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Reading Machines

Low Vision Viewers – aka “Reading Machines”

Are you one of the more than 3 million American adults over the age of 40 that The National Eye Institute estimates has vision loss? This condition can be the result of eye disease or medical conditions including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Refractive Errors

One reading aid that often can help people with any of these conditions is the use of a Low Vision Viewer machine to assist with the following:

  • Reading books and newspapers
  • Reading recipes and calendars
  • Reading labels on small objects or medicine bottles
  • Viewing pictures
  • Viewing images on your phone or tablet
  • Writing letters and checks

These machines are also called CCTVs (Closed Circuit TV) or Electronic Video Magnifiers.  They are easy to use tabletop devices display a magnified image of the material to be read onto a monitor with an adjustable magnification range of from 3 times to 60 times.  Depending on how the reader’s vision is affected, they might also benefit from one of the optional viewing modes.  These modes range from full color, reading mode with high contrast black and white, reverse reading mode with white letters on a black background to a contrast color mode like blue foreground and yellow background.

The Elburn Lions Club has placed our machines at the Elburn Town & Country Public Library, The Meadows Apartments for Seniors in their library and at homes across the Kaneland area.


For more information contact us.



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District 1J and Lions International Contributions

The Elburn Lions Club serves in many different ways. Some of the programs we support are through Lions International. The Elburn Lions Club is in District 1J. Districts are defined by clubs in a certain geographic area. We also participate in Lions of Illinois Foundation programs.

For more information on Lions International go to

For more information on District 1J go to

For more information on Lions of Illinois Foundation go to

Here are a few programs that we currently participate in or make donations to:

Lions International Programs

Prevent Blindness, Saving Sight for Millions of People Around the World

Since Lions Clubs International was founded in 1917, Lions have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Indeed, sight is one of Lions defining causes. Through professional training, healthcare system development and wide spread drug treatment distribution, Lions have gained worldwide recognition for their work to improve sight and prevent blindness. Lions around the world are also actively involved in:

  • Supporting Lions Eye Banks that provide eye tissue for sight-saving surgeries.
  • Screening the vision of hundreds of thousands of people every year.
  • Preventing blindness by providing treatment to those at risk of losing their vision.

Recreational Camps

Lions proudly support recreational camps that are customized to meet the special needs of children and adults who are blind or who have severe vision loss. With input from experts – physicians, departments and ministries of health and local foundations – Lions have organized recreational camps to give these individuals the unique experience of camping. 

Vision Screenings

A vision screening is performed to identify possible vision problems.  Lions partner with eye care professionals to carry out joint screening events.  Click here to learn more about Elburn Lions program and dates.

Lions Recycle For Sight

In just about any home, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life.

That’s why the Lions started the Recycle For Sight program. Everyone can help.

Throughout the year, Lions, Leos and other volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers (LERCs). LERC volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low and middle income communities where they will have the greatest impact.

Eyeglass Recycling – How You Can Help

If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them now. Lions accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children’s glasses are especially needed.   Click here to learn more about Elburn Lion’s program and drop off locations.

Lions Clubs International Foundation – Sight Programs

In addition to all of the programs mentioned above, Lions Clubs International Foundation supports several large-scale partnership initiatives, research opportunities and grant programs that aid the Lions in their sight saving efforts

Lions of Illinois Foundation

Candy Days

Lions and volunteers will be visible throughout the community in October for Candy Day! Lions will be giving away rolls of candy and accepting monetary contributions to be used in helping the visually and hearing impaired. It is almost impossible for those who can see and hear normally to fully understand what it is like to be visually or hearing impaired, but they can help through their support of Candy Day.

People can show their support by giving generously, helping underwrite the price of a case of candy, or volunteering for a few hours on Candy Day. Persons wishing to join the Lions in their fight against the effects of vision and hearing loss should contact the local Lions Club or the Lions of Illinois Foundation.

Camp Lions of Illinois for Blind/Low Vision & Deaf/Hard of Hearing Youth

Camp Locations:

In Northern Illinois – Camp Henry Horner, Ingleside, Illinois

Campers can take advantage of Wooster Lake for swimming, paddleboat’s, fishing, canoeing, and a beach party! Camp Lions Henry Horner also offers walking trails, challenging teams sports games, high rope courses, rock wall climbs, zip line, arts & crafts, a swimming pool, campfires and S’ mores!

In Central Illinois – East Bay Camp, Hudson, Illinois

Located on the northeast end of Lake Bloomington, this site offers canoeing, pontoon boat rides, archery, team challenge courses, nature crafts, cookouts around the fire, a dance and so much fun it is hard to imagine. Top it off with a beach party and camp talent show and you have it all!

In Southern Illinois – Camp Cedar Point/Camp Manitowa, in Benton, Illinois

This campsite is in the heart of the Rend Lake recreational area. Water sports, fishing, high ropes challenges, ga-ga ball, basketball, beeper & baseball, archery, swimming, boating, tubing, fishing, arts & crafts, cookouts and s’ mores, and talent night to top it off!

