GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette Lions Club will hold their annual White Cane Day on Saturday.
Collection boxes will be set up at locations around town, including Austin Drug and CV's Family Foods, where they will be accepting donations to help with their sight conservation work.
Lions Clubs were challenged by Helen Keller at their 1925 convention to become "knights for the blind" and White Cane Day began in 1930 when a Lions Club member watched a blind man crossing a busy street with a black cane. Realizing the dark cane was hardly visible, his club decided to paint it white to make it more visible to oncoming motorists.
The first special White Cane Ordinance was passed in Peoria, Ill. It granted blind pedestrians protections and the right-of-way whenever they were using a white cane.
In 1931, Lions Clubs International started a national program to promote the use of white canes for persons who were blind.
Although Lions Clubs are involved in several other projects, including projects for youth, disaster relief, diabetes and childhood cancer concerns, hunger relief and the environment, help for the vision impaired may still be what they are best known for.
Gravette Lions are seeking the public's support in raising money for their work in the local community. All money donated is used for projects to assist people in the immediate area. The club is involved in providing eye tests for pre-K and kindergarten students at Glenn Duffy Elementary School and also provides assistance to people needing eye exams or eyeglasses who are not financially able to purchase them alone.
Lions Clubs are involved in several projects, including projects for youth, disaster relief, diabetes and childhood cancer concerns
The club meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Billy V. Hall Senior Activity Center. The next regular meeting of the club will be at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Lunch is available. Guests and prospective members are always welcome.