Lions set to Walk for Sight in RehobothSunday, April 27 fundraiser begins at Grove Park
This weekend, organizers of the 11th annual Lions Club Walk for Sight expect about 100 people to walk from the Grove to the Boardwalk in Rehoboth.
The Lions plan to raise $10,000 to aide and assist the visually impaired in Delaware.
"Every dollar we take in goes back to the community, nothing goes to any administrative costs," said Lions Club member and Walk for Sight organizer Ed Springer. "Every dollar goes back to the people that need it, whether it is eyeglasses, surgery, eye exams, campership for blind kids or building handicapped ramps."
This year, Springer said the Walk for Sight begins at 1 p.m. at the Grove, next to the traffic circle in Rehoboth. The walk will be followed by a picnic in the park, made possible largely through the generosity and sponsorship of local retailers.
Registration is $25 and includes a T-shirt, he said. The money raised will help visually impaired Delaware residents.
"Anybody can apply for a grant; we provide large print optical readers for people with limited vision and just about anything that you can have done with eye glasses and hearing aides and we will do that," Springer said. "All you have to do is ask us and apply, and we will take care of it if we can."
As this year's Walk for Sight grand marshal, Newark resident Sabie Strzala, can attest to the Lions Club outreach for visually impaired. Strzala has been totally blind since her early 20s, but with education and the help of varied technologies, she does everything but drive.
Springer said Strzala, a Lion herself, was the No. 1 choice to be the face of the Walk for Sight after she attended last year's event.
"I just felt that she was a good role model," he said. "It's unfortunate that she lost her sight at 21, but she just has a terrific outlook, and I thought she would be a great person to be our grand marshal."
Strzala said she stays busy advocating for the visually impaired across Delaware after becoming totally blind nearly 40 years ago.
"I’ve always had an eye problem my whole life," Strzala said. "I never saw out of my right eye but I could see out of my left. Overnight the retina detached making me complexity blind."
But Strzala attended the school for the blind in Baltimore because of her limited vision growing up, so she had already been exposed to Braille. Today, she advocates and educates for the blind throughout the mid-Atlantic region and was president of her Lions Club.
"I'm very accustomed to it. There isn’t anything that really stops me now," Strzala said. "I always tell people you can pretty much do everything; you just have to do it differently."
For more information about the upcoming Walk For Sight in Grove Park, visit www.delawarelionsfoundation.org.