Community, Lions come through

By on June 21, 2013

Update reveals positive improvements for 13-year-old Virgil resident
ELBURN—Forty club members at the Elburn Lions monthly board meeting on June 13 were brought up-to-date on the progress of Virgil resident, 13-year-old Kara Peters, who was born with Down syndrome.

At the age of four, Kara was diagnosed with PDDNOS, an autism spectrum disorder, as well as anxiety and sleep disorders. A multipurpose service dog was desperately needed to assist and support Kara with her daily challenges.

A fundraiser was held in June of 2012 to rally funds, resulting in $6,400 collected to help offset the expense of the service dog purchased from non-profit organization, 4 Paws for Ability. The partnership between children with disabilities and service dogs increases independence for children like Kara and provides ongoing assistance to her family.

Private donations from generous community members in the amount of $13,000 covered the rest of the expense to purchase the canine.

After Georgie, Kara’s service dog, spent time in training, the Peters family traveled to 4 Paws for Ability for a two-week training session. The Elburn Leo Club also donated funds to assist in the family’s traveling expenses.

The Peters attended the June 13 club meeting to explain the process, talk about their experience, introduce Georgie to the membership and express their gratitude.

“The presentation was a glimpse into the lives of a family that has been trying to assist their daughter over the years to have a good life that all parents wish for their child,” said Pam Hall, president of the Elburn Lions Club Chapter. “They can see some positive improvements and have high hopes for a better future with the assistance of the service dog.”

The Illinois Eye-Bank was also present at the meeting to speak about the restoration of sight and new technology in the field. Founded in 1947 and housed in a small space at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, The Illinois Eye-Bank helps preserve and restore sight to thousands of cornea transplant recipients each year, vigorously supporting eye and vision research.

A 15-minute presentation explained how the charitable, not-for-profit organization assists individuals that are visually impaired through transplantation, research and education.

“The local businesses and caring community members supported our cause, and we cannot express how grateful we are to have such tremendous community support,” Hall said of the 2012 fundraiser.

The Lions Club International Foundation is the world’s largest community service organization with an emphasis on supporting the blind and visually impaired. For more information about joining the Elburn Lions, visit or contact the Lions at (630) 365-6315 or