September Program: Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes


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!

Lions Mobile Health Unit at Montgomery County Fair


On Tuesday, August 18 the Sandy Spring Lions Club conducted free vision, hearing, and glaucoma screenings in the Lions Community Outreach Foundation Mobile Health Unit at the Montgomery County Fair. We began screening at 10:00 am and continued on until 5:00 pm. Since Tuesday was Senior Citizens Day, the majority of our screening clients were senior citizens.

This was our club’s first opportunity to do screenings in the new trailer, which is a big improvement over the bus in terms of comfort, convenience, and more modern screening equipment. Having a tent to provide shade all day long was also a welcome change.

A total of 54 screenings were provided to 34 clients. 8 Lions and one guest worked a total of 32 hours. Thanks to Lions Ed Loane, Warren Derrick, Carole Derrick, Narcy Klag, Brother Pattie, Joyce Howes, and Bill Lavely for their enthusiastic participation. A very special thanks to our guest, Dr. Maryam Esmaeli, for her assistance. In addition to doing screenings, she made many postings to social media, including the Sandy Spring Lions Facebook page. Be sure to check it out and Like!

We also have a video of King Lion Narcy Klag describing the event, courtesy of Dr. Esmaeli:

Free Health Screening in Olney

Sign in Olney MD

Sign Announcing Lions Heath Screening Event

The Sandy Spring Lions held a screening event on Friday, May 15 and
Saturday, May 16 in the Olney Village Shopping Center. The event was
sponsored by EyeWorks Vision Care Center and was held in the Lions District
22-C Mobile Health Unit. EyeWorks made promotional coupons available to all
who were screened.

A total of 37 clients received vision, hearing and glaucoma screenings over
the two-day period. 11 Sandy Spring Lions spent a total of 39 hours
performing the screenings. A number of positive comments were received from
other members of the community who stopped by to ask about the project but
did not receive screenings.

On Sunday, May 17 the Mobile Health Unit participated in the Olney Days
Parade. Lions Bill Lavely, John Howes, and Don Beeson walked along with the
MHU carrying Sandy Spring Lions banners.

Thanks to Lions Bob Spiers, Brother Pattie, Julie Thomas, Luana Beeson, Tim
Conner, Ed Loane, Joyce Howes, John Howes, and Bill Lavely for their
assistance and support.

Sandy Spring Lions Serve at NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo

Sandy Spring Lions Proudly Serve at a Regional Health Fair

Sandy Spring Lions Proudly Serve at a Regional Health Fair

The Sandy Spring Lions Club has a long history of working at local and regional health fairs providing health screenings.  Our history continued this year at the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo at the Washington Convention Center on January 10, 2015.  Nine Lions attended, including three Past District Governors, the current King Lion and two new Lions.  They performed vision screenings at the Lions District 22-C booth.

Lions Provide Free Health Screenings in Olney

Lions Jean McCloskey, John McCloskey, and David Hull welcome community members to their free health screenings.

Lions Jean McCloskey, John McCloskey, and David Hull welcome community members to their free health screenings.

The Sandy Spring Lions Club and EyeWorks Vision Care Center co-hosted a screening event at Olney Village Center on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31, 2014. Using the Mobile Health Unit provided by the District 22C Lions Community Outreach Foundation, the Lions provided free vision, hearing, and glaucoma screenings to members of the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. A total of 64 screenings were performed, with 34 clients being referred to a medical professional for further testing. Certificates for discounts on eye exams and eyeglass purchases were provided by EyeWorks for those receiving vision referrals. A local audiologist also left business cards for those receiving hearing referrals. 20 pairs of donated eyeglasses and $50 in voluntary contributions were received.

The weatherman cooperated with warm, sunny weather on both days. A total of 14 Lions contributed 46 hours of service. New Lions Anne Bucher, David Hull, John McCloskey, and Jean McCloskey were trained on the screening equipment.

Special kudos to Lion Bill Lavely for arranging delivery and return of the Mobile Health Unit to the LCOF offices at Melwood.

Lions Bill Thomas, Don Beeson, Greg Fuller, and Ann Bucher pose outside the Lions Community Outreach Foundation Mobile Health Unit

Lions Bill Thomas, Don Beeson, Greg Fuller, and Ann Bucher pose outside the Lions Community Outreach Foundation Mobile Health Unit