MD1 State of Illinois Monthly e-Magazine for the Month of August 2022.

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MD1 e-Magazine (Full) Vol. 10 - Issue 2, August 2022

IMMEDIATE PAST INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR ROBERT ‘BOB’ BLOCK AND BRENDA BLOCK 1 The Illinois Lion & Leo


MD1 Concil Chair Speaks:

anton173@comcast.net Let’s take a moment to talk about the metrics of the State. I’m extremely happy to report that our multiple

MD-1

is

a

plus

in

membership. Thank you to all the Lions that have worked to help achieve this. We just must keep the momentum going. Not an easy task, but there is always help. Look to your

District

GAT

team

for

assistance or even the State GAT team. There is always someone to Hello MD-1 Lions,

help, all you must do is ask.

Doesn’t it seem like July flew by?

A very wise Lion once told me that

The Council of Governors have

all you must do is ask someone to

settled in and are busy working in

join your club, you never know you

their Districts and implementing

just might get another Lion. But

their District programs. They are

remember sometimes you must ask

excited to work with our New Lions

twice. So don’t get discouraged.

Club President Brian Sheehan from Minnesota. His theme this year is

I’m excited to see more and more

“TOGETHER WE CAN”. And let me

Lions have resumed in person

tell you this group of Governors is

meetings.

together

things

meetings have their place in our

accomplished. I am so excited to

organization, they have become

work with them.

very effective for smaller committee

and

can

get

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Although,

zoom


meetings. You may want to try this

Convention.

Please

with your club committees.

resume to SST Mary Pemberton by August

I am happy to report that the Long-

send

22,

your 2022.

sst@illinoislionsmd1.org

Range Planning committee has been re-activated. This committee

Next

year’s

International

has been inactive over the past

Convention will be held in Boston. In

couple years. The PDG’s have been

addition, MD-1 will be the host for

contacted and we have a full board

the Midwest Breakfast which is held

to commence working. I have asked

each year at the International

PCC Joe Vinyard to chair this

Convention.

committee and he has accepted. Thank you for all that each of you do What’s happening in MD-1:

as Lions. We can’t do what we do without all of you.

RLLI August 12-14 - One of the

largest classes in a long time.

Hope you are all enjoying your

summer! Hope to see you around

GAT Summit

-

September

10th. This will take place after the

the State.

COG meeting in East Peoria. •

State Convention - Meetings

have started. Perhaps you are interested

in

being

committee.

Contact

Stewart

you

if

on PDG

are

the Barb

interested.

lionbarbstewart@gmail.com We

continue

to

look

for

a

Chairperson for the International

Council Chair Gail Anton -------------------------------------District Sub-editors: Remind all your club secretaries to send the news and the pictures of their club events to you so that you can send them to me to the following address: ILStateEditor@gmail.com

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A Message from the MD1 GMT

GMT State Coordinator Greetings Lions of MD1! As a Lion, my membership is all about my service. We Lions cannot separate the two. Service is what drives our members and our clubs. The GAT team looks at three things: Membership, Service, and Leadership. This month I want to touch on the important relationship between membership and service. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali This quote got me thinking about our Lions service as our “rent’. As Lions we certainly can pay our rent and earn our space on this earth. Some of us perhaps only have the

time and ability to earn a small studio space. Others can “pay enough service rent” for a mansion. Like life in general, things are never equal, or some might say fair. But just as there are all sizes of dwellings (space) on this earth, there are all kinds of Lions. When we welcome new members into our clubs, we need to make sure they have the chance to earn their space, whatever kind of space that might be. Don’t expect them to do everything. Help them define what their service “space” will be. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Membership grows through relationships and the opportunity to not only help but interact with those in need. It grows when all members can help and serve others. Helping and serving others is truly realized in those moments when a Lion hands someone a meal, or screens a child’s eyes, or just puts their arm or a blanket around someone who has suffered a great loss due to a natural disaster. It is those moments of human interaction, those moments of relationship, that what we do means the most, and earns us our

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space. “To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money.” – Douglas Adams Aha, there is the crux of many of our clubs’ issues. We make pancakes, stand on corners with cups, sell sandwiches and beer at community events, and then we write checks. Now there is nothing wrong with checks, and a lot of good is done with the funds we Lions raise. Fundraising is a necessity, but…is that what most people now days with such limited time, who can maybe only be building a studio or one bedroom space at the most, want to do with their precious time and energy? Or do they want that human interaction, to look into the eyes of those in need, to do something themselves that they know will make a difference now and perhaps into the future? What

do those opportunities look like in your community? “I learned to always take on things I'd never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” — IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. There’s a standing joke among Lions that goes, “Well that’s the way we have always done it.” I don’t find that funny. I find it an indication of a Lion or club who has gotten too comfortable for growth and change. Look around you and tell me what has not changed in our lives over the past 100 years. Cars? Phones? Clothes? Lifestyle? Not all change is good, but some change is necessary for us to reverse our membership trends in MD1. Together we can work as Lions to make those small changes that can help every Lion to personally earn their space on this Earth. Thank you for all you do.