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Elburns Lions for Literacy

In 2012, Lions Clubs International announced a new partnership aimed at promoting literacy around the world.

The Elburn Lions took the initiative seriously and started “Elburn Lions for Literacy” program. We collect gently used and new books which are then disbursed to individuals in the surrounding communities that have a need. The school district provides the age and gender of students that have a need and the Elburn Lions provide the books. All recipients are anonymous and the program is designed to retain confidentiality for all parties involved.

The Elburn Lions also partnered with the local libraries to help us better understand the literacy needs on our community. The librarians and Kaneland School District 302 staff work side by side with us to pair the correct book to the correct person based on their age, reading level and interests.

Our club has collected tens of thousands of books over the years and given away close to 15,000 books in a short time span. We will continue to promote reading and work hard at combating illiteracy in our community. It is the privilege of the Elburn Lions Club to take action and promote literacy here in our own community!

Contact us today to help us out, make a donation or get more information on the Elburn Lions for Literacy program.

For More information

To help us, or for more information, please contact Committee Chairman, Lion Joe Kryszak at

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Recycle Eyeglasses

Through Recycle for Sight, Elburn Lions collect new and gently used eyeglasses sunglasses, hearing aids and cell phones and cell phone chargers.  We have collection boxes to deposit them at the following Elburn locations:

  • Town and Country Public Library – 320 East North Street
  • Eyes on Elburn – 135 S Main Street – Dr. Keith Hougas
  • Old Second Bank – in their entrance way -749 North Main Street
  • First Midwest Bank – by the forms desk – 930 North Main Street
  • American Bank – in their entrance way – 8 South Main Street
  • Dave’s Barbershop – 112 North Main Street
  • Elburn Lions Park – 500 S Filmore

Once collected the glasses are then shipped to the nearest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, where volunteers sort the glasses, clean them and determine their prescription strength. After carefully packaging the refurbished spectacles, Lions store them until they can be distributed, usually through humanitarian missions to developing nations.

Lion volunteers and eye care professionals screen thousands of children and adults during sight missions, providing them—free of charge—with prescription lenses, frames and ultimately a better quality of life. Lions also provide recycled glasses to nonprofit organizations focused on eye care, as well as to optometry college groups, religious organizations and military assistance groups, which also distribute to people in need.

For more information on this program click here.

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Community Service

Elburn Lions Club is a community service organization – our goals are to improve the community and help those less fortunate than us. As a member of Lions International, we strive to aid those who are visually or hearing impaired. However, we also provide a wide variety of other services to our community, and support many charitable causes around the world.

Below is a list of charities and charitable causes the Elburn Lions Club and Elburn Leo Club have supported over the years:

  • Elburn Food Pantry
  • Sugar Grove Food Pantry
  • CASA
  • Northern Illinois Conference for Parents with Visually Impaired Children
  • Jason’s Journey
  • Japanese Tsunami Relief
  • Chuck & Mary Liss Benefit
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
  • Bill Callaghan Memorial Scholarships
  • 4 Paws for Ability
  • Big Kahuna Classic Mark Southern Memorial Scholarship
  • Living Well Cancer Resource Center
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • American Dream Flight
  • Steve & Carol Herra Benefit
  • Sight First II
  • Shelby Edwards Benefit
  • Eye Machines and Eye Glasses
  • Lazarus House
  • Tornado Relief in Joplin, MO and Chatham, OK
  • American Lung Association
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FREE Spot Vision Screenings

The Elburn Lions now has this amazing Spot Vision Eye Screening machine!


This is an amazing photo refractor by Pediavision! Light weight, portable and quite, user friendly, the “Spot” is similar to other products on the market, but excels because it uses a different and fresh approach to create usable results. It is an excellent addendum to any eye

Care professional quiver. Designed for a pediatric patient whose movement is fleeting, the  “Spot” calculates the refractive and ocular alignment status of any child within a few seconds. Spot is a breakthrough devise that quickly and easily detects vision issues across all age groups. Spot helps ensure children have an opportunity to reach their full potential. Undetected vision disorders can significantly handicap a child’s potential.

Spot provides reliable data in seconds; a one page summary includes the vision assessment and screening results.

What Spot Sees:

Spot is powered by sophisticated technology and quickly detects the indication of the following vision issues:

  • Near-sightedness (myopia)
  • Far sightedness (hyperopia)
  • Unequal refractive power (anisometropia)
  • Blurred Vision
  • Eye structure problem (astigmatism)
  • Pupil size deviations (anisocoria)
  • Eye misalignment (strabismus)

In seconds, Spot provides a comprehensive, reliable analysis that enables informed decision making about the need for follow up diagnosis.


There is no charge to take advantage of our vision screening services. Check our event calendar for future availability.

For more information, contact us.

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