Vurpar, Romania
Vurpar Street
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Lions in Romania

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And the steps we took
For many years we in Indiana have heard about a famous program of the Indiana Lions. They collect glasses, work with state prisons to clean and sort them, and then members of the Lions Clubs carry the glasses along on missions to remote parts of the world. Since there is a road into Vurpar, but none going out, we figured the village would qualify.

Jim Cameron
Lions Group
Jim Sack
Ron Kersten

We started calling around to learn more. A few rings later we were on the line with Jim Cameron of Syracuse, Indiana. It turns out he founded the program. It was his idea and he created the system that has brought sight to tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands around the world.

After lunch in Syracuse, Jim and his wife, Fran, decided they would propose the idea to other mission veterans. The response from their cohorts was strong, so, with the guidance of the Camerons, we began to build a plan. After a few more meetings and phone calls the Camerons had built a team of 25 dedicated Lions and five Fort Wayners to undertake the mission.

John Clester

In preparation, Ron Kersten and Jim Sack, two of the Fort Wayne volunteers, traveled to rural Urbana, Indiana in mid-July to make a presentation to the core of the Lions team. The charming community, it turned out, not only is the home of a vibrant Lion’s Club, but also Jim Cameron’s boyhood home.

Slides were shown and background information about Vurpar and Romania was given to the group. John Clester, one of the leaders of this group of Lions then reminded each of the volunteers about the ins and outs of fitting people with glasses. There was plenty of enthusiasm for the trip. The Lions were ready.

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