The Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund (MLERF) has awarded its Sight Award in tandem to Marie and John Veilleux of the Amesbury Lions Club for 2020-2021. The William T. Murphy Sight Award, named for Murphy’s nearly 30 years of dedication to MLERF, recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding and dedicated service to furthering the cause of eye research.
MLERF was formed in October 1951, dedicating itself to funding research and today has a long and fruitful partnership with many of the leading eye research centers throughout the world. Such includes Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston Medical, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Joslin Clinic, Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, and many more. Over its 70 years of existence, MLERF has awarded research grants in excess of 39 million dollars. MLERF helps researchers transform today’s ideas into tomorrow’s cures.
Together the Veilleux’s have been very active participants in the Lions Journey for Sight Annual Walk to raise funds for research, Pennies for Sight collections, Eyeglass Reclamation, coordinating Club Memorials and Honorariums to MLERF, cheerleading individual donations to MLERF, shepherd regularly the Club’s blind member, and more. Approved for the Award by the MLERF Executive Board, the Veilleux’s received their Sight Award and corresponding Pins at the Amesbury Lions Club Annual Holiday Party on December 14th and were presented by Lions PDG Joni Baptiste.
Both of the Veilleux’s are officers/directors of the Amesbury Lions and have served as Lions within the Amesbury community for more years than they would like to count. Both take Helen Keller’s words to Lions International of 1925 to heart, ““Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided?” They are what Keller asked the Lions to be then and now, “knights of the blind in this crusade against darkness.”