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Home North Carolina Iredell County City of Statesville Historical Markers North Carolina Association For Blind

North Carolina Association For Blind

Front Street at Center Street, Statesville, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 46' 57.9936", -80° 53' 14.5644"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Held first annual meeting at Vance Hotel, Sept. 26, 1934. Leader in movement for state aid to blind."
     Lions Club International gained a foothold in North Carolina in 1922 with the establishment of ten local clubs. The organization was already committed to civic service on behalf of the visually impaired, and the North Carolina clubs looked for opportunities to carry out the mission. By the 1930s it became clear that the work of the clubs lacked continuity and the Charlotte Lions Club began to seek ways to improve services for the state’s entire blind population. During the Depression, local Associations for the Blind were established in Guilford, Durham, and Mecklenburg Counties. The Associations, together with the Lions Clubs, established the infrastructure for launching a statewide effort to assist the blind citizens of North Carolina.

     At the 1934 State Lions Convention, held in Salisbury, plans to organize a State Association for the Blind were set in motion. Interested parties met in Charlotte in August 1934 to prepare a constitution and bylaws in preparation for the new organization’s first meeting. The first annual meeting of the North Carolina State Association for the Blind was held on September 26, 1934, at the Vance Hotel in Statesville, in conjunction with a regional Lions Club conference. In 1974 the group touted their connection with the Lions Clubs by becoming the North Carolina Lions Association for the Blind, and it is now known simply as the North Carolina Lions Foundation Inc. The original association was successful in focusing public attention on the needs of the state’s blind and visually impaired citizens. The modern successor continues the commendable work with various projects and programs throughout North Carolina.

Herbert Clarence Bradshaw, Toward the Dawn: History of the First Quarter-Century of the North Carolina State Association for the Blind (1961)
North Carolina Lions Foundation website: http://www.nclf.org/
North Carolina Association For Blind Historical Marker Location Map, Statesville, North Carolina