The Cooperstown Lions Club has a vision to give more than sight to those in need.
The local club was sponsored by the Oneonta Lions Club in 1950, and now has about 40 members. In order to become a member one has to have an interest to serve the community and live in the greater Cooperstown area.
“We have a mixed array of talent and people in our club,” said Rich McCaffery, past president, secretary and current public relations chairman.
Although the Lions Club, which includes 46,000 clubs internationally and 1.35 million members, was founded primarily for sight conservation, it has expanded its mission to many endeavors to help the community. Still, helping people preserve their sight is an ongoing initiative, which means eye exams and eyeglasses for those in need.
“We work with the CCS nurse to find out who needs help. We also help on a global scale, collecting used eye glasses throughout the year to send to Blind International Sight Centers to refurbish them and distribute the glasses to underprivileged nations,” McCaffery said.
Saturday the club is working on a cause closer to home, the food garden/pantry project.
Every year there is a president’s project, and this year’s president, Bill Senif, chose to collaborate with the organization, Growing Community and CCS on their school garden.
Students and some adults maintain a garden that enables them to eat their fresh produce in their cafeteria. Senif’s idea was to expand the garden and provide enough produce to benefit the Cooperstown food pantry as well as the school.
Site preparation begins this weekend. There will be a new water line put in to supply the expanded garden. The goal is to cultivate enough produce to regularly donate to the pantry in the summer.
Another project the Lions have adopted for this year is the Sensory Trail at the Glimmerglass State Park. Kicking off June 7, the group is providing a handicapped-accessible trail through the park. The trail will have sensory units where visitors can push a button and hear details about spots of interest, thus ensuring everyone has the ability to tour the grounds with the benefit of information about different topics to supplement their walk.