PDG Deb Greaney MD1 GMT -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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The Council of Governors 2022-23 have an opening for the International Convention Chairperson. If you are interested please send your resume to SST Mary Pemberton sst@illinoislionsmd1.org no later than August 22, 2022. All applicants will be contacted after the deadline to set up an interview. INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CHAIRPERSON RESPONSIBILITIES Since a prime task of this Committee is to encourage meaningful participation at the International Convention by the Lions of Illinois, the Committee Chairperson will coordinate activities within the State toward this goal. Sub-Committee Chairpersons for specific duties, may be appointed by the Council of Governors, if deemed necessary. The Committee Chairperson will be familiar with the purpose and goals of the International Convention and of the Convention Schedule of Events. The Committee, under the direction of the Chairperson and in conjunction with the State SecretaryTreasurer, shall arrange and plan for all Illinois activities, which may include: 1) Hospitality room 2) Registration of Illinois Lions 3) Set up and sale of Lions of Illinois official trading pins in a suitable area at the Illinois headquarters hotel with the understanding that no Sub-District or club pin or activity sales to be permitted in this area 4) Illinois reception 5) International parade 6) Illinois-Hawaiian luncheon 7) Floats and uniform 8) Transportation All of the above, of course, are subject to the approval of the Council of Governors. During the International Convention, the Committee Chairperson will correlate and actively supervise all aspects of the Illinois Lions activities.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 The Illinois Lion & Leo


GLOBAL LEADERSHIP TEAM by Lion Lori Chassee, PDG (lion.loric@gmail.com) GLT State Coordinator

Hard to believe that summer is quickly ending and many of us who have had a summer respite are now getting our clubs back into the swing of service and fellowship. For all our new Leaders I hope that you have had a chance to look at all of the wonderful resources available to you at lionsclubs.org. There is an ebook for almost every club position that will answer your

questions and take you to the forms and instructions that you may need. Don’t forget that your fellow Lions stand ready to help you succeed. Leadership starts with knowledge. In the coming months I look forward to working with the Lions of MD1 to help you hone your leadership skills. Some believe that leaders are born and that may in part be true, however I believe that leaders can learn the skills they need to succeed, and it is my mission to help you do that. Watch for emails regarding upcoming forums and institutes, reach out if I can help your district in any way, including hosting informational meetings to answer questions and issues unique to you. As Lions we serve our communities, but we also serve each other. Lion Lori Chassee lion.loric@gmail.com ---------------------------------------

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What’s Happening in MD1:

Jones Fellow by The Highland Lions Club. ----------------------------------------------------------

Carbondale Lions Club President Brad Hagy (left) with Les Winkler, recipient of the club's David Kenney Award. Les Winkler was the sports editor for The Southern Illinoisan. The David Kenney award is named after the late Lion David Kenney, Ph, D. The award recognizes those who have contributed service to our country and our community. -------------------------------------Foundation Trustee Gary Kreutzberg was named a Melvin

June Gifts and Grants distributed in June by Carlinville Lions Club: Because of the funds that we raise during the year and especially during the Carnival, we are able to provide support to Lions International projects and to give back to the Carlinville community: Lions International Foundation ... $1,000 Leader Dog Program ... $500.00 Lions of Illinois Foundation ... $500.00 Carlinville Park Board for ball field maintenance ... $100.00 Carlinville Youth Soccer League ... $175.00

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Lions of Illinois Low Vision Clinic ... $1,160.00 Advanced Eye Care (patient care) ... $263.00 Eyecare of Carlinville (patient care) ... $31.57 Lions of Illinois Foundation Diabetes ... $250.00 ---------------------------------------

members. His work also includes efforts to keep our rivers and lakes clean. Macoupin County is one of the counties to which Ratcliff is assigned. -----------------------------------

Learning about fish hatcheries, lakes, and ponds

Eric Ratcliff, with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, provided an overview of fish hatcheries used for breeding fish and stocking lakes to the Carlinville Lions Club

