Two weekends ago, on a Saturday, members were posted at Kroger’s and Walmart and collected $2,400 for White Cane Day, which is Sight Conservation Day.
This $2,400, along with donations collected in the spring, will provide an eye exam and glasses for 250 to 300 children and adults in Chesterfield’s Bermuda and Dale Districts and the Tri-Cities area according to Gene Brown, chairman for the White Cane drive. “It is a very large area,” said Brown about their service area. Referrals come from Social Services and Mental Health. “All of the monies collected stay local,” he said. “Once in a while we send some to South Western Virginia, where they conduct a massive eye exam for people in need.”
Brown said donations have been steady. “People do come by and some [that make a donation] remember that someone they know has benefitted from the program and express their appreciation.”
The Chester Lions Club has 50 members. Not all are able to participate due to work or family. One face many may remember each year is member Charlie Moore. Moore, 94, has been a member for 64 years. “I have been working White Cane Days for as long as they have been doing it,” he said. “I work whenever I can.” Moore said he enjoys watching the people come and go. “There are a lot of good people,” he said about their generosity. “I enjoy doing the White Cane Day.”
Ralph Jones, fund raising chairman for the Lion’s Club said, “We really appreciate Krogers and Walmart allowing us to have White Cane Day at their locations in Chester. People recognize us and know what it [White Cane] is and we thank you.”
Jones also wanted to stress the fact that they collect old glasses. The glasses are either refurbished or melted down for new frames or glass for the lenses. Collection boxes are located in front of Krogers or Wells Realty on Centre Street in Chester.
The next White Cane Day will be the first week in May 2013.