Duck race raises money for special needs vision clinic



Lions Club volunteers watch as the ducks race toward the finish line.

Lions Club volunteers watch as the ducks race toward the finish line.

BYRON — The Gaines Lions Club pitched in to help a Saginaw vision clinic continue to provide optometric services to Michigan’s special needs population.

Club members hosted a Sunday breakfast by donation, followed by a duck race in the Shiawassee River at Byron High School. The club sold 500 ducks at $5 each, raising $2,500; proceeds from the breakfast are yet to be determined.

Dr. Dolores Kowalski runs the Special Needs Vision Clinic in Saginaw, where she provides eye exams and glasses.

“The Lions have been huge supporters of our agency,” Kowalski said. “They’re our largest supporter. Ninety-five percent of our patients are Medicare eligible, but they (Medicare) reimburse $45 per exam. That’s not cost-effective.”

In the first year of operation, Kowalski feared the clinic would not stay afloat, but the Lions Clubs of District 11 D1 stepped into help.

“They made it possible to keep the doors open,” she said.

Dr. Dolores Kowalski helps Gaines Lions Chamber President Harold DeMott pour 500 rubber duckies into the Shiawassee River as part of a fundraiser for Kowalski’s special needs vision clinic in Saginaw. Photos by Lania Rocha

Dr. Dolores Kowalski helps Gaines Lions Chamber President Harold DeMott pour 500 rubber duckies into the Shiawassee River as part of a fundraiser for Kowalski’s special needs vision clinic in Saginaw. Photos by Lania Rocha

The club also sponsors leader dogs for the blind, Special Olympics and Bear Lake Camp.