Dr. Craig Baier of Baier Family Optometry has been honored for his commitment to humanitarian service by the Newton Lions Club.
At the club’s Oct. 24 meeting, District Governor Mel Barnett presented Baier with a Melvin Jones Fellowship, the Lions Club International’s highest honor. The award, named for the founder of Lions Club, includes a $1,000 donation to the Lions Clubs International Foundation in Baier’s name.
Baier joined Newton Lions Club in October 2008 because of its involvement in vision-related charity work, and he committed “to do whatever is necessary to lend a hand.” Since then, he has been instrumental in streamlining the procedures Lions uses and in expanding the club’s capacity to provide assistance.
Newton Lions Club’s primary community service is to provide eyeglasses to those who cannot afford them. Baier donates the eye exam, and the club picks up the cost of the glasses and administration fees he incurs.
With Baier’s leadership, the club went from providing assistance to about 10 individuals in 2008-2009 to helping 49 people in 2011-2012. The club’s participation in HOPEfest in 2011 and 2012 led to another 50 people receiving eyeglasses assistance.
Since 2008, Baier has donated about 150 eye exams through Lions Club, at a value of $114 each, totaling $17,100 to date.
“Dr. Baier’s generosity and service have been essential in what Newton Lions Club has been able to accomplish in the past four years in helping those with impaired vision,” said Newton Lions President Erin McDaniel. “We are privileged to honor him with this Melvin Jones Fellowship.”
Those seeking eyeglass assistance from Lions Club should contact Baier Family Optometry, 515 N. Main, to fill out an application. A $30 co-pay is requested.
The Melvin Jones Fellowship Program was established in 1973. Today, Melvin Jones donations account for 70 percent of the international foundation’s annual revenues. It is largely through the support of this program that the foundation continues to be a leader in providing humanitarian service throughout the world.