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Poulsbo Lions expands with evening pride

POULSBO — Known for raising vision health awareness, the Poulsbo Lions Club is now setting its sights on starting a new branch of its community service organization. Following the call to be Knights of the Blind, the Evening Pride Lions — an offshoot of the Poulsbo Noon Lions club — will hold its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9.

“We’re still part of the noon club,” said organizer and four-year Lions member Dave Risley. “We just can’t meet at noon, so we want to get together at night and allow more people to participate.”

The evening Lions chapter currently has just five members, but hopes to induct at least five more at its official kick-off. Membership chairman Dick Risley, Dave Risley’s father, said so far it is going well. The group will join the noon club in helping the community, fighting for awareness on issues including eye disease, deafness, drug and alcohol dependency and diabetes.

“We learned in the last 20 years or so that at least in the United States, diabetes is the No. 1 cause of blindness,” Dave Risley said. “It’s basically a community service organization.”

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club boasts 65 members, and is known for raising funds and being involved in charitable events, including Relay for Life, where members serve up a Sunday morning pancake breakfast, Camp LEO (a North Kitsap camp for kids with diabetes), Lions Quest drug education programs and the Bellringer Fund. Members also run the North Kitsap Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Center and contribute to the Northwest Lions Eye Bank in Seattle, which helped bring the gift of sight to people in more than 27 countries in 2005.

“We’re right at the very beginning of this thing,” Dave Risley said. “We need to get the word out so we can do bigger, better things.”

The Poulsbo Lions Club is one of 44,947 in the International Association of Lions Clubs, an organization with more than 1.4 million members worldwide. It was established in 1942.

The Lions will next host Touch-A-Truck from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 18 at Poulsbo Village and offer free vision screening. The Poulsbo Noon Lions meet at 12:15 p.m. Thursdays in the First Lutheran Church Social Hall. For directions and to RSVP for the Evening Pride Lions’ Aug. 9 meeting, e-mail info@poulsbolions.org.

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