Viera Lions Club offers diabetes screenings and more


Published:

Members of the Viera Lions club held a successful rummage sale in the parking lot of UNO Pizzeria & Grill Nov. 1. Proceeds benefit those suffering with diabetes.

photo by Rosemary H. Lynn

When the Viera Lions Club formed 12 years ago as part of the international Lions organization, the plan was to take on roles as advocates and organizers, hold fundraisers and volunteer in many communities. The organization has exceeded that goal and continues to do so. With 53 members, they are one of six Lions Clubs in Brevard County.

There are more than one million men and women volunteers who make a difference in their local communities as well as around the world. They are united in helping others and work together as a group to serve those in need.

The Lions are passionate about assisting the blind, the deaf and people who have needs that are not served elsewhere. They offer free diabetes screenings in various locations, noting that diabetes is a leading cause of blindness. By collecting gently used eye glasses and hearing aids, they help those who cannot otherwise afford this equipment.

The local Viera Lions Club serves Viera, Suntree and the Baytree areas. On Nov. 1, they held a successful rummage sale to help those in need. Unfortunately, the diabetes screening had to be curtailed because of the extremely windy weather on that date, but with sales of items donated for the rummage sale, money was collected to help with education, diabetes testing equipment, recycling of eye glasses and hearing aids, Florida eye (tissue) banks, Southeastern Guide Dogs and Florida Dog Guides for the Deaf. All monies donated go back into the community and include Christmas toys donated to various venues. Lions Club sets up drop-off sites for toy donations in places such as the Brevard Sharing Center, Walgreen’s, Kohls, Sam’s Clubs and other businesses. The toys are then wrapped and handed out to needy children. Their latest endeavor is vision screening for preschool aged children.

“The Lions motto is ‘We Serve’ which says it all,” said Ed Marrero, president of the Viera chapter. “By helping others in need, we ultimately help ourselves. There are so many different people in crisis, including children and the elderly.”

The Lions as a whole are the largest service club in America. In 2013, the club had 1.35 million members in 209 countries who share a core belief: Community is what we make it.

The other five Lions Clubs in Brevard are Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach and two clubs in Palm Bay. The Viera Lions meet at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Conference Center on Wickham Road at Interstate 95. 

“A member must be invited to join,” Marrero said. “After attending two meetings or events and expressing a desire to become a Lion, the organization will decide whether or not to invite a candidate. More information on this can be obtained by calling the membership chairman, Larry Jackson.”

To find out more, call Jackson at 321-242-1331 or go to Viera Lions Club on Facebook. More information on the Lions Clubs nationwide at lionsclubs.com