The Lions Club of Knysna has been in existence since 1974. At present they have 20 active members in the club.
The Lions biggest project is the Karoo to Coast Cycle Race. In conjunction with the Lions club of Uniondale they organize a 100km mountain bike race from Uniondale to Knysna. This race has been going for 7 years with 1300 cyclists participating last year and is now an annual event which takes place every September, and is growing at an unprecedented rate.
All the funds raised from this event are used to pay for cataract operations for anyone that cannot afford it. There are still many unnecessarily blind people in the area, who accept blindness as inevitable, and are unaware that they could have their sight restored.
Thanks to the Eye Clinic in George, an optometrist in Knysna that screens the patients and a couple of ophthalmologists that volunteer their time and expertise, we have been able to pay for 863 operations.
The Lions are aware of the fact that there are
numerous people out there that can benefit from
their offer, the only problem is finding them and
then assuring them that the operation is not all
that frightening. One can understand that the
idea must be quite daunting but their are many
wonderful success stories to tell and of course,
the best advertising is by word of mouth.
The Lions have another wonderful project; they give reconditioned prescription eye glasses to those that are in need of them. The glasses are obtained from all sources and then sent to a central depot in Johannesburg. There they are matched to prescriptions forwarded by designated optometrists. The cost of the eye check is minimal, as are the cost of the glasses.
Because of the cost, they are always looking for ways to get the glasses up to Jo'burg. They suggest that if there is ever anyone going up that way and they have space, it would be greatly appreciated. Alternatively if a courier company would be willing to donate space. There is always a backlog of glasses waiting for transportation.
The Lions also have a "collect a can" in Knysna for the Hospice, Animal Welfare or a feeding scheme up in Hornlee. With no Lions club in Plettenberg Bay they often "collect a can" supported by their members in Plett.
They also assist the Rotary Club of Knysna with their cycle race. They work in a support role as marshals - Organizing and running the watering points for the half and full marathon.
Above all this the Lions Club of Knysna have a large amount of "fellowship".