Every December, the Haddonfield Lions Club organizes the Dr. Lawrence Ragone Holiday Shopping Event, where volunteers from the Lions and local Leo Clubs assist visually impaired children in shopping for holiday gifts for their family members, caregivers, teachers, etc. The event was recently held at the Target Store on Route 38 in Cherry Hill (NJ).
The shoppers are from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and come from all over South Jersey. The Leos, a group of young, dedicated people giving back to their community from Haddonfield Memorial High School, was paired with the children from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind to help them shop for their families, teachers, and aides. “It is heartwarming to see the friendships that happen between the shoppers and the Leo volunteers. These children meet for the first time and instantly bonded,” said Larry Melton, Lions Club President.
“And we are grateful for our Haddonfield Lions members who staff wrapping tables to help prepare the presents for the shoppers to take home to their families, added Melton.
Dr. Ragone, a Lion for 65 years and an Optometric Physician, started this event over 40 years ago. He devoted his life to helping people with their eye care needs. This event was born from his compassion for children with visual impairment. His family has pledged to ensure this event continues for years. “As a family, we are proud and honored to be able to continue this wonderful event in memory of our father and mother, Anna Marie.” said Lawrence A. Ragone, Jr., “
“This fabulous event enables our parent’s legacy to continue in a way they would be very proud,” added Mary Ann Ragone DeLambily.
Also, The Pennsauken Lions Club participated in the shopping spree. They were present with many Leos to help the vision impaired participants, along with the Club President and other adults. The Pennsauken Lions club generously donated $500. to the event as they have in the past.
Photo credit for all pictures: Debbie Troy Photography