Everything's coming up... geraniums?

Lions Club hosts planter sale May 9-11 to benefit eye care mission in Mexico

Geraniums are one way that the Detroit Lakes Lions Club raises funds for its annual eye care mission trips to Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This year's geranium fundraiser is set for May 9-11 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes. (Forum News Service photo)

Geraniums are one way that the Detroit Lakes Lions Club raises funds for its annual eye care mission trips to Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This year's geranium fundraiser is set for May 9-11 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes. (Forum News Service photo)

Lions Club volunteers from both Mexico and Minnesota help with each year's eye clinics in Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, where they typically see between 1,000-1,500 patients each year. (Submitted photo)

Lions Club volunteers from both Mexico and Minnesota help with each year's eye clinics in Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, where they typically see between 1,000-1,500 patients each year. (Submitted photo)

Mari Radke (center) shares a laugh with a Lions Club volunteer in Mazatlan as she fits a young girl with a pair of donated glasses during a recent eye care mission trip. (Submitted photo)

Mari Radke (center) shares a laugh with a Lions Club volunteer in Mazatlan as she fits a young girl with a pair of donated glasses during a recent eye care mission trip. (Submitted photo)

The Detroit Lakes Lions Club will be selling 12-inch pots of geraniums to raise funds for their annual mission trips to Mexico, where they help thousands of Mexican residents to be able to see better. (Forum News Service photo)

The Detroit Lakes Lions Club will be selling 12-inch pots of geraniums to raise funds for their annual mission trips to Mexico, where they help thousands of Mexican residents to be able to see better. (Forum News Service photo)

It's been roughly a century now since Lions Club International members first began working to develop their eye health program, designed to help prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

For the past 16 years, the Detroit Lakes Lions Club has been contributing to that mission by sending volunteers to Mazatlan, Mexico, every January, to bring free eye care to residents of those communities who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

About 10 years ago, they added Mazatlan to their itinerary, traveling down there every March to conduct similar eye clinics for the residents there. Detroit Lakes optometrist Dr. Armand Radke and his wife, Mari, have been making those annual trips since the beginning, and for the past few years, they have been joined by their son Phillip, an ophthalmologist and cosmetic surgeon — along with some of his colleagues from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota — to provide eye surgery services in addition to the vision clinics.

"We see about 1,000 people each year in Cabo San Lucas, and about 1,200 in Mazatlan," says Dr. Radke. "Of those, there are usually between 40-50 people who need surgery (at each site)."

But of course, getting all the eye care and surgical equipment necessary for those clinics down to Mexico every year costs money, so the Lions Club will once again be hosting their annual geranium fundraiser on May 9, 10 and 11 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church (1400 Corbett Road, Detroit Lakes) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

"We'll be selling 12-inch pots of geraniums from Bergen's for $25 each," Radke said, adding that those who would like to order a geranium planter in advance can contact the Radkes at 218-846-1949 or 218-234-6556 (Armand's cell phone) through Tuesday, May 7.

Lions clubs in both Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas aid the volunteers in their endeavors, through a "twin club" arrangement with the Detroit Lakes club that enables the travelers to provide eye care without the need to obtain a work visa, Radke said. 

For full article, go to: DLOnline

Source, image(s), credits & more: DLOnline | Vicki Gerdes