For Immediate Release
U.S. Philanthropist Provides Single Largest Contribution
Lions Clubs Campaign to End Preventable Blindness
OAK BROOK, Ill. (July 28, 2008) – Blackhawk, Ca.-based philanthropist, Kenneth E. Behring, well known for founding the Wheelchair Foundation, WaterLeaders Foundation and most recently the Global Health & Education Foundation, made the single largest donation to Campaign SightFirst II (CFSII), a coordinated, global fund-raising effort, announced Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Mr. Behring gave US$7.5 million to CSFII, which has a global mission of restoring the eyesight of people suffering from preventable blindness by supporting cataract surgeries, helping to build or expand eye hospitals and clinics, distributing sight-saving medication and training eye care professionals.
“We are proud to have raised more than US$200 million during our latest fundraising campaign and, on behalf of Lions Clubs International, I want to thank Mr. Behring for the extreme generosity he has shown,” said Albert F. Brandel, international president, Lions Clubs International. “With his help, we will be able to extend our mission to prevent blindness around the world and give many thousands back the gift of sight.”
Mr. Behring requested his donation be earmarked to support cataract programs in India, China and Mexico.
“Since 2000 I have been involved in helping disadvantaged people in 158 countries overcome adversity. I feel passionately about what I can do to provide resources to those in need,” said Mr. Behring. “Our partnership with Lions Clubs International Foundation will help eradicate preventable blindness throughout the world. Think of a grandparent seeing their grandchild for the first time. This is only one of the miracles our partnership will provide.”
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Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with nearly 1.3 million members in 202 geographic areas and countries. In July, LCIF was ranked the number one non-governmental organization worldwide by a Financial Times survey. LCIF provides grants for large-scale Lions service projects around the world. Established in 1968, LCIF has awarded a total of $625 million in grant funding for a variety of humanitarian projects. For more information, visit www.lcif.org.