While the Cracklin Festival is a lot of fun, it has a very serious purpose.
The Port Barre Lions Club uses funds raised by the Cracklin Festival and other smaller events to support the mission of a number of worthwhile causes. Your attendance to the Cracklin Festival helps us help these causes. We would like to highlight two of those organizations here.
Louisiana Lions Camp
In 1957 the Louisiana Lions Clubs Multiple District 8 (MD-8) charted the Louisiana Lions League for Crippled Children, Inc. with the purpose to design, build and operate the Louisiana Lions Camp for Crippled Children.
Construction of the camp began soon afterwards on 100 acres of wooded property donated by Lions Club of Leesville, LA. The camp opened 1961 and is still located on this beautiful property in Northwest Vernon Parish.
Shortly after opening, camps for children with mental disabilities were added. Later on in 1989, camps for children with diabetes and pulmonary disorders were added as well.
Accredited by the American Camp Association, all of the facilities at the Louisiana Lions Camp are specially designed for the campers they serve. It is because of this thoughtful design that the camp allows children with disabilities to have the same great summer camp experience that other children typically enjoy.
Recognized recently by Lion Magazine, the camp typically servers over 500 Louisiana children per summer, at no cost to the camper or their families. Lion Clubs throughout Louisiana work hard all year to help cover all of the costs to operate the camp.
Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation
Founded in 1974, the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation is yet another example of how Lions continually strive to be "Knights of the Blind" as commissioned by Helen Keller way back in 1925.
With humble beginnings in a 500 square foot medical clinic, the Foundation was able to assist 85 patients in their first 6 months of operation. Later in 1986, the Foundation partnered with the LSU Health Sciences Department of Ophthalmology to build the 50,000 square foot state of the art Lions-LSU Eye Care facility in New Orleans. The facility at 2020 Gravier Street houses the Foundation's main offices and the LSU Health Sciences Center Department of Ophthalmology.
From the Headquarters in New Orleans and from satellite offices across Louisiana, the Foundation carries out the Lion's mission of improving the quality of life for Louisiana residents, through advanced eye care services.
With support from the Lions Clubs of Louisiana, the Foundation is able to help approximately 50 patients per month with sight restoring surgeries. The Foundation also serves thousands of Louisiana residents each year through eye exams, eyeglasses, and low vision services.
Through the CubSight Program of early vision screening, the Foundation typically screens more 28,000 Louisiana children each year. Of this number, a little over 7% of these children are referred for further testing. Thanks to CubSight and other efforts, the Foundation helps more 150 children annually receive treatment that either saves or restores their sight.
Since the beginning, the Foundation has worked to support the research and development goals of LSU Health Sciences Department of Ophthalmology. Many procedures, products, and techniques used by eye care professionals today owe part of their existence to work done by LSU and supported by the Foundation. Research supported by the Foundation continues to this day to help provide a better, brighter tomorrow to all.
Through your support of the Cracklin Festival and the Port Barre Lions Club, you help us continue our mission as "Knights of the Blind".
A collection of links to other organizations the Port Barre Lions Club is either affiliated with or supports.
Lions Club International - The parent organization of the Lions Club.
Louisiana Lions Club Multiple District 8 - The statewide association of Lions Clubs.
Leader Dogs for the Blind - Providing service animals for the blind, deaf-blind, and visually impaired.