-- Nearly 20 members of the Putnam Lions Club and Putnam Leos met in the evening on Wednesday, November 25th, to sort and package over 2,000 eyeglasses to be recycled and reused in third world countries. Most of the used eyeglasses have been collected throughout the year primarily through the use of the Lion's Sight Mobile where the public can drop off the glasses through a specially marked window. This year's collection also included glasses collected by the Danielson Lions.

The Putnam Lion's Sightmobile

The total collected and packaged were 2,061 glasses. After packaging the glasses are sent to New Jersey where an International Lion's center will clean and grade them before they are sent to developing and third world countries to help millions of individuals who lack access to basic eye care.


Lions and Leos gather to pack eyeglasses


In 1925 Helen Keller challenged the Lions to be knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness. Since then Lions worldwide have risen to this challenge and worked on programs related to vision.

Lions from Putnam and Killingly joined together at the Help Me Grow Fall Festival and Resource Fair at Putnam Elementary School to screen 41 children for vision problems. Of these screenings, 5 were referred to pediatricians or optometrists for further testing.

Between September and October 40 volunteers screened 1700 Killingly students in a little over 136 hours. 186 referrals were made. Volunteers from Lions clubs in Putnam, Pomfret, Woodstock, Danielson, and Killingly Quiet Corner Regional Lions, as well as, Montville Mohegan-Pequot, Killingworth, East Haddam Community, AAA and a few friends of the Lions made this effort possible.

The screenings were conducted using a Welch-Allyn Spot Vision Camera, owned by the Lions' District 23C which represents Windham, Tolland, New London and Middlesex Counties. The device takes a picture of the eyes and measures for 7 different issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatisms, eye misalignment and two types of unequal refractive powers. Screenings can be conducted on children as young as 6 months. Results are available within seconds. A trained team of two can screen 210 students in 5 ½ hours.

Each Vision Camera costs approximately $8900.00 and requires a Bluetooth enabled printer. The district owns 2 machines and is trying to raise $100,000.00 to get a matching grant from Lions Club International to buy an additional 10 complete units to be able to expand their efforts in vision screening.

For additional information on screenings, Lion Tom Kohl can be contacted at or at 860-774-5185.

The Putnam Lions Memorial Dog Park

The Putnam Lions Club is the proud sponsor of the

Putnam Leo Club.


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