White Sulphur Springs Lions Honor Helen Keller Day

In 1971, the Board of Directors of Lions Clubs International declared that June 1 would be remembered as Helen Keller Day.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, in 1880. She developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind and deaf.

With the help of an exceptional teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind, Helen Keller learned sign language and braille. A few years later, she learned to speak. As an adult she became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. Then, in 1925, she attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

The Lions accepted her challenge, and their work ever since has included sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.

Locally, Lions’ Club members pre-screen children in elementary schools for vision issues, pay for eyeglasses for those who cannot afford them, and collect used eyeglasses, which can be recycled for others. On a state level, Lions also can help with special eye surgeries under some circumstances.

Lions continue to be active in the local communities. If you would like to learn more, contact White Sulphur Springs President Mary Lee Buckland at 304-536-3259 or Eyeglasses Chair Mary Ann Hensley at 304-536-4041.

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