In Minnesota, Lions Clubs International members represent some of the state’s most dedicated volunteers. There are more than 20,000 Lions club members in Minnesota and more than 600 Lions clubs statewide.
Through the work of the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation, Lions Gift of Sight has been generously supported by the Lions of Minnesota since 1960.
Lions and the University
The Minnesota Lions first formed a partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Department of Ophthalmology in 1960 when they established the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank. This partnership, known as the Lions Sight Program, has grown to include the following:
Lions Children’s Eye Clinic. The clinic opened in 1978 and has worked to provide quality service to infants, children, and teens ever since. With four dedicated pediatric ophthalmologists, the clinic is the second largest and best-staffed clinic of its kind in the country. More than 8,000 children are seen every year.
Ophthalmology Research and the Lions Research Building. The University of Minnesota’s Lions Research Building, which opened its doors in 1993, includes a state-of-the-art laboratory where investigators from the departments of ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and neurology collaborate with other University departments on research projects.
Minnesota Lions Macular Degeneration Research and Rehabilitation Center (The MAC), established in 1998 to research the causes of—and cures for—a disease that affects the central vision and is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. The MAC brings together the expertise of physicians, the research of various departments around the University, and the knowledge of those in the medical technology industry. It is a powerful collaboration of resources dedicated to finding a cure for macular degeneration
Minnesota Lions Eye Surgery Center. In March 2015, the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation pledged to raise $4 million to establish the Minnesota Lions Eye Surgery Center. This gift will make it possible for University of Minnesota eye surgeons to perform common surgeries, including sight-saving cornea, glaucoma, retina, and cataract surgeries on the U of M campus. The Lions Eye Surgery Center is the first step toward the wished for Lions Eye Institute.
Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation
The Lions Sight Program is supported by the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation, Inc. The Vision Foundation funds the operating expenses of Lions Gift of Sight, their first and largest endeavor, and provides a board of directors that gives fiscal oversight to the eye bank. The Foundation partners with the Lions of Minnesota, Lions Gift of Sight, and the University of Minnesota to increase public awareness about eye donation.
In addition to their work with the eye bank, the non-profit foundation aids in funding research projects and equipment for University of Minnesota vision programs and fosters, advances, and promotes vision-related scientific, educational, or charitable aims and projects of other individuals or associations. The Foundation also facilitates used eyeglass recycling in Minnesota.
Contact the Lions
MD5M (Lions of Minnesota, Manitoba, and Northwest Ontario)