Two national vision initiatives that have partnered for years throughout the country to help thousands of youth in need of free eyewear are now in place to carry out their mission in Kenosha County.
Last week, Shopko Optical announced it has expanded its Project Eyecare to help people nationally to provide more than 800 deserving children receive free eye exams and eyewear this year.
Nationally, Shopko has partnered with local Lions Club organizations that have committed to the cause for years. Shopko has more than 80 locations around the country.
“This will be the 21st year of Project Eyecare, and to watch it grow is a testament to the program’s success,” said Kirk Lauterback, Shopko Optical chief operating officer. “We want to continue building healthier communities, starting with those in need of proper eye care.”
In Kenosha County, Shopko, 3621 Market Lane in the Market Square Plaza in Somers, is looking forward to aligning with local Lions Clubs to provide the services.
Barb Ross, the manager of the Market Square store, said it has 10 vouchers to be given to the Lions Clubs in the county.
She said she will give the vouchers to clubs that have identified candidates for the program and asked for them. The Shopko program is a yearlong service.
“The Lions Club identifies those in need and they can come here,” she said.
Under the program, youth ages 5-17 can get a free eye exam, frames up to a value of $90 and free single-vision or visible-lined bifocal lenses for free.
Meanwhile, the Lions Club of Greater Kenosha County has been offering a free eyewear service for many years, according to Pete Emer, an optometrist who administers the program for his organization.
Emer said its program doesn’t have an age restriction and receives referrals from schools and others who identify someone who needs glasses.
“We help those from birth to the 80s,” he said.
Emer and his son, Benjamin, who also is an optometrist, provide the services for the club and has two other members who help.
People in need eyewear who are financially unable to afford it can contact Emer Eye Care, 3612 Roosevelt Road, 262-652-1689 or 2305 75th St., 262-654-6005.
Those in need of eyewear can also contact:
The Kenosha Noon Lions Club, 262-496-9767 or 262-914-1797
The Paddock Lake Area Lions Club, Ralph Myers, 262-945-7906 or Cindy Taylor, 262-9149-4247.
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