District 2-A2 LIONS SIGHT RESEARCH FOUNDATION
4502 Centerview Drive, Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 78228
President & C.O.O. - Lion Jim Wheeler
The Lions Sight Research Foundation was founded in 1982 and incorporated in 1983 as the Lions District 2-A2 Sight and Tissue Foundation by the Lions Clubs of Texas District 2-A2 out of their continuing concern for sight conservation, the detection and treatment of eye diseases, and the prevention of blindness. Concern for sight research and service to the blind has been important facets of worldwide Lions service since 1925. Since 1983, the Foundation has been the principle vehicle for participation by the Lions of District 2-A2 in support of Lions Clubs International Programs.
The Foundation is an independent nonprofit charitable Texas corporation operating with an IRS 501(c)(3) classification. Corporate goals include the following objectives:
--To promote a continuing program of research in diseases of the eye.
--To assist in the preservation, restoration, and conservation of sight and the rehabilitation of the visually handicapped.
--To encourage the dissemination of information on sight conservation and eye research.
The Foundation as accumulated an enviable record of achievement since its inception, and it continues to work with the Lions of South Texas to Sponsor projects related to sight research and the prevention of blindness. Since the creation of the Lions Sight Research Center at the University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio in October, 1991, the Foundation as pursued a variety of programs in cooperation with the Department of Ophthalmology of UTHSC/SA (University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio).
By establishing the Lions Sight Research Center, the Foundation created a permanent vehicle for fulfilling a long term commitment to eye research for better methods in the prevention of blindness, the treatment of eye diseases, and the rehabilitation of those with poor or limited vision. The close working relationship of the Department of Ophthalmology that has evolved also affords the opportunity for the Foundation to encourage and to promote an interest in ophthalmology and research among medical students and the research faculty. Annually the Foundation sponsors four research fellowships under the Lions Sight Research Scholars Program to encourage Medical students and Ophthalmology residents to pursue relevant research in ophthalmic topics approved by the Department. The Foundation has also funded an endowment to create the position of Lions Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmic Pathology at the UTHSC Medical School. This Professor also serves as the Director of the Lions Sight Research Center.
In 1996, the Foundation put a Mobile Eye Screening Unit (MESU) in service. This unique vehicle is operated by the Foundation and the Lions of District 2-A2 to provide eye screening services to the communities of South Texas. The custom equipped 40 foot mobile platform also contains specially equipped research work stations that allow UTHSC researchers to take their various programs to the field where research data can be gathered and transmitted to the University for real time evaluation by the professional staff. The "MESU" also provides a platform for various educational and information dispensing programs that have been designed with and supported by the University. This project was funded by the Lions Clubs of District 2-A2, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and by various private sponsors in the area. In ten years of operations, the Lions Mobile Eye Screening Unit has provided free vision screenings to over 41,000 people throughout Central and South Texas.
Since 2000, the Foundation has worked on a project in conjunction with Lions Clubs throughout Texas to create a new research and education facility at UTHSC/SA to address issues related to Low Vision. The "Lions Low Vision Center of Texas", with generous financial support from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, opened for business in September 2003 and has quickly become a regional center for clinical services and research related to Low Vision and its negative impact on the ability of sight-impaired individuals to live independently.
The Lions Sight Research Foundation of District 2-A2 receives financial support from the Lions Clubs of the District, private foundations, corporate sponsors, and from individuals - Lions and non-Lions - who share a concern for the preservation of sight and the prevention of blindness. All gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible under current IRS rules.
Foundation Associate Membership - Individuals may become an Associate Member of the LSRF through application and approval by the Board. The cost is $125 and the membership is recognized with a unique lapel pin and the distinctive marble desk accessory that has the Foundation emblem and an engraved plate with the recipient's name.
Life Membership - Outstanding Lions and individuals selected for special recognition may be nominated for Life Membership in the Foundation by a Lions Club or the Foundation Board of Directors. The cost is $250. A handsome lapel pin and a unique wall plaque crafted from acrylic materials and decorated with the colorful Foundation emblem and a personalized plaque are awarded to each Life Member.
Miracle Circle Membership - For service and achievement that deserves special recognition, membership in the exclusive Miracle Circle of the Foundation may be awarded to individual Lions. A Club or individual Lion may submit a nomination to the Board. Upon approval and with payment of $500, the recipient will receive a handsome walnut plaque with an engraved plate and the Foundation coat-of-arms. The distinctive lapel pin given to the new Miracle Circle Member will signal this unique honor to others.
Foundation Fellowship - In the tradition of the Melvin Jones and Jack Wiech Fellowship Programs, the Foundation has created a "Vision Research Fellowship" that is available for award to selected individuals. The cost is $1000 and the plaque is a handsome complement to the other fellowship plaques. A lapel pin is also presented.
Low Vision Fellowship - Created to provide a Recognition item directly associated with the Lions Low Vision Center of Texas. The plaque is identical to the Sight Research Fellowship but utilized the unique LLVC logo in lieu of the LSRF logo. Each plaque has a specific number and each recipient receives a distinctive LLVC lapel pin. The cost is $1000.