GRAVETTE — The Gravette Lions Club will hold its annual White Cane Day this Saturday, September 17. Club members will be posted at the Harps Grocery Store in Gravette and the Hiwasse Fall Festival asking for donations to help with their sight conservation work. .
The Gravette Lions ask for your support in raising funds for their work. All profits are used for projects in the region. Their vision conservation projects include eye testing for students at Gravette and Decatur schools. Club members will test the eyes of pre-K students in Decatur on Thursday morning, September 22. The club also provides assistance to people in need of eye exams or glasses who are not financially able to purchase them on their own.
White Cane Day was first instituted in 1930 when a Lions Club member saw a blind man walking down a busy street with a black cane. Realizing the black cane was barely visible, his club decided to paint it white to make it more easily seen by oncoming motorists.
The first special white cane ordinance was passed in Peoria, Illinois. It granted blind pedestrians protection and the right of way whenever they used a white cane.
In 1931, Lions Clubs International launched a national program to promote the use of white canes for blind people.
The Gravette Lions Club meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. at the Billy V. Hall Senior Activity and Wellness Center. The next regular club meeting will be Tuesday, September 20. Guests are always welcome. Lunch is available.