White Cane Days

The Thalia Lions Club White Cane Committee Chairman is under the overall supervision of Second Vice President.

One hundred percent of collected donations go to Thalia Lions charities which include for the blind and visually impaired:
* Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center
* Lions Medical Eye Bank of Eastern Virginia
* Leader Dog Program (Lions International)
* Charitable glasses and eye examinations
* Sight and Hearing Mobile Screening Unit

In the Spring and Fall the Thalia Lions Club holds their White Cane collections. During these times Thalia Lions publicize and educate folks about blind people carrying white canes so they will be courteously afforded the right of way when crossing a road or in a public place. Thalia Lions want folks to know about the aspirations, hopes, and abilities of people who are blind or visually impaired.

History of the White Cane. Blind people have used canes as mobility tools for centuries, but it was not until after World War I that the white cane was introduced. In 1921 James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol who became blind after an accident and was uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible. In 1931 in France, Guilly d'Herbemont launched a national white stick movement for blind people. In the United States, the introduction of the white cane is attributed to George A. Bonham of the Lions Clubs International. In 1930, a Lions Club member watched as a man who was blind attempted to cross the street with a black cane that was barely visible to motorists against the dark pavement. The Lions decided to paint the cane white to make it more visible. In 1931, Lions Clubs International began a program promoting the use of white canes for people who are blind. The first special White Cane Ordinance was passed in December 1930 in Peoria, Illinois granting blind pedestrians protections and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane. On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the Congress, HR 753, was signed into law authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Cane_Safety_Day) . President Lyndon Johnson was the first to make this proclamation.

Also see the History of the White Cane @


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