The Lincolnton Lions Club is hosting its 15th annual Lions Club Christmas Party for the Blind this Saturday. The organization works with Tammy Loukos, Lincoln/Iredell County Social Worker for the Blind, to identify legally blind or visually impaired Lincoln County residents to invite to the annual luncheon.
According to Lincolnton Lions member Robert Tomlinson, the chapter originally delivered fruit cakes to the homes of the visually impaired. However, upon learning that most of the visually impaired were diabetic, Tomlinson said the organization then switched to fruit baskets.
“We found they really enjoyed the fruit baskets, but we realized the thing they missed the most was socialization,” Tomlinson said.
According to Tomlinson, the county currently serves 54 adults and 18 visually impaired children.
“The youngest person on our list is in elementary school, and the oldest person is in her 80s,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the Christmas party generally consists of a catered luncheon, followed by some musical entertainment. Guests receive a cash gift and goodie bags consisting of various toiletries. Attendees can also win door prizes such as t-shirts, gift cards, Christmas decorations and jewelry.
This is the second year the Christmas party will be held at Boger City United Methodist Church. Prior to this location, the party was held at the cafeteria of Gaston College, but the chapter opted to relocate due to the rise in participants.
According to their website, the Lions Club is the largest co-ed civic club in the world with approximately 1.35 million members. The Lincolnton Lions Club is one of the 46,000 clubs worldwide in 208 countries.
The Lions Club has a long-running history of helping the visually impaired. According to their website, Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention in 1925 and challenged members of the organization to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
Those interested in supporting the Lincolnton Lions Club may send contributions to 1106 Timber Lane in Lincolnton.