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National Recycle For Sight Campaign Commences

Sunday 7 October 2001 1 page

National Recycle For Sight Campaign Commences

New Zealanders are being encouraged to dig-out their unwanted prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses and donate them at their nearest OPSM store, Visique practice or local NZAO optometrist during from Sunday 7 October to Saturday 13 October.

The national campaign, organised by Lions Clubs around New Zealand marks Lions World Sight Day on Thursday 11 October.

The World Health Organisation estimates that the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population can be improved through the use of corrective lenses but a pair of glasses is often unaffordable in developing countries or a single doctor may serve a community of thousands. Worldwide Lions collect more than four million pairs of old, unwanted eyeglasses for distribution in developing countries each year.

The glasses collected this week will be cleaned and graded at the two Lions eyeglass collection centres in Auckland and Christchurch and utilised by VOSO (Volunteer Opthalmic Services Oversea) during their visits to South Pacific countries. A smaller amount of this year’s collection will also be distributed by Lions through established clinics in the Auckland area.

This year’s Lions World Sight Day also celebrates the life work of Lions member and Christchurch-based optometrist, Wilfred Colley who passed away last week. Wilfred was a foundation member of VOSO and a mainstay of the service. He was responsible for bringing together Lions and VOSO in New Zealand's longstanding Recycle for Sight collection effort for South Pacific countries, and was responsible for collecting in excess of $20,00 each year in contributions for VOSO through Lions clubs. Wilf received a QSO for his life work through VOSO and Lions.

‘Sight’ is one of Lions Clubs’ core four focuses for fundraising and volunteerism worldwide. In 1990, Lions established SightFirst, a US $140 million global initiative that has funded 82 eye clinics and hospitals, and provided more than 2.5 million cataract surgeries, treated more than 3.3 million people to prevent river blindness, screened more than six million patients for eye disease, and trained 3,000 eye care professionals worldwide.

Additionally, Lions provide thousands each year with free quality eye care, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, large print texts, white canes and guide dogs. In New Zealand Lions are a major contributor to the volunteer efforts behind the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind’s Blind Week appeal, guide dog appeals, recycle for sight, and later this year screenings, eyeglasses and sports goggles for the Special Olympics.

For further information contact: Jessica Garland or Tracy Dillimore: 04 382 6610 or 025 405 595.

Media spokespeople

Lions National Office Ron Lawrence
P O Box 6442
Tel:(04) 384 7559
Fax: (04) 801 6114

Lions District Governors
Cliff Heywood (202G), North Shore City - Northland, Tel 025 624 0890
Sarolta Bernhardt (202A) Auckland, Tel (09) 623-9135 (W) or 025 270 2135
Hugh Makgill (202C), Morrinsville, Tel (07) 839 7300 or (025) 878-093
Harry Sansom (202B), Hastings, Tel (06) 878 0500 (W) or 025 246 3239
Vera Madgwick (202D), Hawera, Tel (06) 278 5063 (H)
Ken Daniels (202H), Wellington, Tel (04) 971 6505 (H)
Sheree McKenzie (202I), Rotorua, Tel (07) 348 4699 (H) or 025 505 0841
Melville Syme (202E), Kaikoura, Tel 021 635 360 or (03) 319 5059
Margaret Gibson (202F), Gore, Tel (03) 208 5271 (W) or 025 935 921
John Stewart (202J), Milton, Tel (03) 417 7183 (H)

Spokespeople on VOSO
John McLennan Auckland 09 373 3701
Alice Ku Auckland 09 846 9103
John Tarbutt Cambridge 07 827 6597
Jack Crawford Dunedin 03 477 9559
Andrew Sangster Wellington 04 472 4010
Max Wright Christchurch 03 352 9167

Spokespeople on eyecare issues – NZ Association of Optometrists
John McLennan Auckland 09 373 3701
Trent Hingston Tokoroa 07 886 5517
Phil Donaldson Hastings 06 876 3777
Andrew Sangster Wellington 04 472 4010
Annette Morgan Paraparaumu 04 298 6373
Geoff Sargent Wellington 04 473 7047
Jack Crawford Dunedin 03 477 9559

Eyeglass collection points
Merv Waters Neil Pugh
9 The Lea 10 Tuscany Place
Papakura Beckenham
(09) 298 8892 Christchurch
(03) 332 0080

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