Through CLERF, the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation, the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions provide funds to preeminent eye research centers at Connecticut universities. Together, Connecticut Lions have provided over $4.3 million in grant funding for basic research and sight activities within the state.
CLERF supports the Yale Eye Center, whose research focuses primarily on glaucoma and disorders of the retina and visual system, the greatest causes of irreversible blindness. Research at Yale resulted in the development of Timolol, an effective treatment for glaucoma.
Yale Eye Center is also studying the underlying genetic causes of Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. 13 million people in our country–more than 30% of those over 65 years of age–suffer from some form of this disease.
CLERF also donates to the Lions Eye Vision Center, a research facility at the University of Connecticut’s Farmington Medical Center. The center developed a screening program for juvenile diabetes and a cure for river blindness.
A second research project at the UConn Health Center, the Connecticut Lions Vascular Eye Center, is well underway. Outstanding scientists and physicians will utilize the center’s state-of-the-art clinical imaging equipment to intensify studies of human eye blood microvessels.
The club supports the Low Vision Center of Southeastern Connecticut and the Yale Low Vision Center.
These groups assess the needs of their vision-impaired clients, train them in their daily tasks of living, and provide vision aids such as magnification devices and audible home appliances.
We help fund CRIS, The Connecticut Radio System, Connecticut’s only radio reading service.
Volunteers read articles and daily news reports from national and Connecticut newspapers, magazines and books. CRIS is available on specially tuned radios (provided free), cable providers, your telephone and online.
Another worthy charity is the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which provides magnificent German Shepherd Guide Dog partners and superior training. In a one-on-one process that takes two to three weeks, clients are trained to use their guide dogs in their homes, neighborhoods, and places of work.
Under the Lions PediaVision program, we are now screening preschool and elementary school children in Regional School District 18 for six types of eye disease.
The Lions’ Super Bowl Sunday Breakfast fundraisers finance yearly scholarships so Lyme-Old Lyme students can further their education.
Club members volunteer time at our local soup kitchen.
The club supports local emergency fuel funds, Warm the Children, the Lymes Senior Center, Lyme and Old Lyme Social Services, and other outstanding social service organizations in our community.