Our guest speaker, Karla Gilbride, is a co-founder of the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes. After participating in a similar organization in San Francisco after college, she moved to DC and did not find any similar multi-sport clubs for the blind here, so decided to found one of her own with a fellow blind athlete.
Karla spoke movingly about her experiences growing up horseback riding and participating in other sports even though she was not sighted. Since many young blind children have not had the experiences she did, she wanted to start this organization to improve that situation.
The organization’s first event in 2015 was a goalball clinic to help learn the game. This sport was founded by veterans blinded during World War II, and involves a ball with bells on it. Sighted players can also play while blindfolded. The organization offers Judo classes, which is a sport that can easily be adapted to include blind and sighted co-competition. Yoga and tandem biking are two other sports that the organization offers.
The association has also sponsored scholarships for athletes attempting to qualify or train for the Paralympics.
The program is looking for donations so that they can continue to do scholarships, purchase sports equipment, and run tournaments. In the immediate future, they are looking specifically to set up a kickball league and need to purchase the equipment including a ball and bases that make sound.
All in all this was a very informative and dynamic program and we thank Karla for sharing it with us!
At the August meeting, Colonel John Barnes gave a presentation on “The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA)” at the Sandy Spring Lions Club dinner.
SMGA provides rehabilitative golf experiences and family-inclusive golf opportunities for post-9-11 wounded war veterans in an effort to improve the quality of life for these American Heroes. Eligible veterans include those wounded or injured in post 9-11 military operations, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and /or traumatic Brain injury (TBI).
Contributions can be made to SMGA at their site.
The following video, courtesy of Maryam Esmaili, gives you a taste of the presentation.
Come to a Lions meeting and join us in seeing these excellent programs!
Lions Bob Spiers, Julie Thomas, Doug Farquhar, and Jim Simmel present dry goods they collected to Olney Help representative Marilyn Simonds.
At our April meeting, Director of Olney HELP Marilyn Simonds spoke to us about the work they do in the Olney-Ashton-Sandy Spring community. Their food pantry is indispensable when it comes to helping local people who are hungry.
Our members filled over 10 bags of dry food for the pantry and we also made a donation to support their ability to provide fresh food as well.
Olney Help is always looking for volunteers to help deliver food or take calls. Volunteers work one or two days a month and it is very rewarding. Click the link above if you are interested in helping out.
District Governor Dee Hawkins addresses a joint meeting of the Olney and Sandy Spring Lions Clubs
This month the District Governor of 22-C, Dee Hawkins, addressed the club at our annual joint meeting with the Olney Lions. She spoke about the dreams of Melvin Jones and Helen Keller to create an organization founded on the ideal of service, and how those dreams came true. She also challenged us to work together to make our own grand dreams come true.
The meeting was well attended by members of Governor Dee’s cabinet and both clubs.
Matt Green presents a canvas photo of participants on his Chesapeake Bay trip.
Last year, Matt Green, a teacher from Farquhar Middle School, came to talk to us about a project he does every year where he takes a group of kids from Farquhar on a trip to the Chesapeake Bay to learn about the ecology of the bay and how their actions have environmental consequences. He asked us to make a donation to the project that would allow some kids who are less financially well off to attend the trip, which we did.
At our meeting in September, Matt talked to us about how that trip went, showed us pictures, and explained a little about what the kids learned. He said that this particular trip reinvigorated his interest in continuing the project, and presented the Sandy Spring Lions Club with a beautiful canvas print of the kids on the trip.
Rick Potocek from Crime Solvers of Montgomery County speaking to the Sandy Spring Lions Club
After a brief interlude in July, when the program consisted of newly incoming King Lion Julie Thomas laying out her vision for her year, we are back to our regularly scheduled programs from community members. This month, we heard from Rick Potocek, a former special agent with the FBI and currently a Forensic Accountant for a private firm. Rick spoke to us about his involvement in an organization called Crime Solvers of Montgomery County.
Crime Solvers, also known as Crime Stoppers in some areas, is a community service organization that works with the police, civic, and business organizations to offer rewards for anonymous tips that lead to the successful solution to local criminal cases. They fund these rewards through private donations from local community members and businesses.
Rick told us about two cases where Crime Solvers of Montgomery County successfully led to arrests. The first was a bank robbery in Colesville and the second was an armored car robbery in Rockville. He also gave us a good deal of information about the history of the organization and how to support it.
If you are interested in making a donation to Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, you can do so here.