Lions & Helen Keller

Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, in 1880, Helen Keller developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind and deaf.  With the help of an exceptional teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind, Keller learned sign language and Braille.  A few years later, she learned to speak. As an adult she became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and in 1925, Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."  

The Lions accepted Keller's challenge and our work ever since included Sight program aimed at preventing blindness.  In 1971, the Board of Directors of Lions Clubs International declared that June 1 would be remembered as Helen Keller Day. Lions around the world implement sight-related service projects on Helen Keller Day. 

The mandate to prevent blindness was taken up by LCIF when Helen Keller (1925) asked Lions to be her “knights of Blindness”.  Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. (MLERF) was officially formed in 1958 and took Helen Keller’s challenge to support eye research to prevent blindness.  MLERF has been supporting eye research for over 50 years.

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