Lions Eyes: Across California. Courtesy photo

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the Santa Monica Pacific Palisades Lions Club will be hosting our 7th Lions Eyes Across California (LEAC), this time in partnership with the Venice Marina LAX Lions Club. The event will be Saturday, March 18th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica, adjacent to the library. We will be providing free vision screenings for adults and children, free diabetes screenings, free reading glasses and collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Vision has always been an important part of the Lions Club International (LCI) mission, starting with Helen Keller’s challenge to Lions in 1925 to become “”knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Lions met the challenge by focusing on comprehensive eye care & education, childhood vision loss, diabetic retinopathy, low vision, cataracts and trachoma. Through the years our vision services have evolved to include a grants program in 1990 named SightFirst. With a mission to strengthening eye care systems in underserved communities, grant funding provided by LCI has made considerable impact.

More than $372 million has been approved for more than 1,398 projects in 117 countries

9.6 million cataract surgeries were performed to restore sight

1,351 eye centers and training institutions were built, expanded or equipped

2.3 million professional eye care and community health workers were trained

197 million doses of Zithromax® were distributed to control trachoma and more than 955,000 trachoma surgeries were performed

325.8 million doses of Mectizan® were distributed to halt the progression of onchocerciasis

In 2015 California Lions joined together to initiate the LEAC program as a unified effort throughout the state to draw more attention to sight threatening eye diseases by providing eye screenings and collecting used eyeglasses to be recycled and distributed to low-income populations throughout California and Mexico.

The Santa Monica Pacific Palisades and Venice Marina LAX Lions Clubs are proud to be able to provide this free service to the Santa Monica community. If you are interested in learning more about other service projects our clubs support that you might like to volunteer for, please reach out to Susan at This is an excellent way to become more involved in the community, and for middle and high school students, an easy way to earn your needed community service hours.

If you are interested in possibly becoming a Lion or being our guest at dinner meeting the second Wednesday of each month at the Elks Lodge, please contact Yoriko Fisher, at or Kingsley Fife at 310-454-2960. They can email you a package of information and share more about being a Lion.   

Susan deRemer