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State Projects

Association of Blind Athletes of New Jersey

29 Newfield Street, East Orange, NJ 07017-5410
Tel: 973-673-6384 –  Fax: 973-673-0803
Mrs. Pansy King
MD-16 Chairperson: TBD

This Association became a state project in 1983. Lions provide funds that enable blind New Jersey athletes to compete in national and international “Blind Olympiads.” Funds are used to provide training facilities, transportation and other expenses involved in preparing for or participating in the games. Proven athletes help with the training of a new generation of blind athletes.

Eversight New Jersey
(Formerly: Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey)

77 Brant Avenue, Suite 100, Clark, NJ 07066
800-653-9379;  F: 973-921-1221
MD-16 Chairperson: Mike Pacala, PCC

The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey (LEBNJ) was founded in 1970 at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of Newark. Known then as the Eye Bank of New Jersey, it became the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey in 1988 when it became a Multiple District 16 Project, and in 1993, became a State project. LEBNJ serves the 14 northern and central counties of New Jersey.

On August 25, 2005, LEBNJ became a subsidiary of Midwest Eye-Banks, headquartered in Michigan. Midwest eye-banks is a nonprofit corporation that also owns and operates Illinois eye-bank and Michigan eye-bank. LEBNJ is accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA).

The mission of LEBNJ is the restoration of sight through (1) recovery, evaluation and distribution of corneal tissue for transplantation; (2) research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions; (3) public and professional education programs that support eye, organ, and tissue donation; (4) eye banking services offered at no charge when patients are unable to afford transplant procedures.

The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey operates as a 501(c)(3) public charity with a 15-member board of trustees. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, a majority of the board members must be Lions from New Jersey. Two other members of the board are from Midwest Eye-Banks, and two board members from LEBNJ serve on the Midwest board.

Lions Eye Research Foundation of New Jersey, Inc.

P.O. Box 8207, Princeton, NJ 08540
Executive Director: Melvyn Bray, ID
Tel: 609-275-1691 Fax: 609-275-5816
E-mail: Website:
State Chairperson: Melvyn Bray, PID

A fully independent, charitable organization which serves Lions Multiple District 16. It is unique in that all Lions in good standing in New Jersey are automatically members of this Foundation. The Board of Trustees is composed of five elected trustees from each of the 5 sub-districts and as well as each of the 5 current District Governors as voting Trustees of the Board. The aim of the Foundation is to raise money through individual contributions, corporate grants, Club donations and various fundraisers, and to use the money to support eye research, and to help provide necessary equipment used in the service of eye research. The current focus is to raise money for the Lions Ophthalmology Research Chair at UMDNJ. The interest from the Chair Fund will support research efforts to develop new treatments for the major causes of blindness. The Chair will not support any salaries and such incidental expenses as travel to meetings.

NOTE: LERF is not a state project but is a state sight organization founded by New Jersey Lions from all districts.

Music Association for the Visually Impaired Students of New Jersey (MAVIS)

P.O. Box 173, Woodbridge, NJ 07095-0173
Attn: Ed Tauber, President
Tel: 732-826-8216 Fax: 732-254-3795
State Chairperson: Barbara Anillo

Voted a state project at the 2005 State Convention, MAVIS is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing musical instruments and specialized music instruction to legally blind persons throughout the State. Students benefit by gaining confidence, greater independence and improved opportunities for socialization and employment.

MAVIS receives referrals from the NJ Commission for the Blind and other sources. MAVIS will then provide the student with the instrument of their choice and reimburse the student or family for the instruction received. Due to budgetary constraints, MAVIS has a backlog of people awaiting entry to the program.

New Jersey Camp for Blind Children, Inc. (Camp Marcella)

P.O. Box 85, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Tel: 973-728-9085
Michael Pacala, President
State Chairperson: Mike Pacala, PCC

The New Jersey Camp for Blind Children, commonly known as Camp Marcella, Inc., has provided a summer camping experience for blind children for over a half a century. It has grown into the premier facility it is today primarily from the support of the NJ Lions. A two week camping experience is provided each summer for visually impaired children ranging in age from 5 through 16. Activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, skating, bicycle riding, basketball, bowling and arts and crafts are provided. In addition, a computer facility and a library are also available for the campers’ use.

