Special Olympics Volunteers Needed

Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes Program Coming June 7 & 8!

Volunteers Needed   

Last year was the nineteenth year that optometry was represented at the Illinois State Special Olympic Games held in Bloomington/Normal in June.  326 athletes were appraised at the event, and 167 pieces of eyewear were prescribed, whether it be an everyday Rx, or a sports goggle.  The event was a great success for both the athletes who participated and the volunteers who made it run so smoothly!!  

This year we will be doing it again, and we need your help!  We had 8 optometrists, 4 opticians/ophthalmic techs, and 10 Illinois College of Optometry students volunteering last year.  We also had a great turn-out of LIONS club volunteers in 2018, with 18 members participating in our screening.  This year we need you! Of particular need are volunteers for Saturday, since it is a full day of screening. Bring your family, friends, and staff and make it a group activity!!  We are always in need of opticians and optical technicians as well!  

The Special Olympics is an international program of year-round sports and athletic competitions for children and adults with mental retardation.  All of the athletes must be at least eight years old to participate.  The goal of the Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes Program is to bring quality vision care to this special population.  Our vision appraisal consists of visual acuity testing, cover test, extraocular motility testing, pupils, color vision, stereopsis, non-contact tonometry, slit lamp evaluation, and ophthalmoscopy.  If the athlete is determined to need glasses, they are given a full refraction with subjective testing.  Afterwards all athletes are referred to their local optometrists for full vision examinations, including dilations.  

This year's event will take place on the Illinois State College Campus in Bloomington/Normal on Friday, June 7 from 12:00 - 5:00 pm, and Saturday, June 8 from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.  Friends, family, and optometric staff (especially opticians) are encouraged to participate.  Please help us in making this year's SOOE program as successful as the past nineteen years have been!!  If you have any questions, please contact Christine Allison, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D. at (312) 949-7336.  You will receive more information as the event draws near, once you have signed up.  You may also e-mail any questions to: callison@ico.edu     

If you would like to take part in this rewarding experience in June, please fill out this form by May 20 and mail or e-mail to the address below.  

Also, in addition to sending in this form, or e-mailing to me directly, the Special Olympics has initiated a new online volunteer system.  If possible, please ALSO register online via this link http://cerv.is/m?0117x3307. You will then click on "Summer Games Healthy Athletes" event. This takes you to the event page where you will then scroll to the bottom of that page and click the "Click Here to Register" button.  If you have any difficulties or questions with this system, please feel free to contact Carolyn Klocek at cklocek@soill.org, or P: 920-988-2838.    

Christine Allison, O.D.
Illinois Eye Institute