That’s right support and mobility canes are provided to any VIP in North Carolina free of charge upon request through the Division of Services for the Blind. In North Caroli-na last year nearly 1,200 mobility canes at a cost of $56,000 was provided to our VIPs out of the White Cane Funds. If you see a blind individual that is a resident of North Carolina with a mobility cane it came from you the Lions of North Carolina. Most cases they are ordered by the social worker who will train the VIP with its proper usage.
Matching Funds is used for eye exams and glasses and other vision related needs. Near-ly $300,000 was spent on matching funds last year. Of course half was paid by the clubs the other half came out of White Cane Funds. Do your eye exams and glasses exceed your White Cane contributions? Some do.
Last year $445,000 of White Cane Funds was used for VIP Campers to attend Camp Dogwood Over 640 campers attended the camp last year. This year’s camping season was up to 677 with an increase of 37 campers. Hopefully that is a good signal and on the rise. Even though your club pays the fees for a few campers some will actually pay their own way and you will nev-er hear from them. The actual cost is over $600 per camper per week and all but $100 camper fee is paid by your White Cane Funds.
The Vision Van was on the road an estimated 200 days this past year and more than likely came to your community or county more than once. This is a favorite Lions project around the state and serves our communities well with education and awareness. Nearly 50% of those we screened are referred to a doctor for further exams and treat-ment. The cost of the operation of the Vision Van and a full time employee last year was nearly $165,000. Yes, that also came from White Cane Funds and was well worth the money spent. Early detection can prevent blindness and that is what the Vision Van is all about.
Still there is more that come from White Cane Funds like Educational Grants for children of blind parents, Vip Fishing Tournament, Governor Morehead School Athletics and Deaf Blind Retreat. And the list goes on.
How many of these activities happened in your community? Yes, it was White Cane Funds coming back to your com-munities to help those in need. Was it worth shaking a cup, cooking funnel cakes, hot dogs or whatever your club does to raise funds for White Cane? I think it was. Isn’t it great to be a Lion!
State White Cane Chairperson