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Taking a Journey for Sight


Journey for Sight drove through Swan River last Thursday (Jan. 18) during the four-day trek through western Manitoba.
Approximately 14 riders from the north started the journey in Flin Flon the day prior, travelling southbound and collecting pledges along the way for the Lions Eye Bank (LEB) – a Lions Club initiative that raises money for cornea transplants, adaptive technology, eye exams, and eye wear.
“The snow conditions were good, and the snowmobile clubs got ahead of us all the way and groomed the trails,” said Lions Club member Ian Mullin, who has participated in the Journey for Sight for several years.
When the riders left Swan River, they split off into two directions, departing on either side of the Duck Mountains, with one group hitting up Roblin, Russell, and Birtle before stopping in Shoal Lake, and the other making their way through Pine River, Ethelbert, Gilbert Plains, and Grandview before ending up in Dauphin.
“(Along the way), we’ve had people that have been helped by the LEB speak on how much it has affected their life to have that available to them, with all of the different needs that they have,” said Mullin.
SVRSS student Andrea McIvor spoke while the riders were stopped for the evening in Swan River. McIvor was left blind after a brain surgery in her teenage years. She shared her story of what it was like in her life dealing with her new disability.
“You probably don’t understand how much help all of this is doing for the blind and the low-vision community,” McIvor said to the diligent fundraisers.
Once all of the riders wrapped up their legs of the journey and met up again in Brandon on Saturday (Jan. 20), they had collected a rough estimate of $32,000, although Mullin added that a large amount of funds trickle in during the coming weeks as pledges are returned afterwards.
“The people that have gotten the help, like a cornea transplant, and the specialized equipment they use in their daily lives, it makes all the difference in the world,” Mullin concluded. “It’s amazing to hear what people had before and where they are now.”

Jeremy Bergen