To all Lions, Lioness and Leos of MD 33:
It is an incredible honor to be your 63rd President of the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. I am proud to be leading such an extraordinary Lions organization. I am proud to be following a long list of great Lions who preceded me as President. However, I am most proud of what our Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund has accomplished over the past 62 years. We are all a part of one of the only such organizations in the world. Your work and support has meant a difference in the lives of so many we will never meet or know. You have done what Lions do best – change lives.
Your support of “pure research” has resulted in great discoveries and achievements in eye research.
In 1925 Helen Keller challenged Lions to be “Knights Of The Blind” and to achieve the goal of eradicating preventable blindness. Lions around the world accepted and “Answered The Challenge” and continue nearly 90 years later to honor and fulfill our commitment.
In the summer of 1950 a group of Lions, whose families had been impacted by an eye disease called Retrolental Fibroplasia or Retinopathy of Prematurity or simply Baby Blindness, gathered to find a way to respond to this new challenge.
In 1952 and in response to this new mission the Lions of Massachusetts at the annual state convention “Answered The Challenge” of those Lions when they approved the ONLY statewide Lions project. They formed an organization which became the Mass Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. In that year the Lions of Massachusetts raised $5000 for the first Eye Research Grant which was provided to Harvard Medical School.
By “Answering The Challenge” that grant was instrumental in discovering the cause of “baby blindness”. Their discovery has saved the sight of hundreds of thousands of babies.
Since 1952 the Lions of Massachusetts have continued to “Answer The Challenge” and have provided over $31,000,000 in grants for “pure research”.
While our research partners have accomplished so very much over the years the challenge is still before us and our theme this year will be “Answering The Challenge”.
We have answered the challenge for many years. I am confident, with your commitment and your support we will continue to “Answer The Challenge” this year and into the future. As Lions and as directors and officers we have sought and accepted the challenge.
Together we will have a great year and we will be able to increase our support for critically important eye research. Thank you in advance!
If you have questions regarding our efforts on your behalf at MLERF please contact any board member or one of the directors in your district. We invite you to attend a board of directors meeting or you can plan a club visitation to one of our research hospitals.
In 2008-2009 when I served as District Governor, International President Al Brandel said Lions were “Everyday Heroes” who “Performed Miracles Through Service”. Over the years you have performed many miracles not the least of which are the $31,000,000 you have provided to the research institutions which used your investment to perform their miracles.
I again thank you on behalf of the Executive Board, Officers, Directors and all our Past Presidents for your past support and future consideration for Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc.
We have made a difference by “Answering The Challenge” to eradicate preventable blindness. Together we will continue to perform miracles.
Yours In Lionism
Randall “Randy” Pinch
Past District Governor 2008-2009
MLERF President 2014-2015