Al Shepherd: Buying a tree supports eye projects
December 4, 2009
To the editor:
The Craig Lions Club is selling Christmas trees, as we have for years.
People have told us this year that our trees are overpriced, which is understandable in today's economy.
And yes, they are.
Compared to others, our cost is what big stores sell their trees for. We buy 100; they buy 1,000. And, we have only one thing to sell: the trees.
We have to sell 60 trees out of 100 before we see any profit, profit that is used for community projects, not one cent for operations that are totally supported by the membership.
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But, when you buy a tree from Craig Lions, you are supporting our eye project, eye screenings for preschool and kindergarten children, at a cost of $2 per kid.
With two special cameras, the Craig Lions volunteers screen more than 600 children a year. The film, read by a professional volunteer, spots about 10 percent of kids who have eye problems that can be corrected before they enter school.
You are supporting eye glasses for those who qualify financially at a cost between $125 and $250 per case. Cedar Mountain Lions and Craig Lions split the applications and the cost, but as the economy gets worse, the more applications we receive.
You are supporting the Eye Bank that can provide eye surgery for Colorado and Wyoming residents. This work runs $5,000 and up. We have had two such requests just this fall.
In a very small way, you are supporting the Lions eye programs all over the world.
I have been a member of Craig Lions for more than 40 years. I find this eye program is the most gratifying thing that we do. Grateful parents have told us they didn't even know their child needed help, and couldn't afford glasses.
We do this so other people can have a better life.
Craig Lions president