Middletown, N.J. – The Middletown Lions Club continued a decades-long tradition of supporting sight-related causes at the Annual White Cane Drive, held on Saturday, April 14 at World Class Shop-Rite, Middletown. A white cane is the universally-accepted symbol of blindness, and Lions worldwide are known for dedicated support of the blind and visually-impaired along with many sight-preserving initiatives. Middletown Lions were successful in collecting close to $850 dollars in donations and used specially-designed ‘White Cane’ boxes – which are unique to the club - to hold the money. Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa and White Cane Drive Chairman Anthony Hernandez expressed appreciation to the general public for their generosity and noted that White Cane Days are held by Lions Clubs worldwide.
Lions Roar – Collecting donations from the public during the White Cane Drive are members of the Middletown Lions Club including Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa, center, who is holding ‘Leo The Lion,’ First Vice-President Larry Caminiti (left), and Lions District 16-B Vice Governor Craig Finnegan.
Chartered in 1946 under Lions International, the Middletown Lions Club is an all- volunteer service organization consisting of men and women who help the community through various charitable service and fundraising initiatives and programs. The club assists individuals and families in need both locally and globally through their unique 501C3 foundation, The Middletown Lions Club Foundation. The foundation supports programs including sight improvement and prevention of blindness, and administers eye, ear, and diabetes health screenings to the community. In addition, the all-volunteer vision screening team - the ‘Knights of Sight’ - provides free vision screenings for elementary school children in local school districts. To date, students in the Middletown Township, Red Bank, Hazlet, and Matawan-Aberdeen School Districts have been tested. Members also volunteer directly at St. Marks Food Pantry, Keansburg, by purchasing and preparing homemade meals for the hungry. The Middletown Lions Club underwrites free eye exams, eyeglasses, and hearing aids for those who cannot afford them and donates funds to local charities that advocate for disabled individuals, the visually-impaired, for women, and for families and children with special needs. Recently, Lion President Lori Anne Oliwa formed a Women’s Council as a way to assess the needs of women and families in the community and then to help meet those needs through service projects and targeted fundraising events. To date, the Women’s Council has donated funds to 180 Turning Lives Around and The Beauty Foundation.