year. He has mastered house manners and basic obedience in environments with increasing distractions.

Keller's Graduation

Upon completionn of his training, Keller returned to Southeastern Guide Dogs campus.  Because of his excellent mastery of skills, he became part of the SEGD breeding program.   In the future, we look forward to little "Kellers" to help the visually impaired. 


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.





KidSight - Four Years and Going Strong

Four 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.




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.




 Delivering Sorted Eyeglasses to PRTS

Four Lake Sumter Lions delivered the sorted eyeglasses to Ocoee where the Project Right to Sight (PRTS) 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.



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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