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Groups partner to support eyesight project

John Wallace, right, a member of the First Baptist Church in Simcoe and of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise, watches as  opthalmologist examines a patient in Udhampur, Northern India. In centre is an official of the Udhampur Rotary Club. Contributed photo

John Wallace, right, a member of the First Baptist Church in Simcoe and of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise, watches as opthalmologist examines a patient in Udhampur, Northern India. In centre is an official of the Udhampur Rotary Club. Contributed photo

SIMCOE - 

The congregation of First Baptist Church in Simcoe has supported the work of Operation Eyesight for more than thirty years.For the past 20 of those years the congregation has partnered with the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise and Rotary International to compound their financial support.

The partnership has made a huge impact in eye health care in countries such as Kenya, Zambia, and Northern India.

One recent project trained people in remote mountain villages in Northern India to provide education in sanitation, eye health and proper nutrition.

The trainees will also be able to identify individuals with eye health problems who can then be taken for treatment to the Rotary Eye Hospital in Udhampur, India.

The project is monitored by Rotarians in Udampur and also by members of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise.

In January 2017 several local Rotarians traveled to northern India to see first-hand the impact that has been felt by the people in these northern villages.

John Wallace, a member of both the First Baptist Church and the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise, led the group to visit the eye hospitals in northern India.

“This program has been piloted in other parts of India and has shown amazing results of 80 per cent reduction in avoidable blindness,” Wallace said in a media release.

Later this month, the First Baptist Church congregation will host a fundraising dinner with roast beef and all the trimmings to support their ministry of eye care in partnership with Rotary and Operation Eyesight. The dinner will be held Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $20 and can be reserved by calling Wallace at 519-426-7599 or the church office at 519-426-3273.