Lion Carol O’Neill

2018 SC Lion of the Year

  Proudly Nominated by the Sun City / Okatie Lions Club

The Sun City/Okatie Lions Club proudly nominates fellow Lion Carole O’Neill as a candidate for the South Carolina Lion-of-the-Year. She has been an active member of our club since February 20, 2008.
We believe her tireless effort in establishing, leading, and sustaining so many of our community service projects is what makes her a worthy candidate for the prestigious South Carolina Lion-of-the-Year award.
Carole’s service to our community began as a mentor and reading coach at the MC Riley Elementary School in Beaufort County assisting under-performing students improve their reading skills.
While serving as a reading mentor, she recognized a real problem with some children not receiving the benefits of sufficient food and nourishment over the weekend. As a result, in 2013, Carole initiated our Lions Club involvement with Backpack Buddies. Five years later, she still volunteers in this community service program where we currently serve 75 students( each weekend) with food to help them through the school year.
She chaired our Club Fair for four years. This venue occurs in Sun City annually and is a table top Lions Club display with the intent to recruit new members. Carole has personally sponsored 15 new members ( 6 new members within the past 18 months).
The Litter-Pickup club program was also chaired by Carole and she continues to volunteer for this project.
Every year she serves as a volunteer for the Special Olympics recreational program in our community.
Camp Leo has benefited from her generous volunteer hours over the past 10 years.
Annually, Carole serves as a Day Captain at the Heritage Golf Tournament (13  green)   Concession Stand. This leadership role involves supervising a crew of 20 volunteers working together to raise funds to make South Carolina’s Camp Leo summer camp for visually-impaired children a reality.
In 2009 and 2010, she chaired the ticket sales division of our biggest annual fundraiser  Concession Stand. This leadership role involves supervising a crew of 20 volunteers working together to raise funds to make South Carolina’s Camp Leo summer camp for visually-impaired children a reality.
In 2009 and 2010, she chaired the ticket sales division of our biggest annual fundraiser our Spring Concert. In addition, every year she sells ad space for our concert program.
In 2012, Carole initiated our current “Eyesight Sun City” program. She is the founder and still the leader of this all volunteer program of Lions working in the South Carolina schools of Beaufort and Jasper counties.
She began the program doing vision-screening tests in just a few schools. It became so popular with the school nurses and teachers that now the program has grown to include both public and private schools, (grades Pre-K through 12) in both counties.
This program was so successful that the request was made for Carole to include hearing testing in 2013 along with the vision testing. In true “Carole fashion”, she made it happen! Our current program encompasses both vision and hearing testing … now our Sun City Lions are able to provide in tandem BOTH vision and hearing screenings of the students.
In the 2016/2017 school year, 20 schools were visited by Carole and her Sun City Lion crew of volunteers testing 8761 students for both vision and hearing (a total of 17,522 tests conducted).
In this current school year of 2017/2018 YTD, 16 schools have been screened with a total of 7946 students tested for both vision and hearing problems (a total of 17,522 tests conducted). By the end of this current school year, the projection is that 22 schools will be screened, approximately 9500 students will be tested for vision and hearing deficiencies, which would result in approximately 19,000 total tests conducted.
In order for any of this to happen, the planning process begins each August for Carole. She visits the principal and nurse of each school to set up the screening schedule and the testing protocol. Then she must recruit and schedule at least 12 Lions (per testing day) to staff both vision and hearing screenings for each of those schools of grades pre-K through 12.
This means that every year Carole hosts and chairs an Orientation Meeting for new potential Lion volunteers. Members are trained in the use of the testing instruments (Plus Optix Camera & audiometers). She trains and leads at least 24 different Lions to staff the “Eyesight Sun City” Program for each school year. The Plus Optix Camera and four audiometers are used as part of the testing process at each school visited.
In addition, Carole directs vision/hearing screening support to neighboring clubs when they request assistance.
Thanks to Carole’s proposal of our “Eyesight Sun City” Program and her willingness and dedication to “Serve” the children of our community, she has made it possible for all of our Lions to reach out and “Serve” by identifying those students who need our assistance. Our club can then provide eyeglasses and/or hearing aids to those students who are· unable to purchase them or fail to qualify through Medicaid.
Because of Carole O’Neill, the “Eyesight Sun City” Program has become known as our Flagship Program within the community and has provided a great service to over 12,000 students within the last 18 months.
In 2013/2014, Carole received the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and in 2016 she was recognized by our club with the presentation of the Dr. Franklin Mason Award. Also, her leadership was instrumental in our “Eyesight Sun City” Program that resulted in our Sun City/Okatie Lions Club receiving the Sun City Low Country Service Award.
Carole O’Neill has had perfect attendance at our club meetings and has served several terms on our Club Board, rotating off her last term at the end of last year.
She has been active in the District, attending most District Conventions and has attended two State Conventions.
Since Carole O’Neill joined our club in February, 2008, she has epitomized our ‘WE SERVE’ motto!
Her volunteer work with all of 0ur club projects and her endless devotion to the
“Eyesight Sun City” Program in the community over the past six years ( especially the last 18 months) … make her the perfect choice for this year’s South Carolina LION-of-the­YEAR Award.
We are proud to showcase this special Lion. Congratulations, Carol O’Neill![/full_width]
Past Lions of the Year
 2017
Richard J. “Rick” Pressly
2016
Hope MacBride
2015
Rhett Hair
2014
Matthew “Matt” Jones
2013
Bob Cox
2012
Randall R. Foster
2011
Eddie Moncrief
2010
J. Gregg Turner
2009
James P. Freeman
2008
Joe Hughes
2007
Eddie Marshall
2006
Robert English
2005
Clauda Mayo
2004
Steve Webber
2003
Henry Gibson
2002
Terry Trnavsky
2001
Dr. Ed Johnson
2000
Jay Patel
1999
Roy Barnette
1998
Tommy Pope
1997
William C. “Bill” Finley
1996
Roy E. Hartz
1995
G. Richard Atherton
1994
Thomas Parker
1993
Bob Constantine
1992
Bennie L. Newman
1991
Rhodan D. Batson
1990
Defoy Cudd
1989
L.A. Graham, Jr.
1988
Paul “Buddy” Gardner
1987
Robert “Bob” Walker
1986
Vern Freeman
1985
L.B. “Pete” Fetner
1984
Glenn R. Flack
1983
James Vernon Epps
1982
John C. Anderson
1981
W. Parker Bowie
1979
W.M. “Mac” Goldfinch
1978
Robert H. Garrison
1977
Dr. Franklin G. Mason
1976
Jake F. Watson
1975
K. R. “Sarge” Helton
1974
B. Monroe Hiers
1973
Earle M. Moffett
1972
Ray Matthews