Gospel Event to Aid Lions

BLYTHEWOOD — Back in 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Clubs to aid the blind and hearing impaired, and they’ve been doing that ever since.

Sunday, Aug. 25, you have a chance to help the Blythewood Lions Club in that mission by attending the annual Night for Sight and Hearing, from 4-6 p.m. at Doko Manor in Blythewood.

The evening will feature a good old Gospel sing with three different Gospel groups.

Leading off will be Rhythm of Praise, led by Donnie Humphries who is a past district governor for the Lions Clubs.

Candi Cameron of Chester will perform with her singing partner Ron Wyatt, and the evening’s music will be capped off with the appearance of Doug Hudson, a Gospel singer and sax player who just happens to be blind.

“He’s amazing,” said Barbara Beckham, Blythewood Lions Club secretary and a past district governor of the Lions Club. “The first time I heard Doug, I was at a Christmas dinner with members of the Columbia NE Lions Club. He was singing with the braille sheet music on his lap. As he was singing, his hand was reading the sheet music.”

“This Sight Night has been a major fundraiser for the past five years for the Lions Clubs,” said Beckham. “This is the first year that we’ve brought it up to the Blythewood area.”

There will be food, and a silent auction featuring items contributed by local businesses.

“Performances like Hudson’s sort of brings home the whole purpose of an event like a Night for Sight and Hearing,” Beckham said. And the Lions Clubs do amazing things with the money they raise at such events.

“We buy glasses and provide hearing aids for people in our local community, and if there is anyone in our community who needs assistance with surgery, we can go through our state office (to help those people),” Beckham said. “Because of the ability of the Lions Club state office to work with eye doctors, surgery centers and anesthesiologists, they can barter down the costs so that every dollar we raise for those surgeries becomes five dollars’ worth of services.”

“It’s astounding at the actual impact of the dollars,” Beckham said. “I think that’s what the community should see. For every dollar they drop in when the Lions do Candy Day or every dollar they drop in when we’re promoting some event like this, that dollar becomes four more dollars.”

I can’t think of many other events where you can listen to great music, participate in a silent auction, enjoy great food and, for the price of a $6 ticket, save someone’s sight.

The Blythewood, NE Columbia and Seven Oaks Lions Clubs are co-sponsoring the event. Tickets are $6 per person and are available from any local Lions Club member, or tickets can be purchased at the door of the Manor the night of the event.