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Lions Club Conducts Hearing Aid Program

Dr. Roger Lundeen, hearing aid specialist at Southside Optical Center in Farmville, recently fitted Mr. John Jones of Prospect with a pair of new hearing aids. The Farmville Lions Club, which helped pay for the fitting and hearing aids, is a very active participant in the Lions International Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP). In addition to the support through the International Lions Club AHAP, Farmville Lions are the recipients of a $5000.00 grant from Walter J. Payne Foundation in Richmond, VA.

This grant from the Payne Foundation allows the Farmville Lions Club to help and do activities for the deaf and hearing impaired that had only been a dream in the past. Lions International and Lions members around the world have been dedicated to working with individuals with vision impairments for many years. Now, Lions clubs worldwide, will be able to add hearing handicapping conditions to their service programs in each individual community. The Farmville Lions Club generates its own funds through a variety of projects and activities, including the Heart of Virginia Festival (food tent), selling brooms, White Cane Day donations (funding for vision handicapping conditions), and a very successful golf tournament. The Walter J. Payne Foundation grant will allow the Farmville Lions Club to extend the AHAP in Prince Edward and Cumberland Counties. The club hopes to work with local schools and other groups or agencies in hearing conservation and related programs. Individuals selected for support though this program must first be recommended through the county Social Services Department. After this recommendation, the individuals are interviewed by the local Lions Club Hearing Committee members and, if the AHAP criteria are met, the Farmville Lions Board will consider providing assistance and support.

The 1925 Lions International Convention was challenged by guest speaker Helen Keller when she stated: “I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is such a misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimuli-the sound of voices that brings the language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of men.” It is estimated that over seven million individuals in the U. S. with hearing loss can not afford hearing aids. A partial solution to this need has been the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project (Lions AHAP). Lions AHAP is able to provide high-quality, affordable hearing aids to Lions clubs in the U. S. for low income hearing-impaired people in their communities. Rexton, Inc., has partnered with Lions AHAP to offer two different hearing aid models for use in local hearing assistance programs. With support from local professionals such as Dr. Roger Lundeen, the Farmville Lions Club has been able to admirably assist the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project. Please note that Lions collect unused hearing aids as well as eye glasses locally. These hearing aids, which will be reconditioned, may be placed in any Lions Eyeglass box, or can be given to any Lion club member.

Additional information may be received through your local Social Services Department or by contacting William E. Schall, Farmville Lions Hearing Committee chairperson at 434-392-1752.