Fairmont Lions Club > How We Serve

How We Serve

The Fairmont Lions Club's motto is "WE SERVE"

Sight Conservation and Work with the Blind and Visually Impaired

Eye exams and eyeglasses are provided free of charge to Fairmont residents unable to pay for their own eye care. A screening process assures that these services are provided to those who are truly in need. The club arranges for a local optometrist to provide the eye exam and, if needed, prescription lenses and frames.

Mobile Eye Screening Unit

Periodic eye screening clinics are held at various locations. Open to all, these have been held at schools, business locations and in conjunction with our Lions Journey for Sight. Thanks to modern technology we are now able to screen for eye problems in preschoolers when eyes are still developing. In 2016, the club began vision screening of preschool children in local day care and child development facilities to screen for early childhood vision problems which can not only slow learning, but also possibly lead to blindness if not treated. In three years, over 700 children have been screened. Early detection and proper follow-up can result in fewer vision problems as these children grow.

The club has provided white canes to our local blind residents to assist them in making their way safely. While driving, should you see a person walking with a white cane, please exercise caution.

Dog guides are used by the blind to assist them in navigating through traffic and in day-to-day activities. The club provides financial support to two dog guide schools, Pilot Dogs, Inc. and Leader Dogs for the Blind. Local residents have been provided dog guides at no cost to the recipient by both of these facilities.

Campaign SightFirst and Campaign SightFirst II were world-wide Lions fund raisers that have resulted in prevention of vision loss for millions of people around the world, including 80 million treatments for river blindness. Millions had sight restored by cataract removal. Over 200 eye hospitals and clinics have been built and ophthalmologists and other professional eye care workers have received training. Lions are seeking to eradicate preventable blindness around the world. The Fairmont Lions Club has financially supported the SightFirst program.

Lions Recycle for Sight

The Fairmont Lions Club regularly diseminates educational information about diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and other eye health issues.

The Fairmont Lions Club collects your used eye wear for recycling. Used eyeglasses can be dropped in receptacles at Monongahela Valley Bank downtown or at the Middletown Mall, WalMart at Whitehall, as well as other locations including offices and churches, throughout the community. We send your old glasses to a Lions processing facility where they are cleaned, sorted and then used to provide improved sight to thousands in less well developed countries. Do you have an old pair or two sitting in a drawer? Thank you for donating them to the Lions. Because of your donation of used eyeglasses, somebody will be able to see better.

Youth Activities

Peace Poster Contest

The Lions Peace Poster Contest is held at East Fairmont Middle School and Fairmont Catholic School, sponsored by the Fairmont Lions Club. Winning posters from each school will be sent for regional judging.

We sponsor a high school student from East Fairmont High School and a student from Fairmont Senior High School to the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar annually.

Each year, the club sends a local male youth to Mountaineer Boys State and a female youth to Rhododendron Girls State.

Handicapped Accessible Playground at Watson Elementary School

The annual Lions Christmas Party for the Children at the Union Mission in Fairmont has, for over seven decades, brought smiles to the faces of less fortunate children and their families throughout Fairmont. Children receive toys and other gifts provided by the Fairmont Lions Club and other area organizations and individuals.

Fairmont Lions Club assisted both financially and with members on-site working to build the handicapped accessible playground at Watson School in the summer of 2007.

In 2013, the Fairmont Lions Club adopted Lions Clubs International "Reading Action Program." Through a partnership between the Lions of West Virginia and the West Virginia Library Commission, club members have read to and led activities with children at the Marion County Public Library and donated a set of Reading Comprehension curriculum materials for a classroom at East Park Elementary School in Fairmont and for Academy Programs of Fairmont.

As a part of the Reading Action Program, the club partnered with Read Aloud WV to establish a Read Aloud chapter in Marion County, providing trained volunteer readers in the elementary schools in the county. Beginning with three participating schools in 2014-15, all Marion County elementary schools participated in program duringthe 2018-2019 school year.

Other Activities

The Fairmont Lions Club has adopted to clean and maintain approximately 2.5 miles of rail trail from Fairmont to Monongah, in cooperation with Marion County Parks and Recreation. The West Fork Rail Trail (Ralph LaRue Trail)maintained by the club throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Fairmont Lions Club members Clean Trash and Maintain the West Fork Rail Trail

The Fairmont Lions Club helped to provide food to restock food pantries in neighboring West Virginia counties following the extended power outages caused by the blizzard of Superstorm Sandy in the fall of 2012. After the floods in sounthern West Virginia in 2016, the club collected and sent new and gently used winter coats to provide warmth to those who had lost their belongings in the floods.

The Fairmont Lions Club members also have provided assistance to Sobrania (the Soup Opera), the Marion Co. Humane Society, blood drives, and other community services.