Gudrun Yngvadottir, second vice president with Lions Club International, speaks during an announcement at the regional eye centre at Chilliwack General Hospital on Tuesday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack Lions wrap up stellar eye centre campaign

Chilliwack Lions poured 2,000 volunteer hours into raising $600,000 for CGH

All across the world, Lions Clubs have been working diligently on Centennial Legacy Projects to mark the club’s 100th anniversary.

They’re big projects that seek to “share the vision.” But none were as big as Chilliwack’s clubs’ efforts to upgrade the hospital’s eye centre by raising $600,000.

It took them 11 months, 2,000 volunteer hours, and 79 community presentations, said Dave Mackintosh, chair of the Centennial Legacy Project. The Mount Cheam and Stellar’s Jay Lions Clubs worked together to raise the money, and in the process they earned the attention of Lions International.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony held Tuesday at Chilliwack General Hospital, the 2nd VP of Lions International spoke of the immense efforts taken by the local clubs.

“This is the biggest legacy project I have witnessed, and I’ve traveled the world,” said Gudrun Yngvadottir. “This is the most amazing thing I have seen.”

She traveled from Iceland with her husband to be at the ribbon cutting, and a special dinner was held Tuesday evening to celebrate the achievement. Yngvadottir noted that the project would be introduced at an upcoming Lions conference in Chicago.

“You really embraced this idea,” she told the crowd. “One little idea and such a big project. It’s important a project like this is visible.”

Several ophthalmologists work out of the Chilliwack Eye Centre, which is now called the Mount Cheam Lions Eye Care Centre. Likewise, the operating room inside the centre is now the Stellar Jay Lions Club Procedure Room.

“I feel like a kid on Christmas,” said Dr. David Heinrichs, one of the ophthalmologists who work in the eye centre. “On behalf of all us, thank you. This will greatly assist us.”

In one year, the centre will treat 5,000 people. So having this new, state-of-the-art equipment will ensure those patients are getting the highest level of eye care, he noted.

“I never doubted you for a minute,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “Your club is so valuable to our community.”

“Why does this matter?” she asked. “Think of the 5,000 people who will come here this year. They would be blind. This is what goodness looks like and I thank you all.”

Gaetz was among many dignitaries and executives who joined the Lions members and hospital staff at the ceremony. The money raised has purchased two new phacoemulsification systems. The centre has also been improved visually with the addition of large murals, created by artist Dean Lauze.

Liz Harris, executive director of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation called the Lions’ efforts “a fast paced campaign from the start.”

“We are so impressed with the tenacity and commitment of the local Lions Club,” she said. “This campaign has been a testament to the community of Chilliwack and their dedication to Chilliwack General Hospital.”

She added the foundation hopes the Lions have inspired others to find ways to give to the hospital. A list of items needed is available at www.fvhcf.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Highway 1 single vehicle rollover west of Lickman Road on Oct. 30, 2020, at 7:45 a.m.
Highway 1 west of Chilliwack saw single-vehicle rollover

The crash west of Lickman Road slowed down traffic Friday morning

Photo courtesy of Correctional Service of Canada.
Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder escapes Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Pre-registration required for the drive-in 2020 flu immunization clinics at Chilliwack Heritage Park on Nov. 3 and 4, and Nov. 9 and 10. (Chilliwack Division of Family Practice)
First ever drive-in flu shot clinics coming to Chilliwack next week

Roll up your sleeve, drive inside the barn at Heritage Park, and park for a few minutes to get shot

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks Thursday (Oct. 29) during a news conference held at Fraser Health office, in video posted to Facebook. (Photo: Government of British Columbai/Facebook)
COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

Health region has about 75 per cent of B.C.’s active cases

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Most Read