Vision Impaired

Vision Impaired” is an outgrowth of the Thalia Lions Club Sight Committee under the overall supervision of the Second Vice President, helping those in need, raising funds and drawing attention to problems faced by sight impaired people. Currently Thalia Lions are engaged in four areas, (1) VisionWalk, (3) partnering with the local libraries, (3) helping the visually impaired youth of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Virginia Association of the Parents of the Visually Impaired (VAAPI), and (4) Journey for Sight. 
VisionWalk supports the mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness working to find treatments and cures for over ten million Americans affected by blinding retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and Usher syndrome.

Sunday 28 April, 2013, the 2nd Annual Hampton Roads Vision Walk at 17th Street Beach Front, grew from 600 at the first walk a year ago to 1,400 walkers. It was a tremendous success!  This makes the Hampton Roads Vision Walk officially the largest walk for attendance in the history of Vision Walk.  This year’s goal was $75,000 and  over $85,000 was raised.  

Inaugural Hampton Roads Vision Walk Sunday, May 6, 2012 at the 17th Street Park Beach Front. Hampton Roads Vision Walk,” 23 Apr 2012,

Virginia Beach events bring blindness into focus,” the Virginian-Pilot, April 24, 2012

Thalia Lions Debra Laughlin’s personal story about how she became involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Vision Walk.

Partnering with the local libraries to help them expand or enhance their pre-school and kindergarten reading programs through book drives, teaching fundamentals of reading, or assisting library personnel with events.

In November, 2012, Thalia Lions Debra Laughlin and Irene Conlin joined with Pamela Brown, Senior & Disability Services Librarian at Bayside & Special Services Library, to host the inauguration of a monthly program called “Seeing Beyond Youth” for a visually impaired teens craft workshop and get-together. The Thalia Lions Club donated materials for the workshop. Besides holding meetings for blind and low-vision adults, Brown thought it was time to create a support group for the younger generation. Blind and low-vision teens are often unable to participate in the same school events and programs as their sighted peers. Lion Conlin, whose daughter was among the teen participants, said of her daughter, “This gives her the opportunity to network with kids her age and develop age-appropriate behavior. It’s all about building a community.” See .
Thalia Lions Laughlin and Conlin’s participation in “Seeing Beyond Youth” grew out of a 2012/13 partnership between the American Foundation for the Blind and Lions Clubs International (LCI) 2012/13 theme “In a World of Service.” See  

On Jan 5, 2011 Brown was the Thalia Lions Club’s guest speaker where she explained the talking book program for the blind. See  
As of 2011 about 15,000 Virginia Beach residents who have visual or physical impairments qualified to receive “talking books” and Braille items mailed to them, free, from NLS, but only about 3% of them use the service. See

Helping Visually Impaired Youth of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Virginia Association of the Parents of the Visually Impaired (VAAP)
"The Virginia Beach Town Center Blind Lions Club Audible Easter Egg Hunt,"
The Virginian-Pilot, April 21, 2013

Dec 12, 2010, 1-4 pm - VAAPVI “Float a Thon

The Thalia and Bayside Lions hosted a “Float a Thon” at the Bayside Recreation Center for visually impaired youth of the VAAPI. Lions helped where needed and provided pizza courtesy of Sal’s Pizza. The Lions set up tables in the lobby of the center to display literature to promote Lions and seek potential members. Virginia Beach Recreation staff ran the event in the pool areas. Thanks to Lion Bob Donnelly (activity promoter) the children loved the swim and the pizza.

Mar 27, 2010, 2-4 pm – VAAPVI Easter Egg Hunt

/\ First Picture - A clown hands out goodies to a visually impaired child at the March 27, 2010 VAAPVI Easter Egg Hunt held at     Bayville Park, 4132 1st Court Road, Virginia, Beach.

/\ Second Picture - Two members from Lions Clubs (?) and Thalia Lions Kimberly Vakos and Bob Perrine take time out from helping out.

The VAAPVI Easter Egg Hunt was a great success. The Virginia Beach police department bomb squad planting 200 Easter Eggs with sensors inside so that the children could detect them. Lions helped guide the visually impaired children around searching for the ticking eggs, and then all enjoyed a visit from the Easter Bunny, games, drinks and eats, and a trip over to two fire trucks brought in for the occasion. Thalia Lions Bob Perrine, Kimberly Vakos, and Bob Donnelly attended as well as members from four other Lions Clubs. Lee Ann Arnbruster, Teacher of Vision Impaired (TVI), sent a thank you letter to the Thalia Lions for the Five Lions Clubs’ help.

Oct 17, 2009 - 11-12 noon, Fun Forest, Chesapeake. The VAAPVI held a business meeting while Thalia Lions volunteers played games at tables and took the visually impaired children to the playground and explored. Afterwards the Thalia Lions provided 20 pizzas and drinks to all. Leftovers were donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Thalia helping hands were Lions Nancy Watters, Bob Perrine, Dick Kreassig, and Stan and Jeri Furman. Paper products drink mix, coolers, and cookies were donated by Thalia members. This was an uplifting worthwhile sponsorship for which the Thalia participants were eager to continue sponsorship of future events. VAAPVI sponsors Lee Ann Armbruster and Irene Conlin sent a thank you letter to the club in appreciation of Thalia’s helping hands and generous donation for the park retail and food and drink.

Journey for Sight.

Each year the Thalia Lions Club assists this 24D sponsored program. A sighted person guides blind in different events.

April 13, 2013, Journey for Sight - Poker Run and Vehicle Show, Sponsored by Lions of District 24 D.  The poker run started at 1075 General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach. Registration was from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. The run ended with a vehicle show and food. For more information call (757) 431-1205. -

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