LCIF Chairperson Lion Dr. Jung-Yul Choi honors Burr Ridge-HinsdaleOak Brook Lion Shanu Ansari with the Melvin Jones Fellowship and the pin at Lions Clubs International in Montreal. --------------------------------------Westmont Lions Club held its Officer Installation and Awards Night Banquet at Zazzo's Pizza & Restaurant in Westmont last month. DG-E Lion Jim Kiser installed the 2022- 2023 Lion Year Officers and President Lion Bob Fleck presented awards to members. (l to r) Tail Twister Lion Sandy Sadler, Club

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Secretary Lion Joann Farley, Past President Lion Stella Qualizza, Lion Debby Richey, Marketing Committee, and Pres. Lion Bob Fleck. ---------------------------------------

Oakbrook Terrace Lions in the local 4th of July Parade, reminding everyone they’ll be selling Christmas trees in December. --------------------------------------Congratulations are in order for Somonauk Lion Craig Klenzman for receiving the George Lazansky

Award! Craig has been a member of the Lions Club since 2005 and is known as "the guy who gets things done." Craig is always willing to step up and help the Lions Club and the Somonauk community in whatever way he is needed. ---------------------------------------

Congratulations to Island Lake Lion Geoff Zivic for his dedication to his club. Thank you for all that you do.

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He is receiving the Lions District 1-J Jim and Joyce Davis Lifetime Service Award from Fox River Zone Chair Lion Terri Pasternick. ---------------------------------------

Engstron, New Member Lion Joan Kelley, District Governor Lion Lori Chassee, and in-coming President Lion Tony Sparacino. ---------------------------------------

Graduating senior Matthew Sourwine received the Roselle Lions Club $250 Community Service Scholarship. --------------------------------------Bartlett Lions Club installed two new members last month. (l to r) Secretary/Zone Chair Lion Joanne Watson, President/Zone Chair Lion Andy Watson, Sponsor Lion Leslie Andrle, New Member Lion Pam Szatkowski, Sponsor Lion Roy

Bartlett Lions Club installed 20222023 Officers at Bartlett Hills Golf & Country Club. (l to r seated): Director Lion Val Proce, Director Lion Cheryl Lemvig, Secretary/Membership Chair Lion Joanne Watson, 2nd VP Lon Lee Beattie. (2nd Row): Director Lion Dave Barry, Tail Twister Lion Ken Kusch, 3rd VP Lion Randy Zbasnik,

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Lion Tamer Loin Jimmy Bell, 1st VP Lion Dan Palmer, incoming Pres. Lion Tony Sparacino, Outgoing Pres. Lion Andy Watson. ---------------------------------------

demonstrate their Braille machines. The LIF bus was there to test vision & hearing clients who wished to use the services. ---------------------------------------

Roselle Lions Rich Leabru (l) and Maryann Grygiel (r) awarded two $1,000 Scholarships to Lake Park High School seniors Alexandria Szostak and Brayden Woehrle. --------------------------------------Huntley Area Lions Club’s Helen Keller Day at the Farmers Market featured Mary and Ken Kozy with Kiwana, their Guide Dog for the Blind. Horizons For The Blind also were there during the day to

Crystal Lake Lions Club’s newest member, Lion Erick Rodewald (c) flanked by Sponsor Lion Mike Gasparaitis, (r) and inductor, Lion John Landon, PCC (l). --------------------------------------The late Lion Larry Phillips donated a 1950 Allis-Chalmers tractor to the Sandwich Lions Club. Lion Bob Jones, along with Lions Leo

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Wallis both received Lions of Illinois Foundation Fellow plaques. ---------------------------------------

Sondgeroth and Jerry Grommes, were instrumental in getting it in working condition. A permanent memorial plaque is attached to the front. The tractor was recently shown at the Sandwich Early day Engine Club Show & Tractor Parade. ---------------------------------------

Sandwich Lions Kyle and Sharon

Aurora Noon Lion Bill Poss (l) gives a thumbs up at a"last hurrah" for his Luigi's Pizza and Fun Center in Aurora on June 22. After 41 years in business, Lion Poss scheduled a June 26 closing for the Center, followed by his retirement. At right, is former President Lion Michele Needham. ---------------------------------------

Bartlett Lions Club presented Lion Cheryl Lemvig with a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. (l to r) Lions

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Cheryl Lemvig, Jack Holmes, and Ken Kusch. --------------------------------------

Foxtrot 5K Race in early June. There were over 750 registered runners. ---------------------------------------

