Norris Lions and the Mobile Vision Lab.
The Norris Lions Club is a part of the area-wide consortium of Clubs -- the Smoky Mountains Lions Charities (SMLC). A major activity of the SMLC is the Mobile Vision Lab, which provides prescreening and refractory examinations for eligible children and adults. The facility is normally located at and hosted by the Fountain City Lions Club, but in late 2015 the facility's mobile status was tested when it visited Norris. On one morning, over thirty patients were examined, fitted, and waved goodbye as they left with new glasses. Several other people were found to have need for vision correction more advanced than could be handles by the mobile lab, and arrangements were made for these folk to have their presecriptions filled elsewhere.
The SMLC Mobile Vision Lab was the brainchild of West Knox
Lions Jim McFarland and Ron Riehn when they learned that
Remote Area Medical (RAM) would be replacing their trailer
in July 2013. RAM agreed to donate their old trailer to SMLC,
but the trailer needed refurbishing. The job was completed
in October that year and since that time, after 2,500 volunteer
hours and 160 hours of Mobile Vision Lab operations, Smoky
Mountain Lions Charities, Inc. has provided 474 exams and
1,286 pairs of glasses.
Lions McFarland and Riehn directed the Norris visit, accompanied by LensCrafters staff as well as trained volunteers from West Knox Lions Club, Tim and Sue Hilliker, and from Farragut Lions Club, Kat Blake. The picture shows Lion Jim McFarland making lenses in the mobile lab.
Many adults from the Norris area received attention, but special service was provided for needy children of the Anderson County school system, identified by teachers and nurses under the guidance of Jeff Harshbarger, principal of the Norris Middle School.
The Norris Lions Club thanks the Smoky Mountain Lions Charities, Dr. Steve Elliott, the Norris Religious Fellowship Church, and Jeff Harshbarger, for making this event possible.