For about 20 years the Mother Lode Lions Club has helped support the El Dorado County Center for the Visually Impaired. In fact, for a time one of its totally blind clients was an active member of that club until he moved to another town.
Then 10 years ago the primary agency operating the center, then at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, closed. Led by the county’s largest club, Mother Lode Lions in Diamonds Springs, two other clubs, Pioneer and Placerville, joined up to ensure the continuance of the center’s service to the visually impaired.
It was a natural fit for the Lions clubs. After all, Helen Keller had challenged Lions Clubs International to be “knights for the blind.” Each October Lions Clubs collect money in public during “White Cane Days” to fund things like the Center for the Visually Impaired and eye glasses for the needy. Other fundraisers such as the annual Dog-a-thon and federal grants helped the center serve an average of 55 clients.
The center moved from the Fairgrounds to a building near Pleasant Valley Road that was owned by the Federated Church. Working to make the new facility a success were Lions Penny, Jim Hutchinson and Ellen Yevdakimov. Also serving on the board of directors have been Robin Stanley, Terry Holbrook, Bob Bishop, Gerry and Pat Shure and Maryann Argyres.
Now the center is closing and duties will be taken over by the Society for the Blind in Sacramento. The Sacramento society can offer even more services.
As the center begins the shift to Sacramento we take this moment to thank all those Lions who kept this center successfully serving the visually impaired in El Dorado County for two decades. You have truly been knights for the blind.