July 18, 2024

Wendell Lions Club hosts 21st annual Ride for Sight motorcycle run

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Jake Sias

Grant County Herald

Motorcyclists and community members are gearing up for the 21st annual Ride for Sight motorcycle run in Wendell on Saturday, July 13, organized by the Wendell Lions Club. This event aims to raise funds for essential eye care initiatives, including the Lion’s Eye Sight Project, the Lions Gift of Sight, and Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Registration for the ride begins at 11 a.m. at the Wendell Community Hall. Participants will embark on their journey at noon, returning between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. A meal will be provided at the community hall upon their return, followed by a series of drawings. Overnight camping is available for those who wish to stay. A minimum donation of $30 per bike and $25 per rider is requested. Early registration can be arranged by contacting Daryl Jensen at 218-458-2207, Randy Zens at 218-770-2911, or Deb Lacey at 701-640-9806.

The Lions Gift of Sight, one of the event’s beneficiaries, plays a critical role in eye care. This comprehensive eye bank provides donor eyes for cornea transplants and supports research and education. The cornea, the eye’s outermost layer, can become cloudy or scarred, leading to poor vision or blindness. Corneal transplantation, which involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea, has a success rate of over 97% in restoring vision.

In 2020, U.S. eye banks provided 66,278 corneas for transplant, with more than 2 million people worldwide having had their sight restored through this procedure since 1961. The Lions Gift of Sight also contributes to international efforts, addressing the needs of the 12 million cornea-blind individuals globally.

Eye donation is vital as there is no substitute for human tissue. Anyone can be a donor, regardless of age, eye color, or eyesight quality. Donated eyes are evaluated based on strict medical standards set by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and the FDA. The process ensures that only safe and suitable corneas are used for transplantation.

Following the motorcycle run, attendees can enjoy a street dance featuring the band Varsity Rejects, along with beer gardens and a food stand outside the community hall.

The Ride for Sight event not only offers a day of camaraderie and entertainment, but also supports crucial initiatives in eye care and research, making a significant impact on the lives of those affected by vision impairments.

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