Sandwich Lion Sandy Oakes (r) was named Sandwich Lions Club’s 20212022 Lion of the Year. Pres. Lion Sharon Wallis (l) presented the award. ---------------------------------------

Lions Bill & Sally Kolb are the newest Sandwich Lions Club members. Lion Kyle Wallis is their sponsor. ---------------------------------------

Several Elgin and Dundee Township Lions staffed the Elgin

A captioned telephone is showcased by Lynda Strelitz of Northbook for Aurora Noon Lions Club members. She explained how the technology serves people with

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hearing loss. --------------------------------------

Huntley Area Lions Club Installation/Awards Night were the two new Leo Club Co-Presidents – Leo Nataly Rodriquez and Leo Taylor Trent. ---------------------------------------

Sandwich Lion Kyle Wallis received a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award in recognition of his many years of faithful service to Lionism. --------------------------------------1J DG Lion Jim Kiser presented Sandwich Lions Club Lion Ron Wigton with a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship in honor of his 50th anniversary as a Lion. --------------------------------------Super special guests included at the 19 The Illinois Lion & Leo


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als PHOTOS BY CHARLES JISCHKE

by Erin Kasdin

July 29, 2022 That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for vision.

Brian, a Lion, was the very first participant in a groundbreaking project in vision research.

In early February 2022, a team of researchers successfully implanted a first-of-its-kind artificial vision system into the brain of a blind volunteer. The Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) bypasses the retina and optic nerves and connects directly with the visual cortex, creating the potential for those without vision to gain a perception of the world around them. The surgery is an exciting new step in the frontier of vision research. And it came together after decades of work and years of collaboration by some of the world’s leading experts in their fields.

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The multidisciplinary, multiinstitution team is made up of bioengineers, surgeons, psychologists, vision specialists…and Lions. The Technology The brain works as a powerful processing system and receives millions of nerve signals from the eyes, but if the eyes are no longer able to communicate with the brain, researchers have found they may be able to intervene by bypassing the eye and optic nerve and going directly to an area of the brain called the visual cortex.

The technology that Brian has volunteered to help test won’t help

him regain his sight. But it might help someone else in the future. The team that developed the ICVP system was led by Philip R. Troyk, executive director of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and professor of biomedical engineering at IIT. The surgery represents the culmination of nearly three decades of research dedicated to working to provide artificial sight to those with blindness due to eye disease or trauma. Since many individuals affected by total blindness do not have intact retina or optic nerves but retain the visual cortex—the area of the brain that allows people to see—an intracortical visual prosthesis may be the only possible advanced visual sensory aid from which they can benefit. The ICVP uses a group of fully implanted miniaturized wireless stimulators to create artificial vision. While there is currently no cure for blindness, the ICVP offers a promising first step in helping

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those with complete vision loss begin to see. Or, really, to perceive.

“While there are many different kinds of sensory substitution devices, it’s not the same as vision,” says Troyk. “There are other tangible benefits to vision and to your brain processing vision. It’s not about the E on the eye chart. There’s a strong longing for that visual input.”

The Bioengineer Dr. Philip Troyk didn’t set out to change the lives of people living with blindness. In fact, he didn’t really intend to change anyone’s life. He was just interested in circuits. As an undergraduate studying electrical engineering at the University of Illinois in UrbanaChampaign, Troyk made a connection between the electrical circuits he was studying and the electrical signals in the human body. “I got fascinated with the idea that there are also electrical signals in the body. And I

wondered if those could be mated.”

Dr. Troyk didn’t set out to change anyone’s life, but his interest in bioengineering has led him to doing exactly that. Photo courtesy of Illinois Institute of Technology. At the time there were no programs at the University of Illinois that put those two fields together, but when a professor caught wind of his interests he told Troyk, “Well if you’re interested in that, we’ve been working on a curriculum for a new field of instruction called bioengineering.” And he handed Troyk the list of classes to take. “While my friends were taking flower arranging as their electives, I was taking physiology,” Troyk says. But after a short stint in industry, by the time Troyk reached graduate school at the University of

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Illinois at Chicago, there was an established bioengineering program. He then realized that in order to work in cutting edge research investigating the ideas that most excited him, he had to get a Ph.D. “Not because I thought it would make me so much smarter, but because it was the way to get to do what I wanted to do.” And what he wanted to do was integrate electronics with the human body to help people. Astronaut Readiness Force What Troyk developed in collaboration with his colleagues represents an exciting new step in giving those without vision the chance to “see.” And when the time came to do a clinical trial, the ICVP team knew they wanted to do a special kind of study. And not just special because of the device they were testing, which was unlike anything done before, but they wanted the actual process to be different. They knew they were asking people to put their own health and safety

at risk to add knowledge to the field—knowledge that the participants themselves likely wouldn’t gain much from. The technology was still in its beginning stages, and the first participants would undergo many hours of testing which would help the researchers understand how the device was working. This initial testing would provide crucial information that the team could use to further refine the technology. They wanted the participants to really feel like they were an integral part of the research team–because they were.