St. Joseph’s School for the Blind

761 Summit Ave, Jersey City , NJ 07307
Tel: 201-876-5432 Ext. 112
David Feinhals, Executive Director
State Chairperson: Winster Ceballos, PCC

St. Joseph’s School for the Blind has been providing specialized services to individuals with visual impairments across New Jersey since its founding in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in Jersey City.  Today’s campus includes a state-of-the-art facility which was designed specifically to serve the disabled and reflects the School’s growth as a premiere provider of educational and social services.  St. Joseph’s is now, as it was then, a non-profit, non-sectarian agency accepting children of every race, creed and national origin.  Most importantly, the School remains the only school for the blind in New Jersey and today includes services for those with multiple disabilities.

St. Joseph’s School for the Blind is committed to the educational, psychological, social, and physical development of all individuals served in an environment of caring, acceptance and respect for each individual’s rights and dignity.

St. Joseph’s provides specialized programs including the School for the Blind full-time education program for students 3-21 years of age with visual impairments and/or multiple disabilities.  The program provides comprehensive academic and life skills training in addition to physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as Orientation & Mobility training and Braille instruction.

The School also provides an Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers, birth to 3 years of age with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, and an Adult Services program for individuals with disabilities 21 years of age and over.  The School’s In-District Services provide specialized training to students who are blind/visually impaired in school districts throughout the region. 

St. Joseph’s campus also includes a multi-sensory playground with adaptive equipment designed for children with special needs, an indoor therapy pool and sensory room.  The facility is completely ADA compliant and LEED certified. 

Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey (formerly NJ Foundation for the Blind)

155 Morris Avenue, Suite 2
Denville, NJ 07834
Tel: 973-627-0055 Fax: 973-627-1622
Executive Director: Kris Marino
State Chairperson: TBD

Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey empowers those with vision loss to live engaged, productive and independent lives. We create and deliver expert programs and services that build confidence and improve the quality of life for individuals living with vision loss.

Our one-day Essential Low Vision Program provides immediate information to individuals with vision loss and their family members about the myriad of products, services and resources that exist to help people maintain their independence.  Our technology Program provides training on Apple’s iPad and iPhone for using the Internet, email and specialized apps for daily living.

Our Better Health & Wellness Program is designed to provide a whole-health approach to living with vision loss. Each program is comprised of courses such as Yoga, Tai Chi Chih, Healing through Drumming, Horticultural Therapy and Peer Support Group, and is offered in Bergen, Essex and Morris Counties.  Aditional classes, such as art, pottery, line dancing, and braille bingo are offered exclusively in Morris County.

With the long-time support of NJ Lions Clubs, NJ Foundation for the Blind is pleased to provide the latest in technology, healing arts, and professional guidance to those who are blind or visually impaired.

Challenged Children’s Charity Corp (Helen L. Diller Vacation Home):

P.O. Box 338, 127 26th Street, Avalon, NJ 08202
MD-16 Chairperson:

Since 1972, The Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, located at 126 27th Street in Avalon, NJ has been providing a seashore escape for visually impaired children, with supervision from experienced and certified counselors and administrators.  Since many of these children come from families with limited financial means, the vacation experience is provided to them at no charge.  The camp operates for eight weeks during the summer months, from mid-June to mid-August, with approximately 20 children (ages 7-15) attending weekly.  Support of The Home is provided by volunteerism, Tim Kerr Charities, the Avalon Lions Club and the NJ State Lions Club, private donations and foundation grants.  The Home is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization under the name “Challenged Children’s Charities Corporation.”  For more information about the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, please visit

John D. Young Memorial Lions Blind Center, Inc.

100 Crestview Avenue, Absecon, NJ 08201
Tel: 609-677-1199 Website:
Juanita Pryce, Director at
MD-16 Chairperson: Fred Frisch, PDG

The Lions Blind Center serves the blind and visually impaired community of Atlantic county and North Cape May County. It helps to empower the blind and visually impaired to set goals and to achieve in an environment where sight loss will not impede progress. The new facility in Absecon helps to open the world of high tech to the blind and visually impaired. It offers computer classes, exercise classes, Braille and peer support. The Center also provides information, referral and advocacy.

