Lions continue commitment to be ‘knights of the blind’

At right, Lions Club Regional Eye Care Committee Administrator Stanley Schmidt shows Waterloo Lions Club member Sue Sweet how to use the new PediaVision camera as 6-year-old Mason Slope is screened during a visit to Zahnow Elementary on Jan. 15. Holding Mason is his grandfather, Lions Club member Dale Haudrich. (Paul DeBourge photo)

With research showing as many as one in four school-aged children suffering from vision problems, the Waterloo Lions are doing their part locally to keep up with the club’s national commitment based on a request by Helen Keller in the 1920’s to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

Thanks to a $500 donation by the Waterloo Lions, along with other similar contributions from other area clubs, the Lions Club Regional Eye Care Committee recently purchased new PediaVision screening equipment, which is a digital camera and computer in one device.

The device uses an infrared camera to take digital photographs of children’s eyes from just more than one yard away. The photograph is then analyzed by the corresponding computer system, and “pass” or “refer” results can be printed and given to the child’s parent.

For the Waterloo Lions Club’s support of this new device, regional eye care committee administrator Stanley Schmidt of Okawville brought the PediVision device to Zahnow Elementary last Tuesday, providing free vision screening for young students.

The PediaVision screening equipment can identify the six most common vision issues associated with school-age children, including nearsightedness, unequal pupil size, blurred vision and farsightedness.

“These are things most people can’t notice without a machine,” Schmidt said. “If detected very early, most of these problems can be cured.”

Already, Schmidt said the PediaVision device was able to detect a little girl in the area with an eye tumor.

“We want to put our efforts to youngsters and help them early,” he said.

For more information on the Waterloo Lions Club and its mission, email

Print Friendly, PDF & Email