Saturday is 'White Cane Day' for Marco Island Lions Club

Club members look to community to raise funds for the blind and sight impaired


Lions Club International is the largest non-profit organization in the world, with 100 percent of their funds dedicated toward raising money to help the blind or those adults and children who have eyesight issues.

Once a year, members of the Marco Island Lions Club spend the day asking for donations from the public for this worthy cause.

“White Cane Day,” held this year on Saturday, March 16, is a day when Lions Club members don their bright yellow vests, station themselves in high-traffic areas, and ask for donations all over Marco Island.

File: Lions, from left, Joe Bartucci, David Gardner and Tom Taylor check the reading after testing a young student for eye problems at the Montessori Academy on Marco Island.

Donations collected on White Cane Day will be used for several programs, some directly helping people who are blind with funds for guide dogs, training to read Braille, and other daily living exercises to help them live independent lives.  Other programs supported by these donations are research for the treatment of cataracts, glaucoma and other debilitating eyesight conditions.

Thousands of adults and children on Marco Island and in the nearby Collier County area are screened free of charge every year for sight and hearing deficiencies, compliments of the Lions Clubs. Free eyeglasses for those who cannot afford them, no-cost surgery or treatment, professional eye doctors and surgeons from the Naples area donate their services, all in the name of White Cane Day.

 “Our White Cane Day is just one of a few annual fundraising activities our members take part in,” said Dave Gardner, president of the Marco Island club. “Our members give their time and energy to this humanitarian cause.  Won’t you take a few minutes to find a yellow vested Lions Club member on March 16th and donate to our good works?”

In the 100-plus years since Lions Club International was first formed in 1917, 47,000 Lions Clubs in over 200 countries around the world have been launched and remain active. Their mission is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding.

For more information on how you can become a member of the Marco Island chapter of this worthwhile organization, or how you can donate so that the Club can continue its non-profit activities, call Ken Gandy, V.P. at 239-877-3777.  The Lions Club would love to introduce you to a rewarding community service journey.