Members of the Elkhart Lions Club met Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Perkins Restaurant for their regularly scheduled meeting. Past President Gary Chastain jumped into the saddle and pulled the reins tight for the meeting. The meeting opened with singing of “God Bless America,” Pledge of Allegiance and invocation.
Two guests were introduced: Marilyn Bates (guest of Lion Ray Enfield) and Liddie Morr (Lion Larry Morr’s wife). Lion Jack Goodman to put on his TailTwister hat on and got to work in record time (for him), as if he had something else to do. Oh, yeah, he did! He’s taking art lessons for the next several weeks. Jack has aspirations of being a sketch artist for the police department. Lots of Lions paid the piper. Lion Jack ended with a great big smile.
Lion Larry Morr introduced Brooklyn Spirito for the program. She is a local mother of two who recently learned both of her daughters (Nadine, 3, and Vivian, 1, have a rare, genetic eye disease. Called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, this inherited disease has been confirmed in only 300 children in the U.S. It is an autosomal recessive disease meaning that both parents of the affected child are carriers of the gene mutation.
LCA is the most severe case of a classification of early-onset retinal degeneration (retinitis pigmentosa). Most children with LCA CRB1 are born with some functional vision but are still considered “legally blind.” There is also a range of visual acuity among those with LCA CRB1. Typically, they have less than 10 percent of normal vision and wear glasses as a baby. Since the rods in the eyes stop working first (rod cone dystrophy) seeing at night is especially difficult, as well as seeing to the sides (peripheral vision) and seeing things in motion. Most children with LCA CRB1 will have trouble moving from bright lights outside to dim lights indoors. Children also lack depth perception and cannot “see” stairs unless each step is brightly painted. More often they will ‘tap’ each stair with their foot to feel it.
Although most children have some “functional” vision at birth, LCA CRB1 is a degenerative condition. The rate of that degeneration varies within the group. Some children will experience a rapid loss of vision, while others may maintain their level of visual acuity for a while before experiencing deterioration. Most children are Braille users and cane users.
Brooklyn said she realized after the birth of her first daughter that something wasn’t right. Vivian was rubbing her eyes and it was evident she had a vision problem. She took her to a doctor, then two optometrists before it was determined what the problem was. Even after a lengthy 20-week vision therapy regime, nothing helped. She said she is working with a specialist in Indianapolis and is hopeful that a special gene treatment might help. Since her first daughter was diagnosed, she had a second daughter with the same diagnosis.
Lion Cliff reported that nearly all the Lions Tales newspapers have been distributed and only a few of the ads remain unpaid. Work has already begun on next year’s paper.
Lion Karen Terlap reported that the Jan. 29 social event will be at the Time Was Museum. The museum is located across the street from McDonald’s on South Main St. in downtown Elkhart.
The next meeting is Jan. 15.
The Elkhart Lions Club usually meets at noon the first and third Wednesdays of the month at Perkins Restaurant, 107 Northpointe Blvd. Every fifth Wednesday a social gathering is held in the evening at local venues. Visit the Club’s website at email@example.com to learn more about club activities.
– Submitted by Stan Rupnow
Jefferson Extension Homemakers
Members of Jefferson Extension Homemakers Club met Jan. 8 at the home of Helen Koller, who provided a good variety of treats.
The Pledge of Allegiance and the Club Creed were led by President Jeannine Martin. She read the Positive Thought, Helpful Hint and Dates to Remember.
Roll call was taken by Secretary Marelda Doss. Members responded by telling their goals for 2020.
Treasurer JoAnn Fisher gave her report. Coins for Friendship and Nickles for Leadersip was collected. They are to be sent into the Extension office by Feb. 1.
The minutes from the November meeting were read by Marelda Doss and were accepted as read.
The Feb. 1 club meeting will be held at Jeannine Martin’s at 1:30 p.m.
Members sang the song of the month.
The lesson “How Sweet It Is: Is Sugar Addictive?” was given by Marelda Doss.
The Club Prayer was recited by members to end the meeting.
– Submitted by Marelda Doss
Goshen Noon Kiwanis
Members of the Goshen Noon Kiwanis met on Jan. 7 at Maplecrest Country Club. This was their first meeting of the year.
Participants enjoyed a presentation by fellow member Marshall King on his trip with a Mennonite Economic Development Agency learning tour to Cuba.
Next week, the guest will be Ashley Jordan. She will be sharing about Acts of Service.
Goshen Noon Kiwanis meets at noon every Tuesday at Maplecrest Country Club. All are welcome. For more information, contact Grant Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Submitted by Grant Martin
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