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.

Just Posted

Coquitlam Express finally get a road win at Chilliwack

Dallas Farrell had two points including the game-winning goal in a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.

Delapidated houses on Henderson get demolition deadline

Property owner has to fence off and then demolish Chilliwack downtown properties within 30 days

Harrison country singer teaches kids to ‘follow your heart’

Todd Richard will be performing his song ‘Follow Your Heart’ for students on Feb. 1

Offender reintegration program gets $1.23 million in federal funding

Abbotsford-based No One Leaves Alone project also serves Mission, Chilliwack and Langley

Lucas Mannes comes home, leading Calgary Dinos against UFV Cascades

The Canada West scoreboard tracks Chilliwackians playing in the university basketball ranks.

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

Inmate claims denial of her request for kosher diet violates Section 8 of the Human Rights Code

Most Read