Walk Benefits Visually Impaired

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When a sighted person gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink or maybe to find out what the family dog is barking at, chances are pretty good that person will turn on a light so they can see.

A blind person, must know where everything is to get that drink and, of course, will not be able to see what has piqued Rex's interest.

The Payson Lions Club wants people to feel what it is like to be blind, just for an hour, at Walk in the Dark ... So They Won't Have To.

The event raises money for the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation.

"Participation in this event is a great way for your organization to earn community service hours, show compassion for those in need and support youth and adults from our area who are in need of eyeglasses, eye surgery and/or treatment," Lions vice president Judy Spivey wrote in an e-mail to the Payson Roundup.

The 2007 walk raised $4,200, topping the state in donations for this annual event.

The Lions are determined to beat that figure the evening of March 29.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. that Saturday, Lions, family members, friends, youth groups, organizations and other volunteers will gather at Green Valley Park.

Kiwanis of Tonto Basin and the Strawberry Patchers are among the organizations that have signed up.

The Payson Lionesses were the major fund-raiser last year. They will be back this year, Spivey said.

Whether an individual, family or group, the registration fee is $20, then, walkers get sponsors.

All proceeds will go to Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, a 501(c-3), nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Once at the park, walkers will don blindfolds (provided by the Lions) or dark sunglasses (bring your own) and begin walking.

Participants may also wish to bring their own canes or walking sticks.

"You can walk around as many or as few times a you wish to in an hour," Spivey said.

Water will be provided. Walkers also get a free T-shirt, donated by the foundation.

Contact Spivey at (928) 474-8833 for sponsor forms and information.

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