“They’re very much like explorers,” says Troyk. “We genuinely view it that way. Just the vocabulary sets the tone for how we would like our study to be and to be remembered.” Troyk has learned a lot during his career in biomedical research, and perhaps the most important thing he’s learned is that you have to speak to the people who would be using your product or device. “The participant can tell you things you’ve never thought of,” he says.

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He recalls an encounter he had some years ago when discussing a prototype for the ICVP with a man at the Chicago Lighthouse. The man, who was blind, asked what the device would look like outside his head. Unsure at the time what it would ultimately look like, Troyk said, “You can always wear a hat over it.” “I don’t wear hats,” the man said. The conversation made a lasting impression on Troyk. Often, engineers can get caught up in the workings of their devices and forget to consider the humanity of those they are creating the devices for. “Why should we think that people who are blind don’t care about how they look,” Troyk says now. “Everyone cares about how they look.” And it’s through that lens that Troyk approaches all the work he does. The entire ICVP team considers the participants in their study to be a vital part of the process. And Troyk uses language to make that clear.

“We call them the Astronaut Readiness Force,” he says. The Participant Brian, a Lion from Indiana, has never been one to toot his own horn. While he isn’t the type to seek attention, his good humor and easy demeanor make it hard not to like him. Growing up in his small town in Indiana, Brian had plenty of friends, but it wasn’t until after high school that he met the love of his life.

Still an avid cyclist, Brian now puts in his miles on a specially fitted recumbent tandem bicycle with Tracy at the helm. Tracy grew up just down the street from him, but the two went to separate high schools and had never met. It wasn’t until he started showing up at the neighborhood pizza shop where she worked—and

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still does today—that he was able to win her over. “It was my charming personality,” he says, jokingly, as to how they fell in love. Tracy, who has a quiet, understated sense of humor and quick wit laughs at this. “I liked his self-confidence,” she says. “He seemed to know what he wanted, and he came up with a plan to achieve it. He still does that. He’s good at thinking through how to solve a problem and then implement it.” It was those problem-solving skills that came in handy when, nearly 30 years into their marriage, Brian’s life got a little darker. The Detachments Brian has a genetic condition that makes him more susceptible to detached retinas, and at 17, between his junior and senior year of high school, his retina detached in his left eye. He lost sight in that eye, but it didn’t seem to slow him down. At 21, he was playing basketball with some friends and took a basketball to the face, which

detached the retina in his right eye. Thankfully, surgery was able to reattach it, and he went about his life as an avid cyclist, scuba diver, and musical instrument manufacturer.

Cooking was one of the many skills Brian learned at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Then, his luck changed. “May 21, 2016, was the day I went blind,” he says. “I can tell you the exact day. I went to work at five in the morning and began to notice something was wrong. By 10 am that morning I was legally blind. I currently have no vision whatsoever.” What brought Brian to this place is a long road.

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Brian uses adaptive software to use the computer. It began with a “floaty” in the corner of his eye on the day of his son’s graduation from college. He waited to mention it to his family, not wanting to ruin the day. By the time they returned home his optometrist took one look and sent him directly to an eye surgeon who lasered it and sent him back to work that same day. Brian assumed all would go on as normal. He assumed it would be like it was 30 years ago when a simple surgery fixed the problem. But less than two weeks later his retina came loose again. His surgeon did another reattachment, using the scleral buckle method, but a few days later it became detached again. Turns out there

was a microscopic pinhole in the retina that enabled fluid to get behind his eye. The surgeon in South Bend didn’t have the equipment to see the pinhole, so he sent Brian to Michigan. What followed was a two-year ordeal in which Brian endured multiple surgeries and painful procedures, all in the hopes he would eventually regain his vision. He never did.

The Training After each surgery came a lengthy recovery period during which time Brian was legally blind. Each time they prayed that Brian would heal. While Brian was waiting to recover after a successful surgery at the University of Michigan, he developed an infection in his cornea. It was Labor Day weekend, 2016. That was when Tracy and Brian realized it was time to start planning for a scenario in which Brian would not regain his vision.

