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Lions host blind leader

May 21, 2007

The West Hagerstown Lions Club hosted the District 22W Leader Dog Banquet on April 24.

The guest speaker was Mike Cox, a representative of Leader Dogs for the Blind. The program breeds, raises and trains dogs to lead the blind. Cox, who has been blind since 1962, and his dog, Ace, travel the country to inform the public of the program.

Cox explained how technology has improved for the blind. The program provides students with room, board and computer training for two weeks. Students also receive mobility training with a cane for one week.

Students are introduced to "Tracks," a GPS device that allows them to travel from place to place. There is also a digital device that allows them to read labels and currency. Included is a multilingual program for the deaf and blind.

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People from all over the world come to the United States to learn about the program.

This training is provided by Lions Clubs. Multiple District 22W is the only Lions Club district that holds rallies like the banquet, when clubs donate money for the Leader Dog program.

Upcoming activities for West Hagerstown Lions Club are:

· Tonight - Scholarship Night. Three high school seniors will receive scholarships.

· June 4 - 27th Charter Night at Washington Square Methodist Church. There will be a luau theme for the event, and attendees are encouraged to dress in Hawaiian attire.

· June 9-10 - Food stand for Railroad Heritage Days at the Roundhouse Museum on Burhans Boulevard.

· June 18 - Installation Night for 2007-08 officers. Installing officer will be Gary "Buck" Fisher.

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