The impact of funds raised from Eastgate Lions Club’s February crab feed have had great, far-reaching consequences.

Founded in 1917, the club went international in 1920 and became “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness” in 1925, accepting deaf and blind American author, political activist and lecturer Helen Keller’s challenge to impact what has since been hundreds of millions of lives through vision-related work.

“Did you know that when some people eat crab, others get to see more clearly,” asked Mike Howell, treasurer of the Eastgate club.

The $10,649.91 in proceeds from their annual crab feed have been distributed to local, regional, national and international charities, Mike said in a release, including more than $2,700 to help people with sight problems and glasses.  

Mike cited Dr. Harry Wiessner and his crew at Vision Source and the personnel at Valley Vision for their support in this mission. 

He said $8,524.91 went to local groups and individuals. Mike said Boy Scout Troop 305, which the club sponsors, assisted Eastgate Lions with the crab feed and the AMVETS with the distribution of flags for community events. 

Other local groups supported by Eastgate Lions are Blue Mountain Humane Society, Camp Fire, Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center, YWCA and The STAR Project.

In addition to Mike, club officers for the 2019-2020 year are John Edson, president; Mike Stroe, vice president; Johna Starcher, secretary; and Andy Anderson, membership chairman.

Eastgate Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays each month at Pioneer Park Garden Center, 940 E. Alder St. Meetings are not held in July, August or the first week in September. Contact Mike Howell at 509-529-7269 or Online see or

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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