In 1927, Helen Keller came to the Lions International Convention and said, "The opportunity I bring you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation of the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you, Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing; you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves, Knights of the Blind, in this crusade against darkness? I thank you."
Since that time, Lions have sought to aid those who need.
Barker Lions are proud to continue this work. During the past year, Barker Lions have aided members of our community by providing hearing aids, eye exams and glasses for those who cannot afford them. The group also built ramps at homes for those with physical challenges.
In addition, the club sponsored scholarships for graduating seniors who volunteered in the community, held a Halloween party for elementary school students, and sponsored a Boy Scout troop and Little League team. Lions could be found volunteering at the local food pantry, Tour de Cure, and at the Barker Homecoming Parade.
The club's outreach into the
community includes holding pancake breakfasts and
chicken barbecues. Members often partner with another organization such as the Barker Music Boosters or Foreign Language Club to aid fundraising activities.
When asked why he is a Lion, current club President Kevin Bittner said, "My father is a Lions Club member. From a young age, he brought me to the various events and projects to help out. I enjoyed meeting new people and helping with the holiday baskets, chicken barbecues and building ramps. As soon as I was old enough, I joined the club. Since then, I've enjoyed those projects and I've met some dynamic people from our community.
"This club is blend of people from all walks of life who want to do what they can to help others. But don't think our club is all work. We have fun together, we have interesting speakers at our meeting, and we travel to many conferences and meetings.
"This is actually my second time as president. How many organizations have people willing to lead it twice?"
The other current officers of the Barker Lions are vice presidents Fran Costello and Carl Stoloski, Secretary Matt Costello and Treasurer Jim Bittner.
They invite members of the community to join them, volunteering for one of their projects, visiting or speaking at one of their meetings, making a donation or asking about membership. For more information, visit www.BarkerLions.org or email [email protected].