Riding in the Crusade Against Darkness: Ride for Sight

June 4 2019
by Katie Phillips

At the Lions International Convention of 1925, Helen Keller challenged members to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Today, Lions are known worldwide for their support of vision services.

Members of the Schoeneck area lions club posing with the Leshers' grandon

(The Schoeneck Area Lions: Walter Lesher, Jr.; John Clair; and Michael Arment, Sr.; top row. Joyce Imhoff, Sharon Lesher, Earl Enck, and Sherry Arment, second row. Michael Arment, Jr., front) The Lesher’s 10-year-old grandson, Michael, has been following in their footsteps all his life. “We made him a Cub!” Sharon said. “Volunteering with your grandchildren teaches them the value of service to others.” In addition to helping with the Ride for Sight, Michael created a fundraising project selling bracelets to combat bullying and help children who have cancer.

Schoeneck Area Lions Walter “Bosh” Lesher and his wife Sharon are from Denver, PA. They share the passion of knights crusading against darkness, but they ride a very different breed of steed: motorcycles! For the past 30 years, they have supported vision services by organizing an annual Ride for Sight to benefit VisionCorps and the Lebanon Sight Committee.

There is a lot involved in putting on an event of this kind. “As soon as you finish one year, you have to immediately start on next year’s,” Walter said.

“I always tell people we practically get divorced every year arguing over what we want to do for this event,” Sharon joked. “But then we get back together and do it all over again!”

“The best part is when you present the check, and know how much you’re helping people,” Walter said. He also served on the board that helped establish the VisionCorps branch in Lebanon.

“When you volunteer, you meet those who are a lot worse off than you are,” Sharon said. “They’re so grateful that you cared enough to help.” She wishes more people would do so. “It brings you inner peace to know you’ve done something to make someone’s life better,” she said.

The Lesher’s life of service has helped to make it possible for countless numbers of people who are blind or visually impaired to get the help they need, and that is invaluable.

Participants line up in preparation to ride in a past Ride for Sight.

Participants line up in preparation to ride in a past Ride for Sight.

The value of vision services was brought close to home when their son Troy developed an “instant cataract” in one eye. He was only 44 at the time. Corrective surgery caused temporary damage to his vision, and he sought VisionCorps’ assistance to get the help he needed.

This year’s Ride for Sight event will be the last organized by the Leshers. It looks to be a smashing success and a great way to kick off Father’s Day weekend. The Leshers invite you to come have some fun and help support VisionCorps and the Lebanon Sight Committee.

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