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The Lions’ Roar – with Pride!

June 05, 2019

In September 2016 Lions Eye Care Niagara committed to a fundraising project that positively impacts over 6,000 Ophthalmology patients annually. The Lions and Lionesses took on the task of raising $200,000 across five years for the purchase of a state of the art microscope that helps Niagara Health Ophthalmologists perform delicate and precise eye saving surgeries.

The Lions International motto of ‘We Serve’ truly came to life when you talk about fundraising for the Ophthalmology microscope. 100% of all Lions and Lionesses clubs donated to this project. Many members have had cataract surgery or have family and friends that were affected, so they know first-hand they were raising funds for a very important piece of equipment. Inspired to support the important cause, Lions and Lioness clubs across Niagara held fundraising dinners, carnivals and raffles to raise the much needed funds.

On June 3rd, over 50 Lions and Lionesses gathered at Niagara Health’s Welland Site to celebrate the fulfillment of Lions Eye Care’s $200,000 fundraising project, two years ahead of schedule! It was an incredible evening, with over 18 clubs from across Niagara represented.

Lions Eye Care President Glenn Connell was beyond delighted to address the group, praising all clubs on the joint accomplishment. Glenn has lead Lions Eye Care for over 24 years and said he knew he could count on all members to step up and help make a difference for healthy eyesight across Niagara.

Lions International Director Tom Gordon emphasized how rare and impressive it was to reach 100% participation from districts – let alone finishing the commitment earlier than planned!

This new, state of the art piece of equipment provides the talented and caring ophthalmology teams with the tools they need to provide extraordinary care to their patients. To help emphasize how the Lions and Lionesses have impacted care, grateful patient Larry Cote shared his cataract surgery experience, acknowledging Niagara Health’s Ophthalmologists, staff and their teamwork. In an article Larry wrote for The Voice of Pelham, he is quoted as saying “But of even more significance, the medical staff are worthy of an A+ for their care, courtesy and competence. They carry out excellent patient care in a pressure-packed environment, but come across as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night”.

Six Niagara Health Ophthalmologists, Chief of Staff Dr. Sheik, Dr. Hassard, Dr. Pirbhai, Dr. Rhemtulla, Dr. McLaughlin and Dr. Dudok attended the June 3rd event. They wanted to ensure the Lions and Lionesses heard directly from them, how important it is to have up to date equipment, they acknowledged how their volunteer work affects Niagara Health and how having this new microscope has helped attract new physicians. 

Lion Bradd Anderson was thrilled to hear that the new microscope is an incentive for Ophthalmologists to work for Niagara Health.

Lioness Sue Beamer stated that she is so impressed with the operating room team we have at Niagara Health and said it was meaningful to hear the ophthalmologists speak about the work they do with such passion. It was especially nice to hear them talk about the microscope being top of the line equipment, there and ready to use when needed.

Niagara Health Foundation Senior Director of Development Carrie Zeffiro added her thanks, “I cannot stress enough how remarkable it is that every single Lions and Lioness Club Niagara-wide contributed to this success.  Your willingness to work towards a common goal, bigger than each of you could take on separately, speaks volumes about the Lions’ character.”

This fundraising project, with contributions from Niagara Health staff, Ophthalmologist, Niagara Health Foundation, Lions Eye Care and 100% participation from all Lions and Lionesses across Niagara made this a true partnership.

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Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good.  It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life.

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