Putting into action the organization’s motto of “We Serve,” members representing two Frederick County Lions Clubs recently came together on a service project when 311 students at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg received vision screenings performed by Lions members on two dates in March. Over 59 Lions service hours were spent on this effort. This was the sixth year for the joint screening effort which had been suspended after the 2020 screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The children were brought to a non-invasive testing station utilizing PlusoptiX S12C eye-vision technology to capture an image of the children’s eyes and automatically determine whether a vision impairment, such as near- or far-sightedness or astigmatism, was present. The tester holds the unit approximately one meter from the child and asks the child to focus on the smiling face on the front of the camera. At the completion of the testing, younger children received a Lion sticker to indicate they had completed the screening process.

The parents/guardians of all children tested received written test results to indicate whether their child was recommended to see a vision professional for a potential problem or was unable to be screened. While the vast majority of children passed, readings obtained by trained Lions indicated that some of the children needed to be seen by vision professionals for potential vision anomalies. The advanced technology of the PluxoptiX camera provides readings that are printed out either on a label which is attached to the letter for use by the vision professional of the parents’ choice.

Lions members participating in the screenings included: Bill and Rachel Wivell from the Emmitsburg Lions Club; and John Aulls and Lynn Stimmel from Francis Scott Key Lions Club.

Child care centers or organizations that want to learn more about the Lions preschool vision screening program or to schedule a screening should contact Emmitsburg Lion Bill Wivell at wdwrpw@gmail.com or 301/473-2275, or Francis Scott Key Lion John Aulls at aulls2@comcast.net or 301/662-2360.

Lions Vision Screenings

Emmitsburg Lion Bill Wivell, Francis Scott Key Lion Lynn Stimmel (holding mascot Leo), Emmitsburg Lion Rachel Wivell, and Francis Scott Key Lion John Aulls with the PlusoptiX S12C camera.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with almost 1.45 million members in approximately 47,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions Clubs have assisted the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. Lions Clubs are comprised of individuals who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. The two clubs involved in the screenings have long histories of community service: Emmitsburg since 1982, Francis Scott Key since 1959. If you want to help your community and have a roaring good time doing it, consider becoming a Lion. There are a number of Lions Clubs in the Frederick County area; for information on becoming a Lion, contact the Emmitsburg Lions at www.emmitsburg.net/lions or Francis Scott Key Lions at www.fsklions.org.

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