Housing and United Services

47 Center Avenue, Leonardo, NJ 07737-1533
Michael Marrazzo, Executive Director
Tel: 732-872-1990 Fax: 732-291-7216

This project was adopted at the 2001 State Convention. The organization serves blind and the sight impaired in such areas as comprehensive information and referral service, housing information and consultations, multi-media transcription services (raille, large print, audio cassettes, etc.), transportation consultations, organization planning, counseling people with blindness and adjustment counseling of the newly blind and their families. A newsletter providing information on these programs and services is published periodically.

AltruVision – A Lions Eye Bank

401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305, Philadelphia, PA 19123-4101
Tel: 1-800-743-6667 – Fax: 215-563-3081

Jim Quirk, President/CEO

Chair of the Board of Trustees: PID Melvyn K. Bray
MD-16 Chairperson: John Allen, PDG

Formerly known as the Lions Eye Bank of the Delaware Valley, Lions Clubs members from the states of New Jersey, Delaware and southeast Pennsylvania founded the LEBDV in 1957. What was once a volunteer effort has grown into a professional, nonprofit organization. Since 1957, the eye Bank has provided tissue for more than 40,000 individuals who have received the “Gift of Sight” through corneal transplant. Countless others have been helped through medical research and education make possible with tissue recovered by the eye Bank staff.

Mission Statement: AltruVision is committed to enhancing a person’s quality of life by restoring or improving vision through corneal transplantation, medical research and education.

AltruVision is grounded in altruism, authenticity, and diversity. We include and embrace different perspectives that empower, honor, and uphold our commitment to serve others with compassion.

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association, Inc. (Camp Happiness)

18 Burlington Avenue, Leonardo, NJ 07737
Tel & Fax: 732-291-0878
Sarah A. Thoma, Executive Director
State Chairperson: TBD

Camp Happiness is wholly owned and operated by New Jersey Blind citizens Association, and is the oldest blind organization in the state. It was founded in 1910 and incorporated in 1917.

Today, Camp Happiness is a year-round facility for the blind. The day program offers a host of projects and activities. The computer program, featuring a narrative software (Jaws) and zoom text, has become the cornerstone of the day program. A new computer program for blind/visually impaired children commenced in 2005. The Lions of New Jersey provide invaluable financial and work program support for the Camp.

New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center

P.O. Box 7263, West Trenton, NJ 08628
Tel & Fax: 609-530-3485
State Chairperson: Al Brewer, PCC

The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Program was adopted as an official project of the Lions Clubs International in October 1994, and approved as a state project in May 2000. The goal of the program is to promote eyeglass collection and recycling to meet the demand for quality eyeglasses in developing nations.

All Lions clubs involved in eyeglass collection are asked to send eyeglasses, eyeglass frames and sunglasses including cataract glasses to the Center, c/o Katzenbach School for the Deaf, 320 Sullivan Way, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

At the eyeglass recycling center, Lions and other volunteers inspect and clean individual pairs of eyeglasses and prepare them for shipment to Lions eye care missions and other organizations overseas.

Eyeglass collection is simple and an inexpensive way to become part of this program and assist others worldwide.


President : Alan Brewer, PCC
Executive Director & Secretary: Mary Devon O’Brien, PCC

The Eye Institute of New Jersey

c/o Doctors Office Center
90 Bergen Street, 6th Floor, Newark, NJ 07103
Tel: 973-972-2050
Lions Referral Coordinator, TBD

The Eye Institute has three primary goals: Service, Research and Education; Service to the community in eye care, Research to apply the most advanced technology to a variety of ocular/visual problems, Education through medical education and a residency program and health care.

An immediate goal is to assist raising funds for the Lions Research Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology, by matching donations from LERF up to the limit of donations made to the eye Institute by Lions.

The Institute provides eye care for Lions Club referrals with no charge for the first visit to the patient or sponsoring Lions club. If follow-up care is needed, counseling on insurance procedures and how to obtain financial assistance through the University Hospital (Newark) for those without insurance.