Apple butter for the blind
The Lions Club members cooked the apple butter using a kettle older than most of the members in attendance. The sweet smell of the kettle-cooked apple butter filled the streets around Newland and invited locals to stop by and have a taste of tradition.
Selling cases of apple butter is just one of many ways that Avery Lions Club raises money for local community projects. Avery Lions are known for making chicken and dumplings as well as several other similar fundraisers in Avery County.
A majority of the funds raised by the Lions in some way helps the blind and vision impaired. During the early days of the Lions Club, Helen Keller, who had been blind and deaf since the age of 18, challenged the club to become the “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” The Lions accepted this challenge and now are involved in thousands of sight-related service projects around the world.
Thanks to fundraisers like apple butter production, Lions Club is able to use the Vision Van. The Vision Van is a mobile eye examining unit used in areas where people cannot afford proper eye care. A certified doctor is on the van and provides screens to those who need them. The Lions also funds a new technology to test young children’s eyes. The technology is being used in an attempt to prevent eye problems later in life.
Another project sponsored by the Lions is collecting slightly used glasses. The Lions set up collection boxes at places like eye doctor offices. Collected glasses are repaired by the Lions and sent to Third World countries. This program is used strictly as an international program because the Lions are not allowed to redistribute used frames in the United States.
Avery Lions Club has also stepped up during local crises. When natural disasters strike Avery County, Lions Club is among the first to respond. The Lions Club provides food and necessities for local families that are victims of natural disasters like floods.
For more information on Avery County Lions Club, attend one of its meetings at 2, 4 or 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Louise’s Rock House in Linville Falls.