TOWNSEND -- Residents interested in tools and services to help them see better can come to a May 10 event hosted by the Lions Club.

The service club, which focuses on vision and hearing, will host an informational meeting at the senior center at 12:30 p.m. to help people apply for its free lending program to receive a visual aid machine called an Optelec. The machine magnifies reading material and displays it on a screen, making it easier to read.

"If someone has a need, we help get it for them," said Bob Ellis, president of the Townsend Lions Club.

The event is open to anyone in town and the surrounding area, he said.

Equipment from the lending program is donated by the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund. Ellis said the club pays about $50 annually to help maintain the equipment.

One machine will be given to the senior center for attendees to use on site, he said.

The club is trying to get the MLERF to purchase eSight electronic glasses that can help the visually impaired see, Ellis said. One pair costs about $10,000. There is a woman in town who is a painter and is losing her sight, he said, and the glasses could help people like her.

The Lions also collect glasses and send them to other countries that lack eye care.

In the community, Ellis said the club often supports the Townsend Ecumenical Outreach, which runs a food pantry and offers other services.

Last year, the Lions raised money from the town yard sale for the Kids Kountry Playground.


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The club also offers scholarships for North Middlesex Regional High School students.