First Lehigh Valley Night4Sight Honors Area Lions, Highlights Personal Triumphs

October 18, 2018

The Center for Vision Loss honored the Lions Clubs of Lehigh and Northampton counties and a Paralympic champion inspired agency supporters tonight during the first Lehigh Valley Night4Sight event, presented by ESSA Bank & Trust.

The Center for Vision Loss presented its 2018 Accessibility Champion Award to Pennsylvania Lions District 14-K and its member clubs for starting the movement to serve the blind and visually impaired in Lehigh and Northampton counties and for more than 90 years of leadership and support. Called to action by a speech by iconic activist Helen Keller, area Lions formed branches of the Pennsylvania Association of the Blind in both Lehigh and Northampton counties in 1928. Those organizations evolved throughout the 20th century and consolidated in 2010 to form the present-day organization.

Four-time U.S. Paralympian and 1992 Gold Medalist Pam McGonigle shared her unique story of overcoming adversity. McGonigle, who lives in Ardmore, PA, was born with albinism – a condition that prevents a person’s retina from developing fully – and cataracts. After her 1992 win in the 3,000-meter run, McGonigle competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Paralympics. She is the adopted mother of a boy who was born with albinism in China and she is the Director of Development for the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes.

Held at Lehigh University’s Iacocca Conference Center, Lehigh Valley Night4Sight also included dinner, silent auction, and the musical stylings of award-winning guitarist Frank Porter. The evening’s theme of personal triumph was inspired by the agency’s mission statement – to enable personal triumphs over visual impairments – which was adopted in July. The agency honored the Lions Clubs because they helped spark that mission decades before and chose Pam McGonigle to speak because her story of personal triumph embodies its spirit.

Lehigh Valley Night4Sight benefited the Center for Vision Loss and its programs. The event’s proceeds exceeded those of the agency’s fall 2017 dinner event by more than 60 percent. Additional 2018 Lehigh Valley Night4Sight sponsors included the following:

Champion Sponsor: Lehigh Eye Specialists.

Gold Sponsors: ASR Media Productions, Gerhart & Associates, Gross McGinley Attorneys at Law, Inova Technologies.

Silver Sponsors: Buckno Lisicky & Company; Easton Coach Company; Fox Optical & Gallery; Lang Faylor Chomo & Company; UGI; Mike and Mila Wambaugh, in memory of Joyce Wambaugh.

Bronze Sponsors: A Definite Edge Management Consulting, Advanced Family Eye Care, J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, Elite Sealcoating, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, HMK Insurance, Legend of Allentown, RLB Accountants, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Ed and Rosalie Vogrins, Doug and Andrea Yingling.

Associate Sponsors: Pauline Giba, Britt Harris, Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind, John Sagi, Wegmans Bethlehem, Dennis Zehner and Family.

Print Sponsor: EBC Printing.

The Center for Vision Loss is the only organization dedicated to the visual well-being of everyone in Lehigh, Northampton, and Monroe counties and is the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind’s (PAB) only accredited service provider in these communities. Its nonprofit mission is to enable personal triumphs over visual impairments, and its guiding principle is that vision loss should never be a barrier to achievement, independence, dignity, and hope. The agency delivers support, skills education, and rehabilitation services at little or no cost for people with vision loss, provides free vision screenings for children, and promotes visual health and safety. Impact on vision loss clients reflects in their abilities to live independently and improve their capabilities. Impact upon communities at large reflects in the numbers of children who receive free vision screenings and the number of people reached by agency’s education programs and outreach appearances.

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