Lions ready to roar: Pancake benefit set

January 8, 2019

Although unlimited pancakes is already an enticing offer, this year the Columbus Noon Lions Club is upping the ante.

The club’s annual pancake feed will be from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, at the VFW Club at 2720 23rd St. For the price of $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12, attendees can have all the pancakes, applesauce, coffee, juice milk and whole hog sausage they can eat. Children under 5 eat free.

But for the first time in the history of the annual pancake feed, the event will feature a free vision screening. The Lions Club Mobile Screening Unit will be present and using a specialized camera to check people’s vision for blind spots and other undetected impairments, club member Bob Arp said.

“A lot of clubs will use them to do screenings for pre-schools, for community events, things like that,” Arp said. “We thought, ‘well here’s a chance that we got people there, we can provide that opportunity for them.’”

The test works best for kids, but Arp said it works for adults as well. For the test, people look at a specialized camera which scans their eyes. The device can indicate if there are any anomalies and help inform a person if a follow-up appointment with a doctor is warranted.

Event chairman Duane Matson said he knew of a student who didn’t learn he was blind in one eye until being screened in high school. He said many people born with visual impairments may not know it. And Arp agreed, sharing a similar story.

“A year-and-a-half ago, the Lions were asked to go over to David City and do some screening over there. Well, there was a 5-year-old, when they screened, the camera’s immediately detected blind in one eye, nobody knew.”

The event proceeds will be used to help fund the Columbus Police Department K-9 Project. As of November, the CPD was near to reaching its goal of $30,000 need to re-establish a K-9 Unit, as previously reported by The Columbus Telegram. The city has agreed to put forth between $60,000 and $65,000 for the development of the program, such as funding the cost of purchasing the dog, the equipment and vehicle required.

“The dog brings a tool to the toolbox we haven’t had before,” Columbus Police Chief Charles Sherer told The Telegram in November 2018. “This is my first rodeo in dealing with a dog, and there may be some aspects I was not aware of. So I am excited about the opportunity to learn to swim, but also I’m a little nervous to jump in the water.”

Matson said a group member suggested the idea of having some of the funds go towards funding the program.

“Enough of us thought it was a good idea that we should contribute to it,” Matson said.

The event usually has 600 people attend each year, raising about $3,000. But Arp said a lot of that depends on the weather and varies from year to year. Even so, he’s anticipating the event will be a success.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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