Club does much more than help the visually impaired

Photo courtesy Lions Club
Morgan Hill Lions Club members hand out back packs to members of the community.

By Donna Lane

The Morgan Hill Lions Club is more than just a group of dedicated people who aim to help the visually impaired. They also make a point of helping the community in a variety of other ways. Two recent events showed the nonprofit’s commitment and creativity to their neighbors.

Just before the 2019 school year began, a handful of MHLC members helped stuff backpacks with supplies for students in need. This was part of a larger effort, which resulted in a total of 1,700 backpacks stuffed and delivered. Five members of the MHLC stuffed 40 backpacks, delivering 20 to Martin Murphy Middle School and 20 to Britton Middle School.

MHLC member Joe Morris said the backpacks included school supplies such as lined paper, folders, and a pouch with items like erasers. Additionally, each backpack included oral hygiene items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Over Labor Day weekend, the MHLC cooked breakfast for participants in an annual horse camp, led by longtime member Lon Davis. The TDP Horse Camp is in its 19th year and mainly serves foster children, between the ages of 8 and 12.

Formally known as the Teri Davis Patane Memorial Horse Camp for Kids, the TDP Horse Camp provides a special outlet for children who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to ride. Patane, the daughter of Lon Davis, loved the idea of teaching kids to ride. After she succumbed to systemic lupus in 2000, the horse camp was established in her name.

The week before Labor Day, the camp is held after school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Then participants stay for the weekend, heading home on Monday. They learn riding skills and chores like picking up manure or brushing and feeding the horses. The event concludes with trail riding. The Lions are delighted to come in on the weekend and cook a hot, hearty breakfast for these children who learn skills that endure long after the camp concludes.

Donna Lane

Donna Lane is a storyteller and San Jose native who earned her journalism degree at San Francisco State University. She lives in Gilroy with her family, who inspire her to celebrate life each day.
Donna Lane