Lions with a Big Heart

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Matthew Sherrod, Aversa Henley Radforn, Valerie Benjamin-Glover, Evelyn Dungey, Bennie Boyd and Yvonne Christopher.

While an international organization, there are many traits that make the local district of the Lions Club special.

St. Stephen’s Community Church in Lansing is home to the District 11 C-2 branch of the Lions Club in Michigan. Chartered in April 2002, this district of the Lions Club is the only club with an all African American membership. “I believe we are one of the only African American clubs between here and Detroit,” said Lions Club member Valerie Benjamin-Glover. Their club is one of the smallest and was still able to provide eye glasses and eye exams for 50 people last year, which is more than any other club in the area. What makes their club so successful is a desire to volunteer and help others with the motto “We serve.” The club provides a variety of services for those who are visually or hearing impaired, including a voucher program for those in need of eye glasses and eye exams and collecting used eye glasses and hearing aids to be refurbished and distributed in developing countries. Matthew Sherrod, a member of the club, has personally collected 300 pairs of eye glasses and 15 hearing aids. “We have such a big heart,” said the club’s President Evelyn Dungey. The club also participates in the Bear Lake Camp in Lapeer, Michigan. The camp is owned and operated by the Lions Visually Impaired Youth Camp and is funded by Lions throughout Michigan. Also important to the club is the white cane outreach program. It is two weekends of collecting donations and alerting people to the law about yielding to those carrying white canes. It’s also a way to get general info about the Lions Club out to the public. “If a Lion can engage them, people learn the importance of being a Lion and the gift of sight,” Dungey said. “A lot of people have reached out to us.” Learn more at the club’s annual barbecue, which will be held Sept. 23 and 24 at the First Christian Congregation Church, 1001 Chester Road, Lansing. “With the Lions Club, you just have to have a heart and a commitment to serve,” member Yvonne Christopher said. For more information, to donate or become a member, contact the District 11 C-2 Lions Club at (517) 887-8084 or esandcompany@yahoo.com.
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Tags: Bear Lake Camp, Lions Club, nonprofit