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First and foremost, he needed to get some skills to learn how to navigate daily living as a person without sight. Tracy spent hours searching for programs. There was a woman who helped folks in northern Indiana, but she was overbooked and could only help Brian about two hours per month. While he learned some useful things with her, it wasn’t enough.

Brian and some fellow students from the Colorado Center for the Blind had a chance to scuba dive at the Denver Aquarium. In the summer of 2017 Brian’s uncle, Lion Edward Ressler of the Marietta East Cobb Lions in Georgia, came to visit. When he asked Brian what kind of training he’d done, Brian told him it had been hard to come by. Ressler had

some knowledge of what was available from being a Lion and worked his connections. By September Brian was attending training with the Vision Rehab Services of Georgia. Through a personal donation by Ressler, Brian was able to get about 12 days of training—what would have taken him nearly five months to get through with the other services. Tracy and Brian were grateful for the opportunity, but what he realized after that week and a half was just how much more education he needed. They made the decision that Brian should attend the Colorado Center for the Blind—one of the three training centers sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The Littleton facility offers students a six-to-nine-month program that immerses them in the experiences needed to feel confident handling independent living as a person without sight. Training includes cane travel, braille, home management, technology, woodshop, home maintenance,

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and navigating a city using public transportation. Students who have some residual vision, as Brian did at the time, are required to use sleep shades during their coursework so that they can learn how to navigate the world even if their vision eventually deteriorates. Brian did very well.

“He was determined. Very determined—more than I’ve seen anybody—to do this for himself,” says Vicki Hedrick, the former residential manager at the Colorado Center for the Blind. She got to know Brian very well during his seven-month stay and remembers having an instant connection with him on his first day. “It was like a brother-sister bond right away,” she says. Hedrick watched as Brian navigated the coursework brilliantly, showing the confidence and problemsolving skills that his wife had noticed so long ago. But returning home after his coursework was complete was bittersweet. While he was in

Colorado, his vision deteriorated. By April of 2018, during a visit with his doctor in Indiana, it was confirmed that his vision was gone for good. “My optic nerve crapped out on me,” he says. In the four years since, Brian has moved on, getting accustomed to a life without sight. He is still an avid cyclist, as he was before he went blind, but now he puts in his miles on a specially fitted recumbent tandem bicycle with Tracy at the helm. He cooks and does chores around the house. He still works at the same small musical instrument manufacturer he’s worked at for decades, though now in a different capacity. Before he lost his vision he was running the press room and stamping operation. “I loved my job,” he says. He enjoyed making the parts for the flutes and piccolos and then passing them on to the next person to be polished and turned into a musical instrument. “It was just a neat dynamic,” he says. “I was part of the evolution of a musical instrument. It makes what you do more than just a J. O. B.”

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Now he works in customer service. While he doesn’t get the hands-on satisfaction of making an instrument, he does get to stay involved with music. “The interesting thing about music is that it crosses cultural borders, crosses language borders,” he says. “You can take two people who don’t speak the same language, but they can play together in a duet. They can play along with each other and never speak a word. Their common language is music.”

A Lion is Born When Brian and Tracy were first looking for help navigating the world after he lost his sight, the Lions in his home town weren’t sure how to help. They wanted to, but only knew about the eyeglass and Leader Dog programs. Brian was a long way away from qualifying for a Leader Dog. Eventually, Brian realized he could help. “I knew I wanted to get involved somewhere and thought

the Lions were a good place to start.” He figured, what better way to get information out there than to become a resource with and through his local Lions. “Now, if somebody who is blind or visually impaired comes to our club, they could put them in touch with [Tracy and I] and we could offer our knowledge and support with the help of my club.” It turned out to be a good match. Brian has just the right personality for it. Not only has he found kindred spirits in the jokesters that make up his club, but he’s he an active recruiter. He insists on wearing Lions gear to all his research appointments. “I could get fined if I don’t,” he says, referring to the way his club raises money for.

By volunteering for the ICVP research project Brian is

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giving hope to others living without sight, that one day their futures may be a little brighter. administrative costs by slapping each other with fines for anything from going on vacation to having a grandchild. While many members of the research team are Lions, Brian works on the ones who aren’t. “So, are you a Lion yet?” he’ll ask casually between tests. Most importantly, Brian inspires his club—the Baugo Lions—to do more and to show up whenever they can. In his fifties, he’s one of the younger members, and knows they need to be actively recruiting younger people into Lions.

community. By volunteering for the ICVP research project Brian is showing up for all people without sight.

