Working toward a Visual and Wellness Center

Published Aug 6, 2018 at 4:00pm

Melvin Jones’ personal code was “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.” He lived by that motto all his life, and all of us are better off.

You can find out about Jones and his remarkable life at lionsclubs. org. That’s the web site for Lions Interrnational.

Why Lions International? He’s the founder, that’s why.

Jones was the force behind the founding of Lions International in 1917 when he coordinated delegates from various men’s clubs in Chicago to lay the groundwork for the organization that is devoted to service to others.

One of the key programs, among many, helps people with eyesight problems.

Through SightFirst, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on a global scale. Launched in 1990, Lions have raised more than $346 million for this initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: cataract, trachoma, river blindness, childhood blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Locally, the Lions Club of Rome in another effort has donated $3,500 toward the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s (CABVI) Focus on the Future Initiative.

As the Daily Sentinel reported, the Initiative is a $14 million project that includes construction of a Vision and Wellness Center in downtown Utica; purchase of a building in DeWitt for CABVI Syracuse Industries and renovations to CABVI’s headquarters at 507 Kent St. in Utica. More information about the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired can be found at

It’s always gratifying to see two important groups in our community work cooperatively for the betterment of others. We are sure that the new Vision and Wellness Center will be a great success.