January 27th 2009 was a very exciting day at Lions Clubs International headquarters. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a Lion of 55 years and a Past District Governor, formally dedicated the “Gift of Sight” statue at headquarters. The statue is a gift from President Carter and The Carter Centre in recognition of Lions efforts in preventing blindness worldwide and our SightFirst partnership program. In his remarks during the dedication ceremony, President Carter said that without being a Lion, he would never have been Governor or President.
The bronze statue depicts a child leading a man blinded by river blindness. The dedication of the statue is part of a two-day symposium at Lions Clubs International headquarters where leading sight and health organizations from around the world will gather to discuss positive youth development and blindness prevention. A Lions club member, President Carter has long joined Lions in their fight to save and restore sight.
“It is a great honour to have former President Jimmy Carter dedicate this symbolic statue” said Lions Clubs International President, Albert Brandel, “This partnership program is preventing and eliminating blindness around the world, and Lions are proud to take a hands-on approach”.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organisation with 1.3 million members in 45,000 clubs in more than 203 countries and geographical areas around the world. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International. LCIF was ranked by a Financial Times’ study as the number one non-governmental organisation with which to partner. Established in 1968, LCIF has been involved with blindness prevention and treatment for nearly 20 years through the SightFirst program. LCIF has awarded $231 million for sight programs and prevented serious vision loss for 30 million people.