“I’m not doing this for me,” he says. “I know I won’t have my vision restored, that’s not what this is about. But hopefully, this will be the beginning, and one day, maybe someone else could have that.” While there are still years of testing and refining to be done, for now, you might say the Eagle has landed. Funded by Lions

“Remember those really cool old guys who paid for marching band and helped us out in little league when we were kids?” he tells them. “We’re those cool old guys now. People my age and younger need to be reminded, Lions were there for us and we need to be there for the people in our community, too.”

For the ICVP project, Illinois Tech is collaborating with Rush University Medical Center, The Chicago Lighthouse; the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins; the University of Texas at Dallas; Microprobes for Life Science; Sigenics, Inc.; and The University of Chicago on the initiative, with Troyk serving as the principal investigator.

Some might say Brian is showing up for more than just his own

(Source: The Lion) Many of the institutions and the

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work involved in this research have researchers are also currently Lions, been funded by donations from with more “converts” on the way. Lions, including the Wilmer Eye For more information on the ICVP Institute and The Chicago research visit Lighthouse. Many of the individual chicagolighthouse.org/icvp. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------area at Girls State. Our Boys State representatives will share at their August meeting.

The Ashkum Lions of 1-BK had some Congratulations for their July Lions Club Meeting. The Ashkum Legion & Ladies Auxiliary joined the Lions for a potluck dinner to celebrate the Girls & Boys that their two organizations sponsor to attend Girls & Boys State. The two groups have been doing this for many years and always enjoy inviting the attendees to their July Meeting to share with what they learned and enjoyed during their time at Girls or Boys State. --------------------------------------Haven Beherns and Kourtnie Berhends represent the Ashkum

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1-BK Zone

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Chair and Bradley Lion Joe Marek was presented a special award for finishing all the Bachelor (and Masters) course work at Lions University. This is a great accomplishment and well deserved. ---------------------------------------

The Crest Hill Lions did a little toy shopping to donate to Silver Cross Hospital for the children's ward. These pictures are only a small sample of the number of toys purchased. --------------------------------------State Representative Tom Bennett, Assistant Minority Leader, paid a visit to the Gardner Lions. He was

in the restaurant and found out the Gardner Lions were meeting there. State Rep. Tom is also a member of the Gibson City Lion's Club. ---------------------------------------

The Joliet Noon Lions held their 101st annual Awards and & Installation Luncheon. Past President Dianne Argoudelis had the pleasure as Membership Chair to present perfect attendance and Monarch certificates to 20 Lions. Lion Raymond McShane received

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perfect attendance and Monarch recognition for serving 55 years as a Joliet Lion. ---------------------------------------

Past President Bill Drilling is awarded the same two honors for his 50 years as a Joliet Lion. ---------------------------------------

The Mokena Lions Club were happy to present one of the hardest working Lions in Mokena with The Melvin Jones Fellowship. Lion Rich Gemmell was honored for his 30+ years of service in the Mokena Lions

and being a true staple of their community. ---------------------------------------

The City of Mokena always does the 4th of July right! The Mokena Lions passed out flags along the parade route as they have done for years! The Mokena Lions say Thank you to the Mokena Chamber of Commerce for another great parade! ---------------------------------------

Fun, Music, Car Show, Games, Raffles, Food, and Beverages all part

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of another successful Mokena Lions Annual Firecracker Dance. ---------------------------------------

Food Pantry, and the Sheffield Public library. ---------------------------------------

The Sheffield Lions Club members sold tickets and parked cars for the Sheffield Tractor Pull on July 9th. ---------------------------------------

June was a busy month for the Sheffield Lions. Club Treasurer Ann Sprowls presented checks to various community organizations: Sheffield Historical Society, Brainstorm (an after-school program), Cornerstone Wellness, Western Bureau County 41 The Illinois Lion & Leo


The Hardscrabble Lions of Streator served Camp Lions treats on July 21st at the East Bay Camp in Hudson, IL. Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake was enjoyed by all. The campers appreciated the treats, and the Lions appreciated their smiles! ---------------------------------------

characterized by the absence of an iris, which can result in blindness and cognitive impairment.

Longtime Lighthouse Supporters Endow Vision Research

“As soon as I walked in the door, I felt welcomed and came to the realization that my daughter would get the help she needed,” Ruth recalls. The former Chicagoan, who now resides in Arizona, says it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

The minute Ruth Ross walked in the door at The Chicago Lighthouse in 1981, she knew she was in good hands. Her young daughter, Lauren, had been recently diagnosed with aniridia, an eye disorder

“The Lighthouse’s vision specialists performed a series of tests on Lauren and assured us that she had some remaining vision,” Ruth says. They quickly enrolled Lauren in the agency’s Birth-to-Three Early Intervention Program (where she learned to maximize that remaining vision and to use other senses to reach

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development milestones). She attended school with her peers and took up competitive swimming, finishing sixth in a statewide competition. After graduating from Glenbrook North High School, Lauren attended Bradley University, where she studied radio and television and graduated with honors. After a promising start to her career, Lauren’s overall health took a turn for the worse and she passed away at the youthful age of 39 in 2021. Ruth and Steve never forgot the lifechanging support that Lauren received from The Lighthouse.

“We will always owe them a huge debt,” Ruth maintains. “They gave Lauren and our family a whole new lease on life!”

Seeking to honor Lauren’s memory in a special way while helping The Lighthouse fulfill its critical mission, Ruth and her husband, Steve, opted to fund the groundbreaking research

being conducted by the agency’s acclaimed low vision research program. The program was established by Lighthouse President and CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk, a highly respected vision scientist. As a result, the Lauren M. Ross Chair in Low Vision Research was endowed for Dr. Patricia Grant, who also serves as Vice President of Research at The Lighthouse. You can read more about the life-changing programs funded through this endowed chair in our Q&A with Dr. Grant.

Note: As this article was being prepared, Steve Ross passed away after a long illness. The Chicago Lighthouse extends our deepest condolences to the Ross family.

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Diabetes Prevention Program Featured on Fox 32

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg8PGABFQII More than 96 million Americans have prediabetes. Fox 32 reporter Natalie Bomke recently profiled The Chicago Lighthouse’s efforts to encourage members of at-risk populations to develop healthy habits before the disease – and its related vision loss – takes hold. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Changing Lives One Cupcake at a Time There’s nothing sweeter than giving back! More than 150 guests joined us at Carnivale to support our Children’s and Youth Programs at our Sweets for

Sight event. Guests enjoyed a fun evening while tasting an array of decadent desserts, from macarons and velvety truffles to intricately designed cupcakes and cookies. Thanks to all of our guests, sponsors, and our amazing Junior Board, we raised nearly

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$30,000 for our programs serving children who are blind, visually impaired or disabled, and their families. To view photos from the night, Click Here --------------------------------------------------------------.

https://youtu.be/4c-mY5prbqI

Above is the video link to watch Seeing Is Believing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PID Bob Block’s Appreciatioin Dinner

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District 1A First Cabinet Meeting:

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Each summer our Schaumburg Hoffman Estates Lions Club host one of the monthly meetings outside by having some fun in the sun! Picture: Lion Jack & Lion

Carol hosted members at their place The Disability Services invited Township residents with disabilities and their families to an afternoon of fun and a picnic-themed lunch. The Schaumburg-Hoffman Lions ran the mini golf activity.

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Picture: Lion Linda & Lion Jazmine running the mini golf activity ---------------------------------------

Mounds Lions Club on the move L to R - Mounds Club President Lion Retha Eurales, new member Lion Jachin Valentine and Club Treasurer(new member sponsor) Lion Josie Eason. --------------------------------------L to R - PDG/Trustee/Mounds Club member and current Club President Lion Derek Eurales presents past 54 The Illinois Lion & Leo


L to R - Executive Director Trish Fisher, PCC/Trustee Jerome Perez 1J and PDG Trustee/Chaplain Derek Eurales-CS at LIF meeting July 16, 2022. --------------------------------------Club President Lion Retha Eurales a token of appreciation for her leadership, motivation, and accomplishments. ---------------------------------------

L to R - Trustee/ Chaplain PDG Derek Eurales 1-CS and PCC/Tail Twister Mark Williams 1-BK at LIEF meeting July 16, 2022 ---------------------------------------

L to R - Melvin Moore and Jawanda Moore receiving funds from Lion Retha Eurales from 1-CS disaster relief fund due to fire destroying their home in Cairo. Where there is a need there is a Lion. WE SERVE. ---------------------------------------

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their home in Cairo. Where there is a need there is a Lion. WE SERVE. --------------------------------------

L to R - Mounds Lions member Sarita Sawyer Mounds Club member PDG/Trustee Lion Derek Eurales, Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern and Shawnee Community College Cairo Extension Center Coordinator Leslie Cornelius Weldon at Meridian High school Awards Banquet. PDG Eurales gave medallions to the seniors for graduation. ---------------------------------------

L to R - Melvin Moore and Jawanda Moore receiving funds from Lion Retha Eurales from 1-CS disaster relief fund due to fire destroying 56 The Illinois Lion & Leo


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