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October 2010 Check Presentation

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Their name represents the courage with which they tirelessly fight for humanitarian causes. And their leadership provides a beacon of light to those who need it most. The enormous impact of Lions Clubs International spans the globe, with 45,000 clubs representing 1.35 million members in 206 countries, earning them the distinction of being the world’s largest service club organization. In 1925, when Helen Keller challenged the group to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness,” the Lions club valiantly rose to the challenge and made eyesight conservation and the needs of the visually impaired one of its defining missions.

In keeping with its passionate devotion to fulfilling this mission throughout the community, the Winter Haven Lions Club has generously donated $100,000 to the Polk State College Foundation and established the Lions Club Scholarship this year.  This scholarship gives preference to a Winter Haven resident with an eyesight disability resulting in legal blindness and/or a commitment to pursue a profession related to eyesight conservation. On October 25, 2010 at the College’s District Board of Trustees meeting on the Winter Haven Campus, the group was warmly recognized for its outstanding contribution to Polk State College students.  Four representatives from the club were in attendance:  Sharon Lewis, President; Charles Bishop; Bob Guenther; and Bill Taylor.

Mr. Taylor, who served as Dean of Students at the College for 28 years and taught for 2 years, helped the Lions Club partner with the College from the late 1960s through the early 1970s. A close bond has existed between the College and the Lions Club since 1965, when the Winter Haven Lions Club Eyesight Conservation Foundation began this partnership with the College on Perceptual Training. This technique helped to develop the capacity in small children, including students with eyesight impairments, to distinguish shapes and symbols in preparation for learning to read. The group hosted workshops at the College for the purpose of training teachers from the U.S. and around the world.

“It’s a pleasure to work with the College, and we’re very grateful to have the opportunity to help deserving students. We appreciate all the good work the school has done, and we thank you for the warm reception we’ve received from all of you,” said Mr. Taylor. Pictured left to right: Greg Littleton, Cindy Hartley Ross, Rick Garcia, Dr. Eileen Holden, Bill Taylor, Sharon Lewis, Teresa Martinez, Charles Bishop, Bob Guenther.