Lions Club hears about state of Lions Camp for the Blind

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016

By Joe Crine
Sports Editor

Cary Vanlandingham, a member of the Calvary Lions Club and vice president of the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind at Laura S. Walker State Park, addressed the Bainbridge Lions Club last Wednesday on the current state of the camp.

“I am going to be honest with you,” Vanlandingham said in opening his comments. “We are having some financial problems and we do not have a director right now. We do have a very good building and grounds supervisor who is doing a good job of taking care of things right now at the camp.”

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Vandlingham thanked the Lions for their purchases of bricks for the camps memorial garden.

“In our memorial garden, bricks can be engraved and placed in memory of deceased Lions,” Vanlamdingham said.

Vanlandingham also gave the Lions a brief history of the camp, pointing out that it was originally started in 1972.

“In 1972, the Okefenokee Lions Club saw a need to provide recreation for the over 12,500 blind children in the state of Georgia,” Vanlandingham said. “It was decided that a one week summer camp should be held at the Laura S. Walker State Park.

“In July of 2014, other Lions Clubs in the South Georgia area requested that District Governor Don Anderson form a committee with the purpose of locating and organizing a camp for the blind in the state of Georgia.

A delegation of Lions met with Governor Jimmy Carter on Nov. 27, 1974, to secure 62 acres of land adjoining Laura S. Walker State Park.

The plans to provide a camp for the visually impaired on the site were approved. After that, the Department of Natural Resources approved the transfer of those 62 acres to the Georgia Lions and on Sept. 12, 1975, the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Incorporated was chartered as a non profit organization.