A picture from the 61st Annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast.

Two important dates are coming up – March 17 and May 1.

On Saturday, March 17 the Santa Monica Lions will be providing free adult eye exams during our 4th Annual Lions Eyes Across California. The eye screening event will be moving back to Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue in Santa Monica from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The free event includes, eye exams, blood pressure, and hearing tests for any adult and there is no need for insurance. People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

The SM Lions will also be collecting any used eyeglasses, sunglasses, even empty frames, along with used hearing aids on 3/17. This is the perfect time to go through drawers and see what you have that can be reconditioned and used by someone in need. If you have any questions regarding the Lions Eyes Across California event, please contact Linda Levee at 310-472-0530 or levelheadedlinda@yahoo.com.

The other important date coming up is the deadline for grants from the SM Lions Club, which is Tuesday, May 1st. Grants range in size from $500 – $2000 and are open to nonprofits that serve Santa Monica and the Westside. For complete information and the guidelines, please go to http://bit.ly/lionsgrants. This page of our website will not only provide you with the guidelines, but you can also download the application that must accompany your request. Please make sure you include ALL documentation to be considered. Your support of our annual pancake breakfast makes these grants possible and we love supporting our community! Please take the time to apply. If you have questions about grant applications, please contact Susan DeRemer at (310) 442-9513 or santamonicalion@gmail.com.

One of the many benefits of being a Lion, beyond service to the community through eye exams and funding local service organizations, is the chance to build your leadership skills. Through regional, national and even international, opportunities, our members can receive professional leadership training. Coming up March 10-12 in Ontario is our District 4 Leadership Conference with instructors from throughout the state of California. This 2-1/2-day conference is one of two offered in the state, to accommodate people’s busy schedules. Topics range from SMART planning, managing volunteers, public relations & marketing, fundraising, public speaking and a variety of other skills that can be used as a Lion or in your professional career. As Lions, we work to support people that want to make the world a better place, through Lions or their individual efforts. For more information about becoming a Lion, contact Kingsley Fife at (310) 454-2960.

Susan DeRemer is part of the Global Leadership Team, District 4-L3