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New Lions Club president sets her sights on helping community

Carol White is first woman to lead Hagerstown club

August 02, 2011|By JANET HEIM | janeth@herald-mail.com
  • Carol White begins a yearlong term as the first woman president of the Hagerstown Lions Club.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

Carol White's eyesight is important to her, especially as she begins a yearlong term as the first woman president of the Hagerstown Lions Club, where her vision for the organization is coming into focus.

White joined the Hagerstown Lions Club in 2007 for the business contacts, but also found a group that does so much for the community.

She is glad the organization recently added vision screenings to two Hagerstown public preschool classes, with hopes of expanding.

"This spring was the first. We found a couple of kids who didn't know they couldn't see. That to me is huge, that we get kids early and that we've made a commitment to that," White said.

"They have to be able to see to learn."

She and her family understand the importance of vision correction. White and her husband, Robert, wear glasses and their son, Jason, who will be a senior at North Hagerstown High School in the fall, wears contacts.

As vice president and regional credit manager for The Columbia Bank, White manages the commercial credit department for the bank's three divisions. She works in the West Washington Street location in downtown Hagerstown.

White, 46, said she's been surprised to learn that many people who have medical insurance lack insurance to cover vision care.

"We spend about $10,000 a year for individuals who can't afford eye exams or eyeglasses. We do provide that service," White said of the Hagerstown Lions Club.

She said that the club donates between $25,000 and $30,000 to the community throughout the year, about $10,000 of that in college scholarships.

Other youth support includes sponsorship of a Federal Little League team and financial support to summer camps at organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Hagerstown YMCA.

The club also collects about a truckload of used eyeglasses each year, as well as hearing aids. They are sent overseas, since U.S. law does not allow them to be reused here, White said.

White jumped right in after joining the club four years ago, serving on the finance committee and as third vice president and progressing up the ranks to second and first vice president, before becoming the Hagerstown Lions Club's 89th president at their Tuesday, June 28, meeting.

The club has the distinction of never having had the same president serve more than one term.

"It makes it easier knowing it's one year," White said.

Membership in the club was opened to women in 2001, because no woman had applied for membership prior to that, White said. White is the first female to serve as the organization's president.

"I like to be different," White said.

Prior to 2001, women belonged only to the Hagerstown Lioness Club, which is sponsored by the Hagerstown Lions Club.

White is from Lonaconing, Md., near Cumberland, and graduated from Frostburg State University with an accounting degree, then earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Mount St. Mary's College.

There are four main fundraisers per year, including the breakfast, two bingos and a golf tournament. This year, the golf tournament will be held at Black Rock Golf Course on Friday, July 22 in conjunction with Discovery Station.

"My other goal is to raise the same amount of money we've been raising in a tight economy," White said.

The Hagerstown Lions Club meets every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the American Legion on Northern Avenue in Hagerstown.

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Corrections

Due to a source’s error, the version of this story that appeared in the Friday, July 29, print edition of The Herald-Mail and online  provided incorrect information about when the Hagerstown Lions Club first opened its membership to women. The Hagerstown Lions Club first opened its membership to women in 2001.

The story also gave an incorrect figure for which number president White is. White is the 89th president of the local club.

The Herald-Mail apologizes for the